Why Being Honest With Yourself is Keeping You From Getting What You Want

When it comes to being honest with yourself, sometimes it gets in the way of you expressing who you really are. That’s because the truth about your situation is NOT the truth about who you are.

If your current situation is not what you want, then being honest about it isn’t going to be very useful to you. Because being honest about it keeps you repeating the same story in your head, and in turn, keeps you experiencing the same situation and the same feelings surrounding it.

(Of course, if things are exactly the way you want them to be right now, you can stop reading this article.)

The trouble is we’re told over and over that we need to accept the truth about ourselves and our reality. And most of the time, we’re not looking at the core truth, but the circumstantial truth. This is a big difference.

Becoming aware of the fact that what you’re experiencing is not what you want is useful. Because without that awareness, you wouldn’t know that it’s something you want to change. Telling the truth about it over and over, however, isn’t very useful. It keeps you on a merry-go-round of conditioning yourself to believe that is just the way things are.

Well, the truth is, that’s the way things are because that’s what you created. Things are not the way they are because it’s just the truth, or at a fixed state because that is the way they should be.

They are only that way because you have been repeating that story. You can change your story at any time.

So, in order to tell a different story (and change your experience), you have to stop placing so much importance on telling the truth (about your situation).

The trick is, you have to tell a different story, even though that’s not what you’re currently experiencing. And the key to that is realizing that your current story is something that you can rewrite. It’s not written in permanent marker and sealed in a security envelope with super glue. Although you may think that because you’ve been confusing the truth about who you are with the truth about your circumstances.

You can deliberately choose something different now.

The Truth is, Your Telling the Truth Is not True

It’s not true because it’s just what you decided. The real truth about you is that you can create whatever you want. You can have the perfect path because you’re the one that decides it.

All you have to do is start using your creative power to move in the direction of what you most want your life to look like, by exercising the power of your imagination. Looking at your current situation won’t help; it will only reinforce what you’re already experiencing. You will have to imagine a new reality. Remember, this isn’t lying or being in denial, this is just deciding to create something different. And chances are, if you’re creating what you want deliberately, you will be expressing the real truth about you, that is much more genuine than your ever-changing circumstances.

I recommend doing this for at least 15 minutes every day when you wake up. Deliberately decide what you want your experience to be like, and then start thinking about why you want it to be that way. Forget the how. The how comes after you decide that it’s going to happen.

The how is not important. If you get too caught up on the how, when, or what, you will go back to looking at the past or your current situation and how it’s not possible based on what you already know.

You don’t need to know how it will happen. You just need to know why you want it, and decide that is what you want.

Once you decide what you do want, that’s when the resources will come. Whenever you take a step toward deliberate creation, the universe will start conspiring to make it so. You don’t have to worry about the how.

When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Does your conscious brain need to worry about how you will speak, move, or hear? Of course not. That would be so difficult to manage consciously that it would never work. The same is true for deciding what you want to create in your life. If you had to figure out all the details of how things would happen, it would never be accomplished. The details are for the universe to figure out.

All you need to decide is that you’re going to stop telling the truth about the way things currently are, and decide what you want instead.

The truth is more negotiable than you think.

photo courtesy of kxlly

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Hulbert Lee June 22, 2010 at 11:48 am

I agree with this. I think this post is helpful for people who are in a current state or situation that they don’t want to be in. For example, if someone is in a bad financial situation, it’s easy to accept the truth and say, “This is just the way things are.” But like you say, it’s the way things are because the person created it and they don’t have to remain in a situation for the remainder of their life.

I like what you say about exercising the power of your imagination. I believe that in order to create a new reality, we have to first believe it in our minds enough times until we no longer doubt ourselves. Daily visualization, as I have spoken to people, have really helped them gain mental clarity and focus them in a direction of where they want to go. Once that’s established, resources an opportunies will come later.

Thanks for this article Jonathan. Great post.

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Eduard @ People Skills Decoded June 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

Definetly Jonathan, clarity about the things you want naturally helps you discover the resources to actually get it. Clarity is a very powerful force, which naturally tends to makes things move in the right direction.

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Mars Dorian June 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

kick-ass article Jonathan,

You have to burn a new reality into your mind, and neglect the story you are experiencing now.

If you vision gets powerful enough, you will always find a why to make it happen. I’m experiencing it myself now.

