If you’ve read my blog, “What is Success,” you will know that I define success on whether I am improving or not. I love improvement. I love the feeling of getting better. One thing that I know produces happiness in my life is making progress on my life’s mission and purpose. If I see that I made progress that day I am happy. However, if you want me to be completely honest with you, I really hate improvement. The reason I hate it is because of the first step that is required for me and us all to actually produce really lasting improvement in our lives.
That step is confronting the truth. I was sitting in church this past Sunday and the Pastor said something that really hit home as he was talking about priorities, “most of the time we keep our lives busy because if we slow down and are still, we are forced to answer the questions we don’t want to ask ourselves.” I thought this statement was so true because it applies to my life and probably many of yours. We don’t want to confront the raw truth about ourselves because that is going to take real vulnerability AND if we confront the truth head on we are forced to do something we all resist, change.
The reality is if we don’t confront the truth and make a change we will never improve ourselves and ultimately never reach our potential. I want to reach my potential, do you? This is probably the hardest thing for me because for much of my life I never wanted to show that I was weak in something or lacking in ability. I always wanted to portray the image that I had it all together. That I was King Stoic. To this day I still do this, the only difference is I recognize now that if I want to improve and succeed I need to confront the truth that I am not very good.
I used to think that admitting I am not very good meant that I couldn’t ever be any good. In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown says that vulnerability doesn’t equal weakness but rather it equals strength and requires courage. It takes courage to confront the raw truth. For years I would not confront the raw truth that I sucked at building strong relationships, so I continued to fool myself into believing that I had it figured out and that there was something wrong with other people, not me. It wasn’t until this past year that I started confronting this truth in my life. Yes it sucks to admit that I am not good at something but because I have finally come to grips with the truth I am now set free to make real lasting improvement in that area of my life.
Many of us try to improve without this step. Many of us even make small improvements while skipping this step. However, If you want to make long lasting improvements, its going to require you to confront the truth. Back in 2013 I had a dream to prove to the world that you didn’t need a degree in order to get a good job or be successful. It was six months after I dropped out of college, I was still sleeping on a friends couch eating two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day, and I was failing to get hired at every company I was interviewing with. In that moment I had to confront the truth that I didn’t want to confront. I sucked at making a good first impression and my people skills needed A LOT of work. I wanted to portray that I was amazing with people but the truth was I wasn’t genuine, didn’t care about other people, and just overall sucked with people. Confronting that truth however gave me the ability to improve drastically where now I am very confident in dealing with people no matter their title or amount of success.
True lasting improvement takes vulnerability with self. It takes courage. It takes strength. It takes confronting the raw truth. Admitting you need to improve is not weakness and certainly does not mean you can’t ever be great. Its the first step to reaching your potential, which is the overall purpose of our life. So whats the raw truth you have avoided but need to confront in order to make real lasting improvement in your life?