Tommy Acierno

When You Speak, Who's Talking?

It’s a miracle that anyone understands what anyone else is saying.

When you speak, words come through filters generated from a lifetime of experiences.

It’s not always you who speaks, but it’s your parents, teachers, partners, co-workers, bosses, managers, leaders, news anchors, authors, podcasters, YouTubers, and so on…

Many people wish to speak and share their “authentic voice,” but that isn’t really possible. The influencers in our lives are just too great.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing, nor is it a good thing. What’s important is to recognize that what you say doesn’t necessarily represent your authentic self.

What’s interesting is that the same works in the other direction. When we listen, we filter what people say through the same voices listed above. We hear the words of our parents, teachers, and preachers when people speak instead of the person themself.

Authentic expression doesn’t really exist, at least, not from this perspective.

Understanding the nature of these filters and the impact they have on your life is essential to developing conscious communication.

What is conscious communication?

Speaking and listening with presence, focus, with minimal thoughts, interpretations, judgements, and opinions altering the original meaning. When you begin to communicate more consciously, something shifts. People express themselves more openly, honestly, and vulnerability. You experience less stress overall because you’re adding less story on top of the words being shared. Passive-aggressive communication all but goes away. And you feel more centered, balanced, and whole.

Conscious communication is incredibly simple in theory; but very difficult to practice. As Yoda wisely once said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” The difficulty comes in breaking the habit of communicating automatically with interpretations, judgements, and hidden agendas.

However, here are three easy steps to help you communicate more consciously:

  1. Simply be aware that what you say and hear are being influenced by the voices of your past. This is not good, bad, right, or wrong. We all do it. Nothing changes without awareness, so start here.
  2. When someone speaks, take a breath and set an intention to listen objectively (or, if you want to go to the next level, listen intuitively).
  3. When you speak, take a breath and pause before the first word leaves your mouth or is typed on the screen. And then set an intention to speak your truth.

When you speak your truth you tap into a deeper source of inner wisdom. We all have access to a wise sage within that has powerful insights to share and questions to ask. Imagine this sage within (if it helps, visualize a wise person that you know, which may include Yoda!), and practice speaking consciously.

Be present.

Be authentic.

Be you.

And communicate with clarity, kindness, compassion, and joy. It will do wonders for all of your interpersonal relationships, and it will help calm the storms within.


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