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Being Honest with Yourself

emotions honesty self-development Jun 21, 2022

When was the last time you were truly honest with yourself? So many of us go through life without really taking a good look at ourselves. We wear masks and put on airs, pretending to be someone we're not. It can be very damaging, both to our relationships and our careers. If you want to be successful, you must be honest with yourself. It means being truthful about your strengths and weaknesses and accepting who you are. Pursuing your goals and building genuine relationships with others becomes much more manageable when you are real.

Be completely honest with yourself.

Honesty is the best policy, as they say. So we should always tell the truth, even if it can create some compromise for us. One aspect of honesty is being honest with ourselves. It means showing our genuine emotions and how we feel about things. It also means doing what we want without fear of being judged by others. But, unfortunately, some people will go the other way. They may mask and act out a different persona from who they are while facing other people. People do this to be accepted more readily by others and fit in a particular group. However, it may cause mental health problems and prohibit us from showing our authentic selves, limiting us from reaching our true potential. It may also cause a lack of fulfillment due to doing something we don't want. So being honest with yourself can prove beneficial in several ways.

  • Your relationships with people become better. By showing your authentic self and how you feel, your friends, family, and peers will see who you are as a person, and they will feel more comfortable knowing you aren't hiding anything from them.
  • Your life will become more meaningful once you realize the importance of pursuing what matters to you. Instead of doing things because it's what most people do, you focus on goals and things that matter to you once you become more honest with yourself. Life becomes more precise, and you gain a greater sense of direction on where to go and what to do.
  • People's perceptions and judgments about you won't matter much anymore when you gain self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses and your personality traits and accept them all as part of yourself. So when somebody says something about you that is false, you can shrug them off and move forward.
  • Life can feel stiff when people around you are full of deceit and you can't fully express yourself. It can lead you to view life negatively. However, when you no longer feel afraid of showing your reality, and other people accept your honesty with yourself, life can feel more wonderful, and you can think more positively about it.
  • There's no more need to put up an act in front of others once you accept yourself and acknowledge your feelings. It's not your problem anymore if others can't take you for who you are. What matters is that you know what to do and pursue things that can bring happiness without feeling that others take control of your life.

How can you be more honest with yourself?

Various ways can help us become more honest with ourselves. However, it can take courage to pull them off, especially if you are already used to acting in front of others. On the other hand, it can be liberating to be radically honest with yourself and almost akin to breaking the chains that society and other people may have put on you.

1. Acknowledge your feelings

When other people ask how you are, the most common response people will say is that "I am okay" or "I am fine." But, in reality, people may not be okay at all. They may be hiding the fact that they don't feel good and don't want others to see they are troubled. Another common thing to notice is people smiling when in the company of others. However, the smile may be a defensive mechanism to hide their grief and problems. Positivity is a big thing for our society, but you don't always have to look happy in front of others. It doesn't hurt to feel sad or be serious when something is bothering you, and you have to acknowledge these feelings because they signal that you need to act and change something in your life to feel better. Bottling up your emotions can only hurt you in the long term.

2. You can't be a know-it-all

No one knows everything about the world. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Feeling vulnerable for not knowing about something is one way to practice self-honesty. It can be harder to admit your shortcomings when you are in a position of authority or have a reputation to protect. It's damaging to your ego when people realize you are not capable or somehow incompetent in doing something. However, it's better, to be honest upfront about your deficiencies rather than lying that you can do something when you can't. It can only cause serious problems later. Acknowledging your flaws is part of personal growth, as you can then do some self-improvement to become better.

3. Have a vision

A vision is your ultimate goal in life. It portrays the ideal state you like to see yourself in the future. To fulfill your dream, you must accomplish various goals and objectives to achieve what matters to you. Without any vision, one may be content to do whatever job or career can provide adequate pay to you, and that's it. It may be enough for you, but you can lack satisfaction and fulfillment from not doing what you want. Part of being honest with yourself is doing the things that matter to you instead of only following what others recommend.

4. Admit your mistakes

It's only human to want to hide your mistakes from others, especially those where you are the one directly at fault. It feels shameful, and you fear the punishment and consequences for doing something wrong. However, admitting your mistakes shows maturity and taking responsibility for your actions. It can help you learn and grow, and you are being honest with yourself when you realize your mistakes. You may feel bad initially for accepting it, but it's a better practice to admit rather than cover up your mistakes and create a mountain of lies and fabricate stories, which can only harm the people affected in the long run.

5. Talk with someone who knows you well

It can be challenging to gain self-awareness by yourself. Sometimes, you can gain more clarity about knowing yourself when you talk to people who are close to you and know you well. It can be your best friend or a family member who has spent significant time with you. Please spend some time conversing with them and ask them what they think of you. Tell them to be honest with their feedback and that you are ready to accept whatever they say about you. Other people may know us better than ourselves, and once we gain clarity about who we are from others, we can be more accepting and ready, to be honest with ourselves.

Honesty should also include yourself.

Talking about honesty usually implies doing truthful acts and saying what you mean towards others, but honesty also includes doing the same things for oneself. You must be aware of who you are and willing to show it to others. Some people may fear showing their true selves because they may receive judgments and cause others to move away from them. When such things happen, they have problems, not you. Being honest with yourself is necessary to unlock your full potential to achieve success in whatever you desire to pursue. You can keep hiding who you are from others but not yourself, so it's better to be true to yourself.

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