What It Means to Live Your Truth

Written by on August 28, 2015 in Sense of Purpose

Living Your TruthWhat 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 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.

Thank you for sharing!

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  1. pamela chollet

    I remember how much time it took to really “dig” deep and clearly define and give purpose to my core beliefs, values. But it was so worth it. Knowing my purpose, values and beliefs have made making life choices and decisions so much easier. I weigh major choices against my core belief system if it doesn’t enhance or support my system I let it go, with no regrets.
    pamela chollet recently posted…Nesting Phase of Pregnancy | NurseryMy Profile

  2. Dana

    Hi Marquita,

    I fell in love with the first couple of paragraphs of this post. This entire topic is right up my alley.

    A few years back, I had discovered something rather interesting. I, for the first time, observed my own programming…and the effect it had on my life. It was like witnessing a demolition of some sort – in my mind’s eye. I had no idea what to replace what used to be my beliefs…so I decided not to be in a hurry.

    It’s been an interesting ride ever since.

    And you know what else? It’s amazing when you finally see how we are all products of our upbringing and our interpretation of its effect on us until we learn to observe it through a good, healthy dose of self-awareness.

    Living our truth. It’s a tough concept for most of us because our “truth” is often confused for an opinion based on a lifetime of conditioning.

    For me, it took accepting that I might not find truth for a while – and that it was the revealing of what wasn’t true that would eventually lead me to finally have access to what might be true.

    And you know…when you see it in yourself, you see it in others.

    But I think that now, more than ever, people care about learning this…and that’s really cool. 😉
    Dana recently posted…A Tribute to A Man Who Has Inspired Me – Dr. Wayne DyerMy Profile

    • I am SO glad you found value in the article Dana and thank you for sharing such wonderful insights from your own journey! And yes, it is an incredible feeling to be able to accept that there isn’t always an easy answer for everything. For me it took working with the elders in our Hawaiian community to learn that lesson. I’ve always been very curious – obsessed about seeing the BIG picture of things – and that just isn’t always possible. And as one kumu (teacher) explained to me, sometimes there is no answer and you just have to find peace with that as well. 🙂

  3. Another timely and well-written post, Marquita. I received a call yesterday laying me off from my day job. I expected this was coming due to some restructuring, but it was still a shock. After the panic subsided and discussing it with my husband, I started to let my brain soar with all the new possibilities.
    Getting down into the real me would be a rather perfect thing to do right now, eh?
    Off to start your 30 day challenge!
    Rose M Griffith recently posted…Wilted but Worth it in Washington, DCMy Profile

    • I am so sorry to hear about your job situation Rose! Fortunately your husband is there for support and it sounds like you quickly recovered and have opened yourself to new possibilities. How exciting! Thank you for sharing your thoughtful insights. 🙂

  4. Awesome post Marquita, to an extent i think i am living the truth but not completely. I am getting there each day as I get older. Your post strikes a nerve. Thanks for sharing x

  5. Meredith

    I like this take on “the truth will set you free.” I bet it’s easier said than done to find what makes you authentically you and live that out for the world to see!
    Meredith recently posted…A Chair Reborn of Chalk Paint and a Drop ClothMy Profile

  6. Rosalind says:

    Someone posted a wonderful Carl Jung quote to me the other day.
    “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

  7. Dave

    Yep, I’m busted. Am I living my truth? No, probably not completely. I can identify with many of the symptoms of living in that gap between who we truly are and what the world sees of us.

    With that being said, every explanation you give to negate those feeling of living in limbo, creates positive energy to live life, our own unique life, out loud.

    Thanks for sharing Marty!

    • Glad you found value in the article Dave, though I don’t know that anyone ever manages to completely close that gap. At best we can work toward getting to a point where we’re at least being honest with ourselves about who and what we are. 🙂

  8. Donna Merrill

    Hi Marquita,

    What a great topic! Are you living your Truth? There is no quick answer to this question because we do need to delve into ourselves to answer it. I like the way you crafted this to guide us to that “truth.”

