Think before you speak

Being honest and true to yourself is not the same as being loud, or expressing and asserting your opinions every chance you get.
They are not one and the same, being honest and asserting your opinions.

There are two things at play here: authenticity and assertiveness.

Being authentic is about being who you really are.
It involves speaking your mind and being true to who you are, rather than living your life to please others.
Authenticity is about being honest and knowing your own values.

Being assertive is about staying strong to your values and beliefs and respecting yourself.
It’s about defining your boundaries and staying true to them.

You can’t really be authentic without being assertive.
But, assertiveness is NOT the same as thoughtlessness, and should never come at the cost of causing harm or pain.

Too often people tend to think they need to express their opinions, when actually they don’t.
Staying quiet about something that will otherwise do more harm than good isn’t a sign of weakness, or you not being true to yourself, it’s a sign of wisdom.
It’s a demonstration of you actuality thinking things through before acting – which is how it should be.

Being authentic is not the same as being a loud mouth, and imposing your opinions everywhere.
That’s about ego, not integrity.
That is what drives people like online trolls etc – they’re not driven by their desire to be authentic, but rather by their ego.

Being authentic is, to a very large degree, about being the best you can be.
And that does not happen when all you care about is yourself.

Balance is always important.
If everyone only thought about themselves, the world as we know would cease to exist.
We need to be mindful of not only our own needs and values, but also of the impact our actions and words have on others.
Selfishness is not a virtue.

Be true to yourself, absolutely, but also be mindful of the impact of what comes out of your mouth.
Think before you speak.

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