You’ve been there. You’re sitting in a meeting, or in class, or at lunch with some friends. And someone says something that is so obviously wrong, incorrect, ignorant, predujiced, anecdotal, off-base, or just otherwise ridiculous that you stop chewing and drop your jaw. You glance over at the person next to you and it is clear that she feels the same way you do. And you wait for a second, because someone is obviously going to disagree, right? Somebody is going to tactfully but firmly say, “Well, wait a second, I’m not sure I agree with that.”

You wait for a second or two, but the first person just keeps on talking. No one interrupts. No one disagrees. Everyone leaves wondering, “Wow, am I surrounded by idiots and cowards? And am I an idiot and coward too?”

There’s something on your mind that you probably need to say today. Telling someone that you love them; telling someone you’re sorry; telling someone that their great idea is neat but probably too risky; telling someone that you like them as a person but you can’t agree with their viewpoint. 

Speaking that thought to power is going to be difficult. But would you rather face that challenge this morning and say what needs to be said, or face yourself in the mirror tonight knowing that you let the chance to be yourself pass for one more day?

You have something valuable to say. No one hears it until you say it.