From a very young age, I learned that I wasn't like other girls. I tried just as hard as the boys did in gym class. I corrected teachers. I strived to be the best, and I strived to better than everyone else at everything I did. I had an extremely dominant personality, and I never took no for an answer. One of my strongest attributes back then, and still to this day, is being outspoken.
My parents always taught me that it's okay to want things even though we can't always have them. They also pushed me to set goals for myself and stop at nothing until those goals are accomplished; both of which are lessons that I will not only always live by but will always exemplify.
Being given the ability to speak my mind has been both a blessing and curse throughout the years. For every person that respects my ability to speak freely, there is one who despises me for it. For every time my thoughts have been accepted with open arms, there are moments when I've been outcasted and rejected by people for them. For every "thank you for being honest," there are just as many "you should've kept your mouth shut."
In all seriousness, being outspoken is hard. It not only requires learning how to put the thoughts and feelings of other people aside for the sake of yourself, but it also requires learning to accept not everyone is going to agree with what you have to say--and that it's not the end of the world if they don't.
When I was in high school, I would never let my voice be censored. If I had something to say, chances are you'd know about it. I thought my ability to speak my mind was well-receipted by my peers and even my friends, but that wasn't always the case. I learned people thought I was arrogant, self-centered, and egotistical.
I also overheard someone I thought was my friend call me a bitch for arguing against her opinion in class. If this is how people were going to respond to my thoughts and opinions, how would they respond to criticism from a future employer or colleague?
I think there is a major stigma behind being a person with an outspoken personality. People assume that everything that comes out of our mouths is rude and that we are extremely narcissistic beings who only care about ourselves.
Plot twist: we might actually be some of the most honest, caring people you will ever meet--who only want the best for everyone else just as much as we want it for ourselves. Yes, you may not always like what we have to say, but that's just a part of life; the moment you learn to accept rejection, criticism, and opinions from other people, you'll be a much happier person. I can promise you that.
Of course there will always be personal boundaries, but I'm a firm believer that boundaries are meant to be broken. I also believe you miss one hundred percent of the chances you don't take and regret one hundred percent of the things you don't say.
So, what can you take from this?
Know that it's okay to be open about how you feel about things, and never be afraid to defend your thoughts or actions. Learning how to speak up for yourself, and what you believe is right, is one of the most rewarding personal experiences. Be a leader, not a follower. Stand up for what you know is right regardless of what everyone may think. God blessed you with a voice, so you might as well use it to it's maximum potential.
I will never change who I am just make society happy. I should never have to censor myself for the sake of someone else. I will not apologize for being outspoken because I want to share my opinions, honesty, and thoughts for the world to hear. And you should too.