Before you start reading this article, I invite you to think about honesty. Honesty in relationship with other souls but mostly in relationship with YOURSELF.
We often think about honesty as something we claim from those around us, but we brutally fail at being honest with ourselves, thus towards others. All day long, we lie to ourselves about all sorts of things. I can’t do this, and I can’t change, I can’t stop. “I have no choice.” “I’m ok” when in fact, you are exhausted. “I’m fine” when you are very sad.
Don’t get me wrong. We all do it, we all have moments in our lives when we lie to ourselves to feel a little bit better. Sometimes it helps to cope with stress and pressure. The problem arises when we persist so long that we forget it was intended for a short period. When we always lie to ourselves, we only create frustration and alienation. Ignoring our traumas, pretending our soul wounds are not there, it’s the highest form of lying to ourselves.
We live in a society in which we were not only taught but also rewarded for lying to ourselves. Things work exponentially. The deeper the lie, the bigger the suffering we have to endure until we decide to explore it.
So What is Honesty
Think about honesty in a relationship with yourself. You being the one who speaks and also the one who listens.
How does it feel to be loyal, fair, and sincere to yourself? What does that mean? Do you think it can be respecting the promises you’ve made to yourself? Maybe accepting your limitations? Or perhaps learning to say no?
I think this aspect is different for everyone. I encourage you to look at your actions and see what drives you mad? Which actions of others are pushing your buttons? Ignoring you, lying to you, or deceiving you, stealing from you? After naming that one thing, shift your perspective inwards. Search inside of you until you find a situation in which you did the same thing to yourself. It usually takes just a few moments until recalling a clear memory about yourself in the same situation.
For me working with myself in this matter meant, among many things, learning to say NO and to verbally admit in a conversation that I was wrong when I was wrong.
Learning to Say No
It took me years to have the courage to say no when I didn’t want or didn’t like to do something, even though in the eyes of my dad, I was rebelling. As you know, relationships with family members take tremendous effort and dedication. Even if we want it or not, they shaped us, and their opinions matter to us. I always did my best to please everyone with the expenses of my true desires and my soul health.
I went through countless situations doing what I thought was best, and mostly all the time, I ended up suffering because my actions were seen exactly the opposite. So, at one point, I decided to pay more attention to what I felt than to what I should do. I decided to say no whenever I didn’t want to go somewhere or do a certain thing.
In this way, I started a long process of not postponing or ignoring my needs and desires. I started being more sincere and open with myself and my intentions.
Why is so Important Being Honest With Yourself
Because it will make you trust yourself, it will awaken in you the power of being the owner of your life. You will no longer need the approval of others, and will no longer be a victim of your limitation because you will know your limitations and you will know how to address them.
Being honest with yourself opens the door to knowing yourself truly and deeply, and when a person starts exploring oneself, then nothing in the world can stop it.
When you are not honest with yourself, you are deceiving others too, and they can sense it even though they don’t realise it consciously. Lack of sincerity towards yourself is also an invitation for those around you not to be honest with you, besides the fact that it makes you live in a loop of suffering, self-doubt, and victimisation. Now you can imagine where this is going. You lie to yourself that you are happy in an abusive relationship, that you don’t deserve better, and your partner lies to you that he will change. Still, he keeps repeating the same paterns over and over again without any change.
I said change, yes. I think we all heard this ”I’m not changing, if he/she loves me he/she will love me like this”. For those who believe in this affirmation, I say to you that you do change. You are changing right now when you are reading these lines. Life is a constant transformation. You either choose to take control of your behaviour, or you choose to let others shape you and reinforce your limiting believes. Not choosing is still a choice.
When we enter a relationship, we are in a certain way. After a few weeks, we are changed by the experiences we lived with that person. A relationship implies constant work from both parties involved. It is like tunning a violin and a piano in order to create a composition.
Besides this, not being honest with yourself is making a lot of mess in the other person too. Not admitting to yourself is also denying the truth that the other person senses, and this will only plant doubt and mistrust.
Equally, a person that workes with oneself reaches a point where confidence in one’s senses is far greater than the power of concealment of the other. Such a person discovered the power of truth and honesty and can then guide the other through the realms of doubtfulness.
What Does it Mean To Be Honest with Yourself?
The starting point is in your mind. We all have that chatting in our heads that is playing all day long. The endless discussions we have with ourselves all the time, when we eat, drive a car, take a walk, and even when we are in a conversation with someone.
