Be Strong. Be Flawed. Be Different.
Why do we “hedge” everything in our lives? Why do we try to make our lives “prettier” than they really are?
If someone asks us about something in our lives, very rarely do we say the whole truth. We’ll say 90, 95, even 99.9% of the truth then we’ll hedge the parts we don’t like. Or better said, we’ll hedge the parts we’re ashamed of.
Why are we ashamed of it? Is it even something to be ashamed of?
Most of the time—or every time—it’s not. But for some reason, we fear people will judge us and think lesser of us if they know the whole truth. If they know our insecurities and our incapabilities.
We are so caught up with trying to look “cool” and raising our perceived perception in the eyes of those around us that we lie and hedge our way around the full truth to come up with an answer or a story that we wish was true.
This is only harmful.
And it is only hurting ourselves. Every time we lie, every time we hedge, we are chipping away at the core structure of our confidence of who we are. We are basically saying, “I don’t fully accept who I am and what my flaws are, therefore I must lie and make myself look cooler.”
That is soul destroying.
I know reading this you might think, “Nah, that’s not me. I never hedge the truth.” But I think you should double check yourself here…
WE ALL DO IT. And we all do it probably WAY more than we think. Just think how easy it is to do. Here’s an example…
When I first started my entrepreneurial path I was so unsure and lacked serious confidence in what I was doing. I didn’t have a solid plan or a successful business, hell I didn’t even have a single business idea! I dropped out of college without a solid plan and nothing to really go after. I was scrambling around for 4-7 months just looking for ideas, studying marketing and business on my own, and trying different things that didn’t work out.
For the longest time people would ask me, “Chad, what do you do?” I would tell them the truth, but I would make it sound just a little ‘prettier’ than it was. I’d say,
“Oh, I’m just going to school and starting a business on the side.”
When in reality I dropped out of school and didn’t have any sort of business going on the side. I was studying and continuing my education on my own, but I thought saying that people would think I’m just another lazy college dropout who will end up at
Eventually, I got to a point of confidence where I told people the whole ‘ugly’ truth, and surprisingly people started respecting me even more. When people asked me I started saying,
“Oh I dropped out of college and now I’m continuing my education on my own to teach myself marketing and business. I want to start my own business but I don’t have anything yet. I just have a few ideas I’m trying out and
That answer threw people off. And it threw them off in a good way—most of the time. I’d still get those old-timers who’d give me that disapproving look like…
“Youngster, you need to go to school and get a formal education if you ever want to be worth your salt in this world.”
Honestly, those people just gave me more fire and more determination to keep on the path I was on. But once I started telling people the ‘ugly’ truth, it gave me more confidence in who I was and what I was doing. And I truly believe it’s what gave me the edge to push some of my ideas to the successes they are now.
Telling the ‘pretty’ or ‘cushioned’ truth hurts and destroys our inner, core confidence. It hurts who we really are inside. It goes chipping away at it until it eventually turns into rubble. Then we have nothing but lies and other people’s opinions and standards as our foundation. We will feel unease, dissatisfaction, and inferiority our whole lives—never confident in who we are: our strengths, our flaws, and our difficulties—our 360-degree selves.
We want people to just see 2 degrees or 50 degrees, hell even 358 degrees. But we fear the whole 360 degrees is not good enough. We fear we will not be accepted for our full selves so we show only that which we are proud of. And more than that, we fabricate lies—built from the smallest untruths and parts of the real truth—in order to portray something we think is what others will respect and accept.
This is destroying us. And this destroys others around us.
Instead, we must stand in our shoes, confident of who we are and completely independent of people’s approval. Tell the whole truth, knowing that even though it may sound a little “off” or make you look “weak”, in reality, it is making you stronger. It is building your inner statue of marble and stone to become an immovable structure.
Telling the ‘pretty’ truth disconnects us from each other. When we hear a ‘cushioned’ or ‘normal’ answer it’s almost as if we can recognize it subconsciously and we disconnect from any desire to know more about that person. We feel like they have it “all figured out” and knowing deep down we, in fact, do not, we just say “Oh that’s nice” and continue on our day.
But when we hear someone say the ugly, raw truth and admit they don’t have it figured out, it’s almost as if it’s a breath of fresh air and we think,
“Hey! I feel the same way and I understand and can sympathize with that!”
Telling the whole truth and revealing who you really are and what really happens in your life (inside your mind and outside) will almost always throw people off. They will be expecting the ‘normal’ cushioned answer but instead, your honesty will throw them off and will, in the end, impress them.
BUT… if you do this for that reason—to impress people—it will not work. I will not build your inner confidence. For you fall back into the perpetual loop of seeking and needing approval to feel ok. Detach from it. Break free from that need and that false feeling of acceptance.
Be strong. Be flawed. Be different.