What is Self-Honesty and Why is it Important?
Honesty all around is so important. However, one specific aspect of honesty that is critical along the path to self-awareness is learning to be honest with yourself. No one is perfect when it comes to self-honesty but some people are better at it than others. Unfortunately, lying to oneself can become so deeply ingrained and habitual that an individual can become completely blind to the reality that many others can clearly see. (It’s like the old saying says: DENIAL stands for “Don’t Even Know I Am Lying”)
Learning to be honest with yourself can be one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. You can choose to stroke your own ego by telling yourself little lies to make yourself feel better when things start to feel uncomfortable. However if you are really only lying to yourself, any relief you may be getting is only temporary especially when the wakeup call of reality eventually comes to light. Self-honesty is a way out of that cycle.
What is involved in self-honesty and avoiding the trap of self-deception?
Consider the possibility that you may be wrong – There was a time when the prevailing view was that the world was flat until someone challenged that belief and learned the truth. People who insist that they are always right are limiting their potential to adapt, learn and grow
GROUP QUESTION: Can you think of an example in your own life when you once swore you were right about something but later learned that you needed to change your viewpoint?
Do not automatically close yourself off to viewpoints just because you initially feel that you disagree with them – Were you ever that teenager telling all the grownups “I’m just having a little fun – I’ve got everything under control” - only later to find out you should have listened to them?
GROUP QUESTION: What is a viewpoint that you currently disagree with, that perhaps you could be more open minded about if you took a little bit of time to try to learn more about it?
Do the math – Does what you say is true, really add up? (Or do you just want it to be true) – For example, consider a man who says he is desired by many because of his good looks, which perhaps was true for him in High School but in reality he hasn’t been on a halfway decent date in years.
GROUP QUESTION: What is an area of your life that it may be a good idea to really sit down and honestly evaluate your current progress?
Look for evidence – If something is true there should be some proof more than just a “feeling” – Consider an athlete who brags that he or she “knows” that he/she is the “best”, but later that doesn’t end up showing itself in the win/loss column
GROUP QUESTION: How do you really know that you are making progress? What evidence do you use to honestly measure it?
Listen to the people who know you, love you and whom you can trust – Sometimes other people can be wrong, however quite often others can see things that you may not be seeing, so it’s worth a listen even if it hurts sometimes.
GROUP QUESTION: Who can you go to in order to get a truthful and honest assessment about how you are really doing?
Speaking of hurting, there is some truth to the phrase “the truth hurts” – If you are sensitive to a certain criticism be mindful that maybe there is some element of truth to it that you need to work on (Otherwise if it doesn’t apply – let it fly) – Imagine, for example, a person who always gets angry whenever people tell him that he is angry
GROUP QUESTION: What topics might come up in your life that can sometimes make you feel a little bit sensitive, guarded or defensive?