An Honest Confidence

Today’s Thought: Confidence is not ‘they will like me’. Confidence is ‘I’ll be fine if they don’t.’

For so long I have struggled with being honest. I have been so terrified that if I tell people the truth that they won’t like me any more. It has been so much easier to tell people what they want to hear – it keeps everything comfortable and safe. Until it doesn’t!

I have a role that requires me to be honest; it means that the organisation can achieve the best for its clients. Without true honesty, we will fail. As my courage in being honest grows, so does the strength within our organisation.

Of course, the requirement to be honest leads to some difficult conversations and I have recently realised that I have been anticipating these conversations more as confrontations – just the kind of situation I am desperate to avoid. So, how have I started to overcome this barrier to success and honesty?

Every day, I pledge 4 positive intentions:

Be kind, honest and professional in your words.

Have integrity and best practice in your actions.

Remain true to your vision and pay attention to detail.

Remember it’s a conversation, not a confrontation.

As long as I plan to have a gentle honest conversation in which I explain my concerns or provide my guidance, I feel that I am holding true to my values and aims. I know that I am not seeking drama or a fight so if someone responds aggressively, I don’t have to take responsibility for their words and actions. The only words and actions I am responsible for are my own.

I can feel the strength from living and speaking honestly growing within me. The warmth of confidence is slowly seeping into my soul and it is allowing me to notice my own talents and attributes; making me know I am capable of achieving my goals and that I don’t have to rely on others to do so.

So much anxiety and self doubt can be avoided and so much confidence can grow should you choose to take the honest path.

Open Up Your Honesty.

Today’s Thought: Something magical happens when your are completely honest with yourself, and when that happens no one can ever hurt you again.

Honesty

Buried deep,

Secluded in the dark.

The truth resides,

A tiny ember, struggling to remain alight.

Open your heart and savour its warmth,

Inhale its comfort and safety;

Exhale to fan its fragile flame,

Release it into the light.

And bask in the ultimate liberation.

Stop Comparing and Start Living.

Today’s Thought: The most free person in the world is the one who has nothing to hide.

This past week has been challenging but exhilarating! I have begun to transfer my honesty into actions as well as words and it is this layer of honesty that is allowing me to become the person I wish to be. I feel more freedom and less fear than ever.

It has led me to notice those around me who are less free and less happy and I have been considering why that might be. I saw an article this week about how so many millennials are stressed and anxious because of their compulsion to compare their lives with others. I have had at least two conversations with different people this week where they have mentioned life plans and the need to meet a goal before a particular age. Both are highly anxious and both are not necessarily the happiest and one in particular finds it extremely challenging to manage their emotions if things don’t go their way.

Is all this pressure to be a certain length down a particular path the right way to live? I believe in goals, but I also believe in happiness and I wonder whether they have considered whether meeting their goals will make them happy and whether, while they are pursuing their goals, they are taking the time to enjoy the moments they currently have; to enjoy the roles they currently have.

I am blessed with more years in my life than they. I have pursued and met goals and I have found that the higher one climbs career-wise, your levels of happiness don’t change; the stresses become different and the anxiety can remain the same. What has made me happiest is defining WHO I want to be, not WHAT I want to be and then forging my path through honesty.

My recommendation for anyone suffering from the dissatisfaction of feeling stuck on their path in life; who feels everyone else is beating them or living a better life than them is to just stop. Slow down. Consider yourself and who you are. Racing through life could lead you into a trap; a trap where you have to be someone you don’t like – it isn’t worth it just so you can share an update on your social media page/blog or when you next catch up with friends in person. You need to love the life you have while you create the life of your dreams and most importantly, you need to be sure that the life you are dreaming of will truly make you happy. Be honest with yourself!

What has made me happy is ensuring that my thoughts, words and actions are aligned. I am becoming the person I want to be and I am happier than ever. Honesty is what is making my dreams come true. What could honesty do for you?

Fear Vs Honesty

Today’s Thought: Fear never goes away. All that we long for lies on the other side of fear. The best way to get to what we want it to go through the fear.

Confrontation terrifies me. It makes me curl up and submit just so I can avoid the sickening feeling of having created an atmosphere; upset someone; make myself look potentially silly or, most of all, avoid being shouted at. Confrontation or, to be more specific, what I believe confrontation to be, makes me feel like a child. I feel unsafe, vulnerable and as if what will follow will feel unjust.

Clearly all that I feel is old – it comes from somewhere in my past and whenever I have to confront someone, those old feelings return and hijack me. What can I do about it? All I want is to make that crushing fear disappear.

Unfortunately, I have to face it. In my pursuit for a more honest life, I have to confront some people and issues – it’s unavoidable. This means the fear is unavoidable – I am going to have to work through it.

Tomorrow I have a meeting; there will be someone there who is going to challenge lots of things, because they have an almost compulsive need for control. The right thing for me to do will be to challenge back when I genuinely believe that what they are saying won’t be best for the clients or organisation as as whole. This is usually where I come unstuck. Normally I find reasons to agree with them just so I can avoid them sulking for the rest of the meeting or coming back later to whine and impress the brilliance of their views on me again.

I must stop doing this, so tomorrow I am going to add to my honesty challenge. To be my most honest self, I have to remain true to my vision and therefore take a deep breath and calmly pose a different point of view. Whatever happens next is out of my circle of control and actually out of my responsibility. The only responsibility I have is to be calm and kind when I deliver my honest response. The response of the other person is not my responsibility – it’s theirs and I shouldn’t fear it, they should!

Look out fear, here comes honesty!

Speak The Truth…Even Though It’s Scary!

Today’s Thought: Speak the truth…even if your voice shakes!

Now, this is not me advising that you blurt out ‘yes, your bum does look big in those trousers’ or ‘you’re a right cow, you know that?’! I am simply advising that it’s important to be truthful, even when to speak your truth makes you feel afraid and vulnerable. This is because, although that moment will feel deeply uncomfortable and you will be fearful of what will happen next, if you don’t speak the truth, you will regret it and regret always weighs heavy. Not only will you avoid the shackles of regret, you will feel the rush of strength that comes from making your voice heard!

Speaking the truth comes with a responsibility, though. You need to be sure that your reasons for wanting to speak the truth are non-judgemental; positive and have nothing to do with trying to manipulate a situation so that it suits you better. I have fallen into this trap – I have spoken up in meetings, not because I want to better the situation for the whole organisation and its client base, but more because I was afraid of some other suggestion and wanted to get my two-pence worth in to prevent things going in a direction that made me uncomfortable! That’s not the truth; that’s fear masking the truth!

Be honest with those around you, but start by being honest with yourself. What are you feeling? Why are you feeling that way? How are you going to respond (as opposed to react)? Will your response be kind, meaningful and help achieve a goal? Honesty only comes from a considered response; not from an emotional reaction and it takes practice to be truly honest.

Practice your honesty every day and your confidence will build by the regular injections of courage it brings. Measure the motives behind your honesty before you administer it and you will feel proud of how well you know yourself and handle yourself in all kinds of situations.

Sometimes honesty isn’t always about getting your voice heard by others, it’s about getting your voice heard by you before you share it with the world!

Honesty Sets You Free!

Today’s Thought: The things you hide in your heart….eat you alive!

Sometimes it’s difficult to admit the truth to yourself. It can mean that you have to own up to the more unpleasant sides of your personality and in this day and age of always wanting to present our best selves to the world, it can be twice as painful!

The thing is, though, if you want to be successful and if you really want to be your best self, you need to absorb the truth about yourself – even if it’s a little distasteful!

During a time in my life when things didn’t seem to go my way, I was quick to blame others, to moan and to seek comfort from people who would agree with my point of view. I expended a great deal of energy and emotion in this pursuit of validation – did I feel better? Yes – in the short term. Did I achieve my goals? Absolutely not!

Things only began to change for me when I started to consider that all those people who I thought were being unreasonable or unkind might actually have had a point. I made a change to the way I responded to a situation one day and saw a positive result.

It’s worth considering changing your responses to situations or challenges – see what happens. It’s necessary to stop viewing yourself a victim of your circumstances – you are only a victim if you allow yourself to be one. You won’t be able to change everything as you cannot control everything – you can only control yourself and your response.

Look inside yourself; admit those things you don’t want others to know about you and pledge to change. I set myself a goal this year to be more honest and it’s changing everything. I can see the motivations of others more clearly; I can recognise my motivations and challenge them more easily and I can manage difficulties with less anxiety. This is all because rather than running from things that scare me or telling half truths to cover something up or speaking unkindly about others so that I can feel a temporary bond, I stick to the truth. I am truthful with myself and truthful with others – a simple idea really, but trickier to implement than you might think!

All I can say is it’s bringing freedom, calm and happiness that I never thought possible. Be honest and set yourselves free!

Honesty and Vulnerability.

Today’s Thought: Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.

When you are honest, you will feel vulnerable. Vulnerability is the reason most people lie.

Just remember that vulnerability brings great power:

Respect; trust and peace.

Take the power of vulnerability over the fake shield of lies any day!