Honest Discovery

Today’s Thought: Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.

I can feel a change happening within me; it’s the beginning of a shift in courage and it is giving me the power to see things differently.

I have started to realise that I might be braver than I think! I haven’t turned into Winnie The Pooh, but I really believe that he might have been absolutely right with his wise words.

This week I wanted to do something at work and I needed to seek the permission of someone superior to do it. As I explained my idea to them, knowing that I was exuding the excitement I felt for the project, I could see fear form a shadow across their face! They weren’t excited; they were terrified. Terrified of everything that could go wrong and this is where their thoughts about the project remained. I was advised that it might be better the scale my idea down and keep it small and safe.

To begin with I accepted this, although disappointed, and just sat comfortably with the thought that I had obviously scared them with my courageous idea! This was enough for me. However, word of my idea reached another colleague, who spoke to my superior and said that they thought my idea was a good one and with some adaptations there was no reason we couldn’t go ahead!

This moment, along with others over the past few weeks where I have forced myself to do the things I am passionate about, that I feel are right for the organisation I am responsible for, are showing me that when I have the courage to be true to myself and therefore honest with those around me, things are more successful.

For this to happen, I have to keep my fear of judgement in check, my anxiety about making mistakes in check and give courage a chance. It’s thrilling and motivating and quite possibly addictive! It’s important, now, that I don’t allow this growing courage to become arrogance. Having courage doesn’t mean I will always win through; it doesn’t mean that I have nothing left to learn and will always be right. What it does mean, though, is that I can be truly honest with myself and those around me and I can be happy at the end of each day that I have lived well and done good things.

An honest life brings peace; it’s worth fighting for.

Honesty: Protection From Karma!

Today’s Thought: A clear conscience is far more valuable than money.

This week I realised that I had made a mistake at work. It was a genuine mistake, but it affected someone else greatly. As soon as I realised what I had done, I felt that stab of panic: ‘Oh no! This is my fault! What can I do? I don’t want to have messed this up for that person!’

For about a minute, I sat at my desk, penning a short email to the person who had reminded me of what I was meant to have done (the thing I had forgotten all about)! I initially thought I could write a half truth, claiming that I had only remembered to do part of it. Maybe saying that would enable the person impacted by my mistake to be less affected. I wrote the email and immediately deleted it. I wrote it again; I deleted it again. Something was telling me that this wasn’t the way to deal with this situation – an invisible Jiminy Cricket whispering in my ear!

I took a deep breath and went to find the person who was about to feel the impact of my mistake and asked to speak to them. I told them what I had forgotten to do and apologised and told them what I needed to do to put it right. I could see they were upset, but they didn’t shout at me and, just as important, I wasn’t sweating with the pressure of a half truth being told (and nor had my nose grown Pinocchio style)! Despite being genuinely sorry and embarrassed about my mistake, I felt confident in the conversation I was having.

As soon as I had finished confessing, I emailed the colleague who had pointed out my mistake and owned up to them as well. They didn’t admonish me, they simply asked me to keep them updated.

I was honest and the sky didn’t fall in, no one shouted and the problem was solved far sooner than if I had chosen to take the dishonest path.

Honesty – a magical and powerful character trait to calm anxiety and solve problems!

Honestly From The Heart

Today’s Thought: Kindness in words creates confidence; kindness in thinking creates profoundness and kindness in giving creates love.

Recently I have been having Reiki to help me manage my anxiety. It has had a powerful effect. I know I want to live my life without fear and full of love. This is the mantra I have held in my heart this week and it has made me feel more powerful than I ever have done previously.

I aim to approach all challenges with love and kindness. If I hold true to my values, I should be able to let go of fear. I might not be triumphant in all my endeavours, but I will be victorious in living a life of honesty, kindness and love and this will mean that I will have nothing to blame myself for if things don’t go according to plan.

In the past week I have been consciously making sure I am kinder than usual and sending out more love than usual. As a result, I feel more successful, more confident and more content than I have done before. Seeing the appreciation of my team; the change in their physical demeanour and experiencing the positive vibes throughout my organisation has demonstrated the impact that focusing my efforts in these areas have made.

Conscious kindness.

Conscious love.

It’s transformative; it’s powerful and it calms anxiety and creates happiness.

Imagine what could happen if all of us practiced conscious kindness and conscious love! Go on – I dare you!

Honesty For Transformation

Today’s Thought: Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward – get real with yourself!

I have taken a break recently – it’s been healthy and has helped me to see how much I absorb the emotions, fears and anger of other people and that doing so can seriously affect the way I feel and behave. It has led me to the realisation that I need to reset my honesty goals and remind myself of the person I want to be.

