Honest Reflection

Today’s Thought: Speak with honesty, think with sincerity, act with integrity.

A year ago I started this blog in order to give myself the kick in the pants I needed to live a more honest life. I was sick of digging myself into various holes by telling different people different things to keep them all happy. I was tying myself in knots and enduring crippling anxiety as a result.

So what, if anything, has changed? Has being more honest been the game changer I thought it would be?

In many ways, yes. I am now habitually more honest – I am not chasing my tail trying to remember what I said to one person compared to another any longer. I know that the words that come out of my mouth on the whole are the truth. There are just a few areas of my life where my honesty requires more clarity – some people still scare me, so I veil the truths I tell them with prettier shrouds than I ought to. For most of the year, I felt more happy with myself, my behaviour and my actions – I kept track of them through my journals and set positive intentions for every day and evaluated my success towards them each evening. It has felt good. I have felt as though I have been good.

More recently, however, I have found old habits creeping back in. It has not felt good. I have not felt as though I have been good. This shows me that I have far more work to do – it’s not as simple as just endeavouring to tell the truth. Being honest requires me to search deep within myself, going into the fear to find out why I can be honest with one person and less so with another. Who do these people remind me of? What past traumas are lurking, waiting to be resolved so that truth can triumph? What do I truly want to do with my life, so I can be honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses rather than trying to fit my square peg self into the round hole of my current job?

As I enter 2020, I know I must continue to learn about myself; learn about how to put shields of protection around myself so that I can respond without fear of the reaction of others; find my true calling so that I can live an honest life rather than a life that others think I should lead. I need to find the courage to tell those I fear the wrath of; the disapproval of and the disappointment of what it is I really think and feel. In 2020, I want honesty to fill my heart, my mind and my soul, so that I can bring love to every moment of my life and to every moment of the lives of those I care about.

This past year has been rich in self development and this blog has been part of it. I am grateful for every person who has read my ramblings and has found it in their hearts to let me know they appreciated it. I never expected anyone to read about my struggle but because you have, I feel a sense of duty to continue my self improvement work; to continue to aim for true honesty, so that I can show you all that change is truly possible and that happiness can really be found in yourself.

I wish you all a happy new year; whatever your truth is, I wish for you to find it and work with it or through it to locate your own peace.

Honestly Ashamed

Today’s Thought: People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear and ignorance.

When I set up this blog last year, my aim was to be more honest. Over the past few months, I have lost sight of that goal and have fallen into habits that I had previously broken. I am ashamed to say I have dropped back into the habit of bitching once more. I really should know better as it makes me miserable!

Bitching feeds negativity and I have certainly been feeling negative! Even worse, my negativity is fuelling the general negativity amongst my team – a team that up until recently had been largely positive. I could ruminate on the damage I have done – I really could dwell and languish in the muddy puddle of my shame. Or I could set about putting it right.

I must tell my fellow bitch that our behaviour must stop. It’s not kind, it’s not professional and it isn’t helping us achieve our goals. Worse than that, it’s creating a mist of poison throughout our organisation and it won’t be long before people realise that we are the ones releasing it into the atmosphere.

Dr Steve Maraboli says: Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.

It might not be the new year just yet, but it is certainly time to hit the reset button on my honesty bid and set the intention to be far more kind and positive with the words that come out of my mouth. I must remember that great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people!

Honestly Doubting Everything

Today’s Thought: Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

No matter what I do; no matter what anyone says at the moment, I just can’t get rid of the crippling self doubt that follows me around at the moment. It lurks just behind my ear, waiting to whisper corrosive words over my ideas or decisions. It’s a poison that paralyses my whole body and fills me with dread at the thought of having to face it all again next week.

The thing is, though, I have to face it. I know I am in the wrong role, but until I find the right one for me, I have to continue. I want to carry on; I want to find tiny aspects of myself to work on and improve so that when I find what I am looking for, the self doubt is gone.

Struggle teaches you a lesson. Lessons make you wiser. Wisdom gives you strength. Strength turns into self-belief. Self belief shows you anything is possible.

This week I am going to work on being honest with myself and others; I am going to look for the lesson and what I can learn, then use that knowledge to improve my responses. I know I am responsible for increasing my self-belief – if I don’t, I will continue to feel the frustration that I rely on others too much and that their abilities are greater than mine. I will continue to feel a fraud and impostor in my role and my anxiety will grow stronger.

