What does the phrase “live your truth” mean to you? Does it make you think of authenticity, honesty, integrity, living your values and walking your talk?
The easy answer is that your truth is rooted in your belief system; it’s the things you feel and say to yourself behind your public mask.
But this is where things get sticky because within each of us there is a gap between our truth and the person we show to the world. How wide that gap may be will depend on our level of self-awareness and the layers of filters and fictional stories about who we are that we’ve built up over the years.
I wonder what we could create, achieve or be if we could only let go of those pesky stories we’ve been telling ourselves. ~Stefanie Thomas
How False Stories Bury Your Truth
It is, of course, human nature to want to be liked and respected. But in our efforts to be accepted we often put tremendous pressure on ourselves to fit in … or at the very least to not stand out in a way that makes us feel exposed or foolish; so we end up masking or manipulating our most vulnerable feelings, opinions, and desires in an effort to avoid judgment, discomfort or rejection.
The challenge is that we are rarely consciously aware of our efforts to protect and disguise parts of ourselves, which means that before you can learn to live your truth, you have to muster the courage to dig down and uncover the real you behind your filters. Of course after years of disguising vulnerabilities and artfully crafting fictional stories it may take some work to get to know the real you and begin slowly closing that gap … and the truth is that sometimes we harbor a fear that we may not like what we find all that much.
So let’s cut to the chase and answer the BIG question. Is it worth it? If you’re relatively comfortable now, what could possibly be gained by putting yourself through this exercise in self-discovery?
Living Your Truth Will Free You
It’s important to understand that learning to live your truth isn’t about changing or “fixing” you, it’s about freeing you to be the confident, powerful person you were meant to be, and honoring that truth through actions and communication with others as well as yourself.
You’ll Be Better Prepared to Handle Adversity
Life is all about change, and that includes occasionally bumping up against obstacles and managing unexpected detours. Having a strong sense of Self enhances your resilience, provides you with an anchor and enables you to face challenges with a more balanced outlook, confident that regardless of what happens, you will be okay.
You Won’t Need Others to Validate Your Worth
Living your truth means your relationships with others can be based on mutual respect rather than the disempowering need for external validation. Support is always a good thing, but when you have the confidence to accept what’s right for you, it releases from the need for approval from others.
You’ll Have the Confidence to Speak Your Truth
The reality is that no matter how hard you may try, you’re never going to satisfy everyone, and it’s an illusion to think otherwise. Being authentic in the way you communicate your feelings and opinions is a core attribute of living your truth.
When you discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life. ~Jean Shinoda Bbolen
You’ll No Longer Feel Guilty Taking Care of Yourself
While men are not immune to the effects of responsibility overload, there is no question that women tend to be far more vulnerable to pangs of guilt when it comes to taking time for themselves, and society continues to drive this message home on a regular basis. Consider how often on any given day you see references in the media to “indulging,” or “splurging” or “treating” yourself by meeting a basic need like eating food you enjoy or taking time to relax.
When you are anchored in truth you have a compass for decision making and establishing healthy self-care and personal boundaries, so you are not as easily derailed or influenced by external messages that encourage you to minimize attention to your own well-being.
Uncovering Your Truth
There’s no magic pill or solution to work through the process of uncovering your truth, especially in a world that is filled with commitments, never ending distractions and a constant barrage of messages about who and what you should be. This is work that takes focus and is best done in a peaceful environment for a dedicated period of time, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to conduct a personal inventory.
Following are a few questions you can use to begin the process.
- What do you stand for?
- What are your core values?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What limiting beliefs do you have about yourself?
- Do you have personal standards and boundaries?
- Do you honor your limitations?
- What makes you happy, and how can you have more of this?
- What does your heart secretly long for?
Live your truth right out in the open. No hiding or apologizing for who you are. What do you have to lose really – the good opinion of others? Believe me, if they are looking at you at all when you’re busy living your truth it’s probably with a mixture of curiosity and admiration for the boldness they can’t muster. ~Jacob Nordby
To identify, understand, and define your personal truth is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in this life. How are you living your truth now?
Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald
Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.
She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.
To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click “here“.