“Speaking Truthfully is how we bring what is deep inside, outside. This is how we mark the world with our authentic presence. This is how we announce and represent our authentic self to others. Speaking Truthfully reveals, rather than conceals, our authentic purpose, intentions, and motives; it shows the strength of our spine and quality of our character. Speaking Truthfully comes through our mouth, but from our heart.
Speaking itself is more than our verbal and non-verbal communications. It is bigger and broader in scope and meaning: speaking is how we move in and through life. Our speaking is our life; our life is our speaking. Someone once asked me in a workshop if one could speak authentically without living authentically. I said no. Speaking Truthfully is not a light switch we flick when it suits us; we can’t hire a speech writer to craft an “authentic” message if we are not living authentically. St. Francis of Assisi is quoted as saying, “It’s no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”
To live an authentic life, we have to Speak Truthfully. To Speak Truthfully, we have to live an authentic life. We cannot hide from or be afraid of what we truly want to say, need to say. We cannot hide from what others might say when we reveal the truth of our heart. We cannot sleep at night in the darkness of unspoken secrets. And just as we have to tell the truth of our inner life, we have to tell the truth of our outer life: we have to own up to what we do, to our actions. This is integrity. This truth-telling about the inside and the outside is how we energize our authentic life with integrity, with wholeness and wholeheartedness.
Why do we hide? Why don’t we Speak Truthfully? Telling the truth is risky business. Many of us found out as children that telling the truth can get us into trouble. So we learn how to obscure and spin the truth for approval, security, acceptance, to get what we want, to avoid punishment. We condition ourselves to distort our truth, so much so that we often don’t know what is true about our own life.
Telling the truth requires practice. We have to learn how to get in touch with our truth, and then we have to become fearless enough to speak it. This is the only way we will find out that truth has the power to liberate, to enliven, to empower — to free us from fear, shame, guilt, and the opinions of others. Speaking Truthfully is how we discover that we need not fear truth, that we can live authentically and safely in truth.
Almost everyone who comes to my programs is afraid to stand in public and speak their truth. To speak our truth means to show ourself, not our “knowing.” It means to show our soul, not the red tape we have accumulated in the form of experiences, skills, knowledge, ideas, and beliefs. It means being seen by people without defense or pretense, without fear of their criticism and judgment, without hiding. When we stand in front of others, we are exposing ourselves completely. This total vulnerability triggers every one of our insecurities and fears, including the fear of not being good enough, or right enough. I am not talking about being good or right enough to speak well; I mean good and right enough as a human being. We fear being the one that some celestial quality-control angel will point to and say, Not good enough! In contrast to this fear, another fear people have is of their own beauty and brilliance!
Speaking Truthfully is about living out loud, about liberating the full measure of our creative power and expressive potential. If we do not first free our speaking spirit from the repressive tyranny of self-doubt and self-suppression, we will never find the song only we can sing, and all our speaking will be off-key and flat. And so will our life be off-key and flat, and our great dreams and aspirations will remain unspoken, dying, or dead within us. But if we reclaim our power of Speaking Truthfully, then something huge and wonderful happens, magically and mysteriously, almost inevitably. When we Speak Truthfully, we create our authentic life one word at a time. Speaking Truthfully is a wish-fulfilling tree, whose gifts and blessings are many, including profound self-knowledge, intimacy with others, personal credibility, leadership believability, professional impeccability — it’s all in Speaking Truthfully.” Robbert Rabbin
“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” JM Barrie