If the truth carries intelligent people away, let them go; the faster the better.
--- Swami Vivekananda
The greatest gift you can offer to the world is to be your authentic Self. Not authentic in the sense of, “I’ll become an open book, let it all hang out, and express myself for the sake of expressing myself.” Authentic meaning: “I’ll express myself with purpose.” As you learn to speak up more about how you truly feel, some people will stray from the more genuine version of you. Not appealing? Consider the alternative: keeping them by the side of someone you no longer recognize. You always have the choice to speak assertively about what really matters to you or remain silent and let others have their way. Make a commitment to become more genuine and honest with others about what you value and you will find that your relationships become more fulfilling and your life more meaningful as others remove their kid gloves and learn how to relate to the real you.
As you practice voicing what you truly want, there will come a day when you catch a brief glimpse of the tremendous potential for self-realization lurking within you brought out by the simple act of finding the right words to express your deeper thoughts and feelings. While asserting yourself courts more risk (once your ideas are acted upon, more fingers will point toward you if they don’t bear fruit) it is precisely these daily risks that demonstrate and build your capacity—most importantly, to you; and then to others—to create the relationships, family, company, team, or initiative you desire. This week, practice speaking up about what’s important to you with someone with whom you feel comfortable and have a healthy relationship. Then gradually apply your assertiveness skills in more challenging conversations.
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