A group of four friends outdoors laughing

This will all make sense in a few minutes.

I met a friend before she went to a wine tasting event one night.

While we were catching up, another woman sat down next to us and began to engage in our conversation. That was normal. The place was a neighborhood bar so everyone was super friendly.

We were talking about how hard it had been to get tickets to Hamilton and how expensive the tickets are. My friend recommended that we go to Richmond, VA "because tickets are half the price."

To which our new friend, let's call her Dawn, replied:

"You know disabled people get tickets for $149.00. So if you can find a disabled person to go with, you can each get a ticket for $149.00. I know there is a special place in hell for someone like me, but I don't care."

How did I reply?

I said nothing.


I Couldn't Think Of One Thing To Say. Nothing Nice. Nothing Mean. I Was Stunned.

It took me back to the summer of 1992. I was working for an environmental group running a door to door canvass. We were at our summer kick-off BBQ. We were drinking beers, joking around, and getting to know one another.

"Anyone want to hear a gay joke?" a guy called out.

There was a brief moment of awkward silence until someone said:

"I don't, I do not want to hear any gay jokes. But I can tell you a funny joke. What did the zero say to the eight? 'Hey, nice belt.'"

Everyone laughed and that awkward moment passed.

Who Was The Person Who Had It All Together, Could Respond So Quickly And Diffuse The Situation?

That was me.

So why couldn't I do the same that night? What happened to my quick wit?

I don't know.

I have spent a lot of time beating myself up and feeling guilty for not speaking up.

But that won't make any difference. It never does.

What will make a difference?

Figuring Out What Stopped Me From Speaking Up In The Moment.

What concern did I sell out to? What was the thought I had that won out over my commitment to speak my truth and empower all people?

When I figure that out, I will be giving myself the power to do something different next time.

That's why I developed the masterclass of the Reclaim Your Sanity Series called "Stop Being Nice and Reclaim Your Power." We tackle this very subject.

When situations like this arise, I kind of feel like the Universe put it in my way so I could cause a breakthrough for myself.

See that's what I do as a coach. I go first. I put myself through the wringer so that I can find a tool that works for me, then pass the baton to you, and hopefully, you'll do the same.

Has this ever happened to you? What do you do?

How Do You Go From Being "Nice," "Polite," Or Simply Silent Like Me And Speak Up In Those Tense Situations? Or Should You?

I'd love to know, so hit me back.

Thanks for being on the journey with me. I appreciate you.

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About The Author

Jen Coken's picture

Jen Coken is an author, life coach, and comedian who wants to live in a world where you’re free to be yourself and achieve your soul’s purpose—a vision that has driven her work as a Coach, Speaker, Author, Comedian for more than 20 years.

Drawing on three decades of experience as a non-profit leader and grassroots organizer, Jen helps CEOs and entrepreneurs overcome their self-made limitations and do their heart’s work.

But Jen’s impact doesn’t end there: She spent six years on the Denver stand-up comedy circuit and brings a sense of humor to every topic she addresses, including the experience of coping with her mother's diagnosis and death from ovarian cancer.

Jen’s book, "When I Die, Take My Panties: Turning Your Darkest Moments into Your Greatest Gifts" chronicles that experience and shares Jen’s core message that everything that comes our way is meant to teach us about ourselves.

When she’s not crafting bestselling books or speaking to audiences around the country, you can find Jen eating Nutella by the spoonful in the nearest grocery aisle. www.jencoken.com

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