Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to catch up with a dear friend who has been instrumental in formulating the person whom I have become. We discussed many things; family, friends, self-awareness, resilience, low points, and achievements in our lives thus far.
One part of the conversation really resonated with me and I would love to share with you as it surrounds the concept of being true to yourself.
For the last 20 years, in every annual performance review that I can recall, I have had the same feedback; I tend to say things as they are. This does not always go down too well, especially if it contradicts superiors who believe they are correct merely due to their position.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times where I have said things due to anger and resentment, but always with good intentions. Over the years though, through learning from feedback, I have learnt to provide evidence to my outbursts.
I am still willing to call things out and say it as it is, but I ensure that I can back up my comment with evidence, and that people understand the perspective from which I am viewing the World at the time.
Regardless of intent, I have come into bother over the years. I have remained resilient in my honesty and voicing my opinions though.
My friend, who is far more intelligent and experienced than I am, raised a really interesting perspective that I had never considered until now. He questioned whether there is a correlation between those that do not express their honest opinions, who bottle things up, and subsequent issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing.
If you bottle up your feelings, beliefs and ultimately your voice, does this increase the psychological pressure that you impose upon yourself? I am sure we have all been in a situation where you are angered at yourself because you did not speak up when you had the opportunity. How does this make you feel? What are the subsequent effects that may go unnoticed but can add up? It is thought provoking and unfortunately I don't have the scientific or evidence based answer for you.
What I do know is that from a lifetime of being true to myself, my beliefs and always wanting to do the right thing, I don’t worry about upsetting the applecart by saying what is on my mind. As long as I have good intentions, can evidence my argument and respect the perspectives of others in the situation with me, then I can lay my head down with no regrets.