Honesty comes in two flavors.  Flavor #1 is honesty with others. It’s the moral concept of honesty.  It’s the honesty that drives our relationships. Flavor #1 is the honesty that comes with being trustworthy with our friends, family co-workers, and others. It’s our ability to establish trust with the people that are important to us and in the environments we play. We’re taught about honesty at an early age. We’re taught the importance of being honest from the moment we we learn to talk. It’s drilled into us our entire lives. Honesty with others is a life long pursuit. Some of us are better at it than others.  Regardless, I like to believe everyone works at being as honest as possible.

There is another flavor of honesty and that’s honesty with ourselves. Flavor #2 is the degree to which we evaluate ourselves and our actions with an open and clear perspective. Flavor #2 isn’t taught to us as children. Flavor #2 isn’t preached in the classroom. Flavor #2 is rarely talked about until we are much older.  Honesty with ourselves is usually explored after crisis. It’s normally pushed on us by a friend, a family member or someone we trust.  It’s rarely something we like to face. Yet, it’s critical to our success and happiness.

Honesty with self allows us to move forward.  In sales, when we are honest with ourselves we can admit we didn’t make the calls we needed to this week.  We don’t blame the “leads.”  When we’re honest with ourselves in sales we know when we’ve done what we need to vs. when we slacked. We know when we lost the deal or didn’t make quota because of our slacking or because of a genuine inability to get it done.

It’s the same in life as it is in sales. When we are honest with ourselves, we free ourselves to fail, to grow, to give, to learn, to share. When we lie to ourselves, and we all do, we don’t fail, even though we have. We don’t grow, even though we say we have. We don’t learn, even though we believe we have. We don’t give, even though we’re convinced we have. We don’t share, even though we think we have. When we lie to ourselves, we don’t see things as they really are, because we chose not to.

Being honest with ourselves allows us to own are actions and that is the first step in being honest with everyone else.  Society emphasizes being honest with others, yet often omits being honest with self.  Maybe we have it backwards. Maybe we should start by emphasizing honesty with self, it makes it much easier to be honest with everyone else.

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