I want to be:

  • Kind
  • Helpful to others
  • Creative
  • Fun
  • Successful in the goals I set myself
  • Honest with myself and others
  • Have integrity in my actions
  • Trustworthy
  • Consistent

Because I have allowed the feelings of others to leak into my mind and body, I have not always met the expectations I have of myself. It’s time to be honest with myself about this; time to put my barriers against other people’s negativity back up and time to check in with myself to make sure that I live my core values every day. These will make me happy.

What kind of person do you want to be? What are your core values and do you live by them every day? Any time you are doubting yourself, check in with these questions. If you can answer them honestly, you can either absolve yourself of any guilt or calm anxiety that problems are caused by you, or you can identify areas of yourself you need to work on.

Honesty with one’s self will support happiness and reduce anxiety!

When It Honestly Isn’t You!

Today’s thought: A hurtful act is the transference to others, of the degradation which we bear in ourselves.

I have been feeling blue recently, dissatisfied, confused about what I wanted and oppressed. I had trawled through all the possible reasons why – all of the reasons seemed reasonable and I just thought that I would have to endure the sensations.

I saw my therapist yesterday and told her how I had been feeling. I also told her how exhausting I was finding one of my colleagues. A colleague who had been telling me how negative and dissatisfied she was feeling with her job and the organisation we work for. My therapist returned to the way I had described how I was feeling and told me that she thought I was experiencing transference; that my colleague had transferred her insecurities and anxieties on to me.

As soon as she said it wasn’t mine, I felt a release! I didn’t have to feel those feelings because they weren’t mine to feel. I am also not responsible for her feeling those feelings either! I could let go and find my usual stance of positivity and enthusiasm once again. Have you ever felt negative, but unsure why? My therapist explained to me that I could test to see whether what I was feeling belonged to me or to someone else by simply asking myself what it was I had to do during my day and see how I felt about it. Sudden, oppressive feelings were likely to belong to someone else; more reasoned feelings to me.

I know that I am going to have to be honest with my colleague the next time that they start in a negative vein. I have to protect myself from their emotions and I need to try and help them see that they have power over their own feelings; they have choices they can make and can control their situation positively if they take time to stop blaming others and start taking action towards making their world how they want it. I think I will start by displaying a quotation on my office door: Those who spend their time looking for faults in others, usually spend no time on correcting their own. It will serve as a reminder to me as much as anyone else that I want to run a supportive team who lift one another up and don’t tear one another down.

I am going to be watchful for the destructive forces of transference in the future; it can make me someone I don’t want to be.

Be you; honestly.

Today’s Thought: The moment you feel you need to start proving yourself is the moment you need to be silent and walk away.

I have a break coming up and I am going to use it as time to become more comfortable with who I am. I am going to define my core values and begin the practice of living by them.

A lot of what I do revolves around trying to prove myself to others: prove that I am clever; prove that I am organised; prove that I have read the latest document or research; prove that I can use the right buzz words; prove that I can lead others and have an impact. No wonder I am exhausted.

All I really need to do is be myself; do my best and be kind. If that’s not enough, then maybe I don’t want to be that other person. If I cannot be who I honestly am, then I am living a lie and that doesn’t meet one of my core values – to be honest.

I have a challenge coming up tomorrow: I need to work with someone who I feel challenges my honesty value – I think they are better than me and they have a fierce nature at times and my natural default setting is to avoid confrontation, so I find myself bending to their will or being manipulated and I dislike the way it makes me feel. I feel twisted and concertinaed and ultimately unhappy with my choices and actions.

If I am going to practice my core value of honesty, I need to be ready to stand firm in the face of confrontation. I cannot let fear rule my decisions. I want to be a strong, honest and kind person – it should be easy, but it isn’t and I just have to accept that, put on some armour and get out there and fight for my core values so that I can be the person I truly am.

Honestly Empty

Today’s Thought: Burnout is what happens when we ignore the soul whispering against an unhealthy job or relationship.

All this time I thought I needed to change who I was to be better at my job. I can still change habits; responses and make my practice as good as possible, but maybe I have reached a point where I have started to listen to my soul….maybe because it is shouting louder and maybe because it has now become less about proving myself and more about making myself happy.

My job is making me unhealthy and unhappy.

My reality is I need my job to pay bills; keep a roof over my head – all the usual stuff.

My other reality is that I will lose myself if I continue to fight my soul and spend every waking moment worrying about my job. It is time to face the reality that I am not cut out for it – not because I am not good enough, but because it is not feeding my soul.

Do you feel this way? Are you fighting to stay afloat and putting off life for your job? Take stock and think – do you want to have spent most of your life doing something that makes you unhappy; something that prevents you from experiencing life the way you want to?

Sometimes we forget we have a choice, but we do – we really do have a choice. We might not be able to just walk out of a job immediately, but we can all take small steps in the right direction and that’s what I am going to do.

What feeds your soul? What were you good at as a child? Find it and do it! It will make you feel that sparkle of excitement that you had as a child; that freedom you had as a child and that sense of fulfilment you had as a child. You never experience life more purely as you do when you are young; this is what we are all searching for and to find it, we must return to those moments of joy from long ago. That was when we were at our most honest – find your true path by speaking to your most honest self; your inner child.

