Nov. 16, 2021

8 Ways We Can Be Honest With Ourselves


Being honest with ourselves is highly rewarding. Yes it can be painful, but the the reward is so worth it. When honesty meets our willingness to change, there is so many ways we can grow and improve. Honesty is a huge part of self improvement and overcoming delusional thinking about ourselves. We can't expect to learn and grow as individuals if we aren't honest with ourselves. We have to be willing to recognize reality for what it is before we can change it. When we only choose to see what we want to see, and ignore what we don’t want to see, we are being dishonest with ourselves. This may provide happiness or relief for a short time, but in the long-run it’s unhealthy and destructive. Being honest with ourselves can sometimes be painful, but it’s a necessary component to long-term happiness and success in our lives. In this episode I talk about ways we can get 100% honest with ourselves.

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Transcript

Melissa Bright:

When I do these solo episodes, it is always to try to teach you guys something or you guys have some takeaways. Today's episode is all about how we can be 100% honest with ourself. Welcome to The Bright Side of Life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host, Melissa bright. And just a quick reminder, before we get started to be sure to hit the subscribe or follow button if you haven't already. And today I am doing another solo broadcast, because I just think it's fun to mix things up a little bit. And it gives you guys an opportunity to get to know the host a little bit more on a personal level. Today's episode is all about how we can be 100% honest with ourself, this is a topic that is really, really important to myself, because I have been through such a healing journey on the past year for so many different things. And I was thinking about it today, like, I have healed from several different things. And if you think about it, we can be healing from a relationship that ended we can be healing from losing somebody to death, we can be healing from some kind of other trauma, whether it was drug or alcohol abuse, we are always healing. And sometimes it's from more than one thing. And so my journey has really been cultivated into this whole healing because I have lost both of my parents now I'm only 36 years old, navigating that navigating life without them. I'm also trying to heal parts of me that when I was a little girl, and the way that my dad really handled my brother and I, you know, talking down to us not really giving us the best, like really constructive criticism. So things always felt like you couldn't do anything, right, a little bit of a temper, a lot of it have a temper. And these are things that were all passed down to us, my brother and I. So trying to change our behaviors. Because that's not very effective when you are in a relationship when you have friends and these anger issues come out. So that's really what I want to talk about today is because in order to make some kind of change, and to heal, and self improvement, personal development, it really starts with being honest with yourself. And then the next component basically being twofold. And that means I just lost my train of thought, meaning also like a willingness to change. So you're not have the willingness to change. Okay, but what do I need to change? Well, now that's where we have to get honest with ourselves. So I am going to go through a list of these things that we can do. And I hope you guys get some takeaways out of this, because I think this list is wonderful. And it can really help you guys, because it's really helping me. So the first thing that we can do, to be honest with ourselves, and something else that I also want to add is, this is not an easy thing to do. This is not something that you can just snap your fingers. And it's really honest, it's really easy to be honest, it can be really, really painful also, because this can kind of be like a little hit to our ego. Especially if we think like man, I didn't realize that I actually lacked in this area or I was angry or I always come across as sarcastic. Whatever it is, it's not easy. It can sometimes be rather painful. And you're like Well, man, I just kind of like suck like this is how I am but that's not true. Because if you are willing to make changes, then we can become better people and it's such so so necessary for long term happiness and for success in our lives and for successful relationships, friendships, relationships with yourself. So here we go. Here are the key ways to become more honest with your with yourself. So the first thing is You have to acknowledge both good and bad in your life. And one of the ways that we can kind of ignore the bad aspect of our lives is we don't face those problems, we just turn a blind eye to our problems rather than confronting it, you know, face to face. And obviously, the simple truth is that if we don't ignore our problems, they don't go away. Okay, that's not how you fix them. And then if we don't do that, sometimes the problems just get worse, right. So you also want to be honest about the good part going on in your life. And you really want to try to cultivate this mindset of acceptance