    Years ago I was not living my truth and when I look back it was like I was living in a black hole. No sense of self, self esteem, always thinking about what others though of me…Phew!

    But as I went through a process..I can now say I’m living my truth. But it doesn’t end there…we always have to give ourselves that internal check up to make sure we don’t stray.

    Giving self care to ourselves is nourishing our souls.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…Why You Need To Hire A Coach For Your Online BusinessMy Profile

    • It’s so hard to imagine you as anything other than the dynamic person you are now Donna, but I know you and I both have experienced our trial by fire events over the course of our lives. And you are so right, it never really ends just as we (hopefully!) never stop growing. Thanks for sharing your always insightful thoughts.

  9. Lenie

    Hi Marquita, another enlightening post. I thin we start hiding our true selves when we’re young when peer acceptance is so important and then somehow we just cruise along the same way for years. Now that I’m at the age I’m at, I am quite content to be my true self – all that pressure to conform and be accepted has long gone and it is very liberating.
    Lenie recently posted…Consignment Shops: Buy-SellMy Profile

    • It’s funny Lenie, I though about you when I was writing the article and almost added a comment about how age has a way of inherently freeing us of some filters, but that isn’t true for everyone. There are still plenty of people who never really do stop clinging to their false stories regardless of age. Fortunately there are also people like you who are refreshingly enlightened! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. Beth Niebuhr

    Lovely article! It takes us varied amounts of time to be at the stage where we are willing to let the world see us just as we are. A lucky few seem to get it almost from birth but most of us take years and years. What a sigh of relief we can enjoy when wwe realize how wonderful and satisfying it is to be able to let others see our authentic selves.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…5 Ways to Sell MoreMy Profile

  11. Sabrina Quairoli

    This is so enlightening. Thanks for sharing these wonderful questions to help determine the true self. I asked myself some of these questions but will definitely be reviewing the rest soon.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…The Adventures of Bob The BinMy Profile

  12. The truth is that I love your post! It resonates strongly with the work I do as a life coach as well as some of the material covered in my first book. “Your truth is rooted in your belief system.” True and it is important to question our beliefs, particularly when they no longer serve us. We create our own realtiy based on how we define and assign our experiences, which in turn form our beliefs. As you mention, spending time in silence and/or meditation, is a powerful way to reconnect with what your soul knows is true for you.

    • I’m so glad you found value in the article Michele and you are of course so right about how we each create our own reality. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and contributing to the conversation. 🙂

  13. What a fabulous post Marquita. Funny how it takes most of us a few years to come around to actually WANT to live your own truth. Because, I think, it all goes back to what people Expect your truth to be. It truly has to be something you want to achieve… integrity. Because while it is all good and shiny and bright, it’s often the very hardest thing to do. My opinion, it that it takes a great deal of strength and courage. Great one as always!
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…Skin… Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

  14. Donna Janke

    We get so many messages about what we should be that we sometimes don’t even realize how we’ve drifted from living our truth until something traumatic happens. I know that has happened to me a few times and it is so freeing to get back to the authentic me. It is a good thing to re-evaluate from time to time. I love the quote by Jean Shinoda Bbolen.
    Donna Janke recently posted…First Fridays in the ExchangeMy Profile

    • Welcome back Donna! Great point about how sometimes it takes a crisis to serve as a wake-up call. Thrilled to see that you’ve decided to join our 30 Day Self-Care Challenge! It’s going to be great. 🙂

  15. Patricia Weber

    Fabulous post, Marquita, starting with clarifying the meaning you give to the statement, living your truth. And your first quote which includes, “those pesky stories we’ve been telling ourselves,” well that cinches this is about beliefs we tell ourselves over and over again. About 3 years ago I took a course which had a unique way of uncovering core values. Not at all like anything ever presented to me previously. Dang if I can remember the 4 questions that sorted it all out. It was a program by Jim Bunch. Anyway, to your point, values are just part of your truth. Indeed, it offered many of the benefits I know your upcoming program is going to leave people with. The 30-day challenge sounds awesome to get to your truth. Big thanks for this post and your course.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…#RomanceAwareness Month: Are Introverts Hard To Love?My Profile

