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Can You Really Trust Yourself?

Trust

Growing up I noticed that my aunt was very secretive. I think it was her way of protecting herself. Witnessing this as a child, I thought this was the way to be, so I followed suit.

My aunt would not share a lot with others. In fact she would lie in an attempt to hide the information from them. I listened as she told others inconsistent stories and embellished about actual events.

Sometimes even to the point where the events weren't really actual anymore. She probably could've won an Academy Award for some of her performances.

Now as an adult, looking back at some of it I can see the lies. Prior, I simply thought that she just exaggerated. But each time she retold the story, whether it be to another person or repeating it to the same person, the exaggerations got bigger and bigger. And at some point it just becomes a blatant lie.

While as a youth I did pick up the trait of not being open and honest, I left the role of deceit up to her. The only reason I even went on with the secrecy is because I thought it was better for me. I thought I was shielding myself from something hurtful. But really I think I just hurt myself more.

I later realized that being honest with others benefited me. When I was truthful about troubles I was having I received compassion and support. Some friends were even able to connect me with solutions. This is something that couldn’t have happened if I wasn’t open.

Now I'm not saying you should hang your dirty laundry for everyone to see. But how will others get to know the real you if you're not honest with them? You may not realize it but people can't help you if they don't know what's really going on.

Your closest friends and even family should know the real you. They should have a deep insight to the type of person you are and your feelings.

However, in this day and age when people but on fronts for Facebook and filter their pictures for Instagram to make it seem like their life is so grand, you could be losing your sense of self.

Being real about your life and situation gives you the opportunity to connect with special people, develop deep relationships and move towards your ideal life.

If you're spending your time trying to convince others, and yourself, that your life is already wonderful then you're not working on living that wonderful life. You’re not building up your dream, you’re creating a façade.

Not to mention, if you’re not being honest about yourself others will have a reason to question your integrity on everything. You could even wonder about yourself.

How to be open and honest

Remove the mask 

Stop trying to keep everything under wraps. When the real you is constantly hidden your attempts to be clear with others and even yourself becomes obscure. While trying to throw others off you include yourself in the mix, things can get hazy and you lose focus.

Be straightforward, politely

If someone wants to discuss something that makes you feel comfortable or is just none of their business it's ok to tell them so. There are polite ways to tell people to back off.

I remember when I purchased my first car an old acquaintance tried to get me to confirm the price I paid by throwing out a number.

I'm old fashion in the sense that I don't share things like that. I don't think it's anyone's business how another spends their earnings. If I feel it may be helpful to you, like if you’re shopping, then I may tell you but that’s about it.

In this situation I simply replied that I got a good price. But you don't even have to give them that much. You can say something like you don't feel comfortable sharing, that is appropriate to discuss that or segway into another topic. Whatever works for you.

Describe your feelings

It's ok to tell others how you really feel. Be descriptive so they know what’s going on with you. Be sure to include details on what has caused this so they can learn more about you on a deeper level.

Stop putting a Band-Aid on it

In order to resolve issues you have to address them. A lot of the time it seems easier to cover it up or ignore it. You might keep things in to hide the pain. But that’s draining and it doesn't help you heal any better.

It takes more from you to maintain a lie then it does to just be honest. The stress from trying to keep everything straight and all the energy wasted on performing, all that effort could be used for something better like… your goals!

Empower yourself

Some people think that by lying to others, making them believe something else, gives them some kind of advantage. There is no power to be had from lying, especially about yourself and your life.

You may think that you have one-upped someone, but who will really have the power when the truth comes to light?

When you're open and honest there is nothing out there that someone can use against you. You don't have to live in fear of being caught. You're open about it, you're okay with it, therefore it can't be used against you.

Think about all the stress you can relieve by allowing yourself to be free to be you! You'll have deep, meaningful relationships with the right people. There will be a clear perception of who you are to others and yourself, no more blurred lines.

When you accept what's going on and can be honest about it, which means you can grow from it. Your confidence will increase and experience things you never could being whomever you were before.

Get rid of the fake and the fronts. Others will never question who you are or how you are because they will know the real you, and you will too.

 

What about you…

Have you been putting up a façade? How can you be more open and honest with yourself and others?

 

About Lea


Lea is a certified life coach, foodie and lifehack expert. Don’t end up like the millions of people who gave up on their dreams, get unstuck and to the next level. Take the eye-opening Live Your Dreams course now to get moving!