PS: Your new design tweaks rock. The red is passionate and powerful. Good choice.

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Linda Esposito June 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Can I get you to come to my office from 5-8 pm tonight and talk to my clients about this concept? (!).

I still can’t get over the reality that some people create for themselves (not that they haven’t had help from childhood experiences or physiology), but it’s truly sad how many suffer needlessly.

Somtimes ‘those’ truths are a real bi*ch.

Great post!

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Karen June 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Just came in to say thank you for writing this, Jonathan. It’s one of the most thought-provoking articles that I’ve read this week.

This particularly stands out for me: “The how is not important. If you get too caught up on the how, when, or what, you will go back to looking at the past or your current situation and how it’s not possible based on what you already know.” I have always said that if you have a strong enough why you will figure out the how. Devote time to focus on the why and everything else should fall into place.

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Leslie June 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Hm, wow, that’s true and interesting. I was struggling with this in my head and never clearly identified what it was. I’m doing a radical honesty experiment and I’ll definitely be keeping this in mind.

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James June 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

So true. Acknowledge your situation, but don’t dwell on it if it’s not desirable. Dwell on what, where, and whom you want to be.

Strong post.

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B @ logos coaching June 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Often we do think of being truthful with ourselves as fully accepting our current situation but I like your take on the truth being that we are totally capable of everything. That is the real truth – for everyone.
another nice post Jonathan :)

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@TheGirlPie June 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

You remind me to be grateful I was raised from the start with “every day when you wake up, deliberately decide what you want your experience to be like” — only we did it in bed at night. It was story time, telling Mom or Dad what the story of our tomorrow would be.

That, and going to sleep listening to show tunes. A nice way to live. Hope Everyone can read and practice. Thanks for sharing the important stuff.

~GirlPie

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Joseph Jin June 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I liked what you said about the conscious brain. It’s funny how the conscious brain always tries to take on more than it’s able to. The number of factors that need to line up in order to make any goal a reality is always way more than anyone can consciously keep track of, let alone control.

The vast majority of the materials and power we need are running on automatic. Telling a new story is a really effective and easy first step for leveraging this universal automation.

Yeah, if you want real honesty, then you have to take into account that what’s going on is always more than what appears to be. In this aspect, imagination is the most honest of the six senses.

But what’s really going on? A lot, I would imagine.

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Jennifer Woodard June 23, 2010 at 2:36 am

It’s 5:30 in the morning here and another sleepless night for me. I was thinking about what I want and trying to be honest with myself when I decided to read through some of my feeds. This is the first article that I decided to read and I am glad that I did. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways. Thanks for the article I can say that it was truly on time for me. Things just are not they way I want them to be and now I just have to decide how I really want them to be and let the universe do its work. Sounds like a winner to me. I am definitely tired of the same old story I have been telling myself for far to long.

Thanks again,
Jenn

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Kerry Rowett June 23, 2010 at 3:35 am

This is great Jonathan. I completely agree. Going around and around in circles looking at the way things currently are and trying to understand it is just going to keep you there. I see this all the time. And focusing instead on where you do want to be without worrying about the details of “how” is excellent advice.

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S. Ali Myers - Soulful Body & Mind June 23, 2010 at 6:14 am

Oh illuminated one…I must agree with your philosophy. You CAN change your story but a lot of people get use to reading the SAME book. Some people do not want to change the page. Some people do not even know what book they want next.

I like the idea of thinking about what you want to do in the morning, then DOING IT. Conceive it in the mind then WILL it to reality.

Nice post!

– Ali

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Melody Kiersz June 23, 2010 at 6:24 am

Hmm… My initial reaction to this was *cringe*.

That’s because I’m all about honesty on the path to self-realization. I do believe you have to be honest with yourself and accept where you’re at.

At the same time, I totally agree that just because things have been a certain way in the past, there’s no reason to define ourselves by our situation. There’s no reason it keep us from the future we want.

I also feel our interpretation of our life story or our situation is often biased. We tend to be real hard on ourselves for the most part.

For example, I used to see myself as a lazy procrastinator who never got anything done and therefore would never get anything done. It was one of my major blocks. And when I confessed this to someone, they looked at me like I was insane. They asked me if I was, actually… And then proceeded to list all the things I’ve accomplished, how fearless I’ve been about it, and what an inspiration I’ve been for them.

It was completely mind-opening!

