Honesty is something we often demand and expect from others, but being honest to ourselves is just as – if not more important than – the honesty we want from others.
However, it’s not always easy to tell yourself the truth.
Why is it difficult to be honest with yourself?
It requires courage and great self-awareness to be honest with yourself. Since honesty is also linked to self-growth, it can be scary at times.
Don’t let fear hold you back. By facing your truth, you can reap many benefits, such as greater self-growth and authenticity.
Why Should You Be Honest To Yourself?
We’ve already touched on how you can grow from truth, but there are many ways in which you can benefit from honesty.
You have a better idea of where you’re headed
When you’re honest, you face the truth head-on and this gives you greater clarity on your life and the situation in which you find yourself.
When you have clarity, you’ll know what you want to achieve in your life and what gives your life meaning. You can’t make positive changes to your life if you aren’t honest about what needs to be changed!
You become fearless
When you’re honest with yourself, you prevent fear. You are able to see your strengths and weaknesses, and you’re not tied down by them.
You accept what you don’t like about yourself, and this means that you won’t hold yourself back – and you won’t let what other people say about you become a prison.
You have healthier, happier relationships
Whether it’s your relationship with a romantic partner, a parent, a sibling, or best friend, honesty has to be the foundation of all relationships.
If you don’t take the time to know the truth about yourself, you can’t be completely honest with other people. You also deny them the chance to really know you.
You might not know the truth about yourself, which means you’ll be lying to others in your life.
Or, you might avoid a nugget of truth you don’t want to face, which can drag other people into a negative situation.
As an example, if you’re not completely happy with your relationship but your partner thinks you are, this will build anxiety and resentment.
You have a more meaningful life purpose
If you don’t know the truth of what you want in life and what gives your life meaning, you might settle for a life that doesn’t make you as happy as you could be.
Similarly, it can hold you back from chasing your passion, which is something crucial you need to live an authentic life.
Are You Lying To Yourself?
You could be lying to yourself and not even realize it. Here are some signs that this is what’s happening to you.
Your words and emotions aren’t in sync
You tell people that you’re doing fine, but you’ve got tears in your eyes. You smile and say you’re keen to go for brunch, but your smile doesn’t quite reach your eyes.
You might believe that you feel good, meanwhile you’re bubbling over with emotions and you can’t figure out why you’re so angry/sad/frustrated.
In order to deal with the truth about what you feel and understand what’s going on with you, you have to confront those feelings by being honest with yourself.
You’re living for other people
Your life might seem like it doesn’t belong to you because you do things you don’t enjoy, you’re trying to be what other people want, you buy furniture and cars you can’t really afford, and so on.
If you’re not in tune with who you really are and what you need to be happy, you could be choosing your life to impress others. This results in an inauthentic life.
You blame the world for bad things that happen
When something goes wrong, you’re quick to blame other people. Maybe you lost your job because your boss was horrible to you, or your relationship ended because your partner was wrong…
While that can be the truth, if you’re always blaming others when things go wrong, you’re not taking responsibility for your life. You might also be lying to yourself so as not to face the truth.
You try to justify your behavior
If you find yourself trying to find reasons or excuses for why you did things that you shouldn’t have, this is a red flag that you’re not being truthful to yourself.
For example, you might find yourself telling yourself or other people, “I had to shout at that person, I had no other option,” “I’m not afraid of commitment, I just don’t want to change my current situation,” or “I’m not unhappy, I just feel a bit stressed.”
It’s important to pay more attention to the things you tell yourself and others and notice if you’re guilty of not expressing what you really feel or think.
You should also challenge your beliefs instead of just ignoring them or pushing them aside.
You feel a bit like a fake
When you’re around other people, you might appear to be confident, but inside you don’t feel like you fit in with them.
You might also suffer from anxiety that could be a sign of how you’re avoiding your inner truth and desires.
You ignore feedback and criticism
Do you shut down when someone confronts you about something you’ve done or gives you constructive criticism about your personality traits or a situation in which you find yourself?
This is a classic sign that you’re trying to avoid facing the truth about yourself.
How To Lose The Facade And Be Honest With Yourself
We’ve already looked at what you have to gain from being honest with yourself. Now let’s look at how you can start being more truthful.
Give yourself time to reflect
When something happens or you feel an emotion such as anger, sadness, or frustration, it’s good to have some time during which you can reflect on what’s going on.
This will help you to dig deeper into your thoughts and feelings so that you can focus on the truth within them.
It’s also important to reflect on your choices and decisions.
Asking yourself why you did something or how you can improve what you did in future can help you to achieve your goals while gaining more insight into what you want. It will also help you to become a better person.
Start a journal
You might say you don’t have time to journal, but you can surely fit in a few minutes a day to write down what you’re feeling and what you think about yourself.
This will train you to dig deeper into your feelings and there’s something therapeutic about writing things down as it organizes your thoughts, which can give you great insights into yourself.
It’s also good to try free association writing, which is when you write down thoughts as they come to you. This will help you to deal with them right away instead of pushing them aside.
Treat yourself as a friend
You might not want to face certain parts of yourself, such as when it comes to your flaws and limitations. But, this can stunt your personal growth.
To better embrace these parts of yourself that you don’t want to face or that you don’t like, you should approach yourself as a friend.
Be kind and loving, and give yourself a chance to reveal your innermost self to yourself!
This will encourage growth and prevent you from standing in your own way. Everyone has flaws, but it’s how you use them and learn from them that is what makes a difference in how meaningful your life becomes.
An important part of being honest with yourself is being clear about where you want to go in life and what you want. A clever hack for this is to focus on the “Why” questions rather than the “How” questions.
Why do you want to become a bestselling author? Why do you think that getting a promotion will boost your happiness?
Doing this will help you to examine the reasons behind your decisions, and this will further encourage your honesty as well as self-growth.
How do you find the courage to be honest with yourself?
Being honest takes practice. You should be gentle with yourself and try to focus on the benefits that are associated with being honest to keep you on track.
Is it convenient to lie to yourself?
It can be convenient for you to lie to yourself. This is because of how it means you can continue doing the same behaviors you always do without having to put in the work to change.
However, it’s far from being as rewarding as living a life of truth.
How honest are you with yourself? You might think you lead an honest life, but if you’re not being honest with yourself then you’re not.
In this article, we’ve looked at what it means to be honest with yourself, what rewards you reap from doing this, and how to avoid lying to yourself and others in your life. Lies can hold you back and prevent you from living a real, meaningful life.
Diane offers meaningful living counseling, guidance, and support to people who go through different crises. Combining personal experience with sound knowledge, Diane is committed to helping individuals become the best versions of themselves, even when immediate life situations tend to suggest otherwise. Diane is well-versed in behavioral, social, cognitive, and emotional aspects of the human mind. Armed with this understanding, she created Themeaningfulliving.com –home to everyone with a strong desire to take back control of their lives. If you are looking for simple yet powerful techniques and tips for living the best life you ever wanted, Diane will hold your hand and gently guide you.