Own Your Truth
In our desire to fit into a family, relationship, career or community we put tremendous pressure on ourselves to act, think and believe things that please others or make us feel accepted. This happens often in our society because it is human nature to yield to social pressure and to want to be liked. More intense instances of traumatic events or circumstances that cause us to fear not being liked for who we are can also lead to lack of self-acceptance or self-worth, and cause us to unconsciously bury self-appreciation and respect while conforming to the will of others. In either case, it may take some focused self-discovery to get to know and start living your truth.
Owning your truth isn’t about fixing a problem with who you are or how you living your life. Rather, it’s about removing the mask that hides (protects) what we might think are our most vulnerable feelings and rediscovering who we are as our most powerful self. Owning your truth is getting in touch with the desires you’ve camouflaged in an effort to avoid judgment or criticism. It is getting to know the real you that you aspire to be and perhaps don’t have the confidence to show to the world. Instead of believing in yourself as a result of external validation, living your truth means having a strong connection to inner core values and purpose that enables you to know true north for you no matter who or what challenges them.
Set Yourself Free
The way that denying your truth commonly plays out to your detriment is when you have been going along with a long-held belief (defined by family, religion, politics, colleagues, social peer group) and you become anxious or stressed about not meeting the expectations deemed desirable. Perhaps you have been preparing to achieve the result others intend, that you have bought into, only to find yourself in a conflicted moment where achieving it means nothing to you. Existential crisis? You might ask yourself what really has meaning for you. You might be forced to confront what you truly care about as you realize the messages you have been receiving about this expected outcome have encouraged you to minimize your well-being for the sake of another’s happiness or success.
These are the big, important questions to answer in order to be authentic, to be free to communicate openly and honestly, and to follow your bliss. When you do you will trust yourself, believe in yourself and have the confidence to step on your path to greater fulfillment. You won’t be influenced or cut off by the opinions of others nor will you disregard your own well-being. Does this sound selfish to you? In a way, perhaps, but if you are responsible for your satisfaction and joy in life, then it is up to you to allow your own creative expression and happiness into the driver’s seat. Imagine the feelings of freedom and security in honoring those things that nourish your heart and soul? It’s not up to someone else to determine your self-worth. You are worthy because you are a unique human being with gifts, talents and abilities that contribute to the expansion of life on earth. Embrace your authenticity and you can have truthful communication in relationships, and create experiences that support what is right for you.
Discover Your Truth
Uncovering your own truth is a process that requires focus but not a lot of time. I use an approach that explores an inner holistic connection with what personally feels good, and I regularly review and revise my responses to give me clear thinking about a new direction I might be considering. Try this quick self-discovery technique as a starting place:
- Get a paper and pen, or journal and write down a type of flower that appeals to you. You can draw an image of the flower or just think about it. As you do, consider what appeals to you about this flower, what qualities does it possess? What feelings does it engender for you? Write them down.
- Next, imagine this flower represented you – think of it as an avatar or a brand for your personal style. What are the values this flower represents? Write them down.
- If this flower could offer even more happiness to you in your life what would it be or do? Where would it find its greatest happiness?
- Finally, what do you honor about this flower? Appreciate its limitations as well as its strengths. Again, write down your response.
- Take a few minutes to go through what you have written about this flower and circle those words, images, ideas or actions that stand out. Whatever you highlight has appeal for you because it resonates with your own truth.
- You now have a look at those qualities and characteristics that are uniquely important to you. Take one or two of the ideas you’ve uncovered and write more positive aspects about it and how they might integrate with your life style as you apply them to what you want to create. Enjoy this process because you are connecting with your true self!
Other self-discovery techniques include taking a personal inventory, doing a SWAT analysis, or taking a personality test. No matter how you discover your own truth, make sure it comes from within you, your heart and soul, so you can start living more authentically joy-fulfilled now.