being honest with yourself

The Secret to Being Honest With Yourself

The only thing probably worse than the lies we tell others are the ones we tell ourselves. And those lies, if left unchallenged, will ultimately shape and determine our destiny as men, as husbands, as fathers. Lies like these:

“Life is so unfair, and I don’t deserve this.”

“It’s my parents’ fault I’m this way.”

“If I didn’t grow up poor, my life wouldn’t be like this.”

 “I married the wrong woman.”

“God is punishing me.”

The lies we tell ourselves usually come from some trauma we’ve experienced in the past that has never been addressed or acknowledged or that’s never been healed, often leaving us confused, frustrated, or disappointed with life, having more questions than answers.

However, the secret to being honest with yourself, to avoiding the self-deception of lying to ourselves, is in learning to ask ourselves the right questions. And here are just 3 of them that will keep you focused on always telling yourself the truth.

Question 1: What am I doing right now?

Whether you grew up dirt poor in the projects like me or you just got fired from your current job and you’re facing poverty, ask yourself, “What am I doing right now?” Am I angry over it, complaining about it, blaming others for it, isolating myself from it and others, or am I choosing to do something about it?

When Moses was leading the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt, every time they faced opposition, their “right now” decision was to walk in fear rather than by faith, to complain and blame others rather than bond with others and strategize. The question is, what are you doing about it right now?

Question 2: What has it gotten me?

It’s one thing to examine what you’re currently doing, but you can’t stop there; you have to ask yourself, “What results have I gotten from doing what I’m currently doing?”

Often, we make emotionally-driven choices, like the Israelites did, without examining the real-life consequences of those choices. By allowing themselves to be controlled by their emotions rather than examining them, God allowed their 14-day trip to the Promised Land to become a 40-year attitude-adjustment journey. That doesn’t have to happen to you.

Just ask yourself, “What has anger, complaining, blaming, and isolating yourself gotten you?” And what will accepting responsibility and doing the next “right thing” in response to this situation get you?

And finally, the million-dollar question:

Question 3: What can I do now to make my life better?

Life is a battle, and it’s not won looking through the rearview mirror, but rather through the windshield.

There’s no more important question than this. Life is a battle, and it’s not won looking through the rearview mirror, but rather through the windshield. Every day you get up in the morning, you’re in a fight—for your family, for your career, for your future, for your legacy. Every decision you make as a man, whether good, bad, or indifferent is either moving you toward or away from your destiny. And since you can’t change the past, simply ask yourself what the “next best thing” is that you can do to positively impact your future.

Asking yourself these three questions every day not only will reveal the truth about your life and give you clarity, but it will also set you free to become the man God called and created you to be.

Sound off: In what ways is being honest with yourself a challenge?

Huddle up with your kids and tell them about a time you believed a lie and how it affected you.