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  • Hi Lea,

    What i think is being honest with our self is the most important thing.If we’re honest to our self, then we can’t do wrong and people will have trust on you. You’ve really written a wonderful post here 🙂

    This is the first time, I am on your site and just wanted to say, you have a well organized blog with quality post.

    -Ashutosh

    • Lea

      Hi Ashutosh,

      Exactly, people trust you and you’re no longer fooling yourself. Thanks so much!

      Thanks again for your kind words.

      ~Lea

  • I think being honest with yourself is important. I wrote on that subject recently when I decided to be radically honest – no lying to myself at all. Too many excuses can get by that way which prevent me from making real positive change.

    Outwardly I’m really honest – maybe a little too much. It actually took me some time to realize that others aren’t open about themselves as much as I am and that I had to be discreet about it. I guess it just didn’t occur to me that others might keep things private. I’m quite the open book and I’ll talk about almost anything if you ask me. In a way I think that’s a good mindset. I like to think that means I’m comfortable with myself.

    • Lea

      If you’re willing to talk about almost anything then I would definitely say you are comfortable with yourself. I mean that’s what I always think when people just put themselves out there.

      ~Lea

  • Hi, Lea,

    I love the title of this blog post because it’s a common question we ask, and the older I get the more I believe we cannot – in one sense, trust ourselves. Sometimes we deceive our own selves…

    Thank you for sharing your experiences while growing up – it is helpful to hear how others have grown through challenges and issues.

    You’re right about only hurting yourself when you kept things secret about yourself and didn’t open up with folks. I have done that in the past, and only when true danger is there is it advisable.

    Absolutely agree with your point to ‘remove the mask’ !~!!

    Yes! I just mentioned Be Real in my last video/blog post and this goes offline as well.

    You’re spot on, when we accept what’s going on and are completely honest, we can grow through the issue and come out stronger.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Lea – I enjoyed your article.

    Passing it along…

    Happy New Year!

    ˜Carol

    • Lea

      Hey Carol,

      Happy New Year!!!

      I too took after my aunt a bit and kept things secret. You think you’re protecting yourself but in some circumstances you’re hindering growth in all different aspects. And you’re right, when there is a need you should certainly do it. But it’s not a one size fits all kind of thing.

      Yes! You can only learn and grow from what you’ve accepted. And that is when real change can begin.

      Thanks so much Carol for reading, sharing and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      ~Lea

  • Hello Lea,

    I find your views quite similar to mine. Honesty is always the best policy and you are so true when you said people get the chance to doubt and question our integrity only when we give them the chance to do so by putting a mask on our character.

    As this is the first time I have visited your blog, here it is important to mention that I like this blog too.

    keep spreading the positive energies everywhere…the world needs it..

    Thank you

    • Lea

      Hi Tuhin,

      It’s good to hear we have that in common. Yes, people often are offended when they are accused of not being authentic. But you don’t typically go around assuming people are dishonest, it is their behavior that tips you off.

      And thank you so much, I hope you’ll come back again.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Hi Lea,

    Like all your posts, this has a powerful message in it. The title grabbed my attention and forced to to ask myself this question. On most days I can’t trust myself that’s why I have a sponsor and a spiritual advisor so they can help me see when I’m deceiving myself.

    Being real will not only help us connect with special people but mostly that special little girl or little boy that’s scared inside us.

    When we take off the mask we are free to be ourselves and there is nothing more liberating than that. Then and only then we may be able to trust ourselves consistently.

    Thanks for reminding me to ask myself this important question.

    • Lea

      Hey Vernon,

      Thanks so much, you’re too kind. It is really impressive that you are that self-aware and have put the support system in place. A lot of people are oblivious to it or know what they have to do but don’t bother doing it. That must’ve helped you greatly.

      You make a great point Vernon. Typically we don’t allow ourselves to be authentic because we are frightened in some way. Very true.

      I’m so glad this was helpful to you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Enjoy the weekend.

  • Hi Lea,

    Before sharing my views about your post I want to say thank you for this wonderful post 😀

    Yes, I’ve trust in me and I’m very open and honest with me. But for others I’m not sure. There’re lot of things in everyone’s life where people face difficulty to be open with other.

    This post is very interesting to read!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Lea

      Hi Mustafa,

      Thank you for reading it. I appreciate your feedback and glad you like it.

      I know what you mean. Every aspect of your life is not meant to be aired out. It’s perfectly fine if those things can only be shared with a select few. I, myself actually prefer that.

