Unleash Your Truth and Set Yourself Free

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    Welcome to installment #21 of the A to Z for a Rocking Retirement. U = UNLEASH YOUR TRUTH. What if you could cast aside all that is holding you back from speaking your truth. What would that look like and how would that make you feel? I know I know. You’ve always held back because of multiple factors that have stood in your way.

    Unleash Your Truth and Set Yourself Free

    I remember how bottled up I was in my nursing career. Half of me was being real and the other half was cautious and nonrevealing. I always knew I had more to say but kept it quiet because of fear of consequences. I’m not really sure what the reasons were for not unleashing my truth.

    Was it because I grew up in an authoritarian home where having an opinion was not encouraged, and maybe not really valued?

    Was it because I had low self esteem as a kid and never felt I could be as good as my smart brother or my smart classmates, or as popular as my best friend?

    Was it because I started my nursing career in the Navy where I did not speak up because I was outranked and deemed subservient?

    It’s probably a combination of factors but it certainly fed into my inability to even know how to present my truth when I had opportunities. I would often defer to someone else’s ideas so I didn’t have to be singled out. I truly felt my truth was not worthy of attention.

    Can you relate? What factors have caused you to hold back?

    I remember an experience that happened close to my last days working for a boss. I was in a meeting with managers and the topic of male employees came up. I spoke up about how that felt in my department that the men seemed to be free to do whatever they wanted (we also had a male boss) and females were overly scrutinized and I felt it was not fair.

    Of course silence descended on the group and no one else chimed in with their experience in their departments. I knew I had opened a can of worms. At that point the fact that I unleashed my truth also felt like I had brought into the open an “unspoken truth” and others were afraid to express their feelings as well. Lesson learned. Must be time to move on to being my own boss so I could freely express my true opinions.

    What makes the workplace so difficult for us to speak up with what we believe?

    Since I now am semi-retired and work and answer to myself, I don’t feel constrained by being politically correct and can speak my mind without fear. I must admit it does take getting used to because if feels like you are hanging out there “bare” with no safety net. But with time and practice it gets a lot easier.


    I am now “free to be me”. I continually unleash the truth, as I see it, even though it may not be popular or politically correct. And it actually feels good to have that role when others are still unable, hesitant, or still in the early stages of practicing. I have also had the role of being a pioneer in wellness, and now I guess I am a pioneer in the art of unleashing your truth as you start coming into your own in later life. I used to wonder how my mother (retired nurse) got so mouthy in her old age, and now I know it’s an “age thing”. We mature into it!

    Here are some tips to fortify your ability to “unleash your truth” and set yourself free.

    T – Telling it like it is
    R – Right over wrong
    U – Unafraid of consequences
    T – Trusting your instincts
    H – Heartfelt communication

    So what about you? Have you crossed over to “unleashing your truth? What examples can you share when you have stepped into your own personal power and what were the consequences, if any?
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    3 Comments

  3. by   middleagednurse
    What you're saying is true, and sounds great in theory, but in reality it won't work. Anytime I try to express the truth, I get nothing but criticism. But it's a nice idea.
  4. by   nutella
    I need to give you that you make it sound very "dynamic" - "unleash" your truth like you would "unleash your potential" etc?

    "unleash" actually indicates that you have been on a "leash" before - meaning "restricted" and so on.
    If you do not care for the consequences of being "unleashed" go ahead. But it has been my experience that most people do not want to hear the truth or deal with the truth. Up front of course it looks differently because we have to be politically and otherwise correct. Your manager has an "open door" policy, the facility adopts a "climate and culture of safety in which everybody can speak up about mistakes " and so on.
    Sure - there is free speech and there are times when we have to speak up.
    But the truth can be very inconvenient and there are often consequences.
    I used to be one of the "truth speakers" when I was younger. I thought that the truth will prevail and ultimately I am more myself. I did not want to hide my opinion, wanted to point out things that are not ok and so on and forth. There is something radical to it. I remember that long time ago a coworker who I honestly did not like for a variety of reasons called me out on it :"I feel that you do not like me and that you are very critical of my work." And guess what - I said something like "Yes, I do not like you and I think that you are doing a poor job at times. I do not like to take report from you and I do not like to take patients from you - there are always a million things wrong, missing and so on."

    She was sort of speechless for a bit - and I went on with business and took report without discussing it further. Back then I felt that it was better to tell her up front where I stand. I never behaved unprofessional towards her but her knowing that I did not like her did not really do anything to enhance our relationship at work either. It only made me feel good for a little bit - later it always stood somewhat between us.


    The other thing that stands out about speaking the truth:

    Years ago an attending yelled at me when I was sitting down at a shared computer work station. Apparently he had used that station for something but got a phone call and got up to take the call somewhere in the hallway. So when I came to find a computer, nobody was sitting there, there was no indication whatsoever. The screen was locked out, no papers, no phone - he was on it - and nobody said anything either. So I chart on the computer and he comes out of nowhere yelling at me and demanding I get up to "give him back his place."

    Yeah - I told him the truth about how inappropriate his behavior was, how wrong he was and because he kept yelling for some more I also went to the nurse manager right after.
    I complained about him and told her the truth. I felt that I had to speak out against this aggression from the physician who felt privileged and who had a tantrum.
    The nurse manager wrote down some points.
    Guess what - after a while I ask her if she ever talked to him or addressed it. And I was told that she actually did not think it needed to be addressed and he was probably not even yelling (which actually was confirmed by other people at that time) and I was a hot head.
    Even though I had good reason to speak the truth and so on - it did not serve me well in the long run in this case either.

    You talk about maturity - but we all mature in different ways.
    As I matured, I actually became much more calm and also look at things and situations in a more differentiated way. I do not avoid speaking out when it is necessary but I am assertive and I usually chose a very non confrontational way now. Ok - there are things that get me boiling but really - most people do not want to hear the truth.
    The person who voted for trump and now complains non stop about loosing healthcare and not being able to pay because they are going to be in a high risk pool and so on and forth - yeah I would like to speak my truth "well you voted for him - so there you go" - but that is not going to do much for me or that person.
  5. by   Libby1987
    I've had such an opposite experience. I've always been outspoken and while there have never been any lasting consequences, I've learned to couch things better as I've matured. Being assertive and speaking up for both myself and for a group has mostly been well received, at minimum heard without negative consequences or recrimination.

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