A Honest Guide to Speaking Your Truth
“Speak your truth” has become a bit of a buzz-phrase recently, and for good reason. It is so important. What is life if you’re not authentically speaking up and being who you are? It can be really scary for a lot of people, however. I know that there were times in my life I wish I spoke up, but so much fear and stuff that I didn’t even understand came up and blocked me from doing that. Whether it is telling someone that something wasn’t okay, telling a friend that their actions hurt me, or telling a lover that you don’t feel the same way you used to.
Have you ever told someone that it was fine even though their actions weren’t okay with you? Have you ever over-extended your boundaries because you didn’t want to hurt someone? Have you ever not told someone something important to you in fear that it would make them uncomfortable?
Well, you are not alone.
If you are reading this, chances are you have had trouble communicating your truth. Maybe you have had trouble even defining what your truth is. One time I had a friend come to visit who totally overstayed her welcome. I was getting increasingly frustrated, but turned the blame on myself. I wondered why it was bothering me so much, why I couldn’t just go with the flow and allow her to live at my house, and wondering how I was going to tell her to leave.
The moments leading up to speaking your truth can leave you with a lot of doubt. That’s totally normal and okay. But let’s talk about ways to solidify your truth and show up and be heard. Here’s what I have learned.
Tune into Your Needs
First, you need to get super clear about what you want and what your truth is. Really reflect on what you are saying and own it. When it came to my friend situation — I needed space, I needed boundaries, and I felt taken advantage of. Granted, not everyone would have had this experience, but I did. And that’s okay. I got clear that I needed to ask her to go. Then came the anxiety of how to deliver that message to someone I love dearly.
You Are Not Here to Please People
Believe it or not, you are here to be much more than a people pleaser. As hard as it may be, shift your perspective. In order to do anything in this world, you need to be strong, clear, direct, and solid. The only way to do that is to do everything in integrity, respect others, and respecting your own needs. As much as I freaking adored this friend of mine, I knew that it would be a disservice to me and to her to pretend it didn’t bother me.
There are few things less necessary than apologizing for honoring yourself. That is what speaking your truth really is – it is owning yourself, unapologetically and fearlessly, and actually deepening your relationships. In order to work well and truly connect with my friend, I had to consider both of our needs. Mine were not being met, and I would be honoring her more if I simply told her the truth. (Still, more anxiety ensued).
Have Clear Communication
I managed to squeak out my truth to my friend, telling her I need space, and that she needed to leave. My voice was shaking and I was uncomfortable, and I was so worried about hurting her or making things awkward. I turned the conversation on me and my needs instead of pointing it at her. To my surprise, she received the message really well and gracefully. She thanked me for being honest. This may sound like a small story to you, but let me tell you, the impact of speaking my truth, even once in this baby step, started a snowball effect that gets easier and easier every single time I do it.
This is what I learned – if you do not speak your truth, it will come out in acts of passive aggression, and who enjoys that? You may not even be conscious of it, but it comes out. And it’s not fun for anyone. Part of taking steps to living a life you can fully enjoy is to be real and to show up and speak your mind in an honest way.
The other fact is if you want to have meaningful, honest, and raw connections, you have got to create them. The only way to do that is with honesty. There is no room for resentment, unspoken communication, anxiety, or walking on eggshells in relationships. They are the most precious things we have in this lifetime, so make them deep by honoring yourself and them.
I am happy to report that my friendship is deeper than ever, and we now have the capacity to work through even tougher conversations together. Speak your truth and watch the magic of true connection unfold. Let me know what you feel when you have to confront someone with truth, I’m curious to hear your experience!