towards everything that happens to you and seeing it as it is, rather than pretending it is something else. So something that I'm not always good at is, if somebody says something to me, of course, it all goes in through this filter in our brain. And if we have any kind of insecurities, or anything, sometimes this filter can be totally taken out of the context. And you hear something like Oh, my gosh, my friend said she liked my shirt, while she was actually probably just saying that, because whatever. So really looking at things for what they really are, rather than thinking it is something else. And that is where you have to take a step back and look at that. And if you can do this, and you can learn to see things as they really are, you are going to be in a much, much, much better position to improve the areas in your life in the life that you have control over. But without this ignition, initial acceptance, you're never going to be able to make this change. The second one is how we can be 100% honest with ourselves. And this is such an important one with me, for me is taking the time to reflect taking five to 10 minutes out of every day to reflect on your day to reflect on the situation to reflect on whatever it is that is going on with you that you need to become honest with yourself. So you can ask your question questions of how did things go today? What did I do? Right? What could I have done better? Things like that in if you want to break it down to something, like more so it was a conversation with one of your best friends that it didn't quite go that way you got a little bit frustrated with her, you know, what could I have done better? The answer might be, I could have listened a little bit more. Or I could have not been sensitive about the situation, or I could have tried to give her compassion and acceptance. So really just being honest, in those moments, and also, being honest with yourself, but not too judgmental or critical. Because we all make mistakes all the time. Every day, we're making mistakes. And the goal isn't to feel worse about yourself. The goal is to feel better about yourself. So when you take this information, be sure to give yourself grace, right? Because it's just like anything else that we are actually learning how to build something and we make a mistake, and we put a screw in a place that was supposed to have a nail. Well, what do we do, we just fix that we don't get mad at ourselves, we we see the problem and we correct it. So that is another one and reflection. It plays such a key role in becoming a smarter thinker and learner. And when you're really trying to get honest with yourself, you have to reflect, you have to reflect you can't just go through the days because if you don't look back on your mistakes, how are you going to improve them, right? So when we give ourselves time to look back and analyze the events in our day, the conversations in our day, that we can often walk away with greater knowledge and insight into what we need to work on more, and how we can improve ourselves. And one of my favorite ways to do that is getting out. I'm sure if you guys follow me on social media, I have been getting out and doing hikes with my friend Alex. But you know what, sometimes, if you want to go and do that and be by yourself, and really listen to yourself, which we'll talk a little bit more about, but that's one of my favorite ways is like when I need to get real and honest with myself. That's when I go completely alone. I'm by myself. Another way that we can be honest and real with ourselves is admitting when you make a mistake. And oh, this is so not easy to do this. This is probably one of my hardest things to do. I don't know why. I don't know why it would be hard but I think this is hard for a lot of people. So I don't think I'm alone in this. But when we when we admit that we make a mistake. That's a way that we are honest with ourselves. And oftentimes, we are trying to protect our ego, by coming up with excuses or blaming others for our problems. However, True Self Esteem can only be found when we are comfortable and honest about our mistakes, or failures and shortcomings. We have to humble ourselves and say, shit, I fucked up, like, I really do think I fucked up. And that is going to be good for you. And if another person is involved in this, if it's your best friend, and you were rude to her, or whatever it is admitting your fault that is going to go so far with her instead of doubling down which I am so good at doubling down. And then once the conversation blows over, and I've had time to reflect on it, I'm like, oh, yeah, I made a mistake there. And I have a really big issue with my ego getting in the way, I just do not want to think I made a mistake. Or it's if I disappointed somebody, then I will like argue the shit out of it of like why I did that, why I reacted that way. Because I disappointed them. And I just need them to understand why that happened. So that is another one. And only a person who admits their mistakes can learn from them and correct them, like I just said, so you can dive deeper into your past mistakes by writing about your failures that will help you digest the experience and find a way to channel it into something more healthy and