The truth is not always simple, as the saying goes. Ain’t that the truth! Over the last several years, as I grow older and a little wiser, I’ve had to come clean for my own peace of mind. Not only being more honest with others, but mostly getting honest with myself: “I’m never going to be the perfect parent. I CAN do this sales job better than the other guy. Love is HARD, but making the effort to get it right is totally worth it.”
And what are the benefits? Here’s what I can say about being more honest with myself:
It is freeing.
I do not have to keep up pretenses about who I’m trying to be or who I’m trying to please. I just hang it all out there, and say what I mean – both to myself and others. The results are usually way better than I think they will be, and I have stopped worrying about trying to fabricate a story that matches the persona I previously wanted to portray. What have I been afraid of all of these years? Coming clean is helping me to live a more authentic life.
It’s better for your health.
“Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week. We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health,” researcher Anita E. Kelly, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame, said after conducting a “Science of Honesty” study. “We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health.”
It helps cut to the chase.
Honesty minimizes indecision, frustration and distraction. The hard truth gets me to the answer faster because I’m not clouded by the stories I tell myself. Admittedly, this one is a hard one to maintain because when we are presented with a tough decision or dilemma, it’s easy to lapse into lies that prevent us from action. Straight up honesty helps me stay on track and get to where I’m going much faster. Just move on.
It deepens relationships.
I recently read that author and public speaker, Iyanla Vanzant asked an audience member whose husband had been lying to her, “What are you doing in your life that is making it impossible for people to tell you the truth?” I love that she was pointing out whether she was somebody with whom people could actually be honest. Being honest and vulnerable myself – as well as taking personal responsibility in my own relationships – has been a powerful thing in building stronger bonds with people I care about.
For example, I have friends that I’ve had for 30 years that I’ve grown closer to in the last two years than the previous 28 because I am more honest about my failures and my successes. We share more intimate details and feelings, which bring us closer together.
Coming clean means to be at peace.
So get out there! Knock out the little lies that you tell yourself that are just getting in the way of progress. Knock out the little lies you tell your loved ones to keep the peace. Practice honesty for a healthier, more authentic life. Coming clean helped me get through some tough decisions and be at peace with myself.