Telling the truth may have often resulted in embarrassing situations, perhaps have left painful memories too and may have even triggered anger and fury completely disproportionate to the facts as revealed. Perhaps we may also sly grin at the escapades that we managed by suppressing the truth or outrightly lying. Look back dispassionately and perhaps you may also recall a number of times when the truth was guessed by others who because of their maturity, goodwill and / or need to protect you played along and kept things under wraps. On hindsight more often than not, every time you hid the truth you were left restless, burdened by guilt and with the Damocles sword of being found out looming over your head.
Even today if one were to tell the truth and it is an inconvenient truth, our body language would betray our fear, our quivering voice expose our vulnerability and our feeble attempts at justification would add to our misery. The good part though is that when we speak the truth, our heart is unburdened, the mind is at peace and the consequences seem bearable. Telling the truth is not simply a matter of articulating the reality but it also involves standing up for rights, standing by those wronged, refusing to toe the wrong line and standing up to a brute majority who may intimidate or attempt to cow you down.
The truth is that ‘fear’ is an overwhelming emotion that threatens to derail us telling the truth. The best antidote for this malaise is the realization that the truth needs no ‘alibi’, it is all pervasive and when shared it shields the reality from being pricked and punctured in any form. Yes, it is true that it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth and often our quivering voice will expose our human frailty; but the truth when spoken ‘shouts out aloud’ unshackled, unburdened and ubiquitously.
- Try playing the card game ‘ Bluff’. Notice how you can catch frequently catch another’s bluff and also how tough it is for you to bluff.
- Ask a close family member and an intimate friend to separately list out 5 aspects of your personality that they believe you need to improve upon. When reading the list be aware of the emotions that run through your mind on reading each criticism jotted down by them. How many of the points they mentioned are absolutely true? What and how do you propose to make use of this truth to improve yourself?
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The person with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection. Johann von Goethe
As human beings we are all prone to make mistakes, tend to stray from the acceptable norms and succumb to our personal limitations and weaknesses. Some mistakes could be trifles like overlooking the niceties in a social situation, others could be more severe like not discharging our critical duties and some could be out right dangerous and fateful like drinking and driving. The reality is that at some point or the other we are prone to fall prey to any or all of these traps and usually we try and rationalize our faults instead of acknowledging our mistake. It our reluctance to stand up and accept our faults that is often the worst of our faults for then we compound our error and worse still miss out on an opportunity to correct our faults and redeem our self.
By admitting our limitations, we are doing ourselves 3 favors.
- We consciously realize our fault.
- We are able to then take steps to correct our faults and learn from our mistakes.
- We grow through our strength of character, reinforced self belief and improved abilities.
By admitting our faults, we are acknowledging the fact that we are conscious of what we do, we are aware of what the norms are and that we have realized that we have violated those norms. Many a time, making this admission is difficult because we may have to end up paying a heavy price for our faults. We also are open to being branded as inefficient, irresponsible and incompetent. What we fail to appreciate though is that a fault can be corrected only if we realize that it is a fault. Then we can get guidance, seek out ways to rectify and in the long run ensure that we have learnt and reduce our chances of repeating the fault. By refusing to acknowledge our faults we are merely falling into following the wrong practices, run the risk of making more gross mistakes and definitely increasing our chances of failure.
By admitting our fault we display our strength of character that we would rather be honest and be branded ineffective than lie and run the risk of being caught in an even more embarrassing position. Our character is further strengthened by our willing acceptance of the consequences of our admission of fault. The moment we admit our fault, we are telling ourselves that we have it in us to overcome the set back and bounce back. This is the reinforcement of our self belief. Self belief comes from a pragmatic evaluation, oodles of confidence and a steely resolve. Finally when we learn from our faults, we are actually participating in a process of self development which ultimately leads to improvement in our abilities and talents. The star athletes and sports men would readily testify to the vital role their coaches’ play in correcting their technique by first critically evaluating the performance and then making the much needed corrections. Strange as it may seem, at the peak of their careers many an athlete has relied on the insightful observation and good counsel of their coaches to turn out superlative performances.
Remember: “Genius has limitations; stupidity is boundless
- The annual appraisals for employees / the customer feedback forms/ the complaints made by clients are good indicators of third party perceptions about faults. Ask if we tend to constantly refute it, rationalize it, dismiss it casually or simply refuse to acknowledge it. On the other hand those who take this feedback seriously will invariably use the feedback to alter their style, improve their work ethics, investigate the core issue etc. and in the long run change for the better.
- Can we list out and acknowledge 3 of our faults for the following spheres of our life
- Our family life
- Our personal life
- Our professional life
- Our social life
- Our lifestyle
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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