My biggest fear

by Elliot Lyons

When I sit down and think about the one thing I’m most afraid of, it isn’t necessarily anything like public speaking, leaving my job, or having kids.

It’s honesty.

Honesty is something most people, including myself, want but so very few of us embody because being honest is difficult.

I’m not talking about being truthful about whether we want ice cream or pound cake, but taking a sober look at our lives and figuring out what we want and need. This could lead to concluding we want to leave our jobs or actually want to have kids, but these decisions are secondary to the underlying process, a process that fuels how we go about life.

And that’s why honesty terrifies me: because it forces me to admit my process may not be on point—it may point to where I was, and not where I want and need to be. It may mean that I’m not as in tune with my process as I thought.

Naturally, being someone in the motivation game, I want to project that I’m totally in tune with where I want and need to be. I can, though, only actually be in tune if I honestly tune in to where I am. Being in tune with where I am requires taking in criticisms from those who are trying to help me. This is difficult because their constructive help often hits at the core of who I think I am, in places I thought were safe.

In these times, being honest with myself is critical to me not only getting to where I want to be, but becoming the person I think I am—a more realized version of myself.

And this honesty process is a struggle.

So, what I tell myself to keep myself honest is this: “If you’re wrestling with the question [whether or not you’re being honest] you’re on the right path.”

Next, I make a plan, and although I may not execute it perfectly everyday, I accomplish more than I would have in its absence.

In the end, for me, honesty is a constant re-evaluation process, and it’s scary because it demands change. Change means putting in the hard work of truthful self-reflection, the work that means swallowing my pride and executing. But, I know it’s the only way I’ll get anywhere worthwhile.


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