Speak Up – Silence Makes You Poor

We must stand tall and speak up or our silence will make us poor. Money is attracted to confidence. Attractive confidence is the direct connection between authenticity and financial prosperity. istock_000001684995xsmall1

We naturally feel more confident when we are speaking our mind in full authentic expression.  Every time we allow fear to silence our authentic expression, we poke little holes in our personal integrity and erode our confidence.

Often we are given opportunities to right a wrong, clear up a misunderstanding, enhance a relationship or express true feelings, but instead we take the easy way out, by putting up with what we could change.

I’m a big believer in accepting what is. But we can also be smart and remove ourselves from the presence of people and situations that are not good for us.

It’s essential to identify and eliminate situations that we needlessly tolerate.

Let’s define tolerations as things that bug us, sap our energy, and could be eliminated!  There’s a small payoff to carrying tolerations – you get to feel kind of noble about your burdens and your forbearance. But, believe me, it’s a very expensive source of self-esteem.

Tolerations are holes in your personal success cup; they drain away your contentment and good fortune.  They drain YOU.  They make you feel less attractive to yourself.

Tolerations often represent compromises you’ve talked yourself into.  Thomas Leonard

Leonard included physical clutter and all kinds of limbo projects in his master list of tolerations.  Most of you have felt the tremendous resurgence of energy that comes simply from cleaning a closet or an office.  My coaching clients and I have experienced even greater relief and enlivening from taking a stand and expressing it.  It’s your turn.

What unresolved situations or unmade decisions have you avoided dealing with repeatedly?

Which of your relationships is more energy draining than inspiring?

Where are you withholding being totally forthright, because you fear the consequences, even though you know that you’re out of integrity by remaining silent?

Where do you resist telling the whole truth to yourself, about yourself?

Make your list, select one, face it and fix it permanently. Then cross it off and feel the rush of authentic expression.


For those in Pittsburgh this week, Tom is speaking on Thursday, 1-29, noon, at the Carnegie Business Library on Wood St.  The topic is: Is Self-Employment Right for You?


  1. Great lesson Tom. Fear is a tough one to overcome because it has so many guises. What do you suggest we do to celebrate each success?

    Jays last blog post..The Sunday Ponder

  2. Brett Legree says:

    This is a good piece of advice that should be taught to our children (actually I am doing this).

    It starts at school, when we are young. And as we mature, to college, then to our first job (if we follow a traditional path).

    Most of us learn that those who speak up seem to do better than those who don’t.

    And when some of us decide to venture out on our own – well, if you’re running your own business and you *don’t* speak up, it isn’t going to work well most likely.

    (Time to go write a good speech I think!)

    Brett Legrees last blog post..a perfect storm.

  3. Hey- you are the coach. You be as deep an you wanna be 🙂
    I understand what you are saying- I was just wondering if we could use celebration as more of a motivation since finding our fears is well….scary sometimes and it is nice to have a cheeseburger waiting for us after the marathon sometimes. 🙂

    Jays last blog post..The Sunday Ponder

  4. Oh, Tom, you’ve written a very thought-provoking one, here. This is great! While everything you say is important, perhaps the last item encompasses all the others…? “Where do you resist telling the whole truth to yourself, about yourself?”

    As for doing/being authentic, it’s akin to being “in the zone.” You just are so involved, so loving it, that you feel nothing “outside,” you’re tireless, and time just flies! It’s taken me my entire adulthood to go through the process of doing the “shoulds,” doing the suffering caused by them, observing and then learning from it all. I’m now starting to get back to this. I’m hoping it’s like learning to ride a bike! 😉

    And I really like your encouragement to “Make your list, select one, face it and fix it permanently, then cross it off and feel the rush of authentic expression.” I’m SUCH a procrastinator! 😉 You’ve just given me the little extra push I needed to do something today which I’ve been putting off over and over (“I ran out of time”) even though I know if I do it, I’ll make a very dear friend very happy. I do have the time; I will make it so. 😉 Thank you, Tom!

    Julies last blog post..Tag, This is Who I Am

  5. “We naturally feel more confident when we are speaking our mind in full authentic expression.”

    I completely agree and I can remember when I made this realization. I would make presentations, met with good feedback, but not feel good about it myself. Then I realized I was acting as I thought I should, not based on who I am. I walked away from the next presentation feeling incredibly satisfied.