Honestly Approving Of Yourself.

Today’s Thought: A life spent seeking the approval of others, is a life spent without joy.

I have ended up in a job that destroys be because I have constantly sought approval of others. I do the job less well than I could do, because I constantly seek the approval of others. I have ignored opportunities that would have made me happier, because I constantly seek the approval of others. I am literally paralysed by the fear of disapproval.

How sad.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to work hard to approve of myself. Whenever that familiar feeling of discomfort creeps in; the one where I feel the terror of disapproval (that I am sure didn’t originate with me; I am sure it belongs in the past with an ancestor or two), I am going to stop, breath and see whether I am doing anything that really does warrant disapproval.

Seeing as I am doing my utmost to lead an honest and kind existence, there should be little that I disapprove of. I am hopeful that this will help me to build up my self-approval and in turn my confidence and courage to follow my dreams. The dreams that make me vibrate with excitement for the joy that they would bring – not just the dreams coming true, but the action of working towards them instead of living a half life governed by fear.

If you feel the disapproval of others and the restrictions it can bring, I urge you to analyse where the disapproval comes from. Is it valid? Obviously there are clearly actions and thoughts that it is appropriate and important to disapprove of – anything where another person can be hurt or belittled or tortured or marginalised in relation to things they cannot control or for the pleasure of others should quite rightly be disapproved of. However, if you feel disapproved of because you want to do things differently or be a different person to the one you are now, then that may not be valid disapproval. It’s OK to fight it – it may bring you freedom and best of all acceptance of who you are.

Honestly Unsuitable?

Today’s Thought: Leadership can be defined in hone word – honesty. You must be honest with the players and honest with yourself.

I had felt for a while that I was doing better with this, but just recently I can see the damage I have done by not being honest quickly enough. Problems linger; practice doesn’t improve and the outcomes are therefore poorer than the powers that be would like.

The problem I have is that I don’t always see the problems; I am so caught up in my workload that I don’t get out and about enough to check what is going on. When I do, I mostly feel everything is fine. It’s rare that I don’t. The issue is that when I don’t, I bottle it when it comes to telling the troops!

I am disappointed in myself; I recognise why I am gutless at delivering the difficult messages – I know everyone is working so hard, trying their best and I cannot stomach kicking them in the teeth by telling them it isn’t good enough. I know so much about them that I know if they are having a tough time at home or if they are struggling with their mental health and I feel so sorry for them – it just seems inhuman to bash them when they’re down.

It’s leading me to the conclusion that maybe I am just not cut out for leadership. I often hear positive comments about my leadership style; the problem is that if it doesn’t deliver the wanted outcomes then whether people like my style or not is irrelevant. I am questioning whether I want to live with the constant worry; constant self doubt and constant running to keep up with the ever changing goal posts. Maybe what I honestly need right now is the courage to make a change – a change that will lead to a happier life; a life that I find fulfilling and one that isn’t always tearing me apart.

I will continue to improve myself; improve my skills; practice delivering the difficult messages, but alongside this I will start to build a life that I want to live. A life without fear and a life more full of the creativity that sustains me and makes me buzz with the excitement that life should offer.

Honesty brings such clarity.

Honesty Vs Avoiding Confrontation

Today’s Thought: I respect people who tell me the truth, no matter how hard it is.

The institution in which I work is reaching a crucial point. Next year we will be inspected and it’s imperative that it goes well. I can feel the pressure building; the fear beginning to invade me and I wonder whether it’s all worth it. I have to make it worth is by bringing more honesty to the table.

One aspect of my role that I struggle with is giving people difficult messages about their practice. I like and respect my team and I can see how hard they try, so if they are doing something that isn’t as good as it could be, I struggle to give them the message. I know I have to change this as I am disadvantaging them. If they don’t know better, they cannot do better.

My growing courage now needs to turn its attention towards delivering difficult messages in an assertive, honest and kind fashion. For us all the be successful, I must start now.

To this end, I am going to set myself a goal for this week. I am going to deliver one difficult message and try not to cushion it in cotton wool. This is how the root of the message is lost; it’s how confusion ensues when the reality comes to light. My team will ultimately feel betrayed if I don’t start to tell them the reality of our situation now.

This aspect of being honest is less comfortable for me. My instinct is to protect others; to carry the burden and to try and fix everything myself. History shows me that this is not going to give me the results we need, so I have to change my approach.

If I can be honest with those that are superior to me and do so without the fear of judgement now, then I have to use that courage to be honest with those that I lead; ensure that they have the right weapons with which to fight and that means I need to tell them the hard truths as well as the easier ones.

Six months into my honesty quest, much is changing – some easy, some difficult but all better. I must keep this in mind as I take on this next honesty challenge.