“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests…” – Luke 6:26
We’ve all been there. You are deep in a conversation with peers or loved ones and a certain topic comes up. While you listen to the person speaking you find that you’re lost, or perhaps you disagree. You smile and nod, and look around to see how everyone else is processing it. Will you seem ignorant if you ask a question? Or worse, speak up and have no one else agree with you? Is it best to stay quiet and neutral out of fear of rejection?
This is an example of what social scientists call pluralistic ignorance. It occurs when groups of people go along with something because they assume others around them understand and agree with it. And the catch with pluralistic ignorance is it often results in good intentioned followers being led by unhealthy leadership. It persists. And it persists until someone is bold enough to speak up.
So how do you become more bold and speak your truth? This week we are diving in on ways to conquer this.
All humans have a natural desire to be know, but we often restrain ourselves out of vulnerability. We wear a mask – a mask that protects our emotions. Most people fear rejection, our mask helps protect this. We seesaw between removing our masks to reveal our true selves, and keeping our masks on to protect our emotions. More often than not, fear wins out. Our masks stay intact.
But by being raw and removing your outer mask, you’ll truthfully present who you are on the inside. In fact, when you become vulnerable and your truth is revealed, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how good it feels. And the next time around taking off your mask will come more naturally. So speak up! Take off your mask and show the true you. Be vulnerable.
Be authentic and real
The more real you are, the more you are known and loved. And the more love we experience, the more real we become. These work hand in hand. Every time we pass up an opportunity to be a truth-teller, we risk a hardened heart.
Authenticity is all about being rather than doing. By being authentic and real, you will learn how to be a truth-teller from a loving heart. And with time you will find that your actions will start to naturally follow. No deliberate thinking, no wondering what you should do. Your head and your heart will work in harmony and ease.
Don’t fall victim to the “disease to please”
Consuming yourself with the impression you are making on others, rather than being true to who you are will only hurt you in the end. This is known as the disease to please. Don’t fake who you are or fabricate what your beliefs are to impress someone else.
After all, popularity contests are not truth contests. Being true and bold will only come from within, and the desire to please yourself.
Be bold like Jesus
Jesus didn’t shy away from what He knew was true. It required authenticity and vulnerability. Jesus was bold and transparent. He often went against what others believed and preached truth from within. Jesus shattered the pluralistic ignorance of his time! He was fearless and was the ultimate example of being real and raw. Truth-telling was His top priority.
It will take some practice. But being bold like Jesus will only strengthen who you are, and what you believe in. It will also open you up to a richer and more spiritual relationship with God. To dive deeper into more ways on how to be bold, check out my book Love Like That.
Was there a time where you felt you needed to be a truth-teller? Were you bold and did you speak your truth? If not, how will you be bold next time? Let us know in the comments below!
You nailed it when you called the fake-ness wearing a mask. I recently struggled through a collapsed marriage because I was too eager to please and always wore a mask. I tried to “fake it until you make it” in the relationship because I believed that would make me good enough for her, but it never panned out. I never was good enough and it tore me apart. I ended up wearing that mask everywhere and completely locked up who I was as an individual and that drove me into an unreal depression.
I learned that I have to stand up for myself and be strong in who God made me. I still struggle with keeping the mask put away, but it helps to be surrounded by people who love you for who you are, not who they want you to be.
“So how do you become more bold and speak your truth?” – this question, while very important to reflect upon, may be misleading. As followers of Jesus, it may be a good idea to run “your truth” through the filter of “All truth is God’s truth”. In a world where opinions are spouted incessantly as truth, our opportunity is to know what “Truth” is and be bold in that. That, I believe, is the boldness like Jesus the article is referring to.
Amen and Amen with a special encouragement to spend time “discovering and affirming” who GOD made me/you to be. This is not the person that the previous 20 (???) years of experiences, people, and circumstances has made me/you. Almost always in life (all aspects public and private) when we swing the pendulum in the opposite direction it goes clear to the opposite end; equally as difficult and problematic as the point from which we began.
Another encouragement would be to be patient. Most of your circle will not be ready for the new you, especially if it is not the GOD you which would be Biblicly centered in love and respect. Many if not all will react negatively to the change, especially if “boldness” is the emphasis. That will hurt….deeply. Immediately your defense mechanism (which most likely is already on “high alert”) kicks in and the old “love me of leave” comes out…..no one wins…not you, them, or JESUS. GOD Bless
I agree with Greg about the pendulum and patience!
This article has some good points about being genuine and truthful…but for most of us there is a process of healing and sanctification that God is taking us through. Yes, we need to take off the masks, but only by allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us in safe settings as we address the imprinted childhood patterns of wounds, turn from sinful ways and put on the armor of God. If we try to change our behavior without His renewing work we may just be using our own strength (the weapons of our warfare are not carnal) to fight battles that only He can. We need to know who we are in Christ and be surrounded by believers with all of our shields of faith up.
Psalm 139, Ephesians 1: 4-14, Ephesians 2: 1-10, Ephesians 6: 10-19, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Romans 12:2, Philippians 4: 8, Colossians 3: 2-3
I agree with the premise of speaking your truth, being vulnerable, taking off the masks, and being bold. I believe that in an ideal world this would always be the way to go. Ideals are places to aspire to that we all need. Standing back and assessing whether someone has the ability to hear your truth, know and love who you are, is a very confusing and complex process. Sometimes you have just be okay with looking in the mirror speaking your truth and feel good about that.
May the Holy Spirit help me in this area. Often times I find myself not really speaking my truth in order not to offend someone. I used to always speak my truth but realized that made me so unpopular with my relatives and friends. I now tend to agree for the sake of “peace” but this does not really give me peace…