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How Honest Are You With Yourself?

By Ron Balagot

"Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise." --Sigmund Freud

Have you ever asked yourself this question: "How Honest Are You With Yourself?"

Why is it so important to ask yourself this question? Because it could mean the difference between reaching your dreams and simply going around in circles (or always being confused why you're not getting anywhere). It could also mean the difference between getting what you "really" want and getting what "you only think" you want (meaning, you only think you want it, because deep down inside, others want it for you, and you want to please them).

If you think about it, if you're not completely honest with yourself in certain areas of life, you will not have the power (or will not be in the position) to change what's holding you back from success in those areas. Basically, if you don't admit to yourself that you're living a lie, you'll continue to live a lie. If you continue to deny the fact that you're being dishonest with yourself, you will not have the power to change the things that need to be changed.

On the other hand, the moment you become more honest with yourself, things will start to change. Positive things will start to happen. And it's because you will all of a sudden have the power to change things. Besides, not being your "true self," as well as pretending that you like doing certain things even when you don't, are tiring. Living a lie simply drains a lot of energy from you.

Could you please do me a favor and try a little exercise? Take a moment to answer the following questions and see how honest you are with your answers. In fact, after every question, ask yourself: "Am I being completely honest with myself about this?"

  1. Is the career you pursued what you really wanted to pursue? (Or, did you only go in that direction because certain people in your life expected/wanted you to go in that direction and you didn't want to disappoint them?)

  2. Can you honestly say that what you're doing in your life right now is what you know will bring you a great sense of fulfillment? (Or, were your decisions the ones that led to your present condition... influenced by what certain people will say? By how certain people - whose approval you seek - will react?)

  3. Are you honestly taking the types of actions that will bring you closer to your goals? (Or, are you just keeping busy with non-productive activities so you can say to yourself and others that you're actually doing something?)

  4. Are you saying YES to requests from certain people because that's what you really want to say? (Or, are you saying yes because you're too afraid to say NO for fear of losing the approval of those people? Or, are you also saying yes because it will allow you to procrastinate... to delay what you know you should be working on?)
Now, those are only a few questions but I'm sure you can come up with a lot more questions of your own.

So, how did you "feel" about your answers? Did it feel like you were truly being honest with yourself? Like every fiber of your being was saying YES (without any opposing thoughts)? Or did you have that feeling in your gut telling you that you weren't being completely honest (where you could hear a tiny voice inside shouting out "LIAR!")?

You see, when you're not being true to yourself, something inside you doesn't feel right. And this affects many areas of your life in a negative way. You feel confused a lot of the times. You tend to procrastinate a lot (and tend to find ways to justify your behavior). You lack that sense of fulfillment you so desperately want. And more.

However, when you're honest with yourself, you tend to be more decisive. You feel more motivated to take action. You think more clearly. And you feel fulfilled in general (since you are more at peace with yourself... and are doing what you are supposed to be doing).

As you can see, your progress - and ultimately, your success - will be highly dependent on your ability to remain honest with yourself. I challenge you to take a closer look at your life and see which areas you are truly being honest in... and which areas you need to work on. Then act accordingly.

Ron Balagot produces the Confience Tips Blog.

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