Honesty: The first step to a more authentic life

The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty – Zig Ziglar

Honesty is something we all value very much. It is the foundation of trust and building relations, whether it is a professional relation, a friendship, romantic relation or the relationship you have with yourself. In really connecting and growing in those relationship you need to be honest so that every party knows where it stands. Also without trust you can not build a fruitful and healthy relationship because someone would always look over their shoulder, afraid of secrets or hidden agenda’s. So honesty is needed to grow and build healthy connections, but being honest did not come all the way natural to me I must admit. As a young girl growing up I had been struggling with two sides of the way I viewed my self: the first side was that of what was expected of me and thus how others saw me, the second side was that what I was capable of or how I saw myself . Because I always got good grades in school, had friends around me and wasn’t a shy quiet type, my parents and teachers and everyone that I encountered saw potential in me. But sometimes that beautiful curtain was in front of how I felt about myself, or what I really could do. Don’t get me wrong, it is great if people support you and believe in you and for that I am forever thankful, but the issue was that I MYSELF did not believe in me! I was dealing
with a lot of guilt and shame and I could not be honest about how I was feeling and what my wishes were, afraid that I might disappoint peoples expectations of me. The consequences of this struggle was that I created two people inside of me:

  1. One that I showed the outside world: A strong intelligent girl who could take on almost anything and was not insecure or shy.
  2. The one that I hid inside of me: A terrified little girl how did not believe in her self, was afraid of failing and did not know how to embrace her vulnerability.

These two totally different girls got me in trouble a lot. Getting hired at a  job for example, where I could not meet up to the incredibly high expectations but I was so afraid of letting people down, and failing myself, that in the end I just gave up. I just went home early without asking permission and it resulted in me getting fired. (Ofcourse there had been a build up for months.) Or that I was working at a job and wanted to quit but I didn’t have the guts to just tell that to my boss, so I ended up not showing up and turning my phone off so they couldn’t not confront me about it. I could name more of these examples but I think you get my point by now right? And what did those two examples have in common? They were both examples of actions motivated by fear and guilt what eventually led to dishonesty. I could not be honest about how I was feeling, what I could and couldn’t do, or ask for help whenever I got stuck. I just buried my head deep inside the sand and hoped for the storm to pass. Honesty was something I had to learn and it started with myself. Because that is where it all started; I had created these two separate girls so in actuality I was not being completely honest with myself. I was living a lie I could not hold onto and so the illusion of who I was pretending to be slowly started crumbling.

In this crumbling I found my real self, the girl who was still afraid of the world and did not believe in her own capabilities. I started to own up to these things first of all to myself. This honesty set me free and was the first building block for the woman I have grown in to today. In using total and complete honesty and non judgement about what I saw inside myself, I set myself free of fear and accepted myself as who I was. This led to more self confidence because this ‘perfect picture’ of how I should have been was destroyed. I was being all that I really was. And because I was, people saw the real me and my relationships changed for the better. I even found a job I like where I am celebrated and appreciated because of who I truly am. My sensitivity and vulnerability are now my two biggest strengths, and because of those two characteristics I can now grow and evolve into my career, friendships, family and romantic relationship.

I use honesty to set my boundaries in everything so that I do not have to feel guilty or avoid the situation.

I use honesty as a tool to express how I feel.

I use honesty to learn more about myself and to reflect on my choices so that I can grow everyday.

I use honesty to show my loved ones how I think about certain things that really matter.

I use honesty to free myself and the people around me of expectations and misconceptions.

I use honesty to help me sleep at night, knowing that I did the right thing.

I use honesty so that I can look myself in the eye and be proud of the woman I am today.

I use honesty to touch the souls of everyone I encounter.

I use honesty to communicate my ambition and doubts in my career.

I use honesty in everything I do now so that I live real and authentic.

I have to conclude that honesty has opened up a path to authentic living and this is the only way of living I would ever choose to live!

 

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Surya Tanya