A recent study from Harvard University suggest that our brains respond to self-disclosure the same way it responds to pleasure triggers like food, money or sex. It feels surprisingly good to share all of those embarrassing pictures, failures, life observations and revealing bits of personal information. Transparency is critical for anyone to build relationships, whether on a business, or personal, level.
In my courses, I often say that integrity is the source of all success or suffering. And transparency is directly linked to integrity. When I say integrity, I don’t mean honesty, morality or righteousness, I mean integrity like a lining up of your life to who you say you are. Transparency is your honest representation of that journey; being straight about your wins, and being straight about your losses. Being transparent is more than just telling the truth about your struggles, it is about being open and vulnerable. The act of being transparent often elevates your integrity.
In order to achieve real success in life, you must be transparent. Your relationships, and your life for that matter, must be built upon a foundation of truth. You must communicate what is real, not what looks good. For instance, I recently had a conversation with a personal friend who is losing their home to foreclosure. Having this information before I went into the conversation, I asked with concern about their welfare and impending move. Instead of saying, “We’ve gone through a tough time and we got so behind in our mortgage, we couldn’t catch up. We’re going through a foreclosure,” they said “We’re making some changes… we’re letting our lawyers work out something with the house.” First of all, they don’t have lawyers; they’re walking away from their house before it is taken from them. I get it. Life is tough and it threw them a curve ball. They have had some ridiculously difficult circumstances to deal with. I’m not judging… but being transparent about the REAL situation is what will give them power in it. Putting a positive spin on the truth or pretending that something else is going on, is just nonsense. This lack of transparency disempowers you in dealing with reality, and it doesn’t allow anyone to contribute to you in support.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you run around sharing all of your personal drama and dirty laundry with everyone you meet, but communicating the truth in the appropriate setting can be incredibly powerful. This kind of transparency can not only open possibilities for you that you hadn’t seen prior to the disclosure, but it can also contribute to others by encouraging their transparency.
We all struggle. Not one of us is perfect. Most of us have no idea how powerful the truth can be when we fully embrace it. Openly sharing the situations in which you struggle is a great exercise This kind of transparency is necessary to create integrity, and ultimately, REAL success in every step of life.
CALL TO ACTION: Tell someone the truth about an issue that is difficult for you. Focus on an area in your life where you are struggling, or totally failing. Come back and share in the comment section how it went for you.