Become Invincible: Be the Truth

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

Ever wondered how to become truly invincible – I mean Rock Solid; impenetrable; bullet-proof? The answer is much simpler than you expect. It is…. Be the Truth.

Being the Truth is a simple concept; in every situation in the workplace (and at home), we should always be faithful to the truth of whatever it is we’re dealing with. This means:

  • …not dressing up a bad situation to look good
  • …always sharing threats as well as opportunities
  • …disclosing all relevant information
  • …avoiding political pressure to hide information
  • …introducing clarity from a confusing situation

As I said, it’s a simple concept. But the reality is, Being the Truth is a heck of a job. In our workplaces, we find ourselves under a lot of pressure to Be a Lie. More often than not, it is political pressure that comes to bear. This is when we are implored or instructed to hide details, or plain lie, so we don’t disrupt an initiative, or make someone look bad (the latter being the reason 99% of the time). This pressure almost always comes from ‘The Management’. The pressure is not always direct, and often in the form of a perceived threat of some sort, e.g. a denial of promotion, disciplinary action, increased pay, or simply just pissing the boss off (which results in the former three anyway).

I feel this pressure – you probably do too.

Being the Truth is not easy.

So you might be wondering why I am suggesting that Being the Truth makes us invincible?

Well the Truth is the absolute reality. It is the state of the world, and nobody can change that at any precise moment of time. I can’t change the color of the sky in the same way I can’t stop that project being overspent right now. So therefore, the Truth is unmoveable. When we Be the Truth, our position on anything is clear, and solid. The only thing to discuss is the future!

Being the Truth is Not EasyWhen We ‘Be’ The Truth, We’re Protected By It

OK – it’s easier to get this by demonstrating the opposite – what happens when we ‘be’ a lie. You see, when we lie we then protect the lie to avoid the truth coming out, or to avoid the embarrassment of being found out. So we often stay clear of conversations connected to the lie, or we might lie further to cover it up. We begin to be in denial about the truth and our behavior becomes defensive, tricky and subvertive. We’re forced to remember a huge amount of false information and all the connections between them, who we said it to, when, etc. The Web of Lies. We leave ourselves open to attack from anyone who can offer a substantiated truth, from any angle. The whole house of cards can come down at any moment! If you’ve been in this situation, you’ll remember how stressful and how totally destructive it is.

Also, and I don’t know about you, but when I lie it feels bad inside and it damages my self-esteem.

But when we be the truth, nothing can attack it! It protects us, and allows us to focus on our work at a high productivity rate because we don’t have to worry about maintain the matrix of falsehoods in our brains!

Is This Spiritual Nonsense?

This is plain common sense, really. It’s not spiritual dogma. In plain terms:

  • If you lie, you have to keep lying, and it’s harder to keep up the web of lies going because they’re not reality. At some point, you will slip up.
  • If you’re truthful, then it’s irrefutable, like the color of the sky is blue. It might not always be what you want to hear, but expectations and situations can be changed. Reality can’t.

Is This Ignoring the ‘Grey Areas’ of a Situation?

Being the truth is having integrity to what we know is reality, although reality is perceived. So it’s ‘our’ reality and therefore ‘our’ truth. Sometimes, perception doesn’t always give us the entire truth, and sometimes, a mistruth.

Situations in our workplace have grey areas, e.g. we might think that a whole raft of layoffs is due to profiteering (how we might perceive it at first), but then discover from a convincing manager that the layoffs are about company survival, because if profits don’t increase then the company financiers will pull out. Everyone involved in this situation will have their own perception of which is the greater truth, which possibly changes as the situation changes. It’s a ‘grey area’.

‘The sky is blue’ is true as a general perception, and it also becomes a big grey area when the storm clouds blow in (if you pardon the pun).

Pretending an old truth is still king, perhaps to save face, is really a lie.

Being the truth is also about adapting what we perceive as the truth when new information is presented (that is, information we believe in and trust).

The Skill of Being the Truth

So you want to be invincible then? You’ll face adversaries that will try to convince you that their lies are in fact reality. These people will try every trick in the book to get you to buy into their lies. Even threats and blackmail. And you’ll also experience people who have different information than you, and therefore have a different perception on the truth (you must listen to these people and adapt if necessary).

The problem is – how can you tell the difference between these sets of people?

The answer: ask enough questions of someone, probe around, cross-reference information, read body-language, and you’ll have a good chance of spotting the angels from the sheisters. The liars will be forced to develop and maintain a ever-increasing web of complexity in their heads to protect the lie. At some point, they’ll trip up.

Now I am not suggesting you should be cynical and suspicious of everyone you meet and engage with. You’re hardly likely to have a polygraph to use on your CEO. What I am saying is that before you adjust your Truth – your very being – then ensure that the information you’re using is credible and trustworthy. This is the toil we must face.

Be the Truth

You can be invincible too – you don’t even need a cape and lycra. Adopt the principle of upholding the truth and hang in there, as it’s going to be a tough ride.

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About the author /

Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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  1. Dave Crain

    Wow – Simon! This post is SPOT on!!! I could write an entire book telling you all the things I liked about it.

    I think “being the truth” as you phrase it, requires some soul searching, a fair amount of commitment, and possibly some life-altering mindset-changing, but is all for the better.

    Two observations I’ll make as a person who tries every day to “be the truth”.

    First – be aware that while many people ask FOR the truth, many times they don’t WANT the truth. Especially if the truth isn’t what they want to hear or is at odds with their goals, beliefs, hopes and dreams. So be prepared to consider tactfulness is sharing the truth, and expect to lose some relationships along the way (hey – no one said this was going to be easy).

    Second – being the truth comes from, and reinforces, being true to yourself. If you are a liar and a cheat inside, you CANNOT be the truth outside. But as you grown and mature inside, the truth will become more comfortable for you. The more you are the truth, the more your actions reinforce and cement who you are inside. It’s the opposite of a vicious cycle and you WILL BE NOTICED for being different.

    I love, love, love this post Simon. Thank you for putting this out there.

    • simonstapleton

      @Dave thanks for the praise it’s great to know you enjoyed the post so much. You make two great points there; people often don’t want to hear the truth even though they ask for it!

      If you have seen Ricky Gervais’s movie ‘The Invention of Lying’ then you’ll know that the brutal truth isn’t tactful. In our world tact is necessary even if it isn’t the whole uncensored truth. But there is a distinction between a lie and tact! It takes skill to stay on the right side of the line and as you say, commitment to staying there!

  2. Asif Shah

    I second Dave’s comments – great post Simon. You sum it all up when you say it’s common sense! You’re so right! But why do so many people lie in their day to day and even when they dont need to. I think people think its easier to lie than tell the truth but it isn’t in the long run.

    Great work on this post

    • simonstapleton

      @Asif that’s a great observation. A mistruth may seem the easiest way out under pressure but it’s often the most costly in the long run. How many people have you heard referred to as a ‘bullshitter’? I know of a few, and I reckon these guys must have a tough time building relationships and influencing people, assuming the reference is true!


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