Which do you choose?
Let’s face it speaking the truth is often the biggest dare.
There are several challenges with truth:
1) you think others won’t be able to handle your truth
2) your truth is yours, not necessarily universal
3) your truth may actually be a reaction based in fear and not your real truth at all.
And that’s just for starters .. let alone actually having to speak, to express yourself to others who you fear in some way will negatively judge you.
If you’re reading this thinking ‘I’m not afraid of speaking the truth’ fair enough – but I will call you out. There are situations in which we are all comfortable with a truth … but the deep truths? My work is vocal confidence, I help people find and express their real truth .. and there are times my truth terrifies me to express.
The thing is, the biggest dare of all is to speak your truth, but it’s too big a topic to fully cover here, so let’s deal with the three challenges above.
1) You think others won’t be able to handle the truth.
(This challenge may well also be an inverted belief of ‘I don’t want to face the truth’ you think others can’t handle it in order to not have to really look at it yourself … I could go deeper but will leave that there … as I said, this topic is huge!)
This may well be true (or you may be using that as an excuse or reason to avoid potential conflict) but if it’s REALLY true how important is it for them to hear?
For example, too many people avoid letting others know how someone makes them feel. Let’s say there’s a person you know who regularly talks over you and this really pisses you off, offends, or upsets you, but you never tell them, you just put up with it, or have a go about them behind their backs. Let’s say those you collude with about this person all experience the same thing … but none of you say anything to the perpetrator. If no-one speaks their truth, and let’s the offender know, then you’ve only got yourselves to blame when that person continues to speak over you. You’re also doing them a disservice by letting them go through life unaware of the effect this behaviour has on others.
Yes, people can get offended or hurt when they hear the truth, although this often depends on how it is conveyed and how deep their own identity is embedded in an idea of themselves. If the interrupter in our scenario views themselves as a compassionate, caring, person they might be mortified to learn they’ve hurt you – but grateful to know, so they can stop. If they are bullish and controlling, they might not like it, but if lots of people start telling them they’ll have to face it as truth at some point and see how it might be detrimental to relationships.
I have a friend who calls me out on this exact thing and I love that he does .. I don’t mean to hijack a topic, but if something sparks a thought, I get excited or passionate and the words often just come tumbling out. Now that I’m aware, I catch myself .. not all the time .. but much more than before I knew I did it. When I don’t catch myself, he points it out.
2) Your truth is yours, not universal.
This is quite simple really, there are very few universal truths .. even Jane Austin might be shocked to learn that her universal truth at the start of Pride and Prejudice is no longer applicable.
What we need to remember is that your truth comes from your perspective – what you see from the angle of life you have taken up. Someone else’s truth comes from their way of life, or the position they are in at the time. What might seem like an unfair promotion to one person, is the culmination of a lifetime’s work for another. What is bad or ‘wrong’ to you might be good and ‘right’ to me … it depends on what we’re talking about and what our point of view is. German Shepard dogs are the best dogs in the world to me, my truth is that they are loyal, trainable, beautiful animals … but if you were bitten by a Yorkshire Terrier when you were a child your truth might be that ‘all dogs are dangerous’.
When dealing with speaking the truth – remember, you are speaking your truth … and the best way to check if it’s really true for you, or whether it’s a strong opinion, is to go higher. Try rising above the situation and know whether what you’re about to say is for the benefit of all involved. If it’s not, it might not be ‘truth’.
This leads us nicely to the next point …
3) Your truth may actually be a reaction based in fear and not your real truth at all.
Here’s the biggie – if you’re speaking your truth, the biggest thing to check in with is whether or not it is actually your truth, or if it’s a reaction to something that has been reflected to you (possibly the real truth) and you are in reactive mode. Reactive mode doesn’t actually mean just ‘in the moment’ – we can be in reaction to something our whole lives, and not know it, because it is our modus operandi, we are reacting to something that happened years ago – and it has become an entrenched truth.
This could be a general life overview like, ‘golfers are selfish’ ‘conservatives are evil’ ‘liberals are soft’ ‘actors are loud and annoying’ .. Or, it could be specific, to do with one person, like “My boss is a bitch/bastard” whereas the truth might be “I wish my boss asked my opinion more often.” or “I am jealous of their position.” Or it could be personal, like “I hate my father” … whereas the actual truth deep deep down might be closer to “I wish I knew whether my father loves me.”
All these examples have one thing in common, they put the perception of truth on other people, rather than looking at yourself to see what is really, honestly, TRUE. Sometimes your truth is actually a reflection of whatever it is that deep down you’re not looking at, your fear of not being wanted, not being good enough, of being overlooked, not acknowledged, not having things done the way we think they ‘should’* be …. because it’s easier to create a ‘truth’ around what you think of others, rather than acknowledge what you feel you are lacking.
It is good to share your truth …. if it is your highest truth and will stand observation, it really is one of the most powerful things we can do.
So go ahead – speak your truth …. I dare you!
If you would like to see what’s under your perceptions, and to re-discover what is really true to you, then get in touch for a clarity call. If you liked this blog please comment & share.
*’Should’ …. a concept I don’t particularly buy in to .. check out “Stop ‘Should-ing’. Start Wanting.”