Honesty frees your mind
One of the most inspiring things you can do to change your life is to be honest and be honest to others. When you lie about something, anything big or small, it gets you out of sync of who you really are. When you tell the truth all the time you become
known for telling the truth and people come to you knowing they will get the truth.
The fact is that most people you meet are dishonest including you sometimes. That sounds like a sad statement to make. To illustrate this try this exercise;
Think of all your colleagues at work and name the ones you would confide in and feel safe that they wouldn’t say anything else to anybody. I am not talking major secrets; I am talking about the little stuff too.
Now think of your friends and do the same exercise. Now be totally honest, this is just an exercise in your head there is no need to feel disloyal you are asking a question and answering it truthfully.
A lot of people might do this exercise and, if they are being totally honest with themselves, be a little shocked at what they find. There are not a lot of really honest people out there. I don’t mean most people are criminals I am talking about everybody who is playing the game of getting ahead in life, survival of the fittest and self preservation which is pretty much all of us.
I started being honest with myself and the world when I was around 16 or 17. I was a typical teenage boy, I wanted to find out about girls and find out quickly. When I would see a girl for a few weeks and I didn’t want to see her again I tried all ways to get out of the relationship without breaking up with her. I would try and be a monster of a boyfriend, moody, grumpy and put her down. This seemed to have an opposite effect to the desired one. I would pretend I liked other girls and made a point of making her jealous. I did everything but tell the girl I didn’t want to go out with her.
I always felt out of sync when I was like this with a girl so one day after seeing a lovely girl for about 5 weeks I decided to tell her I didn’t want to see her anymore as I didn’t really fancy her I just thought she was really nice. I prepared myself to tell her the truth and mustered up all my courage, as I was big headed enough to think she might want to kill herself or something. I told the girl exactly how I felt and her reaction amazed me. She kissed me on the cheek and thanked me for telling the truth.
This empowered me and changed my life. I tried honesty with everything,
‘Yes mum, it was me who broke the plates and not my little sister’
‘I hate it when you shout all the time and treat us like shit, well no more’
‘You’re not really a good friend, you backstab, treat women like shit, you’re pigheaded etc, I no longer wish to hang around with you’
‘I am a bit of a prick sometimes and I’m sorry’
‘I love chick flicks’
Honesty truly empowered me and gave me the courage to stand up for myself in life whereas the first 18 or so years of my life were spent hiding from the truth in every area of my life.
The truth really sets your mind free. When we tell lies or are dishonest with anything our mind is in a state of turmoil. We might go over and over a situation in our heads saying’ I wish I had told him this’ I wish I had stood up and really told them how I feel’.
Hold your hands up
It’s not easy being truthful or standing up to the plate to be counted. My wife and I always teach our children to take it on the chin if they have done something wrong, they will get punished less for standing up and admitting to something than if they tell a lie about something and don’t own up.
Whenever I have done something at work either by mistake or deliberately I always, always hold my hands up and say ‘that was me’. However now I have the reputation of being honest and trustworthy and I feel okay within myself, I have no state of inner turmoil to contend with.
My wife knows me to be ‘the most truthful person she knows’. If she tries on something and says those words ‘Does my bum look big in this’ I will always tell the truth. My wife knows I will never lie to her.
I am not advocating going around and blurting out the truth all the time. I don’t want you going around your workplace saying ‘you’re a dick, you’re an idiot, you’re a slapper, and you’re worse than useless’. However what I do practice is these three things:
• Always be honest with yourself. If you are being an idiot, admit it and hold up your hands and apologise. If you’re wrong about something admit it and apologise.
• Wait until you’re invited to tell the truth about someone to their face. Don’t go around blurting out how you really feel about people, however make it known that if someone asks you a personal question asking for the truth make sure they know that you will be really honest with them.
• If somebody wrongs you in any way speak to the person directly involved and don’t speak about that person behind their back.
I live my life honestly and I have become known for being an honest person, sometimes to my own detriment, but I would rather be honest and happy than anything else.
When you are being honest make sure it’s in a nice way and make sure there’s a disclaimer in there the first few times you practice honesty like ‘Do you really want me to tell the truth or do you want me to tell you what you want to hear?’, once you have become known for being honest you won’t need to say this.
Practicing honesty is the single most liberating thing you can do for yourself and will change your life in ways you never thought possible.
Do try this at home
Try this exercise for the next few weeks.
For the first three days recognise the opportunities you had to tell be honest about something. Don’t do anything about it just recognise the opportunities e.g. your boss is saying something you disagree with and they give you an opportunity to voice your opinion, you told a friend you were feeling ill and didn’t want to go out, simple things like that. Just recognise all the opportunities.
For the next three days recognise the opportunities again but this time be honest on one occasion, pick the easiest occasion to be truthful in.
For the next three days recognise the opportunities again and be honest on three occasions.
For the rest of your life recognise the opportunities and be honest.
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