The Creative Genius Corner
Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’
Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth.
So, help me God!
When was the last time you were 100% truthful in your business AND in your life?
How we do anything is how we do everything and there are no ‘half-truths’ just ‘whole lies’.
When we lie to ourselves and to others it chips away at our self-confidence and builds fear. In turn this behaviour impacts our reputation as chinks appear in our armour and the holes become visible.
Truth is a perception, and there are many different versions of it depending on the perspective of the participants. Failure to tell the whole truth could have many caveats such as, protecting someone, deflecting blame, covering up or just plain and simple taking the easy way out.
You screw up a customer order and they are mad, do you say…
- I’m sorry it’s completely my fault, I made a mistake, and I will try and fix it
- It was the delivery service
- It was the office junior
You may think that you are protecting your reputation, and nobody will be hurt, but the TRUTH is that these sorts of lies tend to seep into your business in other areas and start to become the norm. This is a disaster and breeds an atmosphere of mistrust through the whole operation, even if there are only a couple of people involved. You end up lying to yourself, each other, customers and eventually the whole thing ends up a hot mess.
Think about a time when you have been caught in a lie.
How did you feel? Ashamed, embarrassed, like it had ruined a relationship?
The act of telling a lie alters your state of mind. You are on edge in case you are caught out. You are second guessing everyone’s intentions when they speak to you. It takes a hell of a lot of mental and physical energy to maintain a lie, this is why they say that lies ‘grow legs’.
Instead of being able to talk and respond you need to think before you answer so that you can recall if the conversation is connected to the lie in any way. Don’t be fooled, people can spot a lie a mile off. You may think that you are good at responding with a lie, but there are tells, and people who pay attention to your facial movements and body language will know. Even on the phone there is momentary hesitation.
The TRUTH is honesty is rare. Most humans can’t even hold a 15-minute conversation without telling lies for 50% of the time. It takes real effort and dedication to create a workplace AND life based on the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Here are my top tips for building a life and business based on the TRUTH.
Two little words…NO COMMENT. Even guilty perpetrators in the custody of the police have the right to not speak. Don’t be afraid to say nothing if you feel that saying something will force you into a lie.
Ask for time
It’s OK to state that you don’t know something but that you will find out. Most people appreciate this and will be more than generous in giving you the time. If they demand an answer immediately, revert to point one and if they still push, maybe they are someone who you don’t need in your life or business.
Always tell yourself the truth
You will never have a more intimate relationship in your life than the one you have with yourself. Dishonesty in this relationship could be catastrophic. i.e. telling yourself it’s OK to buy that expensive item without having a budget in place to manage your money. You are going to end up in all sorts of trouble.
DON’T Fake it till you make it
I know business coaches that give this out as advice! Don’t do it EVER! If you are caught out in this lie you could end up with a business in tatters, a ruined reputation and financial hardship. Some people get away with it for some time, but they all stumble in the end.
Don’t live in denial
Many of us live in denial at times, telling the world that our marriage is wonderful when in fact it’s awful and you wish you were out of it (I’ve done this by the way with my first husband). Ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I afraid to know?
- What am I hiding?
- What do I almost know?
- What knowledge am I avoiding?
The answers to these questions may bring up some difficult feelings for you, give yourself time to take in your honest answers, then forgive yourself and others.
Forgive others and yourself
Sometimes a situation has occurred because of lies, and we may have cut people out of our lives. Sometimes admitting to yourself that the other person may have lied to protect themselves or others and allowing yourself to see the situation from a different perspective can offer you a solution. Forgiving other people and yourself for your part will release you and remove any bad feeling or necessity to continue lying to others about the situation. We all embellish stories and make baddies badder and ourselves more angelic. When you can just face the plain old facts and see that we are all flawed, most things are recoverable, even if it is only for our own peace.
Above all tell the truth to your loved ones
Studies show that even telling three less ‘white lies’ a week reduces tensions in a relationship considerably. We all tell ‘white lies’ to protect people, but actually tell me my bum looks big or the dress looks awful. I have a 17-year-old with autism and the one great blessing is he can’t lie. His nickname is ‘Spock’ because he is Mr logic and just doesn’t understand why people can’t just tell the truth. This has caused some embarrassing and hilarious moments in our lives, but it has also been refreshing.
Ultimately you need to decide if honesty is an important value in your life and business, and if it is creating a strategy to actively try and meet the standard you want to set will help. Because if honesty and integrity are important to you, having to live with lies will break you down.
If I don’t think a client is someone I would enjoy working with or if I think I can’t help them, I tell them no. It has taken courage and dedication to get to this level because when you are just starting out in business you want to build income. But income based on integrity and values is better than income that doesn’t feel good.
Find a way to be that person who tells the truth and nothing but the truth and see how much better you sleep at night.