What if the Truth Hurts?

Posted in Self-Development on April 14th, 2010 by Tim Enochs

“The mirror doesn’t lie.”

Have you ever gazed into a tilted mirror? If you have, you know that your reflection is altered. Tilted one way, a mirror can make you appear to be much taller and thinner than you actually are. Tilted the opposite way, it can make you appear much shorter and wider.

So the truth is… sometimes even the mirror lies.

The reason people tilt mirrors is to avoid the truth. Some do this because they don’t want to take the action that truth demands. Some may be afraid of change. Others may try to avoid the truth because it hurts.

Of course, not all truths are painful. But when we don’t like what we see in the mirror, the truth is difficult to face.

While preparing for a recent Mastermind event in Orlando, I thought of a couple of questions I wanted to ask the group about truth:

1) The truth can hurt…so does that give us the right to hurt with the truth?
2) The truth can hurt…so does that give us permission to lie or avoid it?

Truth is truth, and we must all face it at some point. If it hurts, it hurts. When faced with the choice to deal with truth or avoid it, we must discipline ourselves to deal with it. Lies will always be exposed, but truth lingers.

Avoiding or lying about the truth never makes it go away.

I remember attending an event during which the main speaker was giving a marvelous presentation, but no one was receiving the full impact of the message. The speaker was completely oblivious to a distraction that was evident to everyone else in the room.

His pants were unzipped.

When the presentation ended, I knew something needed to be done. He was scheduled to give the same presentation to two larger groups that morning.

Someone needed to tell him.

I watched as the attendees filed out of the room, hoping that someone would tell him. No one did. My assumption was that they didn’t want to embarrass him, but I knew the embarrassment would be greater if no one said anything. So I did.

After his initial embarrassment, he recognized the additional awkwardness he had been spared. He thanked me, and glowed with appreciation.

I realized that although I could have hurt him with the truth by making fun of him, I had no right to do so. And although I could have easily avoided telling him the truth, it just wasn’t the right thing to do. He needed to know the truth, and someone needed to share it with him.

Sometimes you may be the one holding up the mirror, and sometimes you may be the one who needs to see the reflection. Either way, if you are unwilling to turn and face reality, you’ll walk through life with your zipper down.

If we are going to live at our peak, we must find the courage to face the un-tilted truth.

Is there a truth you need to help someone else to see? In what areas do you need to hold up the mirror to your own life or business and take an honest look?

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