constructive. So next time, if a similar situation comes up, you are more prepared to what's the word you're more prepared to know what to do next, and maybe not make those mistakes, like overreacting or saying something snarky and yeah, so the bigger mistake, the more potential growth that you can gain from it. I don't know if that's hard to believe. But I believe that it is true. The next thing that we can do is, we can pay attention to our feelings. This is a way that we can be honest with ourselves, we all experience emotions, and they play such a vital role in how we see ourselves, and how we understand ourselves. I cannot stress that enough. So to be truly honest with yourself, you have to accept your emotional self. This is a hard one for me, this is such a hard one for me. So one central idea behind emotional intelligence is understanding that emotions aren't the opposite of being intelligent or rational, but rather, they are a different type of intelligence that we all must learn. So emotional intelligence, we actually just talked about this on my past podcast with Drew Tupper, the parenting coach, emotional intelligence is being present and being mindful, currently. So if you're talking with somebody, right now, you are being mindful of what they're saying, You're being mindful of what you're saying, you don't just fly off the handle and react really quick, because those are old behaviors that you used to do. But if you have time that you're very, very mindful, you might change those behaviors. And emotions are powerful signals that can help guide our thoughts and behaviors, especially when we understand where they are coming from. So once again, I have I have figured out over the last year, let's say if I overreact to my boyfriend, or to my daughter or something like that, sometimes I'll step away and say why, why am I feeling that way? Why? Why do I feel disappointed? Why do I feel angry? Why do I feel filan? Whatever the emotion you're feeling, and that's where you have to be honest with yourself. It can be like, Oh, that's right. Well, this past situation, like let's say, mine, always, a lot of times goes back to my dad. When I seen my dad get annoyed with me. This was me showing this was him showing me that he disappointed me. And now I have just disappointed my daughter. And I'm I'm really upset that I that I did that. So always asking yourself, Why am I feeling this emotion? What is making me feel happy, angry, sad, disconnected, so on and so forth. And really digging really, really deep for that. I know emotions can often be misleading, but they can also be really revealing. And that's where I have such a hard time I'm like, What is my emotions telling me? Are they true? Or is it something that like I'm kind of making up in my head, or, like we were saying, seeing the situation for like what it really is, is it? But it is, is it going into this like wrong filter that you're thinking it's something else when it's really not. So when we do question our feelings and ask ourselves the true causes behind the way we feel we do, we can learn what certain thoughts actions in situations cause us to feel a certain way, then this gives us the knowledge to give us better understanding of ourselves, and how to best respond to our emotions, given the situation. And the situation for future reference of you're going to, you know, have these same conversations, thank you to better help for sponsoring this podcast. I started my therapy whenever I started this podcast. And so that's exactly why they became my sponsor, because they have helped me if you guys think you might need to see a therapist better help is amazing. They are online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, you have the options to message them, you can do a phone call, you can do a video chat, whatever you feel comfortable with doing, they have several different types of therapists, if you need couples, or for marriage and family therapy, it's also available to individuals worldwide, better help is a monthly subscription. So you're not paying per session, and financial aid is available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com/bright side of life, that's better help.com/bright side of life, join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month, you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash Bright Side of Life, the link will also be in the description section of this episode. The next thing that we can do, to be honest and real with ourselves, guys, find someone to find someone that you trust to be open with you. And for me, mine happens to be my boyfriend, because unfortunately, he is usually the brunt of my anger or my overreacting. And I need him to be honest of like, hey, remember that time we talked about that, and I got angry, whatever, like I need him to be honest, but you can't get mad at them, because you're asking them to be honest. So to get a richer picture of ourselves, we sometimes do need an outside perspective. This can be your close friend, family member, that can often tell us about blind spots that we don't, we're not maybe aware of, that we don't typically think about or we never pay attention then attention to I can't talk today. So every now and then you really need