According to the Meaningful Life Center…
“Being honest with yourself means seeing yourself, of course, but what does that mean? It’s genuinely challenging to come to an accurate self-perception. Our perceptions of ourselves are informed by the stories we have told ourselves about ourselves. Those stories can be wildly inaccurate and unfortunately judgmental.”
Learning to be honest with yourself is no simple feat. It can be challenging to embrace truths about yourself, especially when they are less than favourable. However, when you open yourself up to this type of transparent learning, there are many ways you can benefit. Being honest with yourself can afford you some truth and information that helps you to grow and transform in meaningful ways.
- Your Values and Beliefs: True honesty with yourself can help uncover more about your values and beliefs. Your values and beliefs serve as the underlying current of attitudes you hold, choices you make, and behaviours you engage in.
Being honest with yourself can help you get to the root of why you think what you think and why you do the things you do. As a result, you can understand yourself more deeply and make choices that best align with your inner self or make alterations to your values and beliefs so that you’re able to become the kind of person you truly desire to be.
- Your Boundaries: Honesty with yourself can also help uncover your boundaries. As you are transparent about what is serving you and what isn’t serving you, as well as what is contributing to your happiness versus what is contributing to your frustration, you can find those things that you are no longer willing to put up with and learn how to draw lines that prevent you from becoming exhausted and overextending yourself.
- Your Feelings: You can also learn quite a bit about your feelings when you are honest with yourself. Transparency with yourself can allow you to tap into what you feel and why you have those feelings.
You may uncover some unfavourable feelings or find that your feelings are rooted in negative experiences. Still, all this information helps you better cope with your feelings and relate to others more healthily.
- What Makes You Happy: Another insight you can gain about yourself when you are honest is what makes you happy. When you reflect on what is contributing to your happiness and what is pulling away from your happiness, you see what brings you joy and fulfilment. When you know what makes you happy, you can make intentional decisions that help promote happiness in your life and stray from those things that detract from the joy you desire to experience.
- Your Dreams: You can learn more about your dreams and aspirations as you get honest with yourself. Through periods of direct reflection, you can see those passions and pursuits that hold deep meaning for you and learn what truly adds value to your life.
With this information, you can better align your goals and actions to move forward toward your dreams instead of away from them.
- Strengths: You can discover more about what you are good at when you are honest with yourself too. Looking back at your successes and your talents can allow you to see how you contribute to and add value to others. As you know what you are good at, you can see how you can use those strengths to continue to add value to others and situations in the future.
- Weaknesses: Just like learning what your strengths are, you can learn about what your weaknesses are through honesty with yourself as well. Just as you can reflect to see how you’ve succeeded, you can also see where you’ve failed or those areas in your life that are not leading to achievement.
Learning this can help you discover where you need to improve to become your best self and have the best outcome in life.
- How You Manage Stress: How you manage stress can become apparent to you via the process of being honest with yourself. Reflection and self-analysis can show you whether you have healthy or unhealthy means of coping with stress and how your coping mechanisms impact your life and the life of those around you. If you uncover unhealthy ways of coping, you can make changes that help you deal with stress better and avoid mental and emotional health breakdowns.
- How You Deal with Conflict: It is also possible for you to learn about the way you deal with conflict via honesty with yourself. Self-analysis and transparency can allow you to see whether you manage conflict in a healthy or unhealthy manner.
You might find some unhealthy patterns of conflict resolution or conflict avoidance that work against your effectiveness. You can then make changes to help you navigate conflict better so that you can resolve issues and move forward.
- How You Relate to Others: A final piece of information you can gain about yourself from being honest is how you relate to others. When you understand how you relate to others, you can establish healthy patterns of engagement and connection that lead to more meaningful, transparent, and long-lasting relationships.
Taking the risk of being honest with yourself can help you find out much about yourself. It takes guts and commitment, but it is well worth both. Do you want to live a lie your whole life? Via what you learn, you can become a better person and become more effective in navigating life and progressing towards your goals.