Radical honesty is one of the simplest and most freeing spiritual principles that you can directly experience in this very moment. Applying radical honesty to your everyday life will leave you with three immediate benefits:
- Stress-reduction and a massive gain of energy
- Attraction of people and life-situations that you truly desire
- Making the world a better place
What is »Radical honesty«
Before we head out, let’s create some common ground defining what this actually means. »Radical« simply translates as fundamental and without exception. The term originally stems from the Latin word »radix« which means root.
»Honesty« is the absence of self-deception and self-sabotaging. It means to see what IS without turning away from it, labeling, categorizing or rationalizing it.
In summary we can say that radical honesty stands for: Fundamentally facing what’s going on without trying to manipulate.
Within you and outside of you
To understand and embody radical honesty it’s important to look at the play between inside and outside. Radical honesty always starts with oneself: What do I think, what do I feel, what drives me, what are my desires and what lies in my subconscious shadows?
Only after facing this first step does it make sense to start sharing our insights with others. And hey, radical honesty is absolutely not tied only to negatives! »Being around you gives me a lot of energy.« or »I really appreciate your creative ideas.« are examples for honest statements that we don’t dare to speak out loud sometimes.
Now let’s jump into something practical.
Birds-eye view on a simple example
1. How we (don’t) see others
Do you ever have the impression that people are fake? That they tell you one thing but what they truly think or feel is a completely different story? Sometimes the shell breaks open and you get a glimpse of what’s behind the facade, but this moment doesn’t last very long, right? The result is pretty clear: We don’t see others as they authentically are. We see what they present to us. We see the illusion that they »want« us to see.
2. How others (don’t) see us
Are you the exact same person with your partner, with your friends and at work? Most of the time we take on different roles in different surroundings. We all wear fancy masks and costumes and hide behind fake-identities. Of course we do this for good reasons! We’ve been taught and trained to protect ourselves and to fit in, to avoid complications and confrontation. The result is clear as well: We are not seen for who we authentically are.
3. How no one sees anyone
This is how funnily the whole charade plays out. When everyone is playing their habitual roles in various situations and walks of life, we end up in a fake world. No one sees anyone. Fake-identities are communicating and interacting with other fake-identities. It’s a grand show, isn’t it? And the players naturally start feeling isolated and lonely like the great Wizard of Oz.
4. What radical honesty can do
This model shows that true connection requires mask-free meetings. This is how radical honesty cures us from any made-up self-image that separates us from reality. Letting our guards down and showing up as we truly are is the most powerful invitation for others to do the same: »I’m unarmed, come and see. You can drop your weapons, too.«
Three benefits of radical honesty
At the beginning I mentioned three immediate benefits of radical honesty. Here’s how they apply:
1. Stress-reduction and a massive gain of energy
It requires a lot of energy to maintain fake-identities. This is especially true when we transition quickly between roles and situations or when we meet people that know different versions of us at the same time. Being our authentic self, on the other hand, requires no energy at all. I’m just me. All the time. What a relief!
2. Attraction of people and life-situations that you truly desire
A fake-identity attracts people and life-situations that serve the fake-identity best, not us as we truly are. In being simply ourselves, we start attracting what we truly desire. It may look quite different from what we thought we’d want. Many of life’s best gifts come in surprising packages.
3. Making the world a better place
Once we discover the simplicity and ease of radical honesty, it literally creates a vacuum. In giving space to ourselves, we create space for others to simply be as they are. It makes no sense anymore for others to play out their fake-identities in our presence because we don’t care about it at all.
Radical honesty is the down and dirty system clean-up that leaves you with: