Honesty Versus Fear.

Today’s Thought: With integrity you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.

This thought makes so much sense – it really does. However, a decades long struggle between honesty, integrity and fear still rages on. The immense effort it can take to pour water on the fire of fear in order to do the right thing can sometimes be exhausting. Sometimes the power of the fear is so strong that you don’t even realise it has won until the struggle is over and you are sat among the debris, realising that there is still a mess to tidy up because you made the wrong decision for the wrong reasons.

Over this past week, I have become more and more aware of the fear creeping back into my decision making. I hate it! I fear the fear! I feel sick at the sensation of the fear triumphing over rational thought; I live in terror of the fear masquerading as rational thought – in short, fear sucks!

I suppose I should be comforted, however, at the fact I know the fear is there. It’s shadowy tentacles lurk within me, still and silent, waiting for the perfect moment to either leap out and pounce on me or to insidiously wrap its poisonous limbs around my mind, injecting me with anxiety. I suppose I should be proud of my awareness of the fear; confident that I can recognise when it is at work and controlling my actions and thoughts. The problem is that I sometimes recognise it too late; after the decision is made and the deed is done!

I am getting better, though. I can recognise the unsettling sensation sooner; I am questioning my decisions faster and when I realise I have let fear win again, I am forgiving myself more quickly.

From a shaky start to the week where I could feel the fear driving my every move; feeding a migraine that didn’t dissipate until I had given freedom to the honesty, I ended the week having given voice to the honesty and having started to pack the fear away in its lair once again.

On my journey to a calm and honest life, I have to accept there will be times when I regress. Fear is a brawny beast so it makes sense that it is a fractious and obstreperous opponent. I must remain undaunted in my hunt for peace through honesty. Each day is a new opportunity to win the fight and I must accept that the fight will begin afresh each day. I must remind myself that honesty will save me, even if I fear it!

Honesty Cannot Pretend.

Today’s Thought: People of integrity do not hide their reactions or opinions. They do not manipulate others through deception and they do not pretend.

This week I pledge my integrity; that I will not pretend and that I will be courageously honest!

So I will start by admitting I am scared of failing, but I am not scared of learning the lessons from failure.

My anxiety is raging, but honesty calms its vexation.

Self-doubt is insidiously sliding into every cranny of my being, but honesty can clear those pathways for self-assuredness to take up residence.

This week’s reminders: I can do difficult things. Just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean I can’t do it and having to work hard at something isn’t a failure; it’s a triumph! I can and I will!

Honesty Partnering Integrity

Today’s Thought: Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.

Soon I will have to do just this. I have been anxious for days, unsure as to why and grappling with the sensation that I am about to make a huge mistake. This week I hit upon the answer – I am letting fear influence my decisions once again; I am allowing myself to be manipulated because of my fear of someone’s reaction; because I have not been entirely transparent in my actions, because I wanted to keep someone who is seemingly powerful close. In short – I am trying to control my world again.

As soon as I consider a course of action that doesn’t involve pandering to the desires and wishes of this other person, I feel much calmer. I still fear their reaction, but I fear the consequences of making a decision based on the wrong reasons more; I think it will have far bigger consequences.

If I am to build a honest life; an honest organisation in which I work and an honest team who support one another, then I must watch my thoughts and actions closely. I must unwrap my courage and feed it and make a decision based on the needs of the many rather than the ambitions of one.

I can choose my words; I can choose my actions. I have power over whether I practice my values and we all know that practice eventually makes perfect!

A Great Life is Honesty…

Today’s Thought: Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience – this is the ideal life.

Life is an ornate closet. Newly delivered it is pristine, shines and takes pride of place within the home. As time passes, scratches attack and clutter weighs its surface. Inside its drawers, lost dreams and unsaid words huddle, trapped by fear and convention. In the end, it is carried out, tired and beaten, its secrets emptied and disposed of. Eternally second-hand, but never ever worthless.

Words and Actions Must Match.

Today’s Thought: Be honest in what you SAY and DO.

I am in the fourth month of my honesty quest and I can truthfully say it has been a game changer for me. My life is so much happier and calmer than before. I feel more confident and less anxious – I had had no idea that being conscious about my level of honesty would make such a difference.

So what made the change in myself work? How did I maintain my commitment to my promise?

  1. I visualised the person I wanted to be and defined how that person would behave.
  2. I made daily commitments to the words and actions that kind of person would show to the world.
  3. I paid close attention to my feelings and actions, so I could track where I made mistakes or where I prevented mistakes with my level of honesty. I noted what my motivations were and whether they were useful to my cause or contrary.
  4. If I made mistakes, I addressed them quickly so I could stay on track.
  5. I told the people I found it most difficult to be honest with that I was trying to be more honest and I would not be participating in unkind talk or behaviour.
  6. I used this blog to keep myself on track – it has been my visible conscience.

I know I am still on my journey and I am not the finished article (will I ever be? Is anyone?) but I wanted to take the time to acknowledge how far I have come and the difference it has made. I wanted to let everyone know that such a simple change has made such a monumental difference.

Honesty is the key to happiness for me – is it the key for you?

When Did Opinion Become Truth?

Today’s Thought: There are four very important words in life: Love, honesty, truth and respect. Without these in your life, you have nothing.

In my job I have to provide information; offer advice and sometimes draw attention to what people are doing wrong or inappropriately. It means that I unintentionally upset people because I make them face uncomfortable truths. This sometimes means I am the target for their guilt and anger online.

I guess the question I have is when did their opinions become truth or fact? They seem to think that by ranting about what has been said/told to them on their social media pages will sometimes change the facts they have been provided with into something they feel happier about. The reality is that it changes nothing. The truth is still the truth whether they like it or not. All they have done is show disrespect; projected their guilt and have avoided reality.

When did we decide that if we disagree with something and share that disagreement online, that it somehow means our disagreement/opinion becomes the fact, the truth and everyone should therefore change reality to fit in with it? Human’s use of social media as an outlet for their rage is an unfortunate habit. They seem to feel protected by the shield of the screen; surprised when the target of their wrath finds out what they wrote and defensive when challenged about the appropriateness of their actions.

It somewhat contradicts the title ‘Social Media’. It becomes ‘Anti-Social Media’. We need to change; we need to acknowledge that sometimes our anger comes from guilt, from feelings of inadequacy or fear. If we could face that truth, then perhaps social media would be more social, more collaborative and much kinder. For that to happen, though, we would need more collaboration and kindness in the real world. That’s when we will see genuine change to a gentler and more empathetic society – surely that should be our goal, that should be the prize.

Honesty Creates Energy

Today’s Thought: Be honest in your life. It creates positive energy, stopping all unfairness through life.

I have been reflecting on why I feel so much more calm since I have been dedicating my life to honesty. It’s not only that honesty ensures you need not worry about being found out; it’s because honesty means you encounter less ‘unfairness’.

Sometimes difficult things happen and it can seem unfair – there will of course be things that happen that really are unfair, a relative becoming seriously ill for example is never fair. There are other difficult things, however, that we can view as unfair, but in reality we just haven’t reflected enough on the situation to see what we can change for ourselves. By calling things unfair we disempower ourselves. It can seem comforting at first to describe a situation as unfair, but is ultimately frustrating because by removing our responsibility for anything by saying it’s unfair, we also remove our ability to improve the situation because we deny responsibility!

Be honest with yourself when you hear something less than favourable about yourself. Ask yourself – is it true; is there actual evidence that what they are telling you is true or partly true? If there is evidence, ask yourself what you can do about making a change. You have the power to make a difference! You have the power to make things feel fair again! It just takes honesty and a willingness to accept responsibility for your own life!

Remember that wonderful saying – accept what you can’t change; change what you can’t accept.

The power of honesty will give you the strength to do this. Having the strength to do this will give you the power to disperse unfairness!