How to Practice Radical Honesty

What Is Radical Honesty?

Radical honesty is a practice of minimizing the lies you tell. You can live authentically and be happy through the practice of always being honest and telling the truth. It’s also a way to create connections and stay present to our experiences. Radical honesty is the practice of honoring the truth behind bodily signals and sensations. Your body is constantly telling you what’s good, what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s not right, and honoring those truths, honoring those signals is also a form of radical honesty. It’s a commitment to seeing and acknowledging things exactly as they are: no assumptions, no interpretations, no fabrications. 

Signs You Are Out of Honesty

When we are ignoring our feeling, we are living out of alignment with the truth. These may be signs that we are lying to ourselves or not being honest in some way, shape, or form. Saying yes without thinking about how you really feel about the request. Working out even when your body is tired. Dating or staying with someone because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, telling people what they want to hear, wanting to control outcomes, overeating, or under-eating. Ignoring your gut feeling. Your gut feeling is probably the most truthful signal that you can possibly get or have, and so often, we ignore that truth.

Why Do You Need Radical Honesty?

Withholding, inauthenticity, phoniness, and attachment to ideals is just plain harmful. It’s harmful to withhold love. It’s harmful to be inauthentic, to be phony. It’s harmful because you are living out of alignment with your own honesty and integrity. Lying catches up to you over time and may lead to more significant consequences. It hurts our self-esteem and confidence because you’re not being genuine. Practicing honesty just makes life more comfortable over time, and ultimately it sets you free. What is the opposite of suffering? Its freedom. When we’re suffering, we feel suppressed. We feel oppressed. We feel trapped and up against the wall and like we can’t get out. The opposite of that is freedom. It’s feeling free, expressive, and expansive. It deepens love, connection, understanding, and forgiveness.

Noticing Vs. Thinking

Practicing radical honesty is about “noticing” versus “thinking”. “Ah, I notice that this is a glass of water.” Thinking would be “man, i should really go and get more water here or else. i’m not gonna be hydrated later on.” Do you see the difference? Radical honesty comes from a place of noticing. Thinking is now us attaching an interpretation or assumption. Reporting experience is a form of radical honesty versus creating a story, assumption, or interpretation. These are thoughts. This is attachment. This is us now making a thing out of it.

How Can You Practice Radical Honesty?

Radical honesty is not to be confused with an obligation to tell the truth. Often, people will say, what if the truth is going to hurt this person? Radical honesty is not to be confused with an obligation to blindly tell the truth. It is about observing, noticing, and communicating what you notice:  “I’m noticing that I am feel anxious. Can you help me? I’m not really sure what to do about this.” “I’m struggling with X, Y and Z.” “I want to run away, and telling myself these stories that I don’t belong here”.
I am noticing these thoughts and then communicating them. That is you practicing radical honesty.