So yeah… I still believe honesty is a good tool, but we have to remember our view of our story is based entirely on our interpretation. That, and we cannot identify with our past and let it define us.

This was a great post. Thanks Jonathan!

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Gregg Swanson June 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

Great post! The funny thing is the facts cannot be altered while the truth can be altered. I like to use the weather for an example. A person can say “It’s 75 degrees outside”, which is a fact, if you live in the United States :-). So then…is 75 hot, warm or cold? It depends where you live….if you’re from Alaska 75 could be hot, if you’re from Mexico 75 could be cold. But to each person how they describe the temperature is their truth.
I really like your send statement, “All you need to decide is that you’re going to stop telling the truth about the way things currently are, and decide what you want instead.”
It seems that by speaking the truth the way we see something is creating an affirmation and declaration in keeping it so.
Thanks for the fantastic tips!

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Martin June 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

I think that the real problem is not in telling the truth, it’s in thinking about the truth of the external situation instead of living the “truth” from within. The key is to detach ourselves from our external circumstances and to connect with our real selves within. This is what an artist does when he is consumed by his work. This is what a rock singer does when he is on stage engulfed in the expression of his creativity. When you are in that state, in touch with yourself, then nothing else matters.

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Uzma June 23, 2010 at 11:56 am

WOW. that was brilliant. Really, instead of staying stuck in a difficult truth we can create a happy truth, because at our core, we are powerful joyous beings and that is our Truth. Thank u .

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James Nissen June 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I love this post. I think that the creative power you’re talking about actually creates the momentum to move our lives toward our desired outcome. That’s why writing goals and dreams down is so powerful; it breathes life into the end result and moves us in that direction.

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Anilia June 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I definitely agree with this post. I think people make it harder than it has to be, because its difficult for someone to initially admit that a) changing your life is as easy as telling a new story (with the work to follow up, of course), b)that story can be whatever you want it to be and c) your thoughts create, if only you take the time to control them, and not let them control you.

But all of these are core truths that you mentioned. And we’ve been conditioned that the circumstantial ones are more ‘true’… crazy, isn’t it?

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Joe Wilner June 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I really liked the post. It is interesting to consider the “truth” we tell ourselves. I think the truth is difficult for many people to accept, the truth that we can create and manifest what we currently don’t have. It is difficult to focus beyond immediate circumstances to see the ideal truth. Though, with practice we can maintain a focus on the true potential we all hold.

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Percival J. Meris June 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm

There are two kinds of reality: the objective and the subjective. If the sky is blue (objective) but you see it green (subjective), then it is green. For every person, true reality is not the objective reality but the subjective reality. This is good news, because anybody can create the reality he wants.

If you find yourself in an objective reality situation that is not to your liking, you can change your reality to your liking by changing the way you look at that objective reality.

Based on this principle, I agree totally with you, Jonathan, in saying that “the truth about your situation is NOT the truth about who you are.” This means that reality is defined not by what it is but by who you are.

True it is when you said: “Things are not the way they are because it’s just the truth, or at a fixed state because that is the way they should be. That’s the way things are because that’s what you created.”

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Andy Fogarty June 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Strong words indeed.

When you’re able to not only know exactly what you want, but be able to imagine every aspect of it, you can paint a much clearer picture on how to get there.

I don’t think detailed plans are worth the time because a plan is really just a guess. But you do need some type of plan and to do that you need to know what your shooting for. That’s where the clarity comes in handy :-)

Personally, not so sure I think that the universe brings everything in line for you. I believe everything is already there, we just usually don’t have enough focus to see all the opportunities to make things happen.

Still VERY powerful jedi mind stuff here. Good stuff, thanks

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Rebecca June 24, 2010 at 7:03 am

I needed to hear this. You just saved me from yet another spiral of doubt, insecurity, and despair.

Thank you!!

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Ann June 24, 2010 at 10:28 am

Jonathan,
I have heard this before, but needed desperately to hear it again. The timing was perfect. I get myself overwhelmed on the ‘how’ and feel like it is impossible. If I focus on the what and have faith in my vision, it will become my truth.
Again, thanks!

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Mike Roberts June 24, 2010 at 11:19 am

Great. Freaking. Article.

One thing I have had some stumbles with is convincing the people in my life that focusing on the “truth” of our current reality is holding us back. They have a hard time seeing a bright future when they experience the present as so grim.

