Being You.

Today’s Thought: Have the courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.

It really does take courage to be who you really are. We spend so much of our lives living up to other people’s expectations of us. How often do we really do or say the things that we really want to. How often do we reveal who we really are?

Living up to the expectations of others creates so much anxiety; so much fear of failure and feelings of inadequacy, yet we do it without thinking most of the time.

Lately I have been questioning whether I have been making myself happy or making other people happy. I am starting to see what some of the things I have achieved in my life have been less about what makes me content and fulfilled and more about wanting to gain approval from someone else so that I feel accepted.

Developing the courage to truly be myself needs to be achieved in small steps. I need to know what really does make me feel fulfilled; how I can accept myself rather than rely on the acceptance of others; believe that I am good enough just the way I am. I am just at the start of my journey and this level of self honesty is frightening and exhilarating all at once. I feel on the edge of a new beginning – a chance to be free.

Honesty is a liberator!

Tackle Niggles With Honesty

Today’s Thought: What you deny or ignore, you delay. What accept and face, you conquer.

Over the last two weeks, people around me have been struggling. I have been irritated by their apparent lack of resilience and by people telling me what they think is wrong.

I was wrong; I should have paid attention sooner.

Sat here, trying to switch off for the weekend, I find I cannot. It’s because I haven’t faced the truth – the truth that I have missed some important signals; haven’t been available enough or proactive enough and that actually, I might be too reliant on others to fix things.

I could spend the weekend worrying and feeling guilty; I will probably spend some of the weekend doing those things. What I MUST do, however, is acknowledge the mistake; make a manageable plan to address it and move forward. Trying to rewind the past won’t help; trying to write a better future will.

Without honesty, this feeling of anxiety would have niggled non-stop. If I hadn’t faced my part in making things difficult, then I would not be in a position to improve them. It does feel uncomfortable to admit my behaviour to myself, but it’s also empowering – I can change it now. I can reset my intentions and try again!

Receiving Honesty

Today’s Thought: If it is not right, do not do it. If it is not true, do not say it.

I sometimes struggle with when to draw the line with my honesty quest. If someone asks me a question, I automatically want to give the answer. The problem is there are times when it isn’t appropriate for them to know the answer.

At other times, I share too much because I am looking for a bond; something that makes me feel connected to those around me.

This is a problem – it leads to anxiety. What if I have said too much; what if they tell someone else what I’ve said? What if I get into trouble?

It is time to add something else to my honesty quest – I must add a thicker layer of integrity. It’s no good being honest in my words, if my actions are duplicitous. It’s no good building trust if what I do undermines it.

Truthful words + pure actions = calm and happiness.

An Honest Transformation

Today’s Thought: Honesty saves everyone’s time.

Just think how much time we would save if we politely asked for what we wanted or told people the things that would help them most! Instead, however, we tell ourselves it’s rude to ask for what we want and worry that we will cause upset to people if we tell them the truth about an area of their life that might need work.

It is so ingrained within some of us to side step facts or avoid confrontation that we can spend weeks worrying, whining and becoming increasingly irritated. Maybe we should think about how unkind we are being to both ourselves and the other person we are withholding the truth from.

At the moment, I am trying to grow my courage in terms of saying what needs to be said. It’s essential to do this if I am going to be able to help people and do what is in their best interests. It is so hard, though, because of the varying reactions I can encounter. I am scared of confrontation; scared of being shouted at and scared of falling apart in front of others.

All of this baggage, that probably doesn’t originate with me, but with others in my family, can be such a blocker to success at times. Honesty is helping in the battle. This is because as long as I am being truthful, I can take manage any outcome. With honesty, the anxiety lessens because even if the other person is angry, they cannot dispute what I have said. If the intentions within my heart are good, even if the other person becomes upset, I know that they will be able to move on in the right direction.

Honesty saves time; lessens the length of distress and allows the brightness to return sooner. We just need to make it a habit.

A Win For Honesty!

Today’s Thought: Honesty is the foundation of trust; honest hearts produce honest actions; honesty is the highest forms of intimacy; honesty is the best policy at all times.

Having decided to enter my meeting prepared to tell the truth, I felt confident. I shared the truth and waited…..and the sky did not fall in! What followed was a discussion, sharing of guidance and expertise and my confidence was re-built.

Honesty = confidence and calmness.

I will sleep tonight!

We should really encourage this across our society. If we didn’t make everything so high stakes and generate fear around the roles we take on in life, people would find honesty much easier. All high stakes creates is high threat. High threat breeds fear and fear feeds dishonesty. If we all empowered everyone to be honest and that whatever that honesty was, we would build a plan around it, then everyone would act with honour, confident that they would be safe. Success would be greater, because no one would be trying to cover up the truth; success is only possible with truth!

If each one of us showed gratitude for someone else’s honesty, then life and the challenges it throws at us would be less terrifying; we would receive more honesty in return. Watch out for the truth tomorrow and show your appreciation – let’s build a platform for honesty to be the star of the show!

Honesty Vs Anxiety

Today’s Thought: Nothing makes you more vulnerable that your refusal to be honest with yourself about what you want.

I have a meeting tomorrow and I want it to go well. There are facts that mean it might not go well. I am full of anxiety!

I have thought through my options:

  1. Fib about the facts or twist them so they say what I want. Result: Anxiety!
  2. Play blind optimism – I am sure that what I am predicting will happen, despite what any of the factual evidence says! Result: Anxiety!
  3. Be honest. Tell them the facts, tell what what we hope will happen, but also what will happen if we cannot achieve what we hope. Result: Less anxious!

I am sure it seems obvious to those more confident in their own abilities, but to those of us who spend most of our lives feeling like impostors, being honest can make us feel so vulnerable. It is also worth noting, however, that being dishonest causes huge anxiety, so one must decide what is worse – anxiety or vulnerability.

Tomorrow, I am going to make myself vulnerable – oddly enough I feel powerful because of this!

Using Honesty To Quell The Two-Faced.

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.