As part of my coaching training, I’m learning right now to talk less and listen more. It is important to hear the message behind the words that are being spoken. Often times, the words coming out of someone’s mouth has a much deeper meaning below the surface.
What this means is that the person speaking is not living in alignment with their authentic self and is probably also conflicted or confused about what they really want.
This can not only confuse the people you are interacting with, especially romantically, but it also leads to saying one thing and acting a different way.
Let me sidestep for just a moment and explain authenticity, because while the word is thrown around often, especially in the personal development world, it is not always clear as to it’s meaning.
The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines “authentic” as undisputed origin- genuine. From a personal standpoint, this really means “Who are you in your core?” What are your values/inspirations/driving forces? To be authentic means to live in alignment with these, very personal and very subjective definitions of yourself.
To be true to yourself, it is important to learn how to bring your words and your actions onto the same page with your values and authentic self. This also helps lessen a lot of guilt and other not so pleasant feelings that often come up when we are not living in alignment.
Often times when we speak, we are afraid of the outcome or how the other person will react to what we are about to say. So we spend tons of time thinking about all the ways we can tiptoe around the real issue. We talk in circles and try to gently ease into the point we’re trying to make.
Here’s the thing. This usually makes the situation much worse, and it usually drives us nutty.
Instead, try Tip #1- Say what you actually mean
Did you mess up on a project, but you don’t want to look like a fool for saying so? Just say, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake” and fix it. There is no purpose in talking around, making excuses and pointing fingers elsewhere.
Did someone invite you to a social event that you don’t feel like going to? Making excuses and saying “maybe next time” only opens you up for repeating this process all over again. Try saying “I’m not a huge fan of X” and let it go.
Do you love someone, but you’re afraid of the timing being wrong? Just say it! Yes, the outcome is scary and uncertain, but living someone else’s expectations is worse.
Tip #2- Listen to your inner voice
There is a reason for the term “gut feeling” and often times it is our inner voice trying to tell us something, even though we can’t alway pinpoint what or why.
Does something feel wrong about a situation? Do you feel uneasy or uncertain?
This is our intuition talking. Our subconscious knowledge expressing itself. Listen to it! This can honestly save your life. Learning to connect with your intuition is a huge step towards truly aligning with yourself.
Tip #3- Release the concern of how others will react
Disclaimer here, I’m not telling you to go be a jerk to everyone and say to heck with their reaction.
What I’m saying is that if you have followed the above tips, then enjoy the freedom that comes with being authentically you. This is less of a tip and more of a byproduct of speaking your mind.
Your job is to take care of yourself. It is not to set yourself aside so others can be more comfortable/happy/etc. If you do not look out for yourself, who will?
The more you begin to tap into the authentic you, the more your confidence will grow. The less you will feel indecision and the more sure-footed you will feel in all aspects of your life. This will allow you to take control of the direction of your life and stop external factors from sending you into a tailspin.
Take a deep breath and ask yourself “What do I really mean?” “What feels right in this moment?” And see how it goes!