Woman proving her point at work
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
What if we had the courage to speak up like that in all areas of life—our work, our relationships, our family, with people in public? Imagine the freedom and power we would possess. This is not about getting in people's faces and challenging them, although sometimes it might take that form.

An important distinction for us to remember is the difference between our opinions and our truth. We all have opinions—lots of them. Many of us think our opinions are actually facts, though they're not! There's nothing wrong with having and expressing opinions. However, many of them are filled with righteous judgment and an arrogant sense that we're right and those who don't agree with us are wrong.

Our "truth" runs much deeper than any of our opinions. Truth is about how we feel and what is real for us. Truth is not about being right; it's about expressing what we think and feel in an authentic, vulnerable and transparent way.

For example, I might have an opinion that you are rude. I'm entitled to this opinion and I may even have specific evidence of times you have done things that I think are rude. There may also be other people who agree with me that you're rude. However, this opinion will probably not help our relationship, bring us closer or help us have honest conversations with each other.

My "truth," however, might be that when you're around me I get scared because I worry you might say something that will hurt my feelings. Or, I get angry because I don't like some of the things you say and do. In other words, I sometimes don't feel safe or comfortable around you.

This distinction is not just about semantics or words, it is total shift in perspective and context. When we let go of being "right" about our opinions and take responsibility for our experience, we can speak our truth from a much deeper and more authentic place. Speaking this deeper truth will not only liberate us, but has the potential to make a difference for others while bringing us closer together.

3 ways to speak your truth


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