Silence is not about having nothing to say, it’s about knowing when it’s best to speak and when to be quiet. Women by nature tend to be over sharers. Among trusted girlfriend circles there are usually very few secrets. I actually find myself seeking the counsel of my friends, long before before family or even experts in the issue area. The trusted space to talk about everything is sacred among girlfriends. However, it isn’t always good to share everything with the people in your life. Sometimes you need to find the power in remaining silent.
The truth is, if your overly invested in constantly talking you are probably less invested in listening. Listening to others is great tool for learning. Sometimes you need to be quiet to observe and take in knowledge. The golden rule of silence is about knowing when to contribute and when it is more appropriate to stay quiet.
Shutting up isn’t easy, I struggle with striking a balance constantly. I truly believe I came out of the womb talking. However, as I’ve gotten older I have learned the difference between senseless banter and valuable conversations.
The world has become a much louder place thanks to social apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Chatter and opinions are literally constantly spiraling around us. So even when we aren’t talking, there are many levels of communication going on.
Social media has also invaded our lives in a way that the desire to chronicle every moment of our lives has become addicting. In our super connected world, oversharing has become somewhat of a social norm. Sharing isn’t always a bad; in business it is actually beneficial to connect with your audience and gain instant feedback. However, the need to seek approval constantly can be damaging on a personal level.
One reason is because you run the risk of falling into terrible group think habits, and can be less likely to challenge judgments. If you are constantly looking outside of yourself for approval and confidence in your decisions, you also run the risk of losing your personal authenticity.
Additionally, feeling the need constantly brag about your accomplishments is actually a sign of a lack of self confidence. You can silently slay and let your accomplishments shine on their own.
Finding a quiet space to be still can be challenging, but it’s worth it and necessary for your personal growth. So unplug, get off the phone with your girlfriend, turn the TV off and just take a moment to embrace silence. I promise learning the golden rule of silence will help you learn and gain greater clarity and insight into your unique thoughts, feelings, and values. All of which will help you define your own path in alignment with your purpose.
I’m not telling you to shut up to stifle you from expressing yourself. I’m saying learn the power in silence and use it to maximize your potential and your success.
*This post originally appeared on girlgetit.com, and has been reposted with permission.