5 Benefits of Being Transparent: How to Be Unapologetically Yourself

Initially, transparency was a word that referred primarily to visibility. Today, its definition and usage is steadily evolving. Our media dominated world, has greatly contributed to the ever-evolving definition of transparency. The word itself is simple, but there’s nothing mediocre about transparency. Its undeniable potency rest in its uncanny ability to unveil truths, agendas and feelings.

Imagine a world where transparency was accepted, welcomed and encouraged on every level and in every regard. What if facades and  personas were distant aspects of the past? I suspect there would be many pros and several cons of such a notion. There would more than likely be a higher level of trust in the air, as well as vulnerability. Would people love the idea of seeing everyone for who they really are? Or would the naked truth become to much? Everyone unapologetically being themselves, in a judgment and agenda-free sphere; how heavenly, right? Not necessarily, due to our growing digital revolution, people have a lessening control over what they do and don’t want people to know, which often leads to a tug of war between the values of transparency and privacy.

We live in a brave new world where secrets are becoming obsolete. The more information people seek, the more others are becoming inclined to give. For those who own businesses, the concept of transparency, when utilized carefully, has proven to be highly beneficial. In a highly competitive, yet weakened economy, those who embrace the world of social media and transparency first, are gaining a competitive edge over their competitors.

The business advantages of transparency are pretty clear (pardon the pun). Okay, let’s take it a step further, what are your thoughts about transparency as it pertains to individuality? Imagine a world where everyone could be frank and open minus judgment and scrutiny. The reality is world-wide transparency will never exist. The good thing is, individually we have the freedom to turn our transparency on and off, at our discretion. Social media and reality shows are just a couple venues that have played a huge role in making that possible.

Transparency on an individual level is rarely discussed or addressed. What does it mean to own your transparency? If you had to rate your level of transparency on a scale from 1-5, what would it be? For many, ‘keeping it real” with others is tough, but believe it or not, “keeping it real” with ourselves can be equally or more challenging. You might ask, “What do I have to gain from becoming more transparent on a personal level’. Good question, here are 5 great benefits personal transparency.

1. Increases personal accountability- When you become more honest with yourself and others, you instantly increase the likelihood of holding true to what you say. You become more committed to aligning your words with your actions which can prove especially useful when it comes to setting goals and achieving them.
2. It has a mirror effect – Oftentimes, when you demonstrate a positive behavior, others may unknowingly or knowingly mimic it. For example, just say you wanted your significant other to be a more effective listener, it might help if you demonstrate effective listening skills. The same applies to transparency; if you want to attract more transparent people in your life, it might help to show more transparency. That doesn’t mean you have to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets to every one you meet. It just means that revealing a little more of yourself or pealing a couple of your layers might prompt others to do the same. Transparency often promotes authenticity.
3. It demonstrates self-acceptance and maturity. Being able to be blatantly honest with yourself, can impact your ability to embrace your strengths and identify your weaknesses, promoting self-acceptance and potentially boosting your confidence and emotional intelligence.

4. Greater sense of empowerment- Expressing your genuine feelings, can help you break free from your own limitations and fears.
5. You’ll gain more respect – Nobody likes a fraud. Research has proven that the most well-liked people are the ones that are most authentic and true to themselves. Transparency can take a little courage, and expend a bit of energy, but the results and impact can go long way. The fact is, people may not always agree with what you say or do, but when it’s all said and done, those same people may be more likely to respect you for demonstrating  the courage to be yourself.

There is no persuasiveness more effectual that the transparency of a single heart, of a sincere life.

-Joseph Barber Lightfoot