Baby boomers are no different from anyone else when it comes to making excuses, in work or play. Which camp do you fall in to? Do you belong to the honesty camp, being completely honest with yourself and others, or the camp of excuse making for not being as successful as you had hoped? Who do you blame, your boss, your family, or your circumstances? Are you ashamed that you don’t have all the money you want to retire, and live a life of luxury?
Whatever the reason, it often helps from a psychological and emotional perspective to either over fabricate the truth, or make up something phony. Being completely truthful to friends, family, and business associates, can be a challenge. You might be embarrassed or reluctant to reveal the real truth about a situation. Excuses, little white lies or blaming others for your situation, often helps to momentarily relieve any feelings of guilt you may be experiencing.
It’s often easier to concoct that little white lie than it is to be completely up front and honest. However, who are you really kidding? Next time you feel the urge to make an excuse, consider these three quick and easy tips to find the courage to expose your vulnerabilities.
1. Admit Not Knowing
You know that it’s impossible to know everything there is to know about any subject. You’ve probably met the person who tries to show off that he or she can comment and have an opinion about everything, often labeled the “know it all.” At first you may be in awe of their brilliance, however, after a while, they appear extremely boring, and you find ways to avoid them, especially at networking or social events. Despite their efforts to show off, or try to make you feel inferior, it’s they who have the problem, one of low self-esteem, or self-worth.
It’s okay to admit to not knowing something, even if it’s an area you specialize in. You can always let people know that you will find the answer, and get back to them. They respect that, especially when you follow through with your promise. This is particularly true in business, whether you are your own boss, or work for someone else.
2. Avoid Little White Lies
You might think that a little white lie is harmless, but it can often get you into trouble. It’s harder to remember the untruth you told someone, than it is to recall what actually happened. It’s so easy to slip up when you repeat a story, saying one thing one minute, and another the next. Regardless of whether you are caught out, you often give yourself away with your body language. They say that the body never lies. People sense when you are being authentic, and when you’re not. If they feel that you’re being dishonest, then you’re likely to lose their trust. Earning back someone’s trust is one of the hardest things to do, especially in business, so it’s far easier to be up front with someone, even if it’s embarrassing to do so.
3. Let Your Ego Go
Excuse making and your ego work in tandem. It’s often your ego that gets in the way of you being honest with people. You don’t want to look foolish, or inadequate in the eyes of your friends, family, or business associates. It’s a way to protect yourself, and in the moment you make the excuse, however lame, you feel a sense of relief, unless of course, someone starts to scrutinize what you’ve shared. The better you feel about yourself, which means your ability to let your ego go, the more you win people over. There’s no higher attribute than trust.
Be prepared to admit to not being perfect, and take responsibility for what you do and say. Experience how emotionally free you feel when you’re truly honest with yourself and others. People admire honesty, especially in business. As the old saying goes: “people do business with people they like and they trust.”
It all boils down to how you feel about yourself, how willing you are to be vulnerable, yet authentic. It all starts with you.
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