somebody that you can trust, who can call you out on your BS when you need it. And having a good friend like that can help keep you straight and accountable. And if you want a completely outside outside perspective, find someone who isn't part of your life at all that you can speak to such as a therapist, counselor, or coach. Now, this is what I'm going to say if you are doing those things, you need to be honest about both situations. So for me, for example, if I'm going to go tell my friend Alex about my boyfriend, Brandon and an argument that we just had, I can't sugarcoat it. And I can't say, well, Brandon was the one that was saying this. And I totally gloss over the fact that I got angry. The second that he said something like I need to keep it fair if I'm going to get honest feedback from my friend, because that's what you're looking for. So whenever you do go to somebody, and your counselor and coaches and therapists then they might not know the other person that's involved in the situation or whatever is going on. Make sure that you're giving them all the facts so you don't get upset you told you I it was okay that I just yelled at my boyfriend or whatever it is. This gives them a way that they can provide new insights that obviously your friends and family may not notice. And you can get a fresh, fresh perspective, that's not biased, you know, by knowing you in the real world and seeing you also, and then that's why honesty is one of my core values and why it's so important for me because you have to be completely honest, and to be honest with ourselves if we want to see real self change and self growth, which oh boy do I ever ever want that for for myself. Because my number one goal. If I could say anything like what does the bright side of life mean to me, the bright side of life means to me is to be at peace with myself to be a peace with my past. tend to be at peace with where I'm going. I don't want to constantly be at a war within myself, within myself, but if I haven't fixed certain broken and hurt parts of myself, my inner child, if you will, these the same patterns are going to keep coming up. Ones that I say so often, you know, like the anger issues and the overreacting, this and the doubling down and, and really not giving myself the opportunity to think about a situation for what it is. Yeah, sorry, I went on a little bit of a tangent. Okay, next way that we can be honest and real with ourselves is avoid overthinking. Oh, that's an easy one Said no one ever, and self blame. So a big part of self awareness comes through self analysis. But we have to be careful not to get too carried away in overanalyze every little thing that happens to us, which I am so so so guilty, for I am such a big overthinker. And then I'm going to be pissed off at myself. And then it's just this perpetual cycle, perpetual cycle that is so not good or productive for what I'm trying to do. So when you excessively think and ruminate, this is a key symptom behind mental health problems, including anxiety, and mood disorders. I'm going to say this one more time, because I feel like it's so important. Excessive thinking, overthinking, ruminating about stuff is a key symptom behind many health problems, including anxiety and mood disorders. Anxiety is just you constantly being worried about what is going to happen in the future. What is what if this happens, what if this goes wrong? What if I can't pass this test, whatever it is, and so when we kind of get in the just constantly constantly thinking about stuff, that's when we kind of go in this down, down? Hill spiral, downward spiral, that's the word I was trying to think of. So um, you know, we often think about things that we have zero control over trying to figure out our past, and it can just kind of take us nowhere, it's good to reflect good to reflect. But if we just overthink and overthink overthink, it's not going to get us anywhere. So being honest with yourself isn't about trying to find the meaning behind everything that happens to you or blaming yourself for everything. Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no good reason at all. So there doesn't always have to be a meeting a meaning to that. It's easier to just accept the facts and let go rather than trying to find the grand meaning behind certain events in your life. Once again, I'm guilty, guilty of this also. And then the real meaning of your past comes from what you to decide to do after it, which is exactly what I'm trying to do. Trying to change these behaviors within myself that I just really know are not good for my relationships with my own self. And that's what we're trying to fix trying to get real with ourselves. Right. All right. I wonder if you guys thought if I was ever going to mention this one. But another way that we can be real and honest with ourselves is know when to trust your gut. The better that you know yourself, the more that you can begin trusting your gut and intuition. What is intuition? Intuition is that inner voice in your head, that little that little voice that you have in your head that you just feel like something might be off, or whatever it is, I love my intuition. I need to listen to her more. So this requires a very, very deep self awareness. But the more that