How to be Honest and Authentic to Enhance Your Success

How to be honest

Maybe it’s because of a late-stage quarter-life crisis, but as I get older I find myself becoming more honest about the shit that’s wrong with my life. I’ve also discovered the therapeutic nature of coming clean about these faults, and how it seems to enhance my social confidence on a number of levels.

A lack of authenticity means you are lying both to yourself, and to others, about things like your faults or weaknesses. This is a result of a feeling that it’s necessary to cover-up perceived flaws. Often, this is a very conscious effort, stemmed from a belief that other people are greater than you, and it’s necessary to lie to achieve equal footing.

Guys who are very concerned about status, what others think of them, and society’s expectations tend to be the most dishonest and inauthentic types of people. Or, they fall into weird, faux “nice guy” behavior.

In actuality, poor authenticity murders your chances with women. If you’re browsing this site looking for tips on how to meet girls, I’d suggest start by learning how to be honest as a way to jump-start this area of your life. Dishonesty, on multiple levels, creates the vibe of “swarthiness”, which is an attraction killer. Conversely, vulnerability and openness build strong connections.

Here are 9 ways to immediately become more authentic.

Come Clean About Faults through Self Deprecation

On a daily basis, your ego is wrestling with apparent shortcomings, whether they’re social stigmas or insecurities from childhood. The best way to come forward about these things is self-deprecating humor. Don’t overdo it, but if your situation in life is shit and you’re living out of your car, then humorously invite people to your Toyota after-party. In time, you will begin to own your shortcomings, versus allowing them to own you.

Put Yourself at Mercy

Another way your ego prevents you from learning how to be honest is by creating a self-defense system akin to the “Star Wars” program developed by the U.S. government during the Cold War. When people make mistakes, usually the first instinct is to cover it up, or even attack the attacker in a barrage of ego-defense laser-guided missiles.

Instead, when you make even mild mistakes—like at work—put yourself on the line and become the first to quip at your own incompetence. People around you have no reason to be harsh or condemning if it’s obvious you’re very aware of your own shortcomings. By doing this, you’ll never experience the feeling of having to “cover up” your tracks.

Example: “No, I didn’t file the report like you asked, either I’m going crazy, I’m incompetent, or both”…and then, obviously remedy your mistake.

It takes a real man to admit he’s wrong.

Admit to Vices

Another way inauthenticity enters our lives is when we live in the shadows of what we’re afraid to admit we like to do.

While I don’t think it would be a good idea to openly tell your work associates that you enjoy being tied up and spanked like a baby, there are less socially damning vices that you shouldn’t be self-conscious about.

For instance, if you play a lot of video games, fess up about it with people, and never lecture others about similar hobbies. Or, if somebody asked you what you did on Sunday and you spent the day watching reruns of “Married With Children” in your underwear, don’t enthusiastically respond with “I exercised, read some Dostoyevsky, and made a few hundred dollars on the stock exchange” because you feel it’s the most sophisticated or appropriate response.

Instead, tell them the honest-to-God truth, or else you’re deceiving yourself.

Tell People What Bothers You

Your friend tracked some dirt into your house, right after you vacuumed, and it keeps coming back to the forefront of your thoughts. Do you A: conceal it and fester about it, B: yell at them, or C: point it out and ask them to be careful in the future?

“B” and “C” are appropriate responses, but obviously “B” is very reactive and socially uncouth. Nevertheless, hiding your intentions or feelings is another way that people act inauthentic, and so even being harsh is better than festering and saying nothing, otherwise known as conflict avoidance.

Of course, the best tactic is “C”, so grace your disapproval with adequate social skills, and be quick to point out your disappointment.

Avoid Bragging And Compliment Fishing

Bragging operates in the following way: bragger accomplishes a merited task, bragger wonders why there is a lack of recognition for the significant deed, bragger begins to fish for approval, bragger receives approval and feels momentarily satisfied, OR bragger receives apathy or annoyance, and responds with passive aggressive hostility.

The root cause of bragging is insecurity. Everybody wants to feel accepted or to gain recognition, and this is fine (and perhaps it’s one of those vices you should admit to), but the sense of insecurity can run deep into your bloodstream, requiring incessant approval of accomplishments. If this is you, immediately confront yourself about it.

One clever way to brag in an “authentic way” is to state your intentions by prefacing whatever you’re about to brag about with your desire to achieve social feedback, IE: “I’m whoring myself out for approval so here’s the really cool piece of art I made, if anybody wants to comment on it feel free”.

At least this way, you’re not masking your desire for approval.

When the Truth Hurts, Tell it Anyway

The easiest way to learn how to be honest is to state facts even at the risk of confrontation.

