Do you have the courage to speak your truth when necessary? Or do you find yourself trying to play it small when you have something to say? Being nervous, self-conscious, or unsure of how people will take it when words leave your mouth is not the best feeling in the world… and it makes me wonder why we choose to feel that way.
And yes, I did say that we “choose” to feel that way.
But Eril.. where does “choice” come in when we decide to speak our truth?
I know it sounds shocking, but let me break it down for you — speaking your truth is both a privilege and a choice.
Not everyone is in a position where they can speak their truth. Some people will feel unsupported, invalidated, or threatened by whoever is listening. Some people have disabilities where speech is not a way they can “verbally” be heard. Others have social anxiety that stems from their childhood and has leaked into their adult social interactions. The list goes on with those who have barriers to being heard, and although I acknowledge those limitations, I’m also aware of how dangerous it can be when we “choose” to portray our lack of speaking up as an excuse.
So yes, speaking your truth (or choosing not to), is a choice we are always presented with, and it’s up to us to choose ourselves in that brief moment.
Let me repeat myself, I want you to choose yourself.
Now, I completely understand that you can create every single scenario about what could go wrong in a situation in which you spoke your truth, but we always seem to forget that you can also think of what could go right if you were heard.
We all have moments where speaking our truth would have benefitted us more than hindered us. But we often choose the safe route because it’s more certain that we won’t get our feelings hurt or be embarrassed. But when we come from a place where we play small and dim our lights, we don’t embrace our full and authentic selves. We carry the weight that hurts and burdens us, and it’s painful to hold in our thoughts.
When I Noticed I “Couldn’t” Speak My Truth
Last year in 2018, I found myself at a crossroads for speaking my truth. I felt miserable in almost all aspects of my life, and most of all, I didn’t feel heard. Through therapy and journaling (both free write and prompt-based), I was able to identify the parts of my life where my energy felt unbalanced: work and my relationship.
With my work, I was in a position where I wanted to quit my job so badly. My blog and dreams of a different life were so much more attractive to me. It almost felt like I was an imposter, living in misalignment of what I truly deserved. I felt as if I was living a life that was not for myself but a life that was completely for others. That’s not what I wanted. But I told myself constant narratives that I just had to “suck it up” for the next two years, and after one hardship passed, THEN I would be happy. Hm… something was up, wasn’t there?
Now, in terms of my relationship, I was part of a partnership that was emotionally draining and exhaustive. It felt ingenuine and a lot of the reasons for why I stayed and refused to speak my truth were always because fear won me over. I allowed fear to take over, and I knew I shouldn’t have. Although I forgive myself now for the past experiences, I know that if I spoke my truth earlier, there would have been a chance to change the circumstances I was in. But again, it’s okay because it’s something to know for the future.
Fast forward to today, I am no longer at that previous job and months after quitting, the relationship I was in ended for the best. In each of these scenarios, I had to learn how to speak my truth so that I could be heard. There was so much work behind the scenes to reconnect with myself so I could gain the courage to speak with love in my heart.
Now, there isn’t a full proof method for learning to speak your truth. It will vary per situation, but my biggest tip to you is to just START.
Start somewhere, and don’t stay put. Remaining in a situation where you have a gut feeling toward your circumstances means you are being lured toward taking action. It was only after I did the actions I listed below that I began to see change. So read ahead, and let me know what you think. These are the different methods I used in conjunction with each other to learn how to speak my truth.
- I know, I know. You probably have read this option on every personal development blog or article out there, but honestly, it is one of the go-to methods for self-discovery. We cannot speak our truth when we don’t know what our truth is. And once we discover that, journaling can also help us better understand the fear behind sharing our thoughts and speaking our minds.
- Some journal prompt ideas you can start out with could be:
– “Where in my life have I had bad experiences after speaking my truth?”
– “What consequences can come from being honest in this situation?”
– “Am I in a safe space to speak? What makes it safe (or not safe)?”
– “How will I feel if I keep my thoughts inside my head?”
– “Who exactly benefits if I choose to not speak up?”
– “How much do I believe in my message? What makes you think that?”
- Affirm yourself. Give yourself a pep talk.
- As an introvert whose in her head all the darn time, I really do value words of affirmation to help me pull through a nerve wracking circumstance.
- Sometimes, before I’m about to do a presentation or have a deep and important conversation about something that matters to me, I tell myself that my message is worthy, my feelings and thoughts are valid, and that I will be able to get my message across to the other party.
- If the situation does not go as intended, I check in with myself again to reaffirm I did what I could, and not being heard does NOT equate to my thoughts being unworthy of existing.
- Role play the scenario with someone you trust. (Friend, colleague, partner, family, etc)
- This is another option I would take that is honestly pretty awkward… but over time, it has become one of my favorite things to do. Because choosing a person you trust that understands you and your situation will remind you that you deserve kindness and grace throughout the process of stumbling across your words.
- I’ve done mock interviews, prepping to break up with someone, prepping to address a fight that I ignored for too long, practice to talk to my professor about a failing grade I was on the verge of getting & the list goes on.
- The purpose of roleplaying is to help you feel a little more prepared and comfortable with the actual situation when it comes up. Practicing won’t guarantee perfection, but it will prove you cared enough to try & that’s a step forward.
- Think about a time speaking your truth worked for you, rather than lingering on times it hurt you.
- Anchoring onto the positive memories will give you hope that it is possible. Our minds make decisions based off past evidence we draw from our memory bank, so if you give yourself positive experiences to anchor onto, then you do the proper mindset work needed to attract a result you actually want from the interaction.
- Remember — You have a choice.
- The whole point of this post is to emphasize the fact that we all have a choice. No one can take away your agency to make a decision.
- Speaking your truth or choosing to not be heard are all things under your control, regardless of outside barriers that affect your ability to feel or be heard.
And that’s all I have for you today! Do you have a situation you’re currently in where speaking your truth would do more good than harm? Try out one or more of these tips and let me know if they work for you. As always, I am here in support and in community. 💛
P.S. Here’s a bonus step you can take to help you process your thoughts and help you speak your truth!
- Seeking mental or emotional health professionals, like a therapist or coach (hello! #shameless plug for myself of course, but there are a plethora of really good coaches out there for anything you may need help in).
- I focus on helping introverts return to themselves after lacking clarity in certain parts of their life. My coaching services open Nov 1st, so sign up for my newsletter to be up to date with all my new releases and content!
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