Truth is more than an abstract notion. Your beliefs derived from your life experience. This is the lens through which you will be seeing your world. Your Judgments are shaped by your interpretation of Truth. Our perceptions and beliefs affect the lens through which we see the truth. Although each person witnessed the same situation, their version, or opinion, of what actually happened varies depending on where they stood, or their point of view, and yet they come away with very different truths and emotions.
From a social behavioral perspective truth is a set of guidelines that we live by. We all have different truths based on our perceptions. There is also factual data but as we know, the context in which factual data is placed will be guided by our own truths. Our perception of truth determines what we hear. Many things are transpiring at the moment of the conversation. Our emotions are involved in this. Emotions do not come as a result of an observation or experience but rather from the conversation that we are having with ourselves about our perception of the situation. The result of the conversation is dependent upon our cognitive interpretations and are often based on our past experiences or beliefs. Things look better from far away. If you are willing to step out and look from far way, you will be free to move in the space. It’s about acceptance and release of judgment.
It is important first to take responsibility for knowing our truths, knowing the truth about ourselves. Taking this first step empowers us and frees up energy, which is-self awareness. Being completely aware of the truths around us allows us to grow and develop.
Understanding the truth about who you are is empowering. The truth about who you are can be fearful but this initial fear is minimal in comparison to the fear that disempowerment brings. Knowing the truth about who you are should be a wonderful experience because knowing the truth is the beginning point of your development plan. Knowing your truths is knowing your strengths. Building on your strengths is development and growth. Empowerment is watching growth, from strength to strength.
If we decide not to live in truth then we choose to be fraudulent. You create another lie to cover up the first so that you can keep going with the pretense. Knowing the truth, which is awareness, this is change, this is powerful. Finding the truth about who you are can also be done through meditation. Meditation is when we move into a relaxed mode and connect with our subconscious and unconscious thoughts. In Wilson’s book, Calm for Life, he talks about the brainwaves that occur when we operate in conscious, subconscious or unconscious states. These brainwaves are different for each state. Overtime we can train ourselves to move between each of these states. This is a real performance enhancing ability that is used by athletes and highly successful people. This allows us to get in touch with our subconscious mind. Practicing meditation can support you in moving through each of these brainwave states.
To always live in the truth requires building structures to support you. Don Miguel Ruiz in his book, the Four Agreements, that he believes we can live by. These agreements support us in living in the truth. The Four agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your word
2. Don’t take anything personally
3. Don’t make assumptions
4. Always do your best
The perceptions and beliefs that we hold may limit our ability to see the whole truth. We know that by living our own truth we are more open to receiving others. Living our own truth builds confidence and self esteem. It builds self-awareness, it strengthens our focus, it supports the fulfillment of our dreams and goals.
Suspending judgment in the coaching relationship is critical to the success of the coaching. In essence, we are saying, “Be fully conscious of what YOU believe to be the truth”. Coaching is also the ability to hold two or more “truths” at the same time and examine them objectively. We support the truth of any given situation by having them check their perceptions and beliefs. On another level, there is your truth as a coach and your responsibility to tell the truth to your clients as you see it. Remember this is not giving our opinion, but rather holding ourselves as coaches accountable. We as coaches must be willing to challenge our clients about their truths when we see that these truths (held beliefs) are holding them back.
The fraudulent behavior is “deception practiced for the sake of what is deemed a good purpose. In coaching, this “deception” may show up when clients are not in alignment with their deepest values. In coaching sessions, fraud and self-deception are recognizable where there is justifying, defensiveness and inconsistencies. Truth is a beautiful challenge that asks us questions about our integrity every day of our lives. Self-betrayal leads to perceiving the world in a self-justifying way, which they call “in the box” perception. They outline the process of self-betrayal or self-deception in the following way:
1. An act contrary to what I feel I should do for another is called an act of “self-betrayal.”
2. When I betray myself, I begin to see the world in a way that justifies my self-betrayal.
3. When I see a self-justifying world, my view of reality becomes distorted.
4. So – when I betray myself, I enter the box.
5. Over time, certain boxes become characteristic of me, and I carry them with me.
6. By being in the box, I provoke others to be in the box.
7. In the box, we invite mutual mistreatment and obtain mutual justification.
We collude in giving each other reason to stay in the box.” How, as coaches, can we get our client out of his “box” where self-justification is blocking him from seeing what the truth is? As coaches, truth is one of the most valuable and powerful things that we can offer our clients. Perception is reality and reality is our truth. By revealing truth to our clients and having our clients check their perceptions and beliefs, we can work with our clients to find what is true for them, and in essence change their reality.
“The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.” – William James