I used to struggle with censoring myself, always worrying I might offend someone and allowing that fear to hold me back from my true authentic self. I grew up being programmed to be a good girl, always polite and nice, and most importantly humble. Can you relate? It isn’t always easy to be authentic and speak your mind, especially when you know you’re going to offend someone, but in order to embrace our true authentic self, we need to let go of the censorship and fear.
I have learned that censoring myself was not serving me in many ways, and that by not living my truest form I was experiencing an overall feeling of discomfort in myself from being forced to behave a certain way – to “keep up appearances” just to keep the peace. Fortunately, today I now know that in order to be a “good” person I don’t have to hold in my emotions and opinions. I can speak up, and I often do.
I now allow my intuition to instruct me as situations arise. I’ve realized that in many situations it’s more important to give someone feedback about the way they present themselves in the world or point out something that they aren’t aware of, rather than hold my tongue to be polite. When you think about it, as a simple example, consider how many times you wished someone would have told you that you had a piece of lettuce stuck in between your teeth and how embarrassed you may have felt at the end of the day when you found it yourself, all of which could have been avoided if someone had just spoken up. Feedback is not always a negative thing – sometimes a little bit of constructive criticism, when delivered in a helpful (not hurtful) way, can help shape a lousy situation into a positive one.
Often when we spend all our time being “nice,” we end up having to release anger and frustration somewhere else, and not always in the best ways. Sometimes this anger explodes at very unfortunate moments or end up being directed at people who most likely don’t have anything to do with the true source of our frustration. Years ago I remember being angry at my little boy for “no reason”. Afterwards, I felt guilty about it, which then made me feel bad about feeling guilt. Vicious cycle, I’m telling you. I solved this issue by being more authentic and expressive.
Though I don’t encourage or promote intentionally offending or hurting others, there will be times when the very best thing for you means disregarding everybody else and just saying what you have to say. It’s all part of the process of being your authentic self. I see this behavior in many of my clients, those who value other people’s needs above their own. Often, they simply need to learn how to take care of their own needs first.
Today, I’m first challenging you to start observing yourself. Where are you at right now in your authenticity? How often are you censoring yourself? Do you find you’re regularly holding yourself back out of fear of hurting others? How does this make you feel?
Once you have explored the above questions, I challenge you to start prioritizing being authentic over being polite. We’ve been silenced for too long and our voices matter too much.
No more “nice” when it’s at the cost of being authentic.
In Service to Love,