Speak Your Truth

Speak Your Truth

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the significance of speaking your truth and from where the fear to do so originates.

First a quick update:

“Anti-depressants cause deaths, suicides and murder”
Read part one of the transcript of a lengthy interview and discussion between myself and Dr. Peter Breggin, author of “Medication Madness – a psychiatrist exposes the dangers of mood-altering medications.”

Now, let’s talk about the dangers of not speaking your truth.

One of my all time favorite movies is the 2003 romantic comedy, “Love Actually.” Set in Britain around Christmastime, “Love Actually” follows a series of love stories of various people – some related and carefully interwoven. The movie covers every aspect of love – from unrequited love and betrayal to mourning and forgiveness; from redemption and deep romance to childhood love and secrets; from obligation and devotion to brotherly love and loneliness.

A key theme in the movies is the powerful effect of overcoming your fear and speaking from your heart to reveal your truth.

In one emotionally touching scene, Juliet (played by Keira Knightley) has just recently been married. It is a few days before Christmas and carolers are everywhere. There is knock at Juliet’s door and she is surprised to find Mark (her husband’s close friend) standing there.

Mark (played by Andrew Lincoln) proceeds to reveal to Juliet what is in his heart. He plays “Silent Night” from a boom box but he speaks loudly in silence with his message written on a series of cardboard placards:

– “With any luck by this time next year

– I will be going out with one of these girls (images and cutouts of models)

– But for now let me say

– Without hope or agenda

– Just because it is Christmas

– (and at Christmas you tell the truth)

– To me you are perfect

– And my wasted heart will love you

– Until you look like this (a drawing of a skeleton)

– Merry Christmas

– Fatso”

Mark now looks at Juliet and gives her a facial expression that seems to communicate “that’s it; that’s all I have to say” and he quietly picks up his boom box and walks away.

Juliet chases after him and gives him a gentle but tender kiss and a gesture of appreciation and acknowledgement.

Mark is surprised but he seems satisfied and as he walks away he stops and proclaims to himself:


Enough now.”

Mark’s words and body language sum up his sense of liberation for having spoken his truth – his deep feelings for Juliet.

Most of us, though, live in fear, paralyzed and unable to speak our truth. We fear the consequences of the revelations of our real feelings. And yet, as Pietro Aretino said “I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”

And here is the problem: we often choose lies over truths. We hide, we become someone else, we live for others and we try to fit into the mold of what we think others want us to be.

All the way though, we shrink ourselves and we start to lose our integrity, eroding our values, principles, beliefs, desires, needs, emotions and feelings. We lose our sense of self-respect and even our sense of self-identity. How can you know who you are and what you want when you are always changing to meet other people’s expectations?

How can you expect other people to respect you if you don’t stand up and respect yourself by being true to yourself?

I learned this lesson when one day, I exploded at a friend because all of my suppression of my truths overtime that had turned into a pressure cooker that reached extreme temperatures. I had not been true to myself in so many occasions, failing to say, “Stop this behavior” or “No” or “No, I won’t do this just to please you.”

Most people only speak their truth after the relationship is over or, when it is too late and the relationship is about to end (because it has been based on lies, masks and attempts to appease and please the other person.)

Why do we do this?

We learned it childhood – peer pressure.

Yes, we programmed ourselves to think, say and do what would lead to our acceptance by the group. We lit the cigarette, drank the alcohol or said or did something else that we knew wasn’t right or didn’t feel right because when our friends said “What? Are you afraid?” we were too afraid to either say “yes, I am afraid but I am not going to do it” or “I don’t care what you think.”

As adults, many of us are still doing the same thing – engaging in any and every activity simply to be liked and accepted or, because everyone else is doing it.

Subsequently, not only do we end up feeling lost and confused, weak and helpless but we also lose our ability to ask for what we want, to express our deeper feelings and desires. The paradox is that when and only when you speak your truth, people respect you – even if they don’t like you. Yes, there is a difference. Also, when you speak your truth, you place your boundaries, perimeters and your self-esteem and confidence escalate.

It always feels much more natural to be you – to maintain integrity, be true to your values and principles than to blindly follow and appease others.

The Biblical quote: “And the truth shall set you free”, can also be interpreted to mean that when you speak your truth you shall feel free and liberated.

But speaking from your heart, your truth, is not always easy. Sometimes your voice shakes, sometimes you are afraid, sometimes you feel paralyzed. Yes, sometimes we fear confrontation, rejection, discomfort, loss or simply a negative response.

And yet, the more we practice speaking our truth, the easier it becomes. Sometimes, the sense of freedom only arrives and occurs when we break those chains that bind us and we are willing to lose it all simply to maintain our integrity and be true to our values, principles, beliefs, needs and desires.

I am not saying that one should speak out of anger nor I am saying we should say hurtful things to others just to speak our truth. I encourage that we speak our truth with compassion, from the heart, free of attachment to outcome and expectation. Notice that in the movie, Love Actually, when Mark finally musters the courage to speak his truth, he also states that he is doing so without hope or agenda.

As Max Ehrmann wrote in “Desiderata” in 1927: “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.”

If you want to boost your self-esteem, self-confidence and release the past, use my hypnosis audio: “Feel Good About Yourself”.

If you would like to comment on this newsletter, click here.  If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Nancy says:

    I agree but there should be a balance. Obviously we shouldn’t speak every truth. You look fat in those jeans, should be couched and the like. ;D

  2. Avatar
    Linda says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Patrick, I have been receiving your newsletters since January 2009 and I am blown away. I am truly grateful for your insight. It always resonates with me.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Linda,
      thanks for the compliments and I am sincerely enthused that you enjoy my Success Newsletters. You mentioned that you have been receiving them since January 2009 and if you choose to do so, you can read all of the other letters archived here that date back a few years.
      All the best,

  3. Avatar
    Alli says:

    Excellent post! Being true to ourselves is the way to go! Maybe other people will hate us for it, but then again if they do, it’s probably because we’re out of their control and manipulation (or they want us to be part of the miserable herd, lol). We are free !

    I’ve realized a lot of the time when I haven’t been assertive to tell someone who’s treated me badly, No, or if I just let that behavior slide and was amicable, I came out of the situation mad. Mad at the other person, of course. But even MADDER AT ME because I didn’t give myself the respect and honor that I deserved, and sacrificed it to be “nice” to the other person. There’s nothing wrong about being “nice” but if it’s always as a sacrifice because it’s undeserved or just not something you feel, it’s not good energy.

    I decided recently that if I’m not doing something with good energy behind it, then I probably should rethink it.

    I agree that part of the problem is we fear confrontation in this culture. We fear the reaction of when we say NO. And that’s probably because we don’t know how to get angry in our society without it escalating…. This is why learning how to talk assertively with neutral words is important. Meryl Runion has written some good books on this topic on how to say what you mean without being mean when you say it. (I have no affiliation financial or otherwise with her, but I just wanted to share what I’ve found helpful.)

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