Learning how to start being honest with yourself, despite how it may sound, is actually an exercise in self-love. It is part of the commitment to being all that you want to be, can be, and were created to be. And when approached from that perspective, the efforts put forth in being honest with yourself become building blocks to achieving your dreams.
Before delving into the specific tips for how to start being honest with yourself, let’s talk about why this commitment is so important.
Something as simple as being honest with yourself can literally be life-changing. It can be the difference between achieving your dreams and going around in circles, without understanding why you’re staying in the same place. It can also be the difference between getting what you really want and what you think you want.
If you are refraining from being honest with yourself, you are powerless to change what is holding you back.
Living a lie, whether outwardly or inwardly, is draining. And if you are lying to yourself, there will always be a deep, nagging message that something just doesn’t feel right. Many (maybe all) of the areas of your life will be negatively affected.
One of the most noticeable effects will be procrastination. And that makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, what is your motivation to push forward when what you are pursuing isn’t what you truly want?
Let’s dive into some essential tips for how to start being honest with yourself. And let’s put a spotlight on the word “start,” and recognize the empowerment imbedded in that one word. If you are willing to start, your authentic dreams will quickly come into view. Ready?
- Acknowledge that the choices you make are yours and yours alone.
Accept immediate and full responsibility for all your choices, without excuses or blame. As the saying goes, “You are where you are because of the choices you have made.” Only when you own it can you change it. (Sometimes cliché just works.) This “broad brush” is foundational to all the other steps in the process.
- Get into the right mindset.
Be open to doing a fearless self-assessment — again, without excuses, or shame, or blame. Honesty need never be accompanied by the word “brutal,” so be gentle and kind with yourself, just as you would be when assessing a friend.
- Identify areas for self-evaluation and assess them.
Your goal here is to identify things that both cause discomfort and can be changed: your goals, career, money, family, spirituality, love life, time management, self-care, etc. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so be selective. (If perfectionism is one of the areas up for evaluation, for example, you will naturally be inclined to take on everything at once. Be kind and be realistic…so that you can be productive.)After you’ve identified the area you will start assessing, gently and honestly take stock of what’s working and what’s not.
- Be transparent.
As you start being honest with yourself, commit to being clear about what you want to do and where you want to go. Concern yourself more with why than how. Anytime you fearlessly examine the reasons behind your choices, you plant seeds that will grow into permanent patterns of honesty with yourself.
- Be courageous.
Start with issues you feel comfortable approaching, and work up as you gain confidence in your ability to be honest with yourself. Honesty with oneself is one of the foundational qualities of successful, integritous people. It requires courage. And that courage is in turn life-changing and rewarding.
Remember that most things we want to achieve take consistent effort over a lifetime. Remember, also, that every journey begins with a single step…a single choice. By choosing to start being honest with yourself, you ensure that the first step of your journey will be in the direction of your dreams.