      Thanks again!

  • Hey Lea,

    What a great post and thank you for sharing this with us because this is a great example of when people aren’t being honest. I’ve know some people like your Aunt and I think they even started to believe their own lies after awhile. How did they ever keep up!

    I think the best way to go is just be honest. Agreed though that you don’t have to share every single area of your life. I think some should only be shared with close family and friends but when you’re not giving people an opportunity to get to know the real you then how can you expect to form a genuine relationship with others.

    Your tips on how to be open and honest are spot on. I couldn’t agree with you more so you are the perfect person to share this information. I hope there aren’t too many people out there doing this but if there are maybe they can turn the corner as a new year approaches.

    Thank you for your share and I wish you a marvelous week. Be sure to have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    ~Adrienne

    • Lea

      Heya Adrienne,

      Exactly, and that’s the problem. When you start to believe your own lies things have gotten really out of control and you’re hurting yourself. It’s nearly impossible to make any positive change if you aren’t honest with yourself.

      We’re on the same page. I also think private things should remain within your close circle if it’s something you want to share.

      Thanks so much for your kind words Adrienne! Yes, this upcoming new year is the perfect time to shed bad habits and turn over a new leaf.

      A Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year to you too!

  • Hi Lea,

    What a lovely reminder of being ourselves out there in internet land! Life is not all fun and games. Especially on social media. I do like to share some pictures of the beach where I live, my dogs, etc. But last year my 20 year old dog passed away. I gave tribute to her on Facebook and told people I would be off line for a while. I had more responses to that than ever! There are so many kind people who shared their story of lost love pets.

    I don’t always post “sunshine and lollipops” One of the things I like t share is when something goes wrong…and how I overcame it. It could be a technical issue, or just an emotion.

    I have to say, we need a good balance out there to share our lives as much as we want to…within reason!

    -Donna

    • Lea

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks Donna. Sorry for the lost of your dog. Twenty years is incredible, makes me hope my dog lives a long healthy life too.

      I love that! When you’re authentic with people they connect with you and show they care during the tough times. That’s a wonderful group you have.

      Exactly, it’s all about balance! Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Lea

    I am lucky enough to have a close group of friend who I met when we were all having our first babies – 30 years ago. We are still friends and have never had a single quarrel which is wonderful.

    We were discussing this the other day and agreed that this was because we had always been honest with each other and shared the bad news as well as the good.

    In any case – I think you need to have a good memory to be a liar and remember fabricated stories. My memory is appalling so I stick to the truth.

    Interesting read.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas,

    Joy

    • Lea

      Hey Joy,

      That is a perfect example! Being honest helps solidify relationships and supports the longevity of them.

      Being liar does require more effort than it is worth and is highly stressful.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope you enjoy your Christmas as well.

  • Junie

    Hi Lea,

    Thanks for this post, It’s really interesting. I’m the opposite to your aunt. I’ve always been very open and honest. Too honest in fact. Because of my honesty, a lot of people, mostly men in relationships, have taken advantage of me.

    I was born and grew up in the country in Jamaica and for of my life I was quite naive. So, I used to be like an open book. Plus, because of my Christian background I found it difficult to tell lies.

    I agree with everything you said though, because if you’re always putting up a front people can never get to know the real you. Also, if you lie constantly, how will people know when you’re telling the truth? The only person you’re fooling is yourself.

    Great article.

    Enjoy the week ahead and have a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

    • Lea

      Hey June,

      Oh that’s great but I’m sorry it hasn’t always worked out for you. Like most things there can be disadvantages. The tricky part is finding out where to draw the line so you aren’t taken advantage of, especially since situations differ.

      Exactly. When people become habitual liars, for whatever reason, they think that they’re just impacting the other person. Perhaps at first they were but the lines get blurred and the truth gets fuzzy. You can end up hurting yourself when you may have started it all to protect yourself.

      Thanks so much. Enjoy your week and the holiday also!!

  • Hi Lea

    Very thought-provoking post.

    This word is full of chaos and anxiety. Many people remain insecure and they sometime go to an extent where they deceive themselves just to stay calm and quite.

    Nothing happens by itself. There is a cause and effect theory behind every happening. But we sometime try to lessen our fear by saying everything will be alright. Though we need to say I will manage the things in my favor and nothing will happen wrong.

    You well pointed several important points why it is must to face the reality and be a real person.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a very fantastic post.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Lea

      Hi Mi,

      Yes, exactly when you do it so extensively you become impacted unintentionally.

