Why is it so hard to tell the truth sometimes?

Hard to tell the truth

Hard to tell the truth

Who isn’t telling the Truth?

CBC News reported a few days ago that Toshiba’s CEO and eight other executives were resigning as a demonstration of taking responsibility for systemic avoidance of telling the truth at Toshiba.

The article goes on to say, “There was intense pressure to produce results, so employees felt cornered into resorting to inappropriate measures.”

We just cannot achieve superior performance, individually or in teams, unless we are actively being Authentic and Truthful.  The truth is the mother of trust. Caring and consistency are her sisters.

A definition for Truthfulness:
Being truthful in thoughts, words, and actions while Acknowledging Universal Truths and expressing from full awareness in mind and body”

A universal truth: Followers yearn for leaders who are real.  Leaders who tell the truth consistently.

Self-leadership is about recognizing these moments of universal truth and being authentic and vulnerable enough to tell the truth even in the face of possible criticism or an onslaught of feelings.

The skills to manage criticisms and overwhelming feelings are ones that can be developed by the personal leader. It’s all possible with an appropriate personal leadership development plan that embraces more authenticity.

A key reason we’re not fully authentic is that we’re not courageous enough. Courage enables us to be Authentic – we cannot be Authentic until we first have the Courage to be so.

When we’re Authentic, we’re aligned: the mind the voice, the heart and the feet all say the same thing. There is no second-guessing ourselves, and no desire to paint things in a certain way.  Truth then becomes a by-product of Authenticity.

We all yearn to find leaders who are authentic.  The truth just like authenticity is palpable.  People can see it from a mile away when you’re incongruent. They may not know what to do with it, but they sense it.

As a personal leader, you might also be watching how the some people are responding to Donald Trump as he pursues the US presidency.   Every day this past week, I’ve heard things such as how refreshing it is for a politician to be “telling it how it is”.

I  point out the difference between speaking an interpretation and speaking a Truth.  It is sad how frequently we all take someone’s opinion and judgments as “Truth” instead of a mixture of interpretations.

The truth is what it is and may not always be kind, but it shouldn’t wound either. The truth just is, does not have any energy behind it on its own. It’s the interpretations that we’d lay down beside the fact that makes truth-telling hard for some. (to say and to listen to)

Famous truthfulness quotes by Winston Churchill that say things like: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is“.

So, as you can see lot’s of conversations in the media right now about truth-telling.   How about you?

how to tell the truth

You might say it’s not hard to tell the truth.  Here is a little challenge, take this simple self- discovery quiz, answering with a simple true or false answer.

  • I always tell the truth
  • I have never taken anything that was not mine
  • I am never intimidated
  • I am always the best at whatever I do
  • I like everyone I know
  • I never fool myself

Did you notice any gray areas?  Any places where you wanted to say almost always?  Any places where you have a complete fail?       I know personally being extremely optimistic, I don’t always tell myself the truth.

Truth telling is not always easy, and we all can be vulnerable to stretching the truth. A great 1 step is to take full responsibility and be authentic in what you say (and don’t say). You can also build some of the following into your own personal leadership development plan.

Ways to Make Truth-telling easier

Here are some ways to make it easier to tell the truth:

  • Create an environment where it’s safe to tell the truth. Make a pact with others around you that there is an agreement to speak the truth.
  • Agree that there will be no recriminations or punishment for truth telling.
  • Make a commitment to speak the truth in a helpful and positive way. Avoid wounding with the truth.
  • As you tell the truth make clear distinctions between what you observe and what you think about what you see. Recognize the possible impact of your interpretation before you speak.

Here is a good truth question for yourself as an easy first step:

  • As a self-management practice, practice daily telling the truth when someone asks, “How are you?”.   Instead of just answering, “fine” as a default – stop, go inside and see what is  the state of affairs.  (then share THAT).  Then expand to other contexts.



Holiday Relief for the Sensitive Woman

Surviving XmasThe holiday season can be a time of great excess. Lots of activities, deadlines, pressures and expectations can dart out at you.
There is no other time of year that calls so loudly to the sensitive woman to take great self-care.

As a sensitive woman – you can either collapse into the chaos of the holidays or you can maintain some semblance of balance and calm.

The good news is that you have choices as to the type of experience you wish to create.

Here are a few tips on how to stay calm and centered in order to give you some much needed holiday relief:

  1. Plan. Taking out your calendar and planning when and what you will do during the holiday season can help you spread out the work so that no day seems overwhelming.
  2. Have intentions rather than expectations. When we have expectations we welcome struggle. Having an intention instead, allows you to be open to possibilities and open to the universe to provide perfect experiences. Expectations on the other hand, are our interpretations of how we wish something to be as a result of becoming overly identified with the perspective. Most often the perspective we identify with is that we have some sort of control over the situation.
  3. Ask for help rather than do it all yourself. Wherever did we get the idea that we needed to be a Superwoman? That aside, doing things on our own leaves us all alone. It’s so much better to do things in connection with others. After all that’s a lot of what this season is about.
  4. A ‘little bit’ – rather than ‘a lot’. Taking in little bits at a time helps keep overwhelm in check. Just as you would eat a meal slowly in order to get the signal you are full, so can you take in little bits of the season at a time to get a sense of where your balance begins and ends.
  5. Say NO to more this season. Nothing can get you in more trouble than having a habit of saying yes automatically. When we over-commit ourselves, it takes us out of our own sense of balance. Learning to say no more effectively will help you keep your equilibrium. And yes, it is possible to say no in a way that is both compassionate and kind and still meets your own need.
  6. Drink a lot of water. Aside from the health benefits of being well hydrated, drinking water can help you better access your intuition. It’s your intuition that will tell you how to take the best care of yourself.
  7. Build in time to rest. When was the last time you took a nap? We all need time to rest and rejuvenate. Thinking that we can run on empty and still deliver our best is a common trap that any woman can fall into. All you have to do to see the illusionary basis of that thought is to ask yourself “could I do better if I was better rested”?
  8. Build in some alone time. When you allow yourself time for contemplation, prayer, or meditation, you allow yourself space to access your higher guide. It’s the wisdom that we get from checking in with our higher power that can make a big difference in whether we are balanced in both our getting and giving of energy.
  9. Try something new. Trying something new creates some wonderful new energy. Stretching outside of your comfort zone can give you a wonderful sense of calm confidence too. Have a passion you haven’t tried out yet? This might be the time to take it out for a spin. Just remember, for every new YES you have, there is an opportunity to say NO to something else.
  10. Get creative. The best place to be creative is in the present moment. Not only do you increase your capacity for creativity, you are also more likely to be open to possibilities and the magical things that can happen in the wonder of the moment.
  11. Bring beauty into your world. You can bring beauty into your world whether by a piece of art, a sacred object, or even perhaps creating image boards on Pinterest. By connecting with things that are beautiful to you, you bring extra energy to yourself. I like to think of it as filling your beauty tank. After your beauty tank is full, it’s still possible to witness a whole lot of ugly in the world, and still be able to maintain your sense of equanimity.
  12. Find your sense of play. The joy and lightness that comes from being playful brings wonderful energy towards you. If you lost your sense of play it’s worth the effort to locate it again. Not to worry if it’s not immediately there before you, you just may need to search it out. You can even make your search for your renewed playfulness a game.