The power of extreme honesty

Last weekend I had a privilege to give a talk to teens on authentic manhood. As much as I welcomed the opportunity, I was just as afraid to screw up. Luckily, the experience reassured me of the power of extreme honesty.

I’m a very open person by nature, and as such, I enjoy giving vulnerable talks; to adults, that is. Teenagers are a whole different category, so I wondered if I should play it safe and risk preaching at them or be honest and risk over-sharing. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to take a chance on doing what felt right. After all, I don’t have a crystal ball, but if I am risking failure, I figured it’s better to go big or go home.

I’m blessed to have some folks typically come up to me after a talk, but this time it was tens of teens. Based on their reactions, I saw a hunger for honesty. Not just to talk about the generalities, but get into the messy guts of falling short when trying to make better decisions.

Inspiring change is never easy. When I think about what to say so that each person makes a positive change, I get overwhelmed. When I, however, share my story and what helped me, I’m leading by example, because I’m sparking conversations that address the elephants in the room. Through the power of extreme honesty, healthier relationships emerge, and change gets a fresh start.

Which one of your relationships would benefit from more honesty? How can you take the first step?


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