By Jimmy Warden
When you think about, essentially everyone that we encounter is a teacher in some way, shape, or form. From our classroom teachers, sports coaches, our family members, mentors or role models, our friends, strangers, and even ourselves. Everyone in this world that we live in has an opportunity to teach us something. With that said, if we are trying to grasp the lessons that the world is throwing at us, or the lessons that we’re throwing at ourselves, it is vitally important for us those people that are teaching us to be transparent.
What is transparency?
Transparency is the act of making information clear, honest, and understandable to ourselves and others. The information mostly comes through our words, but it can also can also come through in our actions and body language. When people say things, we generally think that they are telling us some form of truth unless they have a tone of sarcasm or ask us a rhetorical question. As for body language and actions, we can see transparency come through in the form of smiles and head nods when someone approves of something that we do or say. On the flip side, we can see transparency manifeset as a head shake or finger wag when someone is in disapproval of something that we do or say.
Why is transparency important?
Transparency is an act that we should hold with a level of importance because it helps keep ourselves and others on track towards being a better individual. It also helps to keep a bit more order during times that are chaotic. There are inevitably going to be times that are challenging and chaotic, so it is important to receive feedback from ourselves or others, to lessen the chaos to a more manageable amount.
Transparency also helps keep our egos in check. Our egos have a tendency to inflate themselves and make us feel like we’re either a lot better at things than we really are, or they can make us think that we are only a fraction of what we can be. Transparency helps us stay in check with our ego because it allows us not to get too high or low from an emotional standpoint. The constructive feedback we receive from ourselves or others will help us realize that we may not be performing as well as we could and the positive praise or positive feedback that we receive from ourselves or others will help us realize that we are on the right trajectory and fulfilling our expectations of who we can be.
It is through honest, transparent feedback that we build ourselves up and improve. Knowing what we do well and what we could do better allows us to formulate more detailed plans about how we can continue to build and mold ourselves into someone better. As long as we are clear about what we want to improve and why we want to improve it, over time, we will continue to level up our lives.
Being honest and transparent also demonstrates and builds character. The more more transparent we are, the more integrity that we will have, and the more respect we’ll have from ourselves and others. We won’t have to remember the lies that we told ourselves or others because we’ll be undivided within our thinking. When we get caught in lies, it is often due to the fact that we didn’t articulate the narrative the same way we did when initially sharing the narrative. This dishonest change leads to the negative side affects of not being respected by ourselves or others.
Lastly, being transparent and honest is just the right thing to do. We aren’t up at 3am by the fact that we told the truth, but rather we are up at 3am when we tell lies because know there was a time when we didn’t do or say what we should have in the situation. Our subconscious or unconscious mind is aware of our wrongdoing because it knows deep down in us that we should have done better. This knowing prevents us from feeling settled and it prevents us from accepting ourselves fully.
How can I be more transparent?
In order to become more transparent, it starts with the self. We should try to take some time to reflect on specific questions regarding transparency. Some of these questions might include ideas such as, “what are you not being honest about in your life?” and “what would you like to atone for?”. This will help to create some clarity around whether or not our thoughts, words, and actions are in alignment. I would also recommend that we ask ourselves these questions in the second person because it will create the feeling that it is coming from another source, rather than ourselves. When we just tell ourselves to do things, we often don’t get the greatest results, due to the fact that we are allowing our ego to get in the way of our actions.
Once these questions are asked and there are some answers that arise, it is important to then ask ourselves, “why are you not being transparent in some areas of your life?”. Often times, the answers will be very revealing. We’ll see that we have emotional attachments, such as fear, as a main reason for not being honest and transparent. It could arise as a fear of failure, fear or affecting relationships, fear of responsibility, a fear of one’s own potential, or other forms of fear. There may be other emotional attachments that arise, but fear is often a big reason that we are not honest.
Once we begin to be transparent with ourselves, it opens the door to be transparent with others. It has been said somewhere that the longest journey we take is eighteen inches, and that journey is from the head to the heart. Speaking and acting from our heart tends to be more morally sound and allows us to speak the truth and act in truth to others. Speaking and acting from the heart is coming from a place of love and affection, whereas speaking from the head allows the ego to get in the way in order to uphold an image of who we think we are.
At the end of the day, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The truth can hurt, but it can lead us to places that we never thought we could get to. The more transparent that we can be with ourselves and others, the more that we can be at peace with our decisions that involve ourselves and other people, because we’ll know that we’re in alignment with our best self, and the truth will always teach us the best lessons.