Any thoughts on how to go about reassuring our loved ones that the present situation does not have to dictate our future?

~Mike

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The Dame June 25, 2010 at 7:17 am

This post is exactly what I needed to read tonight. I just got back to Australia from six weeks in Thailand, four of which I spent volunteering, and Im stuck. Australia is not my country and on my new visa I cant work here. Im really only here because of my cat and my car. The obvious choice is to sell up and find a home for my cat and go on my next volunteer adventure (Im thinking Costa Rica), but for some reason Im not “feeling it”.

All Ive been thinking about for the past 2 days is how I have $900 and arent allowed to work, Im not yet making money online despite having a big following at the-dame.com, but I dont know how to harness that…

This post reminded me that I need to design my future. If you dont pay attention to creating your life, you end up finding yourself in places that make you wonder what youre doing there.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Ive been living in a bubble in Thailand and now Ive floated up to a sheer rock face with no idea how to overcome this or even if I want to.

My immediate reaction is to keep running (hence Costa Rica) but inside something is telling me that the problem will keep being there whenever I stop running (like now).

Im just not exactly sure what the problem is. Actually I do know, I want to make money online inspiring people and sharing my wisdom, but I need that money NOW, not after the six months to a year it will take to start making money online…

Sorry for the essay!

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candide June 26, 2010 at 12:55 am

totally agree with this post. it took me years to finally understand this.

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Marian July 1, 2010 at 3:03 am

i also agree… i realized that i spent half of my life living this way. before, i thought that being true to myself helps me show off the real me, that people would just accept me because its the “real me” after reading this blog, i realized that i closed my door to opportunities… im the one deciding and taking the path created for me.

Haidn Foster June 30, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for your thoughts on how we can actualize the futures we wish for ourselves.

Your opinion seems to be fairly in line with The Secret, but with a somewhat stronger belief in the need to take actions to change your situation rather than just willing it to be so–would you say that is accurate?

It is interesting, what you say about the transience of our situation in life: how we are the constants living in a mutable world. It strikes me how similar that idea is to Eckhart Tolle’s concept of your identity as the container and observer of your own thought processes. This point was the one I most connected with in your article.

Thanks again for the insights.

All the best,
Haidn

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Scott Dinsmore July 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Negotiating the truth. I love it. Knowing that you are always in control to rewrite your own story is incredibly empowering. It is amazing how things just seem to fall in place once you’re congruent with your story and you resolve to make that your life. Fantastic motivation to keep moving forward too.

Thanks Jonathan!
Scott

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Jason Webb July 6, 2010 at 5:03 am

this article helped me a lot when i first started my own business 2 months ago, now i have a completely different mindset. I certainly wanted some guidelines to do my business ,anyway this is wonderful idea,Thanks

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rbsprr December 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm

“Whenever you take a step toward deliberate creation, the universe will start conspiring to make it so.”

15 years ago, I decided I wanted to be a millionaire musician, and I took even more than one step toward deliberate creation of that reality. Sadly, the universe did not start conspiring to make it so. Today, I understand that I could have taken another dozen steps myself to get closer to that reality, but if the universe is supposed to conspire to make it happen, why didn’t it conspire back then to make me at least understand that I needed to take one further step? (I won’t even say “why didn’t it conspire to make it happen regardless of my taking the further needed step or not”.)

Bottom line, there is no such thing as a pre-disposition of the universe to help you achieve what you really want, no matter how badly you want it or how accurately it expresses who you are. Whether you achieve it or not is a matter of getting people to give you the resources you need that they have, and that can be achieved by a number of methods – honest trading, stealing, persuading in ethic or non-ethic ways, etc. But it’s all done right here on Earth. There’s nothing metaphysical involved.

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Vincent June 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I think the title of this article is misleading, or I’m just interpreting this differently.

Like the first comment said, if you are in a bad financial situation, you can’t just tell yourself that “this is the way it is” and continue to live that way. You have to understand the “fact” of the situation, which is, that you landed yourself in that position, and realize the problem. So… if being honest means “this is who I am and I can’t change. It’s impossible”, then no, no one should be doing that. Because that’s being in denial.

But to me, being honest with yourself means you are truly looking at yourself objectively as possible and figuring out what you really need to do for yourself or that financial issue, for instance. Because if you don’t do that, then you’ll never figure out the problem and won’t change your lifestyle.

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