How The Lack of Honesty is Destroying Your Potential (Extreme Honesty Exercise)

You are a liar.

No offense, my friend, but you are. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to start on such a positive note, but hey, this post is about honesty. But guess what? You’re not alone. I’m a liar and everybody else you know is a liar too.

I used to believe that I’m the most honest person I know. And more, I used to believe that I don’t lie to myself and others. But then I started questioning stuff. I went deep into analyzing everything I was doing, consciously or subconsciously, and how it was affecting my journey.

One of the most profound realizations from that little experiment was this – I am a liar. And a very good one. In fact, I was lying so much, that my whole life was not working, even though I was an “honest” person based on nowadays humanity’s standards.

We are so fake. We run around, and we pretend all day long. We pretend that we are OK. We pretend that we can handle stuff. We pretend that we don't care. We pretend that we are confident. We pretend that we like each other. And then we go on pretending that we're not pretending. I like this last one the most. 

I used to pretend about everything. I pretended that I was the best I could be in my relationships with my family, friends, my team at work. I pretended that I had no problems in my life and that my struggles were not a big deal. I pretended that I was not depressed. I even pretended that I was waking up on time. You’ve done that as well, haven’t you? I pretended that I was some sort of a superhuman that was so much better than everybody else. I went so far in pretending, that I even fooled myself into believing all these things. What an idiot, right? And yet, so very human. This is what many of us do by default.

The result of my pretense?

I lost track of reality. I lost power and sense of responsibility. How can you deal with the issues in your life and how can you grow if you don’t accept that there is an issue or an area of improvement in the first place? Well, you don’t. And that explains much of the struggle our world is experiencing today.

We run around, trying to look cool, pretending that we’re not afraid of anything, not asking for advice or help, terminating our feelings and shutting down our true voice. We kill the very things that we call human in ourselves. The result? We spend our lives surviving, not living. We spend our lives as prisoners of our own stupidity, prisoners of egos and “good looks.” We live small, and we die even smaller.

Why do we do that? My honest answer to such questions usually is: “Who cares?” Knowing why wouldn’t make the difference we are searching for. Actions will. But if we must analyze why, I’d say that we are just following what everybody else does. We are a society of egoistic, casual liars. We've become great at being followers. We've become experts at fitting in, at looking good, at creating and wearing our masks. And slowly but surely, we've walked away from our true selves as the years passed. It's just easy to be a liar (in the short term). You can find an excuse not to take responsibility for anything.

But what if we were to change?

How would life look like? How would we experience it? What would become possible?

Once I started transforming my fakeness into extreme honesty, I started experiencing a life I didn’t know existed before. My relationships transformed to an entirely new level. I realized I didn’t know who the people in my life really were. My truthfulness opened new opportunities for connecting on a much deeper level. A level with no bullshit. Just pure love and care. Pure joy. My productivity also went through the roof. There were no more made-up excuses and justifications. They vanished. All that was left was clarity – the best runway for action.

So, here is the first big lesson – start with Extreme Honesty. This is one of the best gifts in your life - being able to stay true to your best self. Being able to see and name things for what they are and approach them from a place of clarity and responsibility.

Imagine a world where you are completely honest with yourself. Imagine how motivating it will be to accept your responsibilities but also your power to get stuff done and achieve results. Let’s face it, we all know a hundred things we can do to start living better lives today. But we don’t allow ourselves to do those things because of our fakeness habit.

What if you woke up tomorrow and you didn’t lie to yourself? You didn’t say – “I can’t do it.” You didn’t say – “I’m confused.” And you didn’t stop before you’ve even started.

And what if you dropped all pretense in front of everyone who matters in your life? What if instead of saying: “Everything is great,” you started saying: “I’m struggling, can you help me?” What if instead of saying: “Yes, that’s fine,” you started saying: “No, I’m not OK with that. Here’s how I feel about this and how I believe things can get better and why.”

I can tell you exactly what’s going to happen. Other than completely shocking everyone around you at first, you’ll give a great example of what authenticity really means. You will start experiencing life with a much higher sense of control, instead of giving up control to your lies. Not only will you start achieving much greater results, but you will also be able to give and receive much more love and care from the people that matter. You’ll start living a life full of new opportunities.

Extreme Honesty is not about telling people they are fat or ugly. That’s extreme stupidity. Extreme Honesty is about using your authenticity to bring yourself and the world higher.

So, after all the years of lying, how do you become authentic again? It’s very simple. The mask you are now wearing will tell you that it's a long and painful process, but it isn't. Not if you do it right. You just need to start cleaning up some of your past moments of fakeness.

Yes, the first couple of actions might hurt a little. It’s like trying to start an old car’s engine after a cold winter night. Your mask will tell you that it’s too cold and you better keep things the way they are so you don’t hurt yourself (hurt the mask). But that’s not what your honest self wants. Your honest self that lives below all layers of past lies is ready to rise again. It’s ready to take control. It has been there waiting for you to take action this whole time. And today is the day you do it. Today is the day you clean up the mess you created. Right now, you can begin opening the gates to a brighter future filled with much more power, success, and happiness.

How do you start?

By sharing. Not on Facebook or Instagram, but with the people who you care about the most. Call or meet with your parents, friend, partner, co-worker and have an honest conversation just like the one below. I call this little exercise: Extreme Honesty.

