Harinder Ghatora's new book, 'The Power of Speaking Your Truth," guides readers on a journey of self-discovery and positive change and teaches them how to put to rest the limiting beliefs that have previously quelled their desire to speak up.
Counselor and life coach Harinder Ghatora has published her empowering and essential self-help guide to transforming passive and demoralized behavior and thoughts into a fresh outlook backed by self-assurance and courage.
In "The Power of Speaking Your Truth," Ghatora impresses upon readers the need for them to speak up and helps them to find their authentic voice. The book is guided by five highly realistic, hypothetical scenarios and presents readers with a series of questions to shepherd their self-reflection and instigate the process of reshaping their perspective.
"I was inspired to write this book because I believe that the simple practice of speaking your truth sits right at the heart of a happy, balanced and fulfilled life," Ghatora said. "As human beings, we are permanently in a relationship with ourselves and with those around us. If we want to make meaningful connections with people, have closeness in our relationships, live a satisfying life and have a strong, healthy, respectful sense of self, then we must learn to identify and communicate what we truly feel, need and expect from others."
Ultimately, Ghatora's book offers a down-to-earth, holistic approach that considers the way one's mental and emotional health can foster instances of insecurity and fear in social environments. "The Power of Speaking Your Truth" helps readers to identify, challenge and transmute limiting beliefs and replace them with a positive awareness that is more conducive to healthy assertive behavior.
Harinder Ghatora is a holistic life coach and counselor. Ghatora resides and has a private practice in West London and offers a range of services that are designed to help people live a healthy and balanced life. She works with all aspects of a person's being – mind, body, emotions, spirit – and supports her clients in overcoming personal obstacles and fostering selfempowerment. Ghatora is a graduate of the London School of Economics. She previously forged a successful managerial career in local government, specializing in research and statistics, for 18 years before retraining as a counselor, Neuro-Linguistic Programming coach and healer. Ghatora's time is now fully devoted to supporting others through one-on-one work, group work, workshops and e-products. This is her first book.
The Power of Speaking Your Truth: How to Become Confident and Assertive
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Author: Harinder Ghatora
Question: Can you tell us about The Power of Speaking Your Truth: How to Become Confident and Assertive?
Harinder Ghatora: The Power of Speaking Your Truth is a step-by-step self-help guide that coaches the reader to move from a place of passivity and disempowerment to a place of assertiveness and confidence. The book is a practical, down-to-earth manual that takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery and personal transformation. Guided by a series of realistic scenarios and self-reflection questions the reader is encouraged to identify, challenge, and transmute the fears and unhealthy beliefs that prevent her from communicating clearly and effectively. By working through these internal barriers she is helped to reconnect with her personal power and find her voice.
Question: What inspired you to write this book?
Harinder Ghatora: I'm a qualified counsellor and holistic life coach and have worked with hundreds of people in my private practice. Over the years, I noticed that a common cause of direct and indirect unhappiness in many of my clients' lives was their inability to speak their truth. They were not able or willing to communicate their own wishes and needs to those around them. This meant that, at best, their needs remained unmet, and at worst, they were misunderstood, ignored, or simply walked all over. Over time I saw that this passive, disempowered stance was causing significant emotional, mental and even physical harm.
I was inspired to write this book for the following reasons. Firstly, I believe that the simple practice of speaking your truth sits right at the heart of a happy, balanced and fulfilled life. As human beings, we are all permanently in relationship with ourselves and with those around us. If we want to make meaningful connections with others, have closeness in our relationships, live a satisfying life, and have a strong, healthy, respectful sense of self, then we must learn to identify and communicate what we truly feel, need, and expect from others.
Secondly, I noticed that many of my clients simply didn't know what speaking your truth meant. They were conditioned to believe that there are only two modes of expression: a passive, quiet, compliant way or a loud, angry, aggressive way. It is this "either/or" perception that I wished to challenge. My aim in writing this book was to present and promote this middle way, in which a person can speak their truth firmly but gently, respectfully and kindly. This is the assertive way.
