Several years ago I read and began applying the teachings of The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. Doing so has brought a depth of awareness that has changed my life in myriad ways. I have referred to this book before, and no doubt will do so again, and highly recommend it for anyone on a personal growth path.
The First Agreement is “Be impeccable with your word.” Now that sounds pretty easy, and many would conclude that simply means to not lie. However, it is far deeper than that and requires truth and clarity, even in your internal conversations (thoughts). Rather than delve into The Four Agreements at this time (I will be co-hosting a teleclass on this book in the near future!), I thought I would share one aspect of being impeccable with your word: honesty.
The Top Ten Reasons to Be Honest
1. Honesty equals authenticity.
If you want the world to know the true you, be honest. Let your honest feelings and ideas be known. You have opinions, you have beliefs, values, ideas, feelings, wants, needs, fears and questions. These are all part of you and should be embraced and expressed! You may feel some fear or trepidation expressing yourself and your true feelings, but it is important you let your authenticity shine.
2. Honesty shows originality and courage.
As I said above, it can be difficult to express your true thoughts and feelings, but doing so shows you are a person of deep self-awareness and courage. Expressing your own opinion also shows you are an independent thinker and are willing to question the world around you.
3. Honesty shows emotional maturity.
People express themselves dishonestly primarily to avoid pain. It’s a quick, go-to protective measure. A better way is to become skilled in honest conversation and learn how to speak honestly, with the best of intentions, and help ease the discomfort and pain that may be associated with honesty. It takes emotional maturity to realize the pain of truth is far less than the pain of dishonesty. Give yourself time, practice and patience.
4. Honesty repels trouble.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”—Sir Walter Scott
We begin with a little lie to get out of a commitment or avoid confrontation. Before we know it, we have tangled ourselves up and cannot get out of our web of lies without being embarrassed, causing more hurt than necessary, and losing credibility. Save yourself the trouble; be honest.
5. Honesty creates emotional space.
Dishonesty of any sort, be it hiding your true feelings, non-disclosure of information, or a little white lie, brings with it guilt and negative energy. These take up valuable emotional real estate! Being honest allows you to avoid ruminating over what you did say, what you didn’t say, or what you should have said. Just say it right and move onto the next thing.
6. Honesty equals respect and caring.
When you are honest with others (and even yourself), it translates to, “I care and respect you enough to do and say what is right, not necessarily that which is easy.” It shows you respect another’s intelligence and also value them. When you are honest others respect you as a person of integrity.
7. Honesty begets honesty.
When you operate from a place of honesty, it sets an example for others. It also establishes you as a person of integrity and that fosters trust. From this place, you can create meaningful, honesty-based relationships with others. Practice honesty and you will attract others who do the same.
8. Honesty is a connector.
There are times honesty creates pain. During those times, honesty, from a place of love, can unite people to work through the painful issues. Honesty can also serve as a connector to other truly like-minded people, who are identifiable only when each of you are operating from a place of honesty.
9. Honesty is energizing.
When you operate from a place of authenticity and honesty—being impeccable with your word—it is liberating and energizing! You don’t have to juggle different sets of operating protocols with different people, you have one way of being and that is to be honest with everyone about everything in every situation.
10. Honesty brings clarity to your life.
When you learn to speak cleanly, you learn to know yourself in a more meaningful way. You bring clarity to who you are, what you value, and how you choose to operate in the world. It also allows people to feel more comfortable with you; they know what to expect from you.
Now, lest you think I’m 100% impeccable with my word, let me assure you, I’m not! There are times I’m simply too lazy, too concerned with being shunned, or too afraid of hurting other’s feelings and I slip. (How’s that for honesty??) However, I then review why I acted or spoke in a dishonest way, make note of it, then renew my commitment to do my best to be impeccable with my word.
Have a great day my friend!