Today’s Thought: Honesty has a power few people can handle.
Honesty is powerful – it should be. It has the power to bring calm and order; the power to bring change and improvement and it, sadly, can have the power to bring hurt and tears. But, maybe that’s because sometimes we’re not being honest, we’re just moaning and we are failing to be honest to ourselves.
Often people whine behind other people’s backs – they think they aren’t committed enough, they aren’t working hard enough or they’re making the wrong decision about something. Too often, though, we never say what we’re thinking to other people. We tell ourselves that it’s because we don’t want to upset them, but is it really because what we’re complaining about is more to do with us than them?
I have regularly heard others complaining about someone else’s manner, their quality of work or their choice of hair colour. They speak as though the impact on them is catastrophic – they talk of unfairness; inappropriateness or make just plain unkind observations. I have been part of such conversations in the past, but now I analyse them; I consider whether what I am actually saying is: ‘I think I’m not good enough, nice enough, attractive enough, efficient enough; I’m the problem really and they’re just highlighting inadequacies I think I might have’.
Every day I set myself the positive intentions to: be kind in my words about others; have integrity in my actions and pay attention to detail. It brings me a sense of calm that whatever happens, I am doing my best to bring about positive change and that no one can question my actions or words.
The next time you find yourself in one of those negative conversations, just stop and think: If I have time to moan about it, I have time to do something positive to change it; is this about them or me? Seize the courage to speak to someone who might be behaving or working in a way that brings about less than the desired outcomes – don’t just leave it to your superiors, take control yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to stomp up to them and tell them all the terrible things you’ve ever thought of them and you think they should be fired, it just means you need to say ‘I need to make you aware that….’ Even if they react badly, at least you had the courage to tell them kindly and honestly that what they were doing wasn’t necessarily right or effective. You can feel proud of taking positive action and, believe me, you will sleep better at night having done so. You will stop doubting yourself and your abilities, because you will know you have done the right thing – that’s what most of us want to know, that we are doing the right thing. Also, you never know – they might just thank you – they are likely to be as insecure as you are!
Pour honesty on the fire of negativity; bring integrity to the battle of improvement and find that your anxiety will lessen, because you no longer need to worry that anyone will find out what you have said and call you out on it! You will then have harnessed the power of honesty – you can be one of those ‘few people’. Wouldn’t it be great if more people could handle the power of honesty – we would all be happier.