you master your own your intuition, the easier it is to see when your feelings are guiding you in the right direction, versus when your feelings are guiding you in the wrong direction. Hope that makes sense. So with practice, you can learn the difference between an impulse mindless reaction and your intuition, fast pattern recognition. So impulse would be once again using the boyfriend as an example because he's the one that I communicate most with in my life at this point. He says something to me, it comes within in Melissa's filter brain, I'm offended when he totally did not even mean anything by that. I make an impulsive reaction to say something snarky or something sarcastic because my feelings are hurt. Instead of being listening to my intuition, and being like, he totally his intention was not in any way to make me offended. He's not mad at me. He's not disappointed in me. And that does come with practice. Because if we just immediately react to everything. Yeah, it's not good. And I'm really really, really guilty of this So the more that you can listen to your gut, and the more you understand that how it works, the more you can use it to your advantage when you're making these choices in life. All right, we got one more, and that is accepting what you don't know. So another necessary part of being 100% honest with yourself is being aware of your limitations in your ignorance. This includes recognizing our imperfect knowledge and understanding that we don't know everything. Being honest about what we don't know, keeps us humble and realistic. Oftentimes, we assume we know everything, we act in stubborn and irrational ways, right? Yes, I know I do. So we also ignore evidence that may contradict our current beliefs, which is very, very easy to do. Because when we believe something, we so much just want to keep fighting that to make that thing come true when it's really not that case at all. So understanding our limitations keeps us open. Our understanding our limitations keeps us open to new information and knowledge. So this allows us to be more flexible with our beliefs and modify them, and we learn something new, there's wisdom and ignorance if you're willing to acknowledge it, and adapt to it. So those are some of the ways that we can be honest and real with ourselves. And I'm going to go back over this, this list here in a minute, if you want to jot them down, I guess I probably should have noted that in the beginning. So if you're not driving, do not pull out your notebook or your phone while you're driving. But if you are, get ready, because I'm going to go back over those in a second. So get your pen and paper out. Honesty takes so much practice, it takes practice, guys, I have been on this journey for a while. It's something that we need to practice on a daily basis, we don't just become completely honest with ourselves overnight. For many, such as me, it is a never ever ending process. And that's okay, we don't change these behaviors overnight, especially when it's, you know, learn behaviors like mine. It takes constant self awareness and vigilance. And being honest with yourself can be painful, but it can be so rewarding. Because when honesty means your willingness to change, there is no telling the ways that you can grow and improve. Okay, so let's go over these ways that we can be honest and real with ourselves again. So number one, is you can acknowledge both the good and bad in your life. Don't ignore the bad aspects of your life. Take time to reflect take every single day, just five or 10 minutes to reflect on your day. Ask yourself questions. How did things go today? What did I do? Right? What could I have done better? Third one, admit it when you make mistakes. I know this is not easy. I know this is not easy. But I promise the outcomes will be so much better. So much better. Yeah, I could say something but I'll just move past it. Pay attention to your feelings. What is it that you are feeling your emotional intelligence, your mindfulness, keep keep your mindfulness in your mind. Whenever Whenever you're having your conversations or whatever it is that you need to think about. Be mindful of that. Next one, find someone you know, find someone you trust to be open with you. And then once again, if they are open with you, you have to be willing to hear what they say because it might hurt and it might not be fun to hear. But that's how you can grow. This is also we can grow into be honest with ourselves. Avoid overthinking and self blame. This is another one when we are going on this journey to get honest with ourselves. I know I'm an over thinker, and I will start to blame myself so guys, be gentle in this process. Please, please please, because you do owe yourself that know when to trust your gut. So master your intuition. You guys can look up some stuff some stuff on that but that's really like how I tried to do how I try to do the intuition stuff is that is when I need to be alone. That is when if I will go on my hikes. For you guys that's follow me on social media or you're my friends you guys knew I took two days to go to Branson. Really just need to think by myself have clear. Clear thoughts I guess is the word and just be by myself and my puppy dog. And just see ask myself questions