Have you heard the phrase “stand in your truth”? Or “live your truth”? How about “the truth will set you free”?
Some of those phrases really sound like lingo or psycho-babble, but if you are thinking about changing your life for the better, they can be very useful.
Telling the truth to yourself is a great place to start.
What do you love about yourself and your life?
What would you like to change?
Answering these seemingly straight forward questions can be surprisingly difficult. Why? Because we’ve been absorbing outside influences our whole lives. Most of us can recognize the preferences of our families with our eyes closed. But if we had all the freedom and agency (or power) in the world, how would we choose to build our lives?
When we want to take a new path that may be different or unknown to those around us, it can be intimidating. There will be lots of questions putting us on the spot (in the best case scenario), and outright hostile opposition in the worst case. It makes an average person cringe just thinking about it!
However, I’m here to tell you that being true to yourself is pretty much the best prescription you can get for a happy life. Hiding your true feelings and failing to follow your dreams/ instincts/ heart can be depressing and exhausting. Have you ever tried to stay in a relationship to make someone else happy? Ever followed your parents’ directive to study something they wanted, instead of your own interests?
It’s a no win situation! Eventually your essential self will rebel and cause you to feel hopeless, angry and generally unhappy. In short, unless you honestly design your own path in life, happiness and fulfillment will probably be illusive. Each person needs to understand and honor what is important to them, and figure out how to live that way in the world.
It’s not the slightest bit easy, but going bravely in the right direction can lead to good stuff!
So how do we know what’s best for ourselves? Remember your friend instinct, a.k.a. the things you feel “in your gut”? If you take some time to relax and focus on those very real but sometimes hard-to-explain signals, things will start to fall into place. Think back to a time you had to make a big decision…where to go to college…what career path to pursue…whether to trust someone or not? You get the idea. You can make lists of pros and cons till the cows come home, and that might help a little, but often our big decisions are made on faith and a feeling.
I would urge you to learn to read your instinct and to trust it, and then take the very scary step of following it! Being yourself, telling the truth about what works for you and what doesn’t, is waaaay more satisfying than the alternative.
Want to know my ugly truth? I’ve made a wide array of good and bad career decisions in my life. It’s clear to me that my “day job” that’s currently paying the bills has to go. I know this because coaching and working with people is what makes me feel alive, while sitting at my perfectly nice office job leaves me drained and grumpy. There’s nothing wrong with it, except it’s not the best fit for my talents. And, since it exhausts me, I have less time and energy to grow my business. I’m still trying to figure out how to reconcile all this, but I know it’s true, and that it has to be dealt with in the near future.
I’m going to do my best to live my truth responsibly, and keep my fingers crossed that you will be able to live on those terms, too!
Of course, if you have an ugly truth you’d like to share, let me know! It’s good to feel like you aren’t the only one…:)