Do You Need A Little Radical Self Honesty To Make A Change?

mirrored house

(mirrored house)

Yesterday was one of the best days on record.

It happens to be the start of a new year, which makes the day even more prone to symbolic thought, but the best part of it?  Besides the glamorous sun-shining weather and magnificent hiking, the best part of the day was spending half of it with someone I don’t just adore— he’s someone who elicits radical self-honestly from me.

While its lovely to be surrounded by people who always tell you that you are right, who never ask probing questions, who shy away from wanting to know more, its the people who keep us honest- honest about how we are appraising our own lives- who are truly underrated.

To clarify- I’m not talking about critical people who just spin your head.  I’m talking about people who ask the questions that help you to excavate the truth of why certain things fall into inertia and get stifled.

You can also learn to do this yourself- radically get self-honest – and it is a gift to be able to do it.

After all: If you can’t see what actually is in front of you, how could you possibly improve it? 

now mirror art

(doug aitken)

I don’t know about you, but I have confused self-honestly with self-bashing!  And I’ve found for myself a simple way to distinguish the two.

Self Honesty is not: beating yourself up, comparing your self to other people, wallowing in the past, living in guilt, spiraling into depression or anything of the like.   Feeling stuck in your head, pressured, anxious…. all are signs for me that I’m just being harsh on myself in a non-constructive manner!

Self-Honesty- or whatever we will call the idea of looking at situations objectively and honestly, without adding in excuses or frills to justify why they don’t change when they do need to change- is a freeing process.  It motivates you. It sparks ideas.  It feels like life cracked open in a great way.

In a very informative article in Psychology Today, Assessing Yourself, Honestly, Nando Pelusi, Ph.D., writes:

“So, welcome to the art of self-appraisal.

As you push yourself to overcome inertia, you need to work against the tendency to feel discouraged and hopeless. Here are some action strategies that are geared toward success.

• The trick is to assess your behaviors and traits honestly—but not rate your inherent worthiness as a human being.

• Focus on corrections. Cognitively reframe correction as just that—corrections, rather than as failings.

• Look upon self-appraisal as identifying a new path for yourself and persistently trotting down it.

Psychologists describe relearning, or changing your emotions and behavior, as similar to retraining a horse along its route. If you ride a horse the same through a path every time, he will only reluctantly go down a new path. And every time the horse gets to that juncture, he will hesitate. It’s only with consistent stopping and guiding the horse down the path that he will unlearn the old and relearn the new.

• Talk sanely and forgivingly to yourself. Do not beat yourself up….” (you can read the whole article HERE)

A little feng shui to support your radical self-honesty: In your environment, you might want to clean your mirrors and your windows. Reinforce the clarity you are gaining.  It’s a powerful exercise!

You can create any reality you want.  But as reason suggests, you have to see things for what they are to know what you are building!

xoxo Dana

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