This might be the first time you’ve ever heard this, but you’re not honest. Yeah that’s right, you’re a liar. And you’re not just any plain old liar, you’re a habitual liar. You haven’t been lying to me of course. Actually, you’ve been lying to yourself for a very, very long time.
You’ve been convincing yourself that, when it comes to those unpleasant incidents that occur in your life, the fault is everyone else’s and not your own. If you’re a liar, some of these things might sound familiar to you: You studied so hard for your test, but your professor made the questions so difficult that it was impossible for you to pass with an A. Oh, and it’s not your fault that you didn’t make it to the next round of job interviews. Everyone in the office seemed stuck up anyway. And you don’t know why your friend got offended by what you said earlier this week. You didn’t mean any harm!
What do all these things have in common? They’re excuses for one, but most importantly, they’re lies. You’re not holding yourself accountable for anything.
Think about it. How many times have you lied to yourself just so that you could spend time drowning in your misfortune instead of using your time to do something meaningful? If you haven’t noticed, the most successful people in the world are brutally honest with themselves. They don’t have time to make excuses because every second of their day is precious. The only thing separating you from them is your mentality, so you need to stop pretending like your time isn’t valuable and that you’re incapable of accomplishing your goals. It all starts with being honest with yourself. It’s an extremely underrated skill, but luckily enough, it’s easy to learn.
Being Honest Means Saying Things Out Loud
If you’re going to do something, say it. People tend to underestimate the power behind voicing your intentions. It’s easy to think of it this way: Just as you’d hold someone else accountable if they told you they were going to do something, you’ll be more inclined to hold yourself accountable when you say things aloud. And if you’re not going to do something, say it. For example, if you’ve got a paper due soon, and you know you’re going to wait until the last minute to do it, admit to it. That way, you won’t set your sights on the best possible outcome, knowing you weren’t actively striving towards it. That’s a good indication of maturity. (P.S. Check out this post if you’re a serial procrastinator.)
Being Honest Means Setting Hard Deadlines
Keep track of your progress by setting deadlines for yourself. That being said, be realistic. Don’t set goals that are out of this world and only give yourself a couple weeks to complete it. Part of being honest with yourself is recognizing that everything is a process and that results are a product of effort. You won’t get very far waiting for people to set those deadlines for you. In fact, you’ll be living on their terms, acting only when they tell you to act. But if you act autonomously, what’s the worst that could happen? Be firm with yourself and schedule your achievements ahead of time. Ask yourself questions like: What’s something I’d like to learn how to do in the next 3 months? Or where would I like to be in my life by the end of the summer?
Being Honest Means Being Transparent With Others
You should always be conscious of who you’re sharing information with, but it doesn’t hurt to talk about your goals with people who will hold you accountable. Surround yourself with individuals that are going to criticize you for spending all day in bed instead of doing something relevant to your interests, and do the same for them. You might not appreciate being nagged initially, but these are people who (should) have your best interest at heart. They (should) want to see you succeed, so be honest with them and tell them what things you’d like to accomplish and when you’d like to accomplish them.
Being Honest Means Recognizing & Overcoming Failure
You’re human, and because you’re human, you’re going to fall short of your goals sometimes. What matters is not your failures but how fast you recover from them. Do you fall into a state of deep depression and self-loathing for a week, or do you consciously allow yourself to process that failure (and the emotions that come with it) before moving onto the next objective? There’s no point in beating yourself up because there will be plenty of situations in life that will gladly do that for you. How do you expect to take a punch from life when you throw in the towel after the slightest inconvenience? That’s not the attitude of a winner. That’s the attitude of someone who wants to be coddled. Be honest with yourself by acknowledging your shortcomings, and be proactive by fixing them.
You do not benefit by having no agency over your experiences, and you do not benefit by waiting for someone to come along and give you a chance. Realize that there is so much power in taking control of your life and so much fulfillment that comes with self-improvement. One of the most important keys to growing into you is honesty. No one is perfect, but that’s no excuse not to strive for perfection. If you’re honest with yourself, you can shoot for the moon. And get this…there’ll be no need to worry about falling amongst the stars because you will reach your destination.
Now, I want to know what you think. What are some ways you practice being honest with yourself? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!