Being honest with yourself implies starting to be aware of your thoughts, being an Observant. When you begin this process of observing yourself, you will begin to see clearly when and what you are saying. You will see if your feelings are in contradiction with what you think. You can then start taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions, recognise the voice of your soul, and choose consciously how to continue.
Being honest with yourself means knowing yourself, and this takes time and practice. The process involves seeing your good and bad parts, accepting them, and working with them regularly. Being true to yourself means celebrating your positive side and gently embracing your negative side so they can embrace each other and shape you into a harmonious and balanced human being.
How To Be Honest With Yourself
Observe how your mind works, what is your internal speach. What are your reactions in different situations? Observe how your body reacts when you say something that you don’t believe. Look at your gestures, what is the position of your hands? Are they closed or opened? Is your body saying the same thing as your mouth? One of the reasons we spot a person that is not saying what it truly means is because the body gives it away.
Albert Mehrabian, in his book Silent Messages, says that almost 55% of the meaning in verbal communication is understood through body language.
How do you feel after saying something you didn’t want to but it slipt out? If you are wrong in a matter, do you admit it or will you go on an on with your point of view? What do you do if you decided to have a day to relax and recharge and your boss says that tomorrow you must go to a meeting?
How do you feel when you ask your partner, are you ok? Is something bothering you? and they say, “No, I’m fine, everything is fine,” but the tone he or she uses gives them away? Are you using expressions like you always… or you never…? Can you hear feedback without reacting?
Analyse, analyse, analyse every thought, action, and reaction.
Question yourself, give yourself the time to figure out what you feel and what you want. Being spontaneous in this kind of situation is very difficult in the beginning because we don’t have the practice of consciously hearing and understanding ourselves. Our programs have different settings that need to be updated to our new selves. The ones that we are in the present, not the ones that we were many years ago when we first learned how to cope with situations.
Ask yourself if you like being a lawyer, smoking, singing, running, eating fish, you name it. Discover what you like or dislike in your life and act accordingly.
Ask yourself, “Do I really want to be treated like this? Do I mean what I said in that conversation? Do I really want to be a career person?”
Admit & Communicate
Admitting you were wrong in a situation after leading an army of arguments that convinced the audience about your point of view, it’s an act of character and courage. He who is doing this knows what I’m talking about.
Some strengths that I have are my communication abilities. Being able to sustain my point of view, being spontaneous, and thinking analytically helped me win many conversations. In my life, I had situations in which I distorted the conversation, so I didn’t have to admit that I was wrong in the first place.
I started correcting this behaviour some years ago, but I managed to bring it to a whole new level in my relationship with Christian. I was very determined to break my patterns, so I acted entirely different from the start. Instead of hiding my feelings, I began saying what I felt and thought. Even if at the beginning, it was hard for both of us. My way of expressing my feelings was brutal, sometimes cold or too emotional, and it needed a lot of improvements.
I began admitting inside my mind when I was wrong and afterwords always admitting to Christian, too, even if the moment had passed. I stopped saying ”you always” or ”you never” and instead refer to the precise situation we were in at that time. It was hard to surpass beside my pride and be sincere with myself and Christian. But after a while, it became the only way.
When you start a process like this, you learn a new way of expressing your feelings and also you respect the feelings of the person in front of you. It is challenging for both parties. But this opens slowly and surely new paths of communication. It creates a safe environment in which the other also feels safe to do the same.
Repetition is the mother of learning. Like any other thing that you learn, honesty needs time and practice to be imprinted in your thoughts and actions.
Give yourself all the time you need. You will have moments when you will immediately see yourself, and you will manage to be sincere with yourself and others. On the contrary, you will also be going to experience moments when the old patterns will run over you and squeeze out of you a reaction or a word you didn’t want to use.
In each case, surround yourself with compassion and patience. You are on the right path, now you see yourself.
Honesty is your key to everything you want in life and is a process that starts only from and with you. Other people and the situations you encounter in your life are only moments in which you practice honesty.
One thing is sure if you want to live a meaningful life, with confidence, healthy relationships, and peace inside, it’s time, to be honest with yourself. You can lie to yourself and others, but deep inside, you will always know, and this will never leave you alone.
Don’t settle with an ok life. Go deeper and explore yourself in depth. Your kids and future generations need this. This is the reason you came into this life to know who you really are.
Remember to love yourself,