And thirdly, in my client sessions I saw how effective the coaching process I use was in helping people reconnect with their real, true self, acknowledge their worth, connect with their personal power and find their voice. I wanted to share this process with as many people as I can.
I used to be quiet and complaint and would say 'yes' to everything and anything that was asked of me simply to keep other people happy. Over the years I began to recognise the fact that my passive behaviour was not serving me and I went on a deep inner journey which ultimately led me to a more empowered and self-respecting place from which to approach my relationships. This is the same inner journey of self-discovery and positive change that I want to take the reader on.
Question: How can we become more self-assured, today?
Harinder Ghatora: We can all become more self-assured by firstly, evaluating and improving the relationship we have with ourselves, and secondly, by becoming more aware of and redressing the power imbalance in the relationships we have with others.
It is low self-worth that underpins many of the unhealthy beliefs and fears that contribute to a lack of self-confidence and a quiet, compliant, passive attitude to life. Improving our relationship with ourselves and how we view ourselves sits at the heart of confidence and assertiveness. This is done by promoting an attitude of optimism, positive expectation and self-belief. If a person struggles with low self-esteem, then the following steps can help.
The first step is to become aware of just how you treat yourself. Are you kind, compassionate, and mindful of your own needs? Are you generous towards yourself? Do you tolerate and accept the parts of yourself you don't like? When you've done something wrong, do you forgive yourself? Or are you the opposite of all these things: mean, demanding, critical, unforgiving and judgmental?
Once you've taken stock of where you are on the spectrum of self-acceptance, self-love and self-worth, simply decide to change your attitude. Take deliberate steps to treat yourself with more warmth, kindness, tolerance and compassion. Learn to love and respect yourself. Be more accepting. In particular, notice the times when your inner critic becomes loud, harsh and judgmental, and choose to replace those thoughts with more caring and positive ones.
Secondly, make a conscious effort to notice your own needs and then find ways to take better care of those needs. Be more honest with yourself about how you truly feel about the people and situations in your life.
Thirdly, make time for yourself so that you have space to rest, reflect, and just 'be' on a daily basis. This can be as uncomplicated as sitting quietly for 15 minutes with a cup of tea, writing in a journal, soaking in a warm bath, or going for a walk by yourself. Ideally, establish a daily meditation practice. If you quieten down your mind, you will discover a beautiful, peaceful, joyful place within that you can access at any time, irrespective of what is going on in the world around you.
Another powerful way to cultivate greater self-worth is by identifying the things that give you joy and devoting some time to them. Reawaken your creativity. Creativity is the absolute essence of who we are as human beings. It's our most basic and fundamental nature; and connecting with and expressing our creativity has a profoundly positive effect on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. If you already know what makes you feel good, make more time for it in your life. If you've lost touch with your creativity, think back to your childhood. We were all in touch with that part of ourselves when we were young. What did you love to do? What gave you pleasure? Did you enjoy drawing, playing music, writing stories or being in the garden? If you struggle to come up with ideas, try something new. Spending even short periods of time on your hobbies on a regular basis is the highest quality 'me time' you can get and does wonders for your self-esteem, happiness and health.
Boosting your self-worth can also involve doing 'good' things and remembering that you did them. Begin to recognise the myriad of skills, talents and unique gifts that you possess. Think about all the people that rely on you to do everyday things for them. Think about the things you're good at. Notice when people compliment you on something. In fact, buy a little notebook and write these compliments down. In this way, you'll be able to acknowledge and appreciate the qualities that others see in you, which otherwise may have just passed you by. This is an effective technique for boosting self-esteem, and your notebook will soon become a permanent source of feel-good energy whenever you feel less than positive about yourself. Look back at your life and remember all your accomplishments. Think about the things you're proud of. If your mind refuses to come up with things, then know that you're not looking hard enough. There is something of worth in every person's life.
And finally, invest in yourself. A key measure of a person's sense of self-worth is the time, energy and resources they're willing to expend on themselves. Allocate 30 minutes a day to any activity that improves your awareness, develops your talents and potential, enhances the quality of your life, and/or contributes to the realisation of your dreams and aspirations. You can do this through reading books, listening to audios, watching online videos, or attending workshops and courses.