and see what my intuition says another thing you can really really listen to your intuition. When you are going to lay down for sleep, your brainwaves slow down. I'm not a doctor, I don't know all these fancy words, but your brainwaves slow down more. And this is when you can really hear it. So like some of the most profound advice that I've ever given myself has come from, like waking up in the middle of the night. One of my best examples that I've thought about, like, a couple, like months ago was I get a great deal of people messaging me to be on my podcast a lot. And sometimes more often, I don't say more often than that, but sometimes they, they just don't align with what I am trying to do. And for the longest time, I felt guilty for telling people No, like, sorry, you can't be on my podcast, I don't board it that way. But that's more or less what I was saying. And I would feel bad. And then one night, in the middle of the night, like this voice in my head was like, Melissa, you have a mission, you want to keep aligned with your message to the world and to help people. So you don't have this is me giving you permission to let you know that you can say no to these people, because you have to be true to yourself. And that was my intuition telling me that so I know it can kind of heart be hard to like, know what, what your intuition is. So I'm curious to know, like, if you've ever heard your intuition talking to you, okay. And then last but not least, is accepting what you don't know. And that's okay. If you don't know it. That is okay. So I hope that this loose list was helpful to you. This is something like I have said that I, I am so, so trying to be honest with myself for self improvement, because there are a lot of qualities about myself that I don't like. And one of the biggest things is it affects my relationship with my boyfriend patterns from you know, having a father that was impatient and didn't understand and made us feel stupid. And I know that I bring up my father a lot. But this is literally directly correlated, how I was brought up with him and how he taught me, I sometimes I'm the same way with my daughter when she was younger, I was very short with her. She didn't understand how to do something, I would get frustrated, like, how does a five year old not know how to do this? Well, that's because she's never been taught. And here I am being like, impatient with her. That's not cool. That's just going to teach her. That's how she's going to teach her kids. So I'm trying to break these cycles. So whatever it is, that you need to be honest with yourself about? Start doing that. I mean, it could be anything. Do you think you might drink too much? Do you think that you smoke weed too much? Do you think that you are too sensitive with your with your boyfriend youth, I mean, the list goes on and on. And it doesn't even have to be about a particular situation. It's just very beneficial. Because when we're honest with ourselves, that's when I feel that we can be most at peace with ourselves and not react to everything Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman has a quote. And if I can Google it really quick, and find it. Um, I'm going to read it and it is one of the truest quotes and it is my goal in life. Well, I can't find the quote. But if I find it, I'll post it on my Facebook. But it's basically about like when you have mastered you know, if somebody gets you upset or you get frustrated, like when you have mastered, not to react to that. That is like when you have mastered like true, truly knowing yourself. I'm totally butchering that. So I'm just going to stop there. But if I find the quote, I'm going to post it in the show notes. Once again, I hope you guys enjoy these solo episodes. I hope you guys get something from these. I feel like this was a good list today because this is currently what I'm trying to do is to be real and honest with myself. I would love love love to hear your guys's feedback or even some examples of ways that you have been honest with yourself ways that you have checked yourself you know, no matter what it whether it no matter what it was about, I would love to hear it because we can all learn from each other and make ourselves better and self improve. i Yeah, I just it's one of my biggest goals to do so I thoroughly hope you guys enjoyed today's episode one Again, have not forgotten about the fireside thing I am only literally one person doing so many different things still trying to get that up and going so I have not forgot about that. And if you guys have not subscribed to the email list to find out when we are doing new episodes, and all that fun stuff, be sure that you sign up for the email list and you get a free self care planner with that so go to the bright side of life podcast.com And then if you have not yet followed or subscribed, whatever listening platform you're on, they might have different ones be sure to do that because you will also get notified when the new episodes drop. And I think that is it for now, guys. I hope you have a lovely day. And if you guys know anyone that may need to get real and honest with themselves. Please please share this episode with them because we never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.