The Role of Honesty in Self-Discovery
“All it takes is one incredible opportunity to completely change your life for the better. I’m ready,” the tweet read.
It was penned by Alisha Nicole, Founder and Author of Living Over Existing. Alisha is on my private ‘Inspirational’ Twitter list for reasons such as this — her uplifting take on life and entrepreneurship.
I hovered over this tweet as I re-read its words. I prepared to retweet it as a way of saying “me too, girl!” until I realized I couldn’t. The last line in her tweet stung. “I’m ready,” I read as boldly as I had imagined she’d written it. “I’m ready!” I exclaimed, as if trying to convince myself.
Lately, I’ve been dealing with some disparaging comments from readers who’ve disagreed with some of my insight. That’s normal, though. The best of the best are criticized in waves far larger than the three that have taken to my website.
I’ve been struggling with maximizing my time and productivity, to minimize burnout, stress, and anxiety. I’ve been contemplating ways to be more focused and intentional in my work, and hone in on the skills that bring excellent results, rather than many skills that bring mediocre ones.
I’ve been finding myself taking less financial risks, and avoiding the challenge of finding better, more effective ways to do what I’ve been doing on auto-pilot for the past three years. Lately, maintaining this brand has exhausted me. I’ve written about it, prayed about it, tweeted about it, and vented about it to my closest friends — and all I could think is that it hasn’t even been five years, yet.
They say the five-year mark is truly the most challenging, but this year, I’ve been wondering whether or not I’ll even make it to that. I’ve been going through an intense set of growing pangs both with my brand, and in my personal and spiritual life — all of which, if you know me, are closely connected.
Yet, each and every day I wake up and tell myself that all it takes is that one moment. That one phone call. That one blogpost. That one pitch. That one podcast episode. That one speaking engagement. That one connection. To change the course of your life. To change the trajectory of your brand, and to shift the impact of your work.
However, Alisha’s tweet revealed an interesting truth that I have admittedly been hiding from: I am not ready.
It’s something we’re made to feel bad about because we’re not speaking above our circumstances. Much like the pressure people use to inspire others to quit their 9-5 and purse entrepreneurship full-time, we’re guilted into thinking and feeling different from what we truly do. There’s loads of pressure to be better and feel better than we actually do, and in conforming to that, we lose the essence of how we feel in a moment.
But self-discovery requires honesty; we owe it to ourselves to uncover our truths.
The beauty — and sometimes challenge — with self-discovery is our willingness to uncover how we truly feel and who we truly are despite what others tell us to feel or believe. Before we can change our mindset, we must first identify what our mindset is. But if we’re too busy trying to hide from it, we can never overcome it. It is our duty, as we pursue our full selves, to be as open and authentic as possible. On this journey I’m learning that we do not have to have an unrealistic expectation for our relationship with ourselves. That, if we’re honest with anyone, it ought to be us. And that it’s only through this honesty that we can be transformed.
True self-discovery, the true uncovering of self, relies solely on your ability to be honest, transparent, and open. It’s based on your willingness to acknowledge your deepest truths, heal from your greatest hurts, and explore what they mean to your existence. So as I experienced the very real feeling of not yet being able to exclaim Alisha’s post as gracefully as she had, I recognized that that’s an important step in my own journey. That, by admitting these realities to myself, I’m putting myself in a better position. By resting in truth, I’m allowing God to conspire in my life and manifest all the things He has for me—all the things that require this honesty.
And while I may not have felt ready when I read that tweet, perhaps my honesty has positioned me in a better space of readiness. Perhaps my readiness has presented itself in my honesty—and perhaps it will manifest itself because of it.