The Conscious CEO & The Awakened Corporate: When you speak or live your truth, you’re bound to upset others

by Jennifer Peters | Apr 30, 2019 | The Conscious CEO


What often keeps us paralyzed from doing the things we really love, or from saying what we need to say is that we’re afraid of other’s reactions. Sometimes, when you are truthful, others can wrap you in a warm embrace and while they may not agree, they “hear” you. They are self-aware and accept your truth. But more often, your truth rocks a boat. So, let’s just be honest. When you speak your truth – when you use your voice & you’re clear and honest, it’s likely you’re going to upset someone else. And they’ll be mad. Or play a guilt trip. Or tell you how terrible you are being.

I caused a little ‘ol ruckus with one of my blog posts. It was many posts back where I mentioned in brief that my family (no specificity on anyone in particular) was not as supportive as I would have valued as I embarked on this endeavor.

That blog post was actually about all the challenges you may face as you get closer to manifesting your dream. It wasn’t a post about family, or bank loans or contractors or any of the number of challenges I mentioned. As with all my posts, they are intimate outlines of my experiences solely.

However, it rocked the boat. Big time.

Aunts & cousins on my moms side were upset, one Aunt wrote a weird Facebook post about how awful I was for mentioning it (despite her daughter being 10 min from the restaurant and her son, an hour away, of which neither have visited) & strange emails were exchanged in the aftermath.

My mother and I haven’t spoken since even before I opened Just BE Kitchen – she’s just not interested. Another Aunt was upset about the blog post, but still has yet to call, email, text with any interest of the restaurant endeavor, other than attempting to shame me for the blog post.

These situations don’t define me & they also don’t make those family members “wrong.” It’s simply two different perspectives.

But it is an example of when you finally open up about your own truth, even when operating with integrity, others are not always going to receive it well. You will be criticized. You will be called names. You’ll be told you’re awful, selfish & maybe even ridiculous. FB posts will be written about you. I get accused of being “too busy” – when the reality is that, the phone works both ways. I’m busy, but I’m not absent from life.

I’ve been told by a friend’s husband that I was insane for thinking I would ever get any funding for this venture when I intellectually challenged his perspective on the industry. He mocked and shamed me for thinking I could get F&F funding. I’ve been told by bankers that I’m not investable as I have no experience, I was even told by a landlord that I should apply to work for the restaurant I was trying to buy so they could “teach me how to run a business” . I was told to go work for product companies and that brick & mortar ventures were horrid. I’ve been patted on the head & giggled at for idealism. I’ve had eye rolls that I’m too “woo woo” in my branding. And yes, of course, I’ve communicated to a guy I kinda liked that my feelings were hurt by some actions of his but that my heart was open. And I never heard from him again.

If you speak your truth, you’ll upset people. The boat will rock. Water will cover you.

I remember recently when my mother & I were at a funeral…My cousin asked me what was one of the reasons I owned my own business. I thought about how I would answer, as I knew I was in a room of blood relatives that were lovely and amazing but who are perhaps less idealistic as I am. But, instead I went for it – I said there were many reasons, but one was that I wanted to have an impact & maybe change the world. My mother looked at me, laughed & said: “Good luck with that, you’ll never change the world.”

I could have sobbed. I could have let it set me back. But I’m beyond that now. Truly. It’s taken me a LONG time. Very long.

Because now, I’m a little more comfortable that when I speak my own truth – if it’s shamed, or judged or mocked –  even by those I care for, I recently have refused to put my worth on the table. Sometimes, in my head as the “rage” goes on from others, I simply repeat to myself: “I love you, trust your truth.”

I try to shorten my suffering and don’t play the story in my head that those words are personal. I no longer tear myself up with guilt, which is such as wasted emotion, because I haven’t made them happy by living my truth.

I am also grateful now when I get the opportunity to be tested – when I get the opportunity to make a conscious decision to NOT put my worth on the table when I’m abandoned, ridiculed or ignored. This shift is all so recent, so I assure you it’s taken a ton of time. And therapy. And red wine.

I will be tested again. By a family member. A guy. An industry expert. A team member. It doesn’t matter – I’ll be tested again & again to speak my truth. And I’ll be intimidated to do so. And when I do – it will rock boats. And they may be upset. Or they may not understand. Or I may be ridiculed.

But I’d rather be rocking the boat being me, then staying ashore because someone else doesn’t want me to sail. And frankly, screw sailing – I want to FLY.