I Admire…

…people who aren’t afraid to speak their truth and share it with the world.

As a transformational speaker and coach, that’s what I’m trying to do. But I am still on my journey of opening up and allowing myself to believe I know what I know, and that it’s okay to share the things I know.

Growing up, I was a “pleaser.” The one who tried to do what everyone else around me seemed to want or expect. I didn’t usually dare to say what *I* wanted, or what I believed, because doing so wasn’t necessarily safe. Sometimes it was far safer and easier to just stay quiet. Not that I enjoyed staying quiet. I knew I had things to say that others needed to hear. I just didn’t necessarily believe I should be the one to say them.

One of the hardest tasks in my journey has been letting go of what others might think of me, and just being who I am. Accepting oneself can be difficult at the best of times. When one has been taught that they’re unacceptable, it’s an even harder fight. I’ve learned over the years that not everyone is going to like me, and even those who like me as a person might not like what I have to say, and that’s all okay. They don’t have to like me or my truth, just as I don’t have to like them or theirs.

It isn’t about being liked, or about what others find acceptable or true. My truth might not be true for everyone, and that’s okay too. It’s about liking and accepting *myself* and what I have to say, and knowing that even though not everyone will be happy with it, some will be helped by it. And that’s why it’s important for me to allow myself to speak, because there are still others who need to hear what I have to say.

In Hiding

“Living your truth” is a big thing in the coaching field. Every coach I follow has said it at one time or another, and I definitely have used the phrase myself on more than one occasion.

The thing is, it’s easy to say, but less easy to do.

When you’ve been taught that you have to hide certain things about who you are, or who your family is, you learn that living your truth not only isn’t acceptable, it can be dangerous. If you say the wrong thing to the wrong person, someone might hurt you. At the very least, you might be shunned by the people around you.

Even though I advise others to live their truth, I’m not always out there showing everything about who I am. I am in hiding about some things, because I’m one of those people who was taught to hide. As a child, I talked about things like communicating with the wind and trees. I told my parents when I “just knew” something was going to happen, and I shared my writing and stories with anyone who would listen.

I wasn’t praised for those things. I was told not to talk about the wind and trees because people would think I was “crazy.” My parents said the same thing about my “just knowing,” and also ranted at me about how little good it did to know those things since I couldn’t do anything to change them. While my parents tried to be supportive of my writing, and so did some of my teachers, my peers and other teachers made fun of me or at least of the stories I wrote.

I learned to hide.

Even as I type this, there are some things about myself that not everyone in my life knows. There are things about which I don’t talk to some people, and other things I don’t talk about at all.

Living your truth and speaking your truth are important as you build the life you want to live, but sometimes you have to be more cautious than you would like about what you say and how you live around certain people. And that’s okay. If you’re just playing it safe because you don’t believe in yourself, that’s one thing; but sometimes it really is a matter not of *playing* safe but of *being* safe.