If you feel this disabling self-doubt, join me in trying an affirmation to alter your mind-set. I am going to try: ‘I believe in my skills and abilities.’ Every time I start to crumble in on myself, I am going to aim to repeat that phrase. Let’s build self-belief, not self-doubt.

Honestly Found Wanting

Today’s Thought: Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.

For the past five years, I have been fighting to prove myself in a job I am starting to think isn’t right for me. I have been through denial: ‘I am absolutely right for this; I will show them all!’; I have been through delusion: ‘Things seem to be going well, maybe I am good at this after all.’ when actually, it’s been going well because other people have been doing their jobs well and right now, I think I am entering a period of acceptance: ‘I’m a good person, but maybe this role is just not the one for me.’

I don’t like this feeling; I am blue. However, I have also run out of fight – it is no longer within me to prove myself. I have no idea what I am going to do – I’m not even sure what I am capable of doing any more as my skill set feels quite narrow and my financial responsibilities are not going to disappear any time soon. I know that I must find some way to be happy, though. This job is not the way; being so hell bent on proving myself is not the way. Accepting who I am, embracing it and finding the role that fits me is the way.

In the words of Brene Brown, I need to: ‘Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and be who you are.’

Be honest with yourself – are you trying to be someone you aren’t rather than embracing who you are? For true happiness, let’s start looking for ways to celebrate the person we are. Carl Jung said, ‘we cannot change anything unless we accept it’. Maybe what we need to accept is that we are trying to be someone we aren’t – let’s change that and see what happens!

Honestly Searching For One’s Self.

Today’s Thought: How can you stand out if you are trying so hard to fit it?

I am reading Brene Brown’s ‘Dare To Lead’ right now. I am trying to improve my leadership skills as I find it difficult to locate the courage I need to challenge my team when things aren’t quite right. I visited Brene’s website, http://www.brenebrown.com and found this beautiful quote that I intend to use as my foundation for the next week. I thought I would share it for all of you who, like me, feel as though you are a square peg in a round hole!

Be here.

Be you.

Belong.

Let’s get on with standing out and sparkling, not fitting in and floundering!

Responsible For Honesty

Today’s Thought: You are only responsible for being honest, not for someone’s else’s reaction to your honesty.

I find this difficult – I hate upsetting people and feeling responsible for their anger or distress. I need to become more resilient, though, if I am to hold people to account.

This quotation will be my mantra over the next few weeks. I will still aim to be kind – I have no wish to strip people of their dignity or to make them feel like muppets, but I am going to aim to tell people the professional truths that will help them to improve and will ensure I am holding them, and myself, to account.

Aims for the next week:

Be honest and kind in my words.

Have integrity and best practice in my actions.

Stay true to the vision and pay attention to detail.

What are your positive intentions for each day? Are you living your values?

Honestly Listen.

Today’s Thought: When you’ve spent your whole life listening to others, it takes courage to pay attention to the sound of your own voice.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to listen to others – I mean, if they are genuinely trying to help you then by all means listen! It’s when they are saying things that feed the fears inside of you that you need to stop and truth check.

When that chime of anxiety rings within, ask yourself, ‘where is the evidence that what they are saying is true?’ An opinion or a feeling is not evidence. Evidence is concrete facts that demonstrate truth. For example this week I was told I don’t hold people on my team to account enough. I was disappointed to hear this, but reflected on the evidence that led them to say this, researched what holding people to account should look like and found their assessment to be true. I don’t always follow through on my expectations of others – this means I am not always effective at holding people to account, therefore it is worth me making adjustments to improve this. I am still disappointed, because I want to be the best at my job, but the flaw is fixable so all is not lost!

If there is truth, then look at what you can do to change it (if it is something that needs to be changed and is holding you back).

If there is only opinion, then note the person’s opinion and then let it go. You are not responsible for their feelings (unless you have been intentionally rude or unkind)!

Create a positive voice, telling yourself what you are or wish to be: I am kind; I am considerate; I persevere; I am creative; I work hard and try my best; I encourage others. Tell yourself what you are every day. You will have evidence of this because of the actions and words you use each day. The more you tell yourself, the more your self-belief will build.

Make sure your own voice is louder that everyone else’s; be your own champion and you will win!