    I have also made difficult choices in removing people from my life who do not inspire me. It’s not easy…but it opens up space to attract more like minded people.

  6. I too am self employed and have been for 10 years. Found that “trying to fit” either with clients (or other consultants) led to quiet a few contracts that involved working harder than I should have not to mention a whole lot of suffering. I may have made money and even learned a lot, but the biggest learning of all was that when I follow my passion and express my voice, work no longer feels like work and the money continues to get much better! Guess I had to learn to take that leap of faith, but once you take it there is no turning back.

  7. Stacey – I’ve had the exact same experience of presenting something that more reflected another person’s belief than my own. You’re right it’s so much easier and more freeing to simply be who you are all the way.

    Susan – Welcome. Yes! I’m totally with you. I’ve been self-employed for 35 years now and it just feels more natural all the way around.

  8. My job isn’t living up to my expectations. I’ve been so busy trying to grow Work Happy Now that I’ve lost site of being happy in the hear and now.

    My business/blog is growing and that’s exciting, but I can’t forget about today. This afternoon is dedicated to finding a new job that will help me be more authentic.

    Karl Staib – Work Happy Nows last blog post..What are YOU Grateful for this Past Week?

  9. Great post Tom, your points about speaking up and authenticity are reminiscent of Jack Welch’s view on candor. As he said in his book, Winning: “Lack of candor basically blocks smart ideas, fast action and good people contributing all the stuff they got”.

    Speaking up authentically will allow better results to come faster, avoid procrastination or beating around the bush on sensitive subjects and create a culture of openness and honesty in any business.


  10. Karl – How refreshing to hear you speak your present moment truth right her, right now! May you be blessed with the power to act boldly!

    Matt – Thanks man. I had no idea Welch was that wise. 🙂 Haven’t read his book, only his columns in the back of Forbes.

    Brett – Be yourself and talk about what brings you alive. Then it will be great. I’m pumped about speaking myself this week! Good to see you teach your children well. They are watching their dad.

    Jay – Well I’ve eaten a lot of cheeseburgers but done no marathons. 🙂 I know you were speaking metaphorically. Jay, hear me clearly buddy. Anything is okay if it works for you. Use whatever trick, game or motivation gets you to take the next step and feel good about it. Uncovering fears is just a shortcut but you can handle it.

    Julie – I love the pure joy and warmth in your comment. I’m so grateful to have you here with us. I once had a toleration list in the hundreds. Completion feels so good. The energy is amazing. Go for it! You can do it, I’m more than sure.

  11. Good point – there are people that serve as catalysts and there are some that drain you.
    There are situations that charge your energy and those that is not
    The trick is to spot all these, distinguish and avoid the draining once. It actually helps me a lot in achieving more with less. Spending energy on something that does not drain me is key for me
    Good stuff!

    Alik Levin | PracticeThis.coms last blog post..Kaizen Parents – GTD Kids

  12. A person certainly has the opportunity to learn differently if and when he finds the courage to speak up. That peson opens himself to exhcanges with others, possible criticism or disagreements where he wold be given the chance to learn how to adjust, adapt and manage different emotions and people. Your post is a wonderful reminder that people can learn from doing things that may seem to cause discomfort. You move beyond it as you realize aspects of it can help you a lot.

    Liara Coverts last blog post..5 Ways to evaluate your current state

  13. LifeMadeGreat | Juliet says:

    Hi Tom

    I am pushing through a patch of not being authentic in a number of areas – and not having been authentic in them for most of my life. So it is a biggy.

    Tell me, do you beleive in physical manifestation of emotional issues? I tend to – which is why I believe I currently have chronic back pain, spasms…you name it and have been put on bed rest for 2 to 3 days (and shouldn’t be sitting here at my PC) .


    Oh, and to those who are in Pittsburgh, I recommend you go listen to Tom.

    LifeMadeGreat | Juliets last blog post..Overcoming The Barriers Of Introversion: Starting The Process

  14. Hi Tom. This was well said, and so true! I very much understand the truth in being in a relationship that is draining your energy rather than inspiring it. I’m in that situation right now and quite challenged at stepping over that edge. Breaking up IS hard to do–we’ve been together for 4.5 years.

