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Finding Your Secret Inside!

Self-Honesty

A Main Key to Unlocking Your Potential

 

To know where you are going, you need to know where you are first.

What is Self-Honesty?  Let’s start by looking at the definition of “Honesty”, coupled with the prefix “Self”.  Webster defines it as: “Honorable in principles, intentions, and actions (about yourself); Sincere and frank (about yourself); genuine or unadulterated (about yourself)

Almost all of us want to be honest with ourselves.  That doesn’t mean we are. One of the biggest reasons is denial. It is often painful to look at ourselves honestly.  We subconsciously, enable our brain to fool ourselves with rationalizations.  We actually begin to believe our “stories”.  But if we check in with ourselves, we know deep in our heart, what we are denying, that is again, if we are willing to look.  But denial can be so deceiving. It becomes very difficult to recognize.

The problem with denial, is that we can never truly escape our truth.  It is not that we lie to ourselves as much as we “color”, or sweep under the rug, that which is uncomfortable, or painful.  It is clearly uncomfortable to look into the deepest recesses of our minds and hearts to fully see our truth.

Do you remember when someone was: risking, bold, and vulnerable when they spoke their truth.  It can often sound like an admission of a wrong doing.  When we hear the truth, it moves not only us, but everyone in the room.  It takes the meeting to a higher level.  It opens up others to be truthful.

Let’s look at a common example of denial; Fear.  We are all fearful, some more than others.  But we all experience fear.  Our society leads us to believe that we should not be fearful.  “Cowboy up!  “Get back in the saddle.” “Suck it up!”  “Big boys don’t cry!” In other words, be more like John Wayne, or Jane Wayne.

We feel a CEO or Vice President, should not reveal their fear, that in fact, they should deny its existence, so as not to slip and let fear be revealed to others.  There is no room for fear with your direct reports, your peers, and certainly not with the Board of Directors.  We are strong for our children, our wives or husbands, and our neighbors and close friends. So it becomes habitual to deny fear exists.  The absence of fear is stupidity, but moving forward despite our fear, is courage.  But how do we muster this courage? Here are the steps:

  1. We are become aware and insightful enough about ourselves that we recognize fears’ presence.
  2. We are courageous enough to look into it deeper, and see it for what it is, embrace it for what it is, and seek the facts to see if it is well founded, or just a story we have created, called “future tripping”.
  3. We talk to a clergyman, a close friend, a counselor, or a coach. We are honest with them about our fears.  Choose this person carefully.  Make sure they have a pure agenda, which is your best wellbeing.
  4. We pray, if that is something in your toolbox, and give our fears up to God.  Because fear is the opposite of faith.  He can and will take our burden.
  5. We journal.  Getting our fears out of our head, and down onto paper in black and white is a release of its power.  Here is a misconception which is not true; We think that journaling will make our fear stronger.  Quite the opposite is actually true.  By recognizing our fear, naming it, and its source, then writing it down then the “skeletons out of the closet.”  We get to see our fear in an objective light.  It now seems manageable.  We can now, and only now, create a plan of action to overcome our fear.

Facing our fears requires courage.  But the question we get to ask ourselves, is: “What is the end result in our emotions and life if we run from our fears?”  Will we have to face them someday anyway?  Maybe when it’s too late to act?  Do we often say things like: “I was afraid of that?”

Self-Honesty is the ultimate adventure into us.  It is the best way to get to know who you really are, and how you think.  It helps us see “what is driving our show”.  We gain insight and self-understanding.  When we face our fears, we finally get to choose, rather than operate on auto-pilot.  The courage to face, and live with our fears, brings about perseverance, which brings about character. Webster defines character as: “the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing; moral quality or integrity.”

The final questions are these: How do you want to live your life?  How much do you want to ‘mine’ your potential?  How much do you want to grow?  How big a slice of life do you want to take?  Self-honesty moves your heart to grow.  It also moves the hearts of others around you, and moves the team to a higher level.  You are human.  It’s good to allow others to see you as human, so they can be also.

If you want intimacy, then the fuel is self-honesty, and honesty with others.  When we drop our “masks”, and pretenses, we become REAL to others.  This is a magnet.  It makes others want to listen and trust you.

I wish you the best on your journey.

 

Copyright ©2013 Dan Foxx, Unlock Your Leadership

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