Let’s say you’re an average person, which I would say will take some doing. You’re on this blog which means that you’ve got drive, you’ve got ambition, unlike the average person, but let’s pretend. So, you’re an average person with a whole bunch of desires but you’ll probably never do anything with them. You’ve always thought that other people just got lucky or were born with advantages and there’s no such thing as social mobility. You are stuck.
Then one day you read an inspiring story, or accidentally watch a TED talk about how someone changed their life and determine that you could do the same. The only problem is that you don’t have the faintest idea what to do.
It’s not easy to figure it out. Which is where a coach comes in. Someone who can help guide you through the pitfalls and barriers to self-actualization. Most people won’t even consider a coach, which is a terrific mistake, but what if you did? What if you decided to invest in yourself? What if you decided to forgo one night out a month in order to redirect your funds to developing yourself, instead of drinking yourself into stupidity? What would be the first thing a decent coach will you ask you do?
He or she is going to ask you to open yourself up, to bare yourself and be open to feedback.
This is such an important step and there’s a good reason that it’s the first step many will take.
The reason is that without a tremendous amount of self-awareness, you’re not going to know which steps to take to better yourself. You might believe that you do and then you won’t get anywhere and you’ll become frustrated and might decide that the whole thing is a massive waste of time. You’ve got to be able to:
- look at your own thoughts and beliefs and actions and really be honest about your failings
- be able to take some pretty brutal feedback
I’ve been in this situation many times and it’s not always pleasant, but there is a way to get through it and I’m going to tell you what it is shortly (not that it’s a major secret or anything).
Why don’t people want to hear the truth?
We’re always being told things like:
- You’re perfect just the way you are
- Everyone is amazing in their own special way
- There’s nothing wrong with being lazy/stupid/obese/poor etc, when in fact most people hate being those things. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw anyone sell a course on how to earn less money or how to get even fatter?
We’re not perfect, we can all get better. Every single human being on this planet has room to improve, but very few of us will truly admit that. How many times have you heard people say:
- Are you telling me how to raise my kids?
- How dare you tell me how to live my life!
- Haters gonna hate!
Ugh! What nonsense. The outrage that follows the mere suggestion that someone might not be a perfect specimen is hilarious. Yeah, you might well be a shitty parent and your life might be a train wreck and just because someone doesn’t agree with whatever choice you make doesn’t make them a hater.
The sooner we can admit our foibles, our faults and our failures, the sooner we can move on with our lives.
Here’s a couple of examples from my own life.
I’ve had to admit that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was when I got to University and everyone there was as clever as I was. I no longer stood out as some sort of brainiac and had to actually study to keep up! What madness is this?
One of the most devastatingly brutal things I’ve had to face was a good few years ago when I failed to get two jobs I really wanted and my wife at the time, who is a wonderfully honest person said, “It’s because nobody likes you.” I was stunned. Everybody loves me, how dare she say that! This was long before I realized that people don’t give a shit what you think.
She was correct. When I was going into interviews my actions and words were saying, “If you don’t hire me, you’re an idiot,” and nobody wants to hire a person who thinks that. I took that feedback to heart, changed my ways and landed an awesome job shortly thereafter. I could have said, “No, I’m right,” and not learned a thing, but it would have been an enormous mistake.
How To Take Honesty and Win
When someone deals some seriously hard hitting blows to your ego by telling you some home truths, what options do you have?
Like me when I realized that I wasn’t as likable as I thought, there’s pretty much two things you can do:
- Face up to the truth
- Deny the truth
Now, I’m not saying that you should believe everything that everyone tells you. Most of what you’re told is probably going to be nonsense, but there will be people in your life who will tell you a truth you don’t know. Your coach will be one of those people. You need to really think hard about that feedback.
The simple fact of the matter is that you ain’t perfect, and when you’re faced with your imperfections, do something about them. Admit them and make a plan to get better. It might be a huge surprise to hear that you’re unlikable or you talk too fast or your breath smells, but at least you know about it. There’ll be something you can do about it.
How you can really win is to welcome feedback, welcome an exterior view of your personality, your skills and your behaviors. Invite opinions on yourself. Encourage scrutiny. Bring it on!
If you’ve got the courage to allow yourself to be open to whatever anyone can fling at you, it can do nothing but inspire you to greater action.
From a self-development perspective, you don’t know where you are until you get an honest appraisal of yourself. Sure, you’ll get the most incisive rundown from yourself, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Pay attention to what your coach says and you’ll have an awesome starting point and literally the only way will be up.
Direct honesty is my strong-point and I’d love to share some of it with you. Let’s jump on a free discovery call and talk about what you can do to nail down some of those things that have been stopping you achieving your goals.