- Stop managing other people's feelings. I know this one well, as I can be the king of trying to manage other people's feelings. It's arrogant, manipulative and somewhat ridiculous to think we have the power to manage other people's emotions. We also use it as a cop-out to not really speak our truth. We can be aware and mindful of other people and how they might feel (so we don't end up being mean and hurtful on purpose), but when we let go of taking care of others in a condescending way, it frees us and them up to be grown-ups and have adult conversations, which sometimes can get a little sticky or tense when we're speaking our truth.
- Be real, not right. This is huge when it comes to speaking our truth. When we focus on winning or being right, we no longer can access the deepest places within our heart, which is where our real truth comes from. When we let go of our attachment to the outcome of a conversation, what the other person thinks and our erroneous obsession with always having to be right, we give ourselves the opportunity to get real. Being vulnerable and transparent are the key elements of speaking our truth, not dominating the conversation and the person (or people) we're talking to.
- Practice. Like anything and everything else in life, the best way for us to get better, deepen our capacity and grow is to practice. In this case, as we're talking about speaking our truth, it's not about role-playing per se (although if that helps give you the courage to have a difficult conversation, go for it). It is about speaking up and stepping into your life with your truth. Will you mess it up? Of course! Will you say the wrong things sometimes? Yes. Will people get upset, offended or defensive at times? Absolutely. This is not about being perfect, it is about being yourself and speaking authentically.
Mike Robbins is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational keynote speaker and personal growth expert who works with people and groups of all kinds. Robbins is the author of the best-selling books Focus on the Good Stuff and Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken. He and his work have been featured on ABC News, in Forbes, Ladies Home Journal, Self and many others.