      In order to effective improve your situation you have to know and accept where you are. If you don’t you can’t start in the right place.

      Thanks for commenting. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Hi Lea,

    What a fantastic post!!! I know everyone know someone who struggles with this kind of lying and wonders why they do it?

    I think that the majority of people are struggle for a number of reasons with not trusting themselves:

    – They are insecure from telling the truth in the past and got wounded deeply.
    – They saw others getting hurt from telling the truth and want to protect themselves
    – They want to feel important and needed
    – They have something embarrassing to hide
    – They have a negative mindset that has taught them how to cope

    Unfortunately, the brain is conditioned over time and new habits are formed. Those habits become addicting and there is truly no rhyme or reason other than the addiction and habits that were formed that have to be broken.

    Fantastic post again Lea. I’m confident that is much more to it than what I shared in this comment, but these are a few observations I’ve gleaned in my lifetime and training.

    I hope you have a great weekend!!!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Lea

      Hi Don,

      Thanks so much! You make some interesting points on why people do it. They seem to have a lot to do with external factors but we also have to nurture what is within.

      I think if people consider that fibbing has just as much of an impact on them as it does others, they may find another way to cope.

      Thanks for sharing your observations. Have a wonderful weekend Don!!

  • Hi Lea
    Great post. I really enjoyed it and I think a lot of people can resonate. Like you said, with the popularity of social media, there may be a lot of ‘prettying up’ our life experiences to craft a certain image, and as much as a we know that is never the whole picture, what we feel is often very different as we scroll down the ‘feed.’

    And this just reinforces a belief that we have always had that other people aren’t struggling like we are, or they must be happier than us. As for a particular individual, maybe this is actually the case, but on the whole, everyone is usually struggling with something. Being honest is not only beneficial for us as that acknowledgement is the first step in truly transforming our energy and setting the stage to make positive changes, it might inspire others to ‘come clean’ as well, allowing them to reap these same benefits.

    As you know, I run a personal development blog, and I never hesitate to share my own struggles from the past or the fact that I am still an imperfect person…I hope that it inspires people to see that even in the absence of ‘perfection’–whatever that means anyway–things can still be pretty great.

    I really enjoyed reading this.

    • Lea

      Hi Kelli,

      Thanks so much. Someone’s life can be really different from what they portray on social media. You tend to forget when you’re looking at it that everything you see is filtered. People are only going to post what they are comfortable sharing. And sometimes that ends up being how they want things to be, not how they actually are.

      I think that everyone is going through something (obviously different issues and on different levels) but we all handle it differently. Just because you don’t see a person cry doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting.

      When you become comfortable with your own challenges it’s easier to share them. At that point you often have come to realize the value in them, as we both have.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

  • Hi Lea

    I have a friend who behaves just like your aunt. She is so wonderful but she doesn’t trust anyone. The sad thing is that she feels that the whole world will hurt if she is open and I have tried to stop her from this habit but nothing as worked. So I get along.

    You are right about removing our mask. I don’t understand why people feel that they need to be someone else when they can just be themselves. I also agree about being straightforward. I always tell my friends that they shouldn’t hide their feelings from me. If I do hurt them, I tell them to let me know so that I can learn and avoid such a situation. If they are not honest and open, how will i know if I have said something wrong?

    I always smiling at the last point. During my earlier years, I had a guy who thought he was smart and always told a lie. He eventually found out the hard way that being truthful always pays as he suffered form lack of trust from everyone

    Thanks for sharing an awesome post. Have a nice week.

    • Lea

      Hi Ikechi,

      That’s so sad to hear. It’s too bad that people think the world is out to get them. The bad part is when you act as if no one can be trusted you end up looking like the one who doesn’t deserve trust.

      I agree. Why would anyone want to be someone else, everyone is awesome in their own way. I say the same thing, my intent is never to hurt but if I make you feel that way tell me so I can avoid it in the future.

      Habitual liars always think that they’re one step ahead when they are really a thousand behind. Just because it isn’t brought to your attention every time doesn’t mean others don’t know you’re lying.

      Thanks for commenting. Enjoy your week!

  • I used to have bad habits like this when I was younger, but it was difficult to keep up. You have to have a good memory when you’re a chronic fibber.
    Love these tips on how to be more transparent. I think the issue is to ask yourself why you are being secretive. If you just don’t want to look bad, that’s one thing. If you want to protect someone else – whether someone that would be hurt by your story or even the hearer themselves – then that’s another thing. Most of the time, though, it was just to protect my selfish ego.

