Stop Speaking Your Truth: Speak the Actual Truth

Jack Roberge

“Speak your truth” has become a common phrase in our culture. When people tell you to speak your truth, they are telling you to tell your own tale and share the story of your life. At surface level, this seems fine. After all, more people telling their own story will lead to a richer diversity of understood life experiences. There is nothing wrong with this. The issue comes with the usage of the word “truth.” There is only one type of truth: the truth. The truth exists outside of human influence or opinion. Your own views of your experience are important. However, it is equally important to note that they are often wrong. They aren’t necessarily the same as truth, even if they have validity based on what your experiences were. 

Human beings are not intrinsically rational. It is immensely difficult to observe outside events in a rational manner and even more difficult to view our personal events in a rational manner. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to give your best attempt at objectivity over your own life story. That is to say, you must make an attempt to take a step back from yourself and look at your own story the way someone else would. I think it is important to note that I am not saying this as a way to invalidate subjective experience. Rather, I am saying that it is important to note that there is an objective truth that usually exists somewhere outside of your own perception, even if it is very close to your perception. It is entirely possible that the truth lies with your perception, but the best idea for any evaluation is to first take an assumption of neutrality. You could be right, and you could be wrong. You should not assume, however, that you are either, unless you have convincing evidence of whichever is true.

 When you speak truth, then, you should do the best you can to ensure that rather than speaking your truth, you should do everything in your power to speak the truth. The truth not only lends you credibility, but also a clear conscience, free from the trap of cognitive dissonance. The truth may not make you popular, but it is all you can do to be yourself. The truth is liberating. The truth gives you the freedom to develop your own ideas free of the baggage that comes from not doing so. Your real ideas are in the open, rather than clouded in euphemism and personal perception. This puts you in a vulnerable position. However, it is also a position that allows you to grow. We never grow without stressors, and leaving the truth in the open allows you to be evaluated in a way you can develop. The truth is powerful, and in its pursuit, we can all make our lives what they are meant to be.