“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Who are you?
When you answer that question, are you being honest with yourself? With others?
Being true to yourself is a necessary first step on the journey to figuring out who you are. Honesty is the fuel for that personal journey. Honesty with ourselves and honesty in our interactions will contribute toward a life that is real and vastly more interesting and exciting than one that cuts corners or takes the easy way around.
Be confident and honest about your opinions, aspirations, and desires. Some may not agree with you or accept you, but that’s OK. We weren’t meant to be best friends with everyone we come across.
This doesn’t mean that we should be arrogant. Being honest doesn’t mean verbalizing every thought that passes through our minds. We can be nice and honest at the same time. We can (and should) still be open-minded, accepting and encouraging of others’ opinions and feelings.
Being honest means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.
Honesty and vulnerability often go hand in hand. When we share our innermost aspirations and feelings, we allow for the possibility that some may disagree with us or fail to be receptive to us. This is good. It is what makes life interesting. If we don’t ever allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we will never achieve that deeper connection that comes with the risk of pain or rejection.
It all comes down to confidence. Confidence allows us to be vulnerable without being so invested in the opinions of others that we take rejection to heart and allow it to damage our own self-image.
We should be bold, say what we feel, and let the chips fall where they may.
But what if we’re not confident? What if we need the validation or acceptance of others? And what if our strength doesn’t come from within?
We can’t flick a switch for confidence, but we can start to build it—right from the ground up if need be. Brick by brick.
Confidence and honesty go hand in hand. Consider the following:
- We each have our own opinions, aspirations, and desires.
- Not everyone will share or be receptive to them.
- Number two does not nullify number one. Our opinions, aspirations, and desires are still ours, and they remain valid.
- Some people will agree with or be receptive to them.
In any given situation, numbers one, two, and three will always be true and number four will often be true. So there will never come a time when we should not feel confident about being honest.
When we are honest, three things happen:
- We feel free to listen to and think about opposing viewpoints. Our confidence gives us a foundation for open-mindedness.
- We feel OK about people disagreeing with us. Their actions don’t change the way we feel; it’s fine when they don’t see eye to eye with us.
- We can identify “kindred spirits”: those people who share our opinions, aspirations, and/or desires.
Being bold and vulnerable at the same time lets people know that we’re putting ourselves out there, laying it on the line, being real people. As a result, we will meet and interact with them at a much deeper level and our friendships will be truly special.
It’s like cooking. If we use the best ingredients and take care during preparation, our meals are so much better. And we will enjoy not just the quality of the food but the feelings we get for having created it.
Life can be a frozen pizza or a gourmet meal. It’s up to us to decide which one to eat.