    Davinas last blog post..This Is Me, Then and Now

  15. A timely post for me as there have been several situations related to the lessons here in my own life.

    I’ve certainly put up with relationships in the not so distant past which drained me and did not support me. I made the decision to be much more discerning about who I let into my “space.” I think it was Jim Rohn who said that you are “the sum of the 5 people you hang around most” – yikes! 😉 It’s important to be aware of these relationships and to handle them accordingly despite the feelings of guilt or sadness letting go of them bring up.

    There is also a lot of talk lately in the social media community about transparency and authenticity and I think this post applies there as well. Some people are still afraid of being “real” while using these tools but in my experience that’s when the greatest connections and community building takes place.

    Christine | Communicate Values last blog post..8 Useful Twitter Web Apps

  16. Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching says:

    Thanks for this post. On telling the whole truth to myself, that attitude has definitely sparked a change in my life. One morning a while back I woke up and noticed that, although I had what looked to the world like a well-paying, prestigious job, I actually wasn’t taking care of my own wants or needs. Once I became able to tell myself that truth, I actually started taking care of those needs both in the work context and elsewhere.

    Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coachings last blog post..Podcast #4: Procrastination And Self-Acceptance

  17. Alik – Welcome. It sounds as thought you are doing an excellent job of spotting what feeds you well and what does not. That kind of awareness stops tolerations before that sprout.

    Liara – Yep, often the discomfort is a sign that we need to address something now.

    Juliet – Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂 By push I hope you mean that you are focusing. Because push sounds like resistance and you could need to lighten up a little. You asked, “do you believe in physical manifestation of emotional issues?” Absolutely, there is no doubt of that mind-body connection. Read Louise Hays, You Can Heal Your Life.

    Davina – I first began as a relationship coach and I do not envy you. But you obviously know that a better match exists so follow your heart and seize your freedom.

    Christine – You raise some excellent points. I guess if you are an employee, in the social media then you may have something to fear and that fear could lead to self-censure. But if you are self-employed, well then folks often hire us for who we are. If we are not authentic we can stop the business flow.

  18. Broderick Allen says:

    I’d have to agree. So far, up until I started my blog I’ve been pretty silent and pretty poor as well.

    “Tolerations often represent compromises you’ve talked yourself into”

    That really hit me. I guess truth has a way of doing that sometimes. Thank you so much for this post. I think I might have to take some time and let it really sink in, but it will be a post I remember.

    Broderick Allens last blog post..Life is Short?

  19. Tom,

    I can’t issue a hearty enough AMEN to this post.

    Four years ago, I moved my family 1300 miles away from a host of “tolerations” and “toxic relationships”. I had tried to create a literal “box” in which to place those people and situations but no matter how hard I tried – I was unable to completely disconnect.

    Within a year, my business exploded and my income quadrupled. At first I thought it was because clients were taking me more seriously because of my more “urban” location – then I came to realize that the “magic pill” was indeed the removal of the “toxic toleration issues and people”.

    Please, please, please – don’t underestimate the power of truth contained within this post!!!

    Kathy @ Virtual Impaxs last blog post..First Impressions and the Placebo Effect

  20. Thanks for the great post. I’m goinna make my own list

  21. I like the picture of the eagle and I like your proactive point.

    If you want something, don’t just stand there, go get it!

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..Avoid Mental Burnout

  22. You dished up a full plate to digest here Tom. I could comment on so many parts of it but the sentence that caused the most emotion when I read it was “Where do you resist telling the whole truth to yourself, about yourself?”
    I’m not sure why this sentence struck me like it did. I believe there are things about myself that I just don’t want to know or put in the effort to understand. Why I do some of the things I do, feel the way I feel. I just accept it “as is” and go on. I’ll have to give this more thought.

  23. Broderick – Welcome. I’m glad it hit you hard. That means there is a whole lot of good waiting for you. Dig into it and eliminate those suckers.

    ??? ???????? – make your list and take care of one every day. It works well to break them down into items you can clear in 30 minutes or an hour.

    J.D. – I like that eagle to. he takes no shit and speaks up!

    Kathy – Wow! A quadrupling is quite impressive – those relationships must have been toxic as hell. It is hard to shine when we have to waste energy fighting battles we can never win. Congrats on your outstanding movement.

