How can you be more honest with yourself?
We live a lie when we misrepresent the reality of our experience or the truth of our being.
Some examples of living a lie are:
- I present myself as more than I am or less than I am
- When I say I am angry, when the truth is I am afraid
- When I deny or conceal my excitement or joy
- When I pretend a blindness that denies my awareness
- When I laugh when I need to cry
- When I pretend that I have values I do not feel
- When I am kind to everyone except myself or those I love
- When I fake beliefs to win acceptance
- When I allow my silence to imply agreement with convictions I do not share.
- There are many more examples and I think you get it
So A Key To Living Authentically Is To Be Living Our Own Personal Truth
If you are serious about improving yourself as a person, if you’re serious about developing yourself, then honesty is an important part of the journey. Honesty is a key aspect of developing because if you aren’t being honest with yourself, how on earth do you plan to grow?
When we are not sure about who we are, not listening to our inner self, our intuition, when we are not loving and respecting ourselves, we try to find out what we should say or how we should act putting other people’s opinions over our own. But an authentic person does not waste their energy in protecting their shaky ego.
When we choose dishonesty and delusion, we are choosing to see only what we want to. That might not sound so bad, but it means that you are ignoring a whole lot that you would prefer to avoid. It’s those things that matter the most. You’re securing short-term acceptance in exchange for long-term happiness.
Being more honest with yourself might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a necessary part of furthering yourself. How can you be more honest with yourself?
Acknowledge The Things You Consider Bad Or Good
The thing we are guiltiest of is embracing all of the good things about life, while completely ignoring the bad. It’s a bit like social media. We watch these timelines of pure joy and bliss. That isn’t real. People only share the best bits, it’s a slideshow of someone’s life and doesn’t paint a true picture of the hardships they might face.
We do this, too, whether it’s on social media or in our own heads. It’s just easier to ignore the things we consider bad, rather than deal with them head-on. Ignoring problems won’t solve anything, if anything, it will make things worse for you in the long run. Be honest with yourself about everything you consider good and bad in your life, that balanced view will keep you growing. You will know what to work on.
Take Time For Self-Reflection
At the end of each day, take a few minutes to think about how it went. Ask yourself how you did, if there’s anything you did well give yourself credit and celebrate it or are there things you could have done better and what would you do differently if something like that happens again. It is important that you be honest with yourself and be accepting and looking for the growth. Being overly critical or judgmental defeats the purpose. Be loving and kind to yourself while you are learning and growing.
This exercise isn’t about damaging your self-esteem, rather, it’s about reflecting on the day in order to make tomorrow a better one. Reflection helps you learn about yourself and it can improve your ability to solve problems, too. When you allow yourself the opportunity to reflect and analyze the day, you’re going to get a better picture of what it takes to improve.
We All Make Mistakes – Just Admit It
Every single one of us, so why don’t you just admit it? It is one of the most difficult aspects of being honest with yourself. It’s easy to slip into ego protection mode and find an excuse or someone else to blame for a mistake. That’s not going to help you build a real sense of self-esteem, though. True self-esteem, true confidence lies in being courageous enough to own up to mistakes. When you can stand up and own shortcomings you can respect yourself, learn and grow.
Tune Into Your Feelings
When people say they’re caught up in their feelings it’s usually used in a negative connotation. Yet, your emotions have an important role to play in how you understand and interact with the world. Emotions aren’t the reality, but they are very revealing.
When you dig deep to figure out what your feeling and what is going on internally to generating that feeling you begin to really get to know yourself. When you truly feel a certain way, you’re learning about the things that tend to make you feel that way. More importantly, you’re learning how to manage and respond appropriately. This is a level of honesty that your stress levels (and social circle) will appreciate.
Avoid Getting Caught In Analysis Paralysis
As we noted above, it’s important to take time for reflection and to analyze the day. However, it’s equally as important that you avoid over-analyze. It’s easy to get carried away. You don’t need to rationalize everything or intellectualize about it.
You simply need to be matter of fact. There’s no need to create an elaborate story about why bad things happen to you. You need only to note how it is right now and move forward. You can’t understand everything that’s going on in the world, and you don’t need to. You just have to be honest with yourself, be realistic, be practical and sensible.
If something bad happens or something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to, ask yourself these questions:
- What can I learn from this?
- What would I do differently if this were to happen again?
- What is one positive thing I could take away from this?
- How could I use this learning in other places in my life?
Once you have answered them then let the rest go. You have gotten what you need from that situation. Anything else is over analyzing usually leading to going into a negative rabbit hole. Be compassionate and kind to yourself as you are learning to be more authentic and honest with yourself.
Authenticity is a sensitizing and blessed power because when you are comfortable with being yourself, you are also at home in the universe. The power to be ourself is one of the greatest powers in the world. Striving for authenticity is not necessarily easy. It is a journey, a day to day, moment to moment choice, a becoming rather than an ending. Authenticity makes each person’s life count by restoring the POWER to the individual. To be oneself is a natural human and universal power, which brings with it a cornucopia of blessings. The power and importance of self-love because a person who respects and values themselves is also going to do the same for others. Being comfortable in your own skin allows you to be comfortable in the world.
– Couples Therapy, Relationship and Marriage Counselling Victoria BC, Nadine Hanchar
Nadine Hanchar helps individuals and businesses build better relationships, discover new choices, new perspectives, and create success. Nadine is a counsellor, consultant, speaker, and trainer with over 35 years’ experience helping others professionally. She is a bestselling author and specializes in working with trauma, abuse, relationship issues, and communication. Learn more at ProgressivePlus.com and connect with Nadine on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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