This is the fourth in a series of things that have helped me, I believe in, or people have asked me to share. Basically, things I do or think or whatever that have helped me be a better person, activist and positive fat lady. Check out Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3
Step 4: Be Honest, Even When It Scares Them/You
This one is tricky for a few reasons, but I have been pushing myself more and more to be utterly and completely honest and it has proven to be surprisingly awesome! My only rule with this one is to never be rude. You can be honest without offending, you just have to be tactful and occasionally more creative in your vocabulary. Ha-ha!
There is something very powerful and empowering about being completely honest.You often hear people saying how “real” someone is and how they admire that about that person. You’ll hear someone talking about being “your most authentic self” and how liberating that is. I have heard this stuff over and over but it wasn’t until I stopped lying all together that it became invaluable to me. My world views have shifted and I see and think more clearly now, I think. I often give advice to friends on a variety of matters, but lately I have been pushing them to be more honest than they have ever been before. And guess what? It works!
The hardest part is starting with yourself. Stop lying to yourself, about yourself, just stop it! Stop lying about your age, your weight, your height, your income, your family, your shoes…just stop! You’re not helping anyone and you may not realize it, but you are in fact hurting yourself. Because you know what the truth is, you know the truest you. You know how it feels to be truly proud of an accomplishment versus lying about one. So why bother? It ain’t worth it! Once you can stop lying to and about yourself, you can stop lying to others and about others, too. It’s fun, I promise!
There was a point in my old career where people began to ask how I moved up so quickly in such a large company. The truth was that I wasn’t really trying as hard as I could, but that I’d put my intentions/desires out there as soon as I realized what they were and people responded to my directness. I enjoyed helping others and training them and streamlining our processes and so I quickly developed a relationship with our trainer and let it be known that I would love to step into a similar role if one should arise. A few months later she moved on and I moved up! Plain and simple. I always felt like an outsider, but I did my job well. I loved the shit out of that job, honestly. I miss it. But I only ever truly pushed myself for that job a couple of times. Somehow it just came easy to me, perhaps because of my passion for the job, but it rarely felt like “omzsomuchwork!”
We are all so afraid to appear vulnerable, ignorant, weak or any other thing that could be deemed “less than.” Somehow I hadn’t caught onto that so much and so I had no issue with telling someone they sucked or that something could be done more efficiently. The key though is to not be rude. Don’t actually tell that guy “YOU SUCK” you have to use words that get the point across without making the person feel like a heel. Sometimes all I wanted to do was to yell at someone, but that just isn’t how things get done in the corporate world and I learned as I went. And I gained a lot of attention and accolades for what I was able to accomplish in my short time in that position. And if only I knew what was to come next, man, it would have been so awesome!Ha-ha! This is the period of my life when I got married, went on my European honeymoon and found fat acceptance all at once. So yeah, honesty? No problem!
What you say and do in the world matters. You have a circle of influence. You affect people. So why not do so positively?! I had an interview recently for a position I thought I’d applied for with the title, “Bad Ass Admin” and I couldn’t help myself from falling in love with that moniker. Okay, it’s on my blog’s business cards already, but to apply for a job with that title? Amazeballs! So I applied and they responded, how could they not*, and went to the interview. Yeah, let’s just say that the interview went fine and all, but I made a bit of a fool of myself by not cross-checking my stuff first. D’oh! I went to an interview alright, but not for a “Bad Ass Admin.” No I interviewed as a Bad Ass for an Office Manager job. Oops, my bad! What’s funny is how good it felt not to wear the typical suit bullshit I would have, but I also went into it unprepared for the actual job available.
Here I was telling them how awesome I was and how I’d consider a lower wage if I could keep the “Bad Ass” in my title. They must have thought I was a lunatic! I felt like I was, in retrospect. Ha-ha! But it felt good at the time and I have since reconsidered what is “appropriate” versus what is typical/expected/scripted/bullshit. It is absolutely liberating! Funny thing, as much as that whole thing influenced how I approach interviews and even applications now, that original job never so much as responded to my initial application email! Sadly, neither did the actual interviewer for that other job. Oh well. I really do feel like it was their loss now. And it is, because I am a Bad Ass Admin and I don’t care who knows it!
I give you my deepest respect and sympathies and all for those of you in the modern dating world. I don’t know that I could manage it, honestly. But to date in the technology era is to play a game without any rules, it seems. So I say why not scare the hell out of them? With honesty! Be you and only you and see who sticks around, I say! Better to weed out the jerks and players before you get attached to one. It seems we play games even without trying now days and this makes me sad, yo. I mean, is it so terrible to be open and honest? I don’t think it is. I think if your honesty freaks someone out, that is all them and not you. And hopefully you’ll soon find exactly what you’re looking for in a relationship. I seriously do not see how presenting yourself as something you’re not will help you find true love or even a decent relationship. It’s time to get real and keep it there!
Soon you will wince when you feel a lie cross your lips or tickle your tongue. Soon you’ll feel bothered by people’s remarks about how “flattering” something looks or jeans that make “anyone’s ass look perfect” because you’ll know better and you will have lived a more authentic experience in your own life because of it. It’s work, I won’t have you believe otherwise. You’re breaking down some social barriers. But when you can step back and see how things are just better without the lies? Well, it’s a lot like walking away from dieting and scales and shame and guilt and all of that bullshit. It feels good because you’ll own your words without worry. You’ll be your most authentic self and you will smile easier and not worry about what other people think. Besides, you stopped giving a damn anyway! <3