My life has been transformed thanks to hearing the right words at important moments. Mom said, “This too shall pass.”  Dad explained the power of “Quiet Confidence.”   Aunt Ann and Uncle Bill suggested that I take the fizz out of my soda pop addiction, retire it for good, and try yoga instead.  Ina Lukas told me, “Jason, your voice is a gift.”

Looking back, I’m certain I wasn’t as appreciative of these words then as I am now. Oftentimes, words have a way of taking time to sink in when they’re important.  I might have even resisted the truth of these words at first. Yet now, I shudder to think of what my life might look like today if no one had found the courage to speak such powerful words of healing, insight and wisdom to me. 

There are many reasons we might withhold our kind words from others.  Maybe we think they aren’t profound enough or that they sound too cheesy.  We might be uncomfortable revealing that we care so much or fear that our words won’t be appreciated in the way we intend them to be.  We might even fear we don’t have the right or “perfect” answer to offer.

I know I was scared to speak for so long, not only because of the sound of my voice but because I was afraid of saying something that sounded stupid or that might reveal too much of my heart.  

Since then, I’ve come to believe words of this nature are simply too important to keep cloaked within ourselves.  

So, my friends, I challenge you: the next time words of insight, wisdom, encouragement or love strike you, instead of letting them get caught in your throat, go ahead and open your mouth and let them out. 

JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment.  He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.

He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “Doing your Imperfect Best ™”.

His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.