    • Delighted you found value in the article Patricia! I’m familiar with Jim but not his course on values so I’ll have to take a look and see if I can find some information on it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and contributing to the conversation. 🙂

  16. Catarina

    Great article Marquita. A very important reminder of finding our own inner compass, rather than trying to mimic others’.
    Few things can make us as grounded, connected and strong as living what is ours to live. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Suzie Cheel

    Funny I picked up The Millionaire Messenger from my bookshelf this morning and as I skimmed through, I have so many post-its in this book and highlights I asked myself what happened to me and my story- that was a wake up call. Then I come here and read your post It’s time for me to step into my truth and embrace my life. Thank you xxoo
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…How I Became The Heart WhispererMy Profile

  18. Mark

    What a totally thought provoking post as usual M!

    First of all, I love where you advocate that we don’t need others approval in order to validate ourselves.

    That is such a liberating thought, and it’s capable of helping so many, if we would just learn to embrace that vitally important train of thought!

    And also, where you point out, how we either bury our true selves, so we either don’t stand out too much, or so that we can better fit in!

    I imagine that’s another issue that is so prevalent throughout our entire society, you could write on it, now until the end of time, and still barely scratch the surface!LOL!

    Thanks for sharing some extremely powerful insights!

    And I gotta admit, when I initially read your intriguing headline over at Google Plus, for this particular post, I thought can I really handle this?LOL!

    Great job as usual M!Thanks!
    Mark recently posted…How Come Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Can See Opportunity Where Others Just See Challenges?Part ThreeMy Profile

    • So glad you enjoyed the article Mark! You are certainly right when you say one could write about these issues until the end of time. It’s human nature to hold something of ourselves back – heaven knows as an ‘extreme’ Introvert one could use the ice berg analogy to describe how much of myself I share vs. how much I keep stored away. But it’s not about how MUCH you reveal, it’s about being honest with yourself and others about who you are with what you do choose to share. It’s a fascinating topic and probably one we’ll revisit again later on. Thanks again – always enjoy your thoughtful insights. 🙂

  19. Reba Linker

    We are in sync, Marquita! Read my latest post about the woman presenting her mask to the world – and hiding her true beauty behind the mask. Amen to everything you wrote and wishing you success with your wonderful 30 day challenge! xox, Reba
    Reba Linker recently posted…Overcoming Stage Fright: How I ‘Outed’ Myself – and Here’s Why You Should, TooMy Profile

  20. I’m living my truth, as much as currently possible 🙂
    Linda Ursin recently posted…Plastic produces fun resultsMy Profile

  21. Phoenicia

    To a certain degree we all give people a little something of what they want of us. The question is, by how much are we willing to do this? Are we willing to compromise our values and beliefs in order to please others?

    I am at the stage where I am happy to stand alone and not willing to compromise my faith, integrity or who I am.

    • Well said Phoenicia! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      • Gail Gardner

        Accepting people as they are can be shown more of our true selves than those who react negatively when they don’t agree with us. For example, I know someone in business who is loudly atheist who condemns anyone who knows and loves Jeshua, Yaweh and the Ruach (spirit). To mention faith to him elicits such a strong reaction that it is better not to have him in any such discussion.

        I found your blog in your comment on Kristi Hine’s post on Social Media Examiner. I don’t recall crossing paths before. I added your blog to my post on building a blogging community.
        Gail Gardner recently posted…How to Build a Blogging CommunityMy Profile

        • Welcome Gail! It’s a pleasure to meet you and thank you so much for including me in the list of bloggers in your terrific article! I understand your point and absolutely agree with the value of remaining open to different viewpoints. Sadly all it takes is a few minutes of reading some of the comments in forums and online news sites these days to see that this particular trait seems to be in short supply these days. Appreciate your contribution to the conversation. 🙂

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