“Speak your truth.” That’s a phrase that has become common in popular culture over the past year. Speaking your truth is the most powerful weapon we have.
This may be you…. At some point in your life you made the decision that it was no longer safe to speak your truth. In your early years, speaking up led to a scolding from your parents, or worse. Their censure caused pain and engendered a belief in you that speaking up would create even more pain. This belief compelled you to withhold and question your voice from then on. Your parents, of course, did the best they could given their challenging upbringing; but whether they knew it or not, they were recreating their painful past—a past where they were to be seen but not heard, and forced to cope with their difficulties and feelings by keeping a tight lip. The cycle repeated itself in how they raised you, and in how they expected you to keep certain parts of yourself invisible. Even if your parents were generally kind and open to you, so long as they held onto their need to withdraw—their coping strategies—they would unintentionally invite you to withdraw as well; you would likely inherit their fears, beliefs and attitudes, like the innocent sponge and mimicker you were.
- Fear of offending. This is rooted in fear that you will break your connection with others. That means fear of loneliness and loss of power — the power to get people to stick around.
- Not wanting to be judged. It’s fear that if you say what you truly believe, you’re not going to seem competent, credible or lovable. The result is a habit of self-censorship and a lack of confidence in owning your opinions.
- A sense of futility. “If you’ve found in the past that asserting your opinion made no difference to the powerful people in your life, you may be inclined to think, ‘What’s the use?’ today.”
- Fear of reprisal. Anxiety about being shunned, ridiculed or attacked can make speaking up feel downright dangerous.
Most of the time you will not speak your truth because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. That’s natural and oftentimes a good practice depending on the time and circumstance. However, there are times in which you need to put forth your belief for clarification or conviction. If you hurt a person’s feelings, please be patient until they figure out how to respond. Family truths are sometimes the most difficult truths to speak. By speaking your truth, you will frequently piss some people off. Please don’t take their attacks at you personally. It’s really not about you. It’s about them. It is called transference in psychology. A person transfers their emotions to you, accusing you of possessing what they are feeling. It is not necessary to push your truth onto someone else. And it’s not your job to fix anyone.
Speaking your truth will surely piss some people off and that’s a good thing. It’s time now, in your boomer years, to live your life the way you want to – the way you feel – yet always, of course, with reason and kindness. You’ve spent the better part of your life being honest, patient, compassionate and loving. And you will always be that person. On the other hand, holding back your truth when it’s necessary to speak is not going to be healthy for your personal growth and transformation. To speak your truth is to assume that there is some truth that you yourself possess. It assumes that each person is his or her own source for truth and authority.
The Power of speaking your truth. At the moment you start speaking your truth, you become more powerful than you can possibly imagine because when you speak the truth, you start believing in yourself. Of course, everyone thinks they believe in themselves. Everyone should be taught from a young age to be authentic, be you, believe in yourself. Think deeper, clearer and more profoundly ask yourself , Are you really free enough to piss people off? Speaking your truth comes from knowing who you are, from self – knowledge. Once you start practicing how to own your truth, everything in your life will start arranging itself. A huge amount of stress will be lifted from your heart because you don’t have to pretend anymore. You don’t have to hide parts fo you. And there is power in that thinking. When the shields we use to protect ourselves are gone, being present, being open and being emotionally pure and raw start to come to the surface. Being honest demands respect. When you value and respect your own thoughts and feelings, others will too. Those who don’t respect your thoughts and feelings probably shouldn’t be in your life in the first place. You will become stronger. There is strength in being honest with yourself. It is letting those icky feelings that you pretend do not exist out into the light. It requires strength to admit who you are and who you want to be with. It sounds easy but it isn’t. That kind of honesty can be brutal and harsh when you have to look at pieces that are not polished.
Practice Safety First. That is, give yourself a chance to practice sharing your truth. Find a community of supporters who will let you speak what’s on your mind without judgement or shame. Learning to share your voice and speak your truth for the first time will rarely be as eloquent as Oprah. Because of that, be awkward in the privacy and comfort of your own circle or platform. You can say things in a wonky way until they come out right.
Never Give your power away. Your truth is your power, so never give your power away to anyone else for any reason. Sharing your truth takes a leap of faith. However, only then can you learn and know the doing of your purpose. It’s better to live a Hard truth than a Beautiful Lie.
Do you speak your truth? Or do you worry about what other will think? Do you feel that you know yourself better now? Let’s have a conversation.