For several years now I have been researching, writing, and even publicly speaking about the idea of knowing yourself, of being genuine, authentic, and finding a way to set yourself free. I shared the steps I had myself taken to walk away from a bad relationship, to stay focused on my goals and to never forget who I am and what I want. Yet somehow, some people were having a hard time understanding the concepts. How do you do it? Was the constant question I kept getting over and over. You set your mind to it, you make it happen, you make it a priority, you remind yourself, you simply force yourself if you have to. You wake up every single day of your life and you work at it. Period! It resonated with me, with some, but not with many.
It was while reading Dopamine Nation, Finding the balance in the Age of Indulgence, where I found the missing link. It was Chapter 8, Radical Honesty, when I finally understood that those who lie to themselves and by default to the world and those around them, will never see recovery, will never see the joy in life, will never be able to have genuine relationships and even more importantly, they will absolutely never know themselves. It is only when you are truthful that you become more authentic, genuine, spontaneous and simply free.
It finally clicked!!! Lying is the one thing that will keep you from ever knowing who you are. I knew that! In my core I knew that.
I knew it because in November of 2020, I came across the VIA survey, which provided me with a 45 page report with the Total 24 Character Strengths Report. I was not surprised when HONESTY came up as number one in my profile spotlight. It made sense!
The report also stated how others described me: Authentic, Genuine, Direct and Straightforward! Authentic and Genuine happen to be two of the words I used in my Instagram bio to describe myself!
How could I possibly forget that a person will never be able to be authentic without being honest first?
How was it possible that a characteristic that is so important for me was the one I missed out when trying to guide and help others?
The truth is, I constantly forget how much people lie to themselves and to others.
As I look at the world around me filled with addiction, obesity, numbing, feelings of excess, bad marriages, social media lives different from the actual reality, I realize all these people are missing telling the truth in their lives.
Lying to yourself has become easier than ever before. So much of your life can be hidden from others, from the world around. The conveniences in our lives make it easy to hide. The companies that benefit from your addictions create “nice names” to show up on your credit card statement, so that you can continue to hide and maybe so it doesn’t make you feel guilty when you see the bill.
Food, drugs, alcohol, pills, porn, gambling, social media — they all come to you with only a few clicks.
If lying to yourself to hide from yourself is easy, imagine how much easier it is to lie to others to manipulate them into thinking you are not who you really are.
I’ve always struggled to understand how someone, anyone, can lie day in and day out to those they say they love, to everyone around them, while navigating through life. Knowing in your heart that you are nothing but a lie. Knowing you lie to pretend to be someone you are not. Knowing you lie and blame others because you don’t want to take responsibility for your actions. Knowing you lie because you are jealous of what others are able to accomplish, create, and have overcome. Knowing you lie because you are in denial of who you are. Knowing you lie because you are unwilling to work hard to live a life of truth and make changes to your life.
When you have nothing to hide, no one to convince with your lies, you are left with simply an amazing life to live. There is something simply magical about the ability to be able to wake up every morning knowing your words matter. Your words mean something. Your words are truthful.
Being honest affects every aspect of your life. It allows you to be more comfortable with yourself. You no longer hide from your own secrets. The truth allows you to know who you really are.
Remember, the beauty of being honest, of telling the truth to yourself, and those around you is that it sets you FREE.
Hopefully there will be a point in your life where you choose to be honest and stop living a lie.
The only people mad at you for speaking the truth are those that are living a lie. Anonymous