5 Reasons to be Honest

03/29/2017 10:49 am ET
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Within this competitive world, the advantages of being honest may be unclear to some. When we feel uncertain that honesty will play to our success, it can be tempting to veer from truthfulness. However, there is much more to gain from being honest than we might think.

Here are 5 reasons to be honest that you may or may not have thought of:

1. Clears your conscience

Dishonesty forces people to continue to be dishonest in order to avoid telling the truth. A clear conscience can escape people who are habitually dishonest. By honestly expressing ourselves in appropriate settings to those who care and have the time, however, this can help us. We can avoid restraint, pretense or internal mental conflict. We can live in the present. The clutter that we may have in our thoughts and emotions is ridden of. In turn, we are hooked onto the present and free our conscience. We can also enjoy better awareness of our present emotions and feel better about ourselves.

2. Makes us better decision-makers

Having a clear conscience can help us be better decision-makers also. How so? Being honest helps base decisions on facts rather than having to base decisions on all the previous times you were dishonest. For example, if you are running for a position on the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) for a local high school, you will make decisions on pressing issues, and you need to base them on the facts of a situation. With an honest approach, you can have a clearer mind and be truthful rather than saying what is convenient or saying what helps your image.

3. Helps us generate and receive trust

Most all relationships thrive off of honesty. Friendships, familial bonds and more are held together with trust. According to relationship expert John Gottman, trust is found to be one of the leading issues among couples. Our ability to depend on our closest social partners and circles makes us feel secure, comforted, and loved. Such essential supportive mechanisms can propel individuals into further success, health and happiness. An honest conversation is more pleasant and intimate, creates a truthful exchange, promotes fulfilling relationships and provides feelings of tranquility. And as I have written before, studies show that quality relationships are the number one predictor of good health and happiness.

4. Paves the way for greater success

The job market provides a good case for why we should be honest. For example, if we are applying for a new job and need a professional reference, we will need to honestly cite all prior jobs held with contacts who can confirm our employment history. If you are not honest on your resume, you will have a tough time navigating the referencing process. When in doubt, being honest will help you reach greater success, even in the job market.

5. Enables happiness through personal growth

When we are honest with ourselves, we can reflect accurately, better appreciate our identity i.e. inner qualities, and nurture personal growth. Personal growth, in turn, allows us to quickly find other positive emotions, such as trust, self-esteem and acceptance. Positive emotions can generate greater and more consistent happiness. To provide one example, if we cannot be honest enough to admit we have a bad habit such as overeating, we will never pursue exercise or a proper diet. Engaging in a successful diet and exercise routine is an example of personal honesty that can lead to happier living.

Feeling great about honesty and its positive consequences? Hope so. Sometimes it might be very difficult to be honest, but remember that having courage now prevents dishonesty from biting back later. Now that you’ve reviewed the above tips, hopefully, you have more reasons to be honest in order to enjoy a happy and successful life!

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