    • Lea

      It is hard to maintain. Typically people think a lie saves them from something but it just makes things harder later.

      You certainly do need to have the memory of an elephant lol.

      That is a good way to get to the bottom of it. Whatever the reason, I think it’s fine to keep certain things to yourself but when you’re overly secretive it makes it hard for people to connect with you. I’m not saying wear your heart on your sleeve. But when you find the right balance with meaningful people you can florish.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Lea,

    Really awesome post! I really enjoyed to read it.

    First of all, I want to say it exactly happens for us. We hide many truths to make something fruitful but did we ever realize where it could result into.

    I believe, false or truth that has been hidden will automatically come to light one day. So why not share that truth at present? It will help us to make clear impact and build credibility in our industry.

    Thanks a lot for your post. Learned a very good lesson. 🙂

    • Lea

      Hi Abrar,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      That’s interesting point. Many times when the lies start you don’t think about the aftermath, it’s really just about getting through the moment. But the final outcome is another good reason to avoid doing it.

      Yes it will. A house build on lies will crumble quickly, leaving nothing left.

      The truth does go a long way and is quite solid.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Have a good one!

  • Hi Lea,
    It’s a wonderful post you’ve shared here, as well an important topic for us to think twice and ask ourselves ” Can I Really Trust Myself?”.

    I’ve seen a lot of people who try to mask themselves, yes they do, even in the blogosphere since we all are familiar with this, I’ll use it as a case study. “A lot of bloggers lie about their earning” yes they do 😮 .

    I think it’s time we all unveil whatsoever we have inside and show the world whom we really are.

    Thanks for sharing and do have a wonderful day.

    Merry Xmas 🙂

    • Lea

      Hey Larry,

      Thanks so much. Yes, it is really something to think about because we should always be our authentic selves.

      You make a good point Larry. If they put as much energy into getting where they want to be as oppose to pretending they are, they probably wouldn’t need to lie. In an attempt to convince others you can end up fooling yourself. Then you end up stagnant.

      Thanks for commenting, enjoy your day also. Merry Christmas!!

  • Hi Lea,

    Wonderful post and a much required one as well 🙂

    You are so right in all that you wrote – people DO tend to put on a mask most of the time. Very few really reveal their true identities or their own-selves online, or they put on a facade as you mentioned, especially on social networking sites. Perhaps they have their reasons like security etc, but is that being fair to the person who is real on the other side of the screen?

    It’s not easy for some people to open up with others, while for others, it’s second nature, so it would depend on their natures I guess. However, we can easily be yourself, be true, and honest. We need to remember that someone on the other side might be trusting all that we are saying, talking of the online world, so be sure you are worthy enough of being trusted and open up to such people at least.

    Yes, there is a right time and place for everything, and we shouldn’t make all our details public when not required either. Yet again, for some, it doesn’t really matter as they have nothing to hide, so each to ones own and what they are comfortable with.

    You are right in saying that when you portray your true self and are honest – you feel so much lighter and better. Remove the mask and be the real YOU 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Lea

      Hey Harleena,

      Thanks for your kind words! I agree social networking sites are a popular place to put on airs. Online in general you can completely make up a new persona, being whomever you want without actually being them.

      Absolutely not. It’s not fair to the other person and it can undermind the entire relationship. So in the end what’s the point?

      I think it’s better to not disclose unnecessary info rather than to embellish it. You don’t have to lie about it if you keep it private.

      It’s so much easier to be the real you than to have to deal with the stress of keeping up an act.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a good week.

  • Awesome article Lea! I do believe it is very important that we are truthful with ourselves and others. I see many people that I believe are afraid to open up to others. On the outside you would think their lives are perfect but inside they are hurting.

    Some people really hate being vulnerable and opening up to others. I believe there is a time and place for it. Yes there are some nosy people in the world that have bad intentions but you have to be willing to trust and use your instincts to allow the right people into your life and heart.

    I believe we all need that. I am a firm believer we were put on this earth to love one another and to connect with one another as humans. That will take some level of trust and honesty.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Lea

      Thanks Nathaniel!

      I agree with you completely. You should definitely protect yourself when it comes to those people but you don’t need to be deceitful in order to accomplish that.

      Exactly, you cannot develop an authentic, solid relationship with anyone without trust and honesty.

      Thanks for stopping by.