Posted by Todd Smith
I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating. In my opinion the most important of all human qualities is one’s character. Without it, a person may have short-term success but seldom will they enjoy long-term success.
A large component of character is our honesty. Telling lies to others to gain power or money will eventually defeat us but equally damaging are the lies we tell ourselves. Clouded views, poor judgments and a negative self-image are the by- products of this self-deception and unless you start being honest with yourself, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever be a success at anything.
Cold Hard Truth
When you are honest with yourself you see things exactly as they are. There’s no smoke and mirrors, no pretending or playing games, no justifying or making excuses and no denying the facts. It’s just the cold hard truth.
Yesterday I decided to go to the local hole-in-the-wall restaurant for a couple of slices of pizza. When I made the decision I knew I was going to eat one of the unhealthiest foods I could put in my body.
I didn’t try to justify my decision by saying the cheese is healthy because it is comes from cow’s milk. The crust is healthy because it comes from whole grains. The sauce is healthy because it comes from tomatoes. The sausage is healthy because it contains protein. I didn’t play games with myself. I knew I was making a poor food choice, period.
How Honest Are You with Yourself?
Being completely honest with yourself helps develop a keen sense for what’s right and wrong. You’ll see things more accurately. You’ll make better decisions. All of which leads to a greater level of personal and professional success.
Let’s do a little test to see how honest you are with yourself. Your first reaction to the questions below will reveal the answer.
1. Do you think you are overweight? If 10 doctors were to give you an exam, what would they say?
2. Do you eat healthy foods? If 10 nutritionists were to look at your dietary intake, would they agree?
3. Do you have the tendency to over drink? What would your family members say?
4. Do you listen to people without interrupting? What would the last 5 people you talked to say?
5. Do you tend to overreact in stressful situations? What would your co-workers say?
6. Are you in control of your life or is your life in control of you? Think about it. You know the truth.
How’d you do?
100% Honest 100% of the Time
Here’s the bottom line. If you want to advance your life personally or professionally, you must be 100% honest with yourself 100% of the time.
I make bad decisions just as I did last night when I had pizza. But I know I am making them. I don’t play games with myself trying to pretend those bad decisions aren’t bad decisions.
But we’re not just talking about eating pizza when you know it’s bad for you. It’s about making a conscious effort to see all things as they are. Lying to ourselves may make a bad situation seem better in the short term but in the long term it can only make things worse.
No doubt being honest with myself over the years has allowed me to refine my craft. By accurately viewing my performance I’ve taken the necessary steps to make improvements. As an example, I have video taped every group presentation I have given this year. By looking at my presentations with a critical eye, I’ve identified areas where I can improve and get better.
Only by being 100% honest with myself have I been able see the little things that can refine my daily activities and advance my career.
I believe deep down inside we all know what is right and wrong. It’s part of our moral DNA. We just have to listen to what our gut is telling us and your gut instincts are almost always right.
I know this is not an easy subject to face. There’s a large fear factor here. But being honest with yourself is one of the first steps towards experiencing true happiness and satisfaction in life. Will you work on being 100% honest with yourself?
You cannot be honest with others if you are not first honest with yourself.
Excellence, Self-Talk, Things you were never taught
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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