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.