As you begin to develop a healthier attitude towards yourself, you will notice a greater sense of self-respect and self-confidence starting to emerge. You'll find that this makes it easier for you to define and maintain your personal boundaries with others, and that you become more willing to speak your truth, because you know that your needs are just as important as the next person's.
If you want to become more self-assured then you also need to look at the distribution of power in your relationships with others. You have to become more consciously aware of the people and situations where you give your power away i.e. the people who you are always quiet and/or compliant around, and then begin the process of identifying and dismantling the internal barriers that prevent you from speaking up and expressing your thoughts and feelings. In the Power of Speaking Your Truth I take the reader on a journey where they are helped to understand the power dynamics in their relationships, identify the fears and unhealthy beliefs that prevent them from being assertive, dispute these fears and unhealthy beliefs and replace them with healthier ones; ones that promote greater self-respect, self-worth and confidence.
Question: What is our authentic voice and how can we find it?
Harinder Ghatora: Our authentic voice is the expression of our deepest truth and real true identity. It is the quiet, yet powerful voice that comes from deep within and is in alignment with our genuine feelings, thoughts and desires.
Most of us have been conditioned from a young age to pay attention to other people's needs and wishes. As children we receive constant verbal and non-verbal messages about how we should behave, how we should live and even how we should think. And, as most of us naturally crave positive regard and validation from others, we mould ourselves into the sort of people that others expect us to be. This process inadvertently moves us away from our true selves and results in us losing touch with our own thoughts and feelings.
We find our authentic voice by valuing and respecting ourselves enough to connect with our real selves. It means going inwards and connecting with our inner self. In any situation, it means taking a moment to determine what our genuine thoughts, feelings and preferences are. What is it that we truly think, feel and want? It means cultivating enough self-worth to acknowledge the validity of these thoughts, feelings and preferences. And, it means having the confidence to honestly communicate these thoughts, feelings and preferences to others in a clear, calm, respectful way.
We have already mentioned the importance of cultivating greater self-worth. This is imperative because finding our authentic voice demands that we value ourselves enough to believe that our thoughts, feelings and preferences are as valid as the next person's. Assertiveness is based on the principle of equality and we have to feel equal to others if we are to find the confidence to express our authentic voice.
Discovering and connecting with our authentic voice involves focused inner work as we have to strip away layers of beliefs, fears and conditioned thinking. In the Power of Speaking Your Truth I present a holistic coaching model that helps the reader to identify and transmute the barriers that stand between them and their authentic voice.
Question: What's the main messages readers will take from The Power of Speaking Your Truth?
Harinder Ghatora: There are two key messages outlined in The Power of Speaking Your Truth. The first one is about the damaging nature of passive behaviour. It is easy to arrive at the conclusion that being quiet and compliant leads to an easy stress-free life. This is, in fact, an untruth. Habitual passive behaviour is seriously detrimental to our self-esteem, our sense of self-direction, our self-respect, our stress levels and our relationship with others. The second message is that it is possible, at any age, to change and become more confident and assertive. It simply takes some focussed inner work.
Readers of The Power of Speaking Your Truth will be taken on a journey of deep personal transformation. They will gain an understanding of what speaking your truth actually means and why it is so important for their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, and relationships. Through a series of self-reflection questions and the help of five realistic fictional characters readers will be invited to reshape their perspective, move away from passive and disempowering behaviour and move towards more assertive, confident behaviour. They will learn a powerful coaching model that will help them to gain a clearer understanding of why they are reluctant to speak up and assert their truth. And, having identified the fears and unhealthy beliefs that keep them stuck in a passive mode of behaviour they will learn how to dispute and transmute these fears and beliefs and replace them with more healthier ones; ones that foster greater self-respect, confidence and personal empowerment. Readers will also discover a range of powerful holistic tools and techniques that will help them to reconnect with their inner voice and help them lead a happy, healthy and empowered life.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
The Power of Speaking Your Truth: How to Become Confident and Assertive
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Author: Harinder Ghatora