From time to time, we are faced with challenging decisions. These can be the day-to-day stresses of life or a pressure build-up at work which can lead us to a crossroads.
One direction can lead us to be truthful with ourselves, the other to a path of shying from the truth. At times, one may feel easier than others, overshadowing how we genuinely think and feel by burying our heads in the sand. But sometimes, we must batten down the hatches, take a different path, and brave the storm that is facing us.
Naturally, these paths can represent so much more than being honest and dishonest to yourself. These aspects run parallel to one another, locked in an invisible battle in our minds.
In this blog, I want to share with you the power of being honest with yourself and the knock-on effects this has on you and the people around you.
The Honest Facts
A recent study carried out between Hebrew Jerusalem, University of Chicago and UCLA states that people will lie to appear more honest when they have performed extremely well at a task or project, as they believe not lying will harm them more than telling the truth. This means people who are excelling in their roles would rather downplay their achievements to fit in more with their colleagues. That doesn’t feel quite right.
Yet, it’s more common than you think. The gratification and acceptance we so crave from our colleagues can be great and can often cloud our vision, causing us to lie reactively, even if we have done something to excel ourselves. It can feel as though you are in between a rock and a hard place because:
1) We don’t want to feel greater than our colleagues
2) We want to be acknowledged for the work we do
Now take some time for self-reflection: how many times have you done this?
Mirror, Mirror on The Wall
I often like to think of honesty as seeing yourself in a dirty mirror.
If the mirror is covered in dirt and grime, then seeing what lies beneath is virtually impossible. At this point, you can do one or two things:
Leave the mirror as it is or clean it.
Now, cleaning the mirror may be hard to do. There may even be times when you want to stop and let the mirror stay dirty (because that’s easier). However, through hard work and perseverance, you’ll be able to get the mirror clean and clearly see who is looking back at you.
Being honest with yourself is difficult and requires hard work to truly see what lies beneath but gaining an understanding of why your perspective needs to change and the thought processes associated with it will help create positive habits and behaviours.
The True Value of Honesty
When you work on building upon your honesty, the value you’ll add in your life will increase tenfold.
I want to highlight 3 core benefits of why being more honest is good for you.
A brand-new lemon-scented you
It is no secret that when you become more honest with yourself and the people around you, your self-confidence increases. It may feel a little weird getting your head around this but someone who is a confident individual gets their confidence because they trust themselves. This means when they are faced with adversity or the challenges that life throws at them, they can use their knowledge, experience and trust in themselves to make it through life’s obstacles.
Moreover, honest people tend to enjoy better physical, mental and emotional health than dishonest people. This is due to the fact they are comfortable in the knowledge that they are doing their absolute best in life.
You trust in me, and I’ll trust in you
By being honest, people will be honest with you.
This can start from the people in your network having faith in you as being an honest person, somebody with integrity. It is a beautiful thing earning the trust of others around you as this strengthens the connection you have with people – whether this is in work with your colleagues or in your own life with friends and family, let the truth run through you.
A weight off your shoulders
When we speak about being more honest, we also need to mention being dishonest.
Trying to maintain a lie can be extremely difficult and put you under serious levels of stress and anxiety. Adopting a more honest mentality can relax you as a person as you don’t need to worry about what is hiding behind the mask, as you’re not wearing one.
Wearing ‘your mask’ is unsustainable and ultimately, bad for your health.
So, understand how to lose it.
The Truth Will Set You Free
The truth can hurt. The truth can heal. And, in time, the truth can set you free!
My aim for this blog was for you to reflect on how true you are to yourself. In a world tangled with dishonesty and ego, it’s hard to be the best version of yourself by being kind and honest – but so worth it.
At Big Knows, I use the RE3 Effect with my clients. This is my bespoke coaching process and proven positive mindset growth tool that helps you find the answers to your challenges. It’s helped me through a separation and divorce, a cancer scare, a career change, and most recently, through the pandemic.
The RE3 Effect makes you think about three topics:
Reflect – take a moment for reflection and self-awareness.
Reframe – take a look at how your perspective impacts your behaviours.
Re-invent – time to get stuck into practicing all you have learnt.