    Laurie – Yep that’s one of my all time favorite questions because there is always something to decide on and grow through. Thanks for the visit and enjoy your pondering.

  24. Sara at On Simplicity says:

    In reviewing my to-do lists, there are quite a few things I need to cross off and say, “I’m never doing this,” and just let it go. As good as it makes me feel to think that I might do them someday, they get in the way of what I actually want to do.

    I feel fortunate in that no friends or family came to mind as tolerations! However, I do have some reconciliations to make within the view of myself I’d like to hold and what I really want.

    Sara at On Simplicitys last blog post..My Dirty Blogging Secret

  25. Great suggestions as always, Tom. Some people seem to be proud of tolerating things – to me it’s a cop-out! If I tolerate things I shouldn’t, at least I know I’m doing it. Cheers – R

    Robins last blog post..Guy Finley Followed By An Illustrated Meme.

  26. Evelyn Lim says:

    Your post provides food for thought. Just two days ago, I realized that I have intentionally moved apart from a number of old friends. Some of these relationships have been less than inspiring. It’s not that I no longer wish to maintain contact. But the minimal contact I have now makes it seem less energy-draining, less of a tolerance.

    Time is a scarce commodity. I now prefer to spend it with friends who are like-minded, positive and uplifting!

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..101 Negative Money Beliefs

  27. Sara – You’ll find great energ in declaring your independence from those list items that you know you’ll never get around to. It’s powerful exercise for the courage muscle as well.

    Robin – Outstanding Awareness! Knowing our own involvement in self-sabotage is a grand first step to greater peace.

    Evelyn – It’s interesting how it seems as though you lessened those relationships without consciously choosing to. Sounds like your higher self is on the job!

  28. Speaking more from a relationship point of view than from a business point of view, silence can also keep you trapped in bad, abusive relationships. Al-Anon taught me that our relationships are only as healthy or as sick as our secrets. Again, thanks for sharing your particular brand of wisdom, Tom.

    Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworkers last blog post..Fear Is My Friend

  29. Hi Tom…

    I find this very interesting and an eye opener for me.

    It is usually in my silence that I learn the most…and one can also drown in one’s loudness…but the connection I’ve made here is the authenticity of the tenor of one’s voice.

    Terrific insight as always!

    Thank you!

    Henies last blog post..The Button

  30. Hello Tom,

    Thank you for adding me as a friend on Facebook!

    I have a few unresolved, niggling situations and things I need to say and deal with in work and in my health. This reminded me that it’s time to eliminate these things and the drain on my energy that they constitute…


    Anna Conlan ~ Healing and Insights last blog post..How can we discern what is true and what is not?

  31. Patricia – I always value your visits because I know you’ve actually worked through and lived through what you comment on. Thank you.

    Anna – The energy comes back pretty swiftly once we resolve the unresolved. I wish you well.

    Henie – I love that you shared your realization. It’s powerful and fitting for all. Thank you.

  32. Tom…

    Thank you again for this!

    In thinking of this some more, it boils down to “balance”…not too soft, not too loud.


    Henies last blog post..PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!!!

  33. Fear is a bad advisor, it never should make us silent. A high self-esteem helps in all kinds of life situations.

    Sikantiss last blog post..Gardening for self-esteem

  34. It’s the easiest thing to say, “just do it”, but it so hard to actually do! I have really enjoyed being–or acting confident– and going for what I want!

    waldosks last blog post..About

  35. Tom,

    This is a really great article! I loved your quote by Leonard. This year, my word of the year is FOCUS and this article really helps me to clarify where some of my diffusions are coming from. Thank you for writing this. It is good, clear writing! Fun to read.

    Amy Jewells last blog post..My New Thing..

  36. Waldosk – Welcome. It is a joy to go for what we want. Powerfully Joyful!

    Amy – Welcome. I’m please that both Leonard and I could inspire you. Focus is very freeing.

  37. Being silent has, in the past, made me poor in creativity. I was having an issue that I didn’t discuss with anyone, and the longer I held it back, the less I was able to write, to the point that I took almost a month off of my blog. Once I finally expressed the problem, and found a resolution for it, my creativity came back again.

    ~ Kristi

    Kikolani | Blogging, Poetry, Photographys last blog post..Living a Healthy Lifestyle


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