Obviously, white lies are necessary at certain points, and you should not forego this practice when it’s necessary. However, do you ever find yourself lying just to avoid minor confrontations about things? Examples: “Yeah, I paid the electric bill” “Yup, I changed the oil after I borrowed your car, just like you asked” “I’m on a diet now, I swear” “No, I don’t think you gained weight over the summer, at all” “It’s your baby”

(Joking about the last one, obviously).

The funny thing about being honest is that sometimes people get pissed off at first, but in the long run you earn their respect. As an experiment, I made a policy with my last girlfriend to “never lie”, which would mean doing unthinkable things like telling her if she gained some weight or needed to put on makeup. We fought a lot at first, but later on our relationship became extremely trustworthy (and remains so today, actually, even after we had to separate because of distance. I’m still the guy she can ask about anything in the world and receive honest answers).

Do What You Say, No Matter What

Everybody knows “that guy” who is all talk, and nothing to show for it. Sometimes it’s on big levels (“I’m starting a business and it’s going to soar!”) or micro levels (“I’m doing my laundry today, I swear!”) but either way, whatever they say just doesn’t get done, and their promises become as hollow as their pitiful results.

Don’t be that guy. The best way to avoid this behavior is avoid any type of promise you feel reservations about. In addition, complete tasks without the expectation of approval. To be the type of guy who shows versus tells is going to create massive success in your life.

In my worldly experience, places like Los Angeles and Las Vegas are filled with people who make entire careers out of empty promises, and quality people can’t stand them!

Avoid Routines and Gambits

The more your social life is held up by the crutches of routines and fake personalities, the more it will eventually suffer.

Many people who constitute the currently small reader-base of Developed Man are friends or acquaintances in the seduction community, and sometimes these people become accustomed to the idea of scripted material and lines to meet women.

Actual, popular guys don’t need to do this kind of stuff. Over time, those routines become affixed to your personality, and your presentation morphs into something as fake as a three dollar bill.

Avoid this.

Put Your Feelings on the Line

So, as I explained at the beginning of this article, I’ve learned the therapeutic nature of putting yourself “out there” versus covering up weaknesses or flaws. Obviously, it’s not a good idea to be constantly weeping around everybody, but from time-to-time you should just come clean with friends and family about what’s working in your life, and what isn’t.

You’ll find most people are sharing similar plights as you are. Whether it’s a lack of money, relationships, or the crushing weight of comparing your dreams versus short term necessity, the human experience is surprisingly familiar among all who participate in it, and there are a lot of people willing to help you along the way when you learn how to be honest with yourself.

What Do You Think?

I just finished installing a Facebook component of Developed Man, which means you should now be able to add notes directly from your FB page by scrolling down to the comments field. If you find this article interesting, feel free to share your thoughts. If you disagree with it, I’d also like to hear from you.

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Thanks for reading!

7 Bullshit Ideas That Hold Men Back

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Uncertainty is the thing that separates an effective lifestyle from one of trepidation and inaction. Each gender has its own series of limiting beliefs, and certainly both men and women share a lot of the same issues. However, through the vantage point of men’s interests, there are some reoccurring themes I notice among guys who otherwise want to improve their lifestyles, but are unfortunately stuck with the wrong, bullshit ideas running in circles in their minds like an endless NASCAR circuit. Bad philosophies make us double-think important decisions, inhibit decision making, or turn toward sour, negative thoughts.

7 – I’m Too Old to Do X, Y, Z.

The origin of this limiting belief is, definitely, the media. Somewhere in the backs of every guy’s minds is the idea of fame and fortune. As a society that celebrates youth above all else (an illusion created by advertisers), we tend to believe that arriving at a high-level of success is proportional to youth. This belief is reinforced by pop-stars and young, dashing actors on TV, or another example: FORTUNE magazine’s “40 under 40” profiling the young and successful.

The problem with this way of thinking is that it contradicts reality. The truth is that we’re all getting older. A man who’s 21 today will inevitably turn 30, and then 40. Nobody gets out of this, except for those who die young.

While the media props up images of the young, there are many more examples of the “older and successful”: for instance, Colonel Sanders didn’t open his first KFC restaurant until he was over 60 years old. As for glamorous jobs like acting, think of people like Peter Dinklage, now a superstar thanks to the HBO series Game of Thrones. Until age 40, he was virtually off the map.

6 – I Have to Act My Age

Here’s the next topic on the subject of ageism. In my life, I’ve met old men under 23 years-old—they dress in a very drab way, remain non-assuming and barely have any blood in their veins. I’ve also met 70+ year-old men who you’d feel totally cool partying with at a beach bonfire.

The people most affected by this limiting belief are guys who come from families that reinforce it. The most damage occurs when guys are told to “grow up” for pursuing passions or non-linear paths to success.

