Let’s Be Honest…
Why is it so hard to just tell it like it is?
Honesty should be easy. I’m not even talking about not lying or always being completely sincere, because that can sometimes be tricky. I’m talking about stepping out of your comfort zone big time and telling it like it is. Being authentic is the big thing now. Every man, woman and pet is creating a personal brand. All the self-help gurus, the entrepreneurship masters and the life coaches will tell you how it’s done. Their advice is to show some personality in all you do, be clear about your good intentions and share your personal stories. Seems easy enough. Or so I thought… After all, it should be easy. You are the expert of your own personality and know your stories better than anyone. But it turns out, it’s not easy at all and here’s why:
We want our stuff to be good.
We want to be professional and we believe that we must speak with some authority to make others listen and take us seriously.
We look at what other, more successful people are doing.
And not only that.
Maybe we want clicks or likes.
Maybe we want to be published. We want to be seen or heard.
So we stick to the rules. We give sound and well-researched advice. We write our own versions of things we know to be true. We color within the lines. We design our brand well. We think it through. And some people like it, share it and even take our advice. But they won’t remember us.
Why? Because we aren’t being completely honest. We tell the truth, we want to be helpful, but we don’t get raw and vulnerable. Turns out, that’s terrifying and extremely difficult. We are just not used to it.
I read a book today that was honest. It wasn’t deeply personal, but it was completely honest. It was almost as if the computer was attached directly to the author’s brain and everything he thought automatically got written into the book. No BS, no filter, no personal censorship. And it was so refreshing, funny, relatable and insightful! A bit crazy, sure. But if anything, I respect the writer more for daring to be human and showing his madness. I admire that he was brave enough to not be so polished and for not editing out (or just throwing out!) most of that book. We need more of that kind of honesty. In the era of perfectly photoshopped Instagram pictures and cheesy quotes, I want to see some more people who call out BS when they see it and who say that they are anything but awesome, but still try their best.
The fear of not being accepted, of not belonging and of becoming an outcast, is rooted deep inside us. And we need that instinct to survive. We need to belong. We need our tribe to love us. But this fear is also the enemy of our uniqueness and our creativity. It drives us straight down the path of conformity.
And that’s one thing we sure don’t need more of.
That’s my honest opinion of the day.