Speaking Your Truth Exercise

The Authenticity Inventory: A  Practice For Having Honest Conversations and Continually Enhancing Your Confidence by Dr Susan Campbell

1. Think of a situation with your mother (or daughter, spouse, sister, colleague etc) where you did not speak up, did not express your truth, or went temporarily “unconscious.” You held back.

Think back and identify the specific situation. Ask yourself, “What reason did I give myself (then or now) for not speaking more authentically?”

(Perhaps you were afraid of upsetting or hurting the person. Or maybe you’ve tried to speak about this before, and things have not gone well.)

2. Next, answer this question: “If I had felt completely safe, what would I have said?” Say or write the exact words you would say to this other person if you had been more courageous.

Make sure that what you say is something you actually can know to be true and not an interpretation or an assumption. Things you can know are: your feelings, your thoughts, your self-talk, your assessments (based on data), and your observations with your five senses (what you saw, heard, smelled, sensed, etc).

3. After you have thought about and said or written your more courageous response, ask “Would it be appropriate and could I now go and say this in person?”

4. Choose whether to have this conversation or not. If the answer is yes, go do it. Create an opportunity to have this conversation soon.

There is another situation where this exercise is useful also. It sometimes occurs that you say something one day and later, maybe the next day, you realize you were distracted, upset or “under the influence” of one of your automatic patterns—in other words, you were behaving unconsciously. So, in this case, you were not withholding your truth intentionally. You were just “on automatic” and not aware of this fact until later. So in this case, your “reason” for not being authentic would be you were in a pattern or you had a button pushed or something of this sort. So I recommend you use the authenticity exercise in this situation also.

Taking risks like this and surviving (which you most certainly will!) is a sure-fire way to build self-trust and bring about a closer authentic connection with the other person.

Now we can see as adults how the heart of self-trust (i.e. confidence) is actually trusting the unknown—trusting that no matter what life deals to you, you can deal with it.

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