While age may create physical differences, a big part of it involves how you act. I don’t encourage acting immaturely, but likewise I don’t think it’s good to pigeonhole oneself into some pre-ordained set of behaviors judged by society as drab enough to be considered “mature”, whether that involves tucking your polo-shirts into your Khaki shorts, hanging out at the country club, or having your tattoos removed by laser because you think you’ve outgrown them.

5 – I Cannot Redefine Myself

This involves the idea that a person is set into a specific framework that cannot be altered. A banker is a banker, an accountant is an accountant, an unemployed “loser” is a “loser”. By contrast, it’s possible to be multi-faceted. In fact, it’s far healthier to be diversified. If you place all your stakes into some archetype you’ve created for yourself, what happens if that archetype is ruined?

For instance, a banker is a banker—until the banker is fired. What will he do then without an identity, besides retreat into a nervous breakdown? There’s ways to break out of this thinking, and one way is to create a career for yourself that’s an off-shoot of whatever you currently do, promote yourself with a website, and use it to help define what you believe in or stand for.

4 – I Have No Sexual Options

The crux of the whole “seduction” movement on the Internet is reaching out to guys who usually begin with this predisposition, and then they try to turn it 180 degrees. Again, it seems I can link this back to a type of ageist paranoia. The crux of this belief is that sex, girlfriends, and parties exist for guys age 25 and under. After that you need to be settled down and happily married, or you’re pretty much fucked. Ever meet guys in a rush to join the American dream?

What happens? Guys everywhere race to get married before they’re even ready to do so. This is bad news. What if I told you that if you’re perfectly happy with yourself, you never have to get married? What if I also told you that when you don’t need to tie the knot with anybody is when you’re paradoxically in the best psychological shape to settle down?

In addition, by learning how to gain sexual personality characteristics, any guy at any age can be attractive. Limited beliefs about dating within your age bracket or within your “league” are all misconceptions that lead to low-quality partners and North America’s absurd divorce rates.

3 – People Are Above Me or Beneath Me

Both ends of this spectrum of belief hold men back from their potential. The belief that people are above you prevents you from making necessary connections in life. If you feel you’re somehow not “worthy” to mingle with people who are more successful than you, then you’ll never get out of the place you currently dwell.

Likewise, as soon as you adopt the idea that people are beneath you—anybody—from shop clerks to homeless people—you’re entering a negative territory that’s hard to get out of. You’re also perpetuating a type of classism that doesn’t benefit anybody.

In regard to women and dating, avoid the belief that a woman is “below” you for not meeting certain physical characteristics. You might be surprised who you get along with, and who you don’t. Don’t be one of those guys who goes through a mall snickering to himself as he passes girls whose “knees are too sharp” or “hips are too big”—and especially don’t use that as an excuse to avoid talking to people.

2 – I Can Wait for Opportunities

As the band Muse would say: “Don’t waste your time, or time will waste you.” There’s no waiting for opportunities, whether this involves your love life, your career, or just the things you want to accomplish in life. This drum-roll is what keeps me from spending inordinate amounts of time doing things that are not advancing me forward (excessive television, video-games, porn, cute animals on YouTube).

The way life really works is you have to place yourself in the right moment, at the right time. Sometimes this is as simple as dragging yourself out of the house and going to a nightclub, a party, or any other location that involves mingling and meeting new people.

The same goes, obviously, for women. Women rarely approach men (although with the right “magnet game” philosophy I teach, this can happen, but I digress). As a result, every-time a woman smiles at you, and you shy away, or rationalize “maybe I’ll see her again someday”, you’ve just betrayed yourself by eliminating a possible opportunity.

1 – Worth is Based on Money

One of the most infectious limited beliefs is related to status, personal value, and money. I’ve seen guys judge their value as a human based on their net-worth and annual salaries. Wow. This is a terrible way to think. It makes you pursue success for the wrong reasons, and you adopt a very negative, black-and-white view of society, assigning value to “haves” and sneering at “have-nots”.

People without much spiritual purpose in life tend to replace what would otherwise be wholesome values with a worth = money outlook. Maybe the root of all evil is not necessarily money, or the love of money, but assigning fake moral value to societal perceptions of success.

In reality, what matters is what you’re doing with your time, not how much you’re pulling in. So, if you’re making $5,000 a year and you live with your parents, then that’s not so bad if your waking hours are spent advancing what you feel is your contribution to the world (that, and you have a plan out of your parent’s house, obviously). If, on the other hand, your free time is spent indulging on a bong, then you’re misguided and you do deserve to be yelled at for letting your life slip between your fingers.

In Summary

To summarize a lot of my points, check out this video by Craig Ferguson as he explains “why everything sucks”. Enjoy!