(1) Greetings

Hey (friend), I wanted to share something very important with you.

(2) The Apology

I need to apologize for something.

(3) The Confession

I realized I've been fake with you/myself …

(4) The Truth

Explain when and how you were fake.

(5) The Damage

This has caused A and B.

(6) The Responsibility

I’m taking full responsibility for that.

(7) The Opportunity

I want you to know that starting now I’m taking full control over my actions and will be completely honest with you/myself from now on. I will make it possible for us to be/have …

Here’s an example from my own life (an actual conversation I had with my brother Dimitar.)

“Hey, what’s up? I wanted to share something important with you. I need to apologize. I realized that I’ve been fake in our relationship. I’ve been judging you for being negative towards me, and I never told you that. My hidden judgment has prevented us from having a more loving and trusting relationship. I’m very sorry for the way I’ve been with you. I’m taking full responsibility for what this has caused. I want you to know that starting now, I’m taking full control over my actions and will be completely honest with you. I will make it possible for us to have a trusting, loving relationship where we can openly share and support each other.”

Notice the structure and order of this conversation. All the steps are critical to getting the results we are seeking. By following it, you make sure you don’t fall back into judgment land once again. Once you are done with what you planned on saying, you are done. Don’t expect an answer, an apology, an explanation. You don’t call to ask for anything. You call to apologize, take ownership, and state your plan for action. You do it because that will help you become an honest human being. The conversation doesn’t have that much to do with the other person.

Even though I didn’t expect anything in return, this conversation I had with Dimitar changed everything in our relationship. His reaction was invaluable in bringing us closer as brothers. He thanked me for being so honest and shared that he's been doing the same towards me. Note, that such truthful and warm conversations are extremely rare in a country where men are significantly better at sharing punches than feelings. It’s a fun place.

Imagine the consequences if we had not had this honest conversation. Two brothers not communicating with authenticity. The two owners of the company running around the office holding negative feelings towards each other. How would that have impacted the whole structure of the organization in the long term? How would it have affected our family?

Now, multiply this by all the people in your life. Yes, you are most probably doing that with everyone. Your friends, parents, partner, everyone. And worst of all – you are doing it with yourself.

How did I feel after this conversation? It felt like I finally dropped a massive rock I was carrying on my back. I then moved on with letting go of the rest of the weight by having these conversations with everyone – including myself. Suddenly, I could stand up strong again. It was a relief beyond my boldest expectations.

These conversations created a ripple effect in every area of my life. I was sharing my honest thoughts and feelings with the people I love, but in fact, I was healing myself. I was rewiring my brain from fakeness to Extreme Honesty. Slowly but surely, I grew into this new habit. Other than making me look somehow weird to the rest of the world, it helped me name everything that was happening in my life for what it is. It helped me take control.

Let me give you a simple imaginary everyday scenario:

BEFORE EXTREME HONESTY

The situation: I’m sitting on the couch, watching Game of Thrones.

My friend calls: “Hey, Simeon. What’s up, man? What are you doing?”

Me: “Hey, (friend). Nothing new. I’m working on my book, as usual.”

AFTER EXTREME HONESTY

The situation: I’m sitting on the couch, watching Game of Thrones.

My friend calls: “Hey, Simeon. What’s up, man? What are you doing?”

Me: “Hey, (friend). I’m being a lazy bastard. I’m sitting on the couch watching Game of Thrones, while instead, I must be working on my book as I planned to do.”

THE RESULT

In the BEFORE case, guess what I would always do? I’d keep on sitting on the couch, watching Game of Thrones. In the AFTER case, Extreme Honesty reminds me that I’m doing the wrong thing (the opposite of what I’ve planned). It reminds me that I’m acting like a fool. This crappy feeling pushes my ass off the couch. I don’t want someone to call again in five minutes where I’ll have to say the same thing. And for sure, I don’t want to keep on watching Game of Thrones now that I feel like an idiot for not being honest with myself. Back to work!

You see, you can lie to the world all you want, but you can never really lie to yourself. Your subconscious is very well aware of what you are doing, and that’s what makes lying so destructive. It adds layers of crap over what’s real and important. It blinds you and keeps you away from taking the actions that will create a meaningful difference in your life. If we don’t break the chain of lies and start practicing Extreme Honesty, we will never be able to see beyond the Wall which separates us from the life we want to experience.

Your soul is like water. Stay fake and keep on poisoning the water with waste. Or start practicing Extreme Honesty and enjoy the purity of your inner world.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Have one conversation with a person who is important in your life following the Extreme Honesty principles:

(1) Greetings

(2) The Apology

(3) The Confession

(4) The Truth

(5) The Damage

(6) The Responsibility

(7) The Opportunity

Hint: write down your part of the conversation before you make the call (unless you are meeting face to face). It’ll help you stick to the point and avoid feelings dragging you back to your fake and judgmental being. Make sure you don’t bring your bullshit excuses back. Stay honest.

Don’t move on without doing this exercise, my friend. It’ll take you five minutes. Some of the best five minutes you’ve ever invested in your life. Start writing now, make this call, and I'll see you later. You will love it! Good luck!

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