Are you familiar with muscle-checking? It works much like a lie-detector test, which detects whether a statement triggers a stress response. While not always accurate, the common experience is that a lie creates measurable stress, while telling the truth, even an unpleasant truth, creates a calmer parasympathetic response.
Muscle-checking has been around a long time. My chiropractor reminded me of how it works and demonstrated its power by asking me to tell an obvious lie. I announced, “My name is Fred,” held out my arm and he pressed down. I wasn’t able to resist his pressure.Then he invited me to tell my real name. I did, held out my arm and he pressed down. I was clearly stronger.
So if you’re wondering why I focus on authenticity under the banner of Speaking Strong, that’s why. Authenticity is more powerful than any kind of manipulation or persuasion tactic. PowerPhrases tell the deepest truth we know, which is the ground where we are strongest. Of course there can be a learning curve. When I gave up fudging to cover my behind, I didn’t have the skills yet to express myself authentically. Plus I will wait for a deeper truth to surface when I’m in reaction to an experience and not yet ready to respond. Truthing was, and is, a process.
My guiding principle in life is to be free. Authenticity is the freedom to be myself. And nothing empowers like the truth. Why go cheap when I can say what I mean and mean what I say without being mean when I say it? Knowing that helps me decide when to speak and what to say. I am much freer than when I started this journey, and becoming even more free with every step.
What’s your guiding principle? How free are you to honor it in your communication?