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Home > Audio, Podcast, Show > The little truths we need to tell ourselves – Podcast

The little truths we need to tell ourselves – Podcast

May 15th, 2012

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Telling the truth, especially in situations that require it, is important to every career. The truth can be hard. It can be dangerous to your job. It can also raise you above others who have decided to ignore the problems that are right before them. Sure, we all tell little white lies to smooth our interactions with others, but in the end, the truth is usually the most powerful tool we own.


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The scary part is that we humans have a great ability for ignoring the truth even when faced with it. Worse still is our ability to lie to ourselves. Most of us are great at ignoring the truth in our lives, our relationships and our work. We can go through great gyrations to ignore that one, large, inconvenient truth and when we do so we damage everything around us. This is why it is so important to learn to tell ourselves the little truths we face every day. In our hearts and minds we often see things exactly as they are. When that happens we need to acknowledge those truths, not ignore them.

What sort of little truths do we face in our career each day? Sometimes we can know in our hearts that we are not that good at our job. Maybe we lack skills. Maybe we lack training. Maybe we lack the right environment. Some people will lie to themselves and think they are doing a great job, even though evidence to the contrary is right in front of them.

It is far better for you to acknowledge your limitations and then work to remove them rather than trying to hide them from yourself and others. This doesn’t mean you have to go around the office explaining to your manager and co-workers just how lame you are at your job. You only need to tell yourself this little truth — acknowledge it fully — and then figure out some way to improve your work. This is where the power of little truths can be deeply felt and used.

Perhaps you know that one of your teammates, your manager, your CEO, simply isn’t up to the job they have been given. Maybe some form of substance abuse is involved. Maybe they are involved in illegal business practices. You can lie to yourself — and them — and explain it all away. It isn’t embezzlement. It’s just creative accounting. No one will find out those parts are sub-standard. What does it matter? Maybe Bob is just having some health problems. He can’t possibly be doing drugs in the bathroom.

Lies like these are convenient to you. They let you get through the day with less worry and anxiety. They can also lead to your greatest and easiest downfall. Each of them could bring your job, your company and your career to an end with a short, sharp, shock. While these truths are often the hardest to face, they are also the most important. If someone is embezzling, you want to make it very clear that you had nothing to do with it and, more importantly, brought it to the attention of someone in charge. This is the clearest way of protecting yourself from prosecution, even if it does mean the end of your job.

If someone is abusing drugs, and you do nothing, you are enabling their abuse. You may even be enabling their death if the situation is serious enough. You can try small interventions first, but in the most dangerous cases you may have to face the issue head on. It could be that your co-worker is endangering your life and the lives of your co-workers. To stand by and do nothing is facilitating your own injury and perhaps death. In a situation like this, you should see how important the little truths can be. If ignored long enough, by enough people, these truths can turn into dramatic situations.

What are some truths that you need to tell yourself right now? What have you been ignoring in hopes that it might just go away? Who is in danger because of your willful ignorance? Yourself? Those around you? What are you going to do about it? Are you going to ignore these little truths and let them get worse until a crisis occurs or are you going to face them — in large ways and small — and seek a solution that benefits everyone. I hope you can see the paths that the truth puts before you. It should shine clear and bright if you only make the effort and have the courage to see it.

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