What does your truth feel like?

The sermon in church this morning focused on self-awareness, and the pastor talked about the Johari Window. It was a perfect topic for me because my focus in 2019 is truth, and accepting the truth about myself is one of my goals.

Here is a version the Johari Window:

johari window

The Johari Window was developed in 1955 by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. The idea is that if you and people who know you were using adjectives to describe you, they would all fall into one of these quadrants. The adjectives both you and others use to describe you would fall into the “public” quadrant because these are your character traits that you and others are aware of. Adjectives you use to describe yourself but others would not use to describe you fall into the “private” quadrant because these are things you know about yourself but others do not know about you.

The quadrant that makes me cringe a bit is the “blind spot” quadrant. Adjectives fall into this quadrant when they are words that others would use to describe you but that you are not aware of. The cringe-y part is that we all have personal traits that we are not aware of–everyone else knows, but we don’t. Isn’t ignorance bliss? Maybe we are better off not knowing?

The last quadrant is the “hidden self”, and those are traits that neither you or others are aware of, either because we are ignorant about them or just don’t see them for one reason or another. I like to think of this quadrant as containing our hidden potential.

With truth as my focus for 2019, one way to live out my truth is to accept things about myself that I previously tried to deny or ignore. I loved thinking about my focus in terms of the Johari Window this morning. I want to understand my blind spots better so that I can reflect and make goals for improvement. That means working through my fears and seeking the help of others. I cannot see the traits in my blind spot, so someone else is going to have to tell me about them, and that likely will be hard to hear.

I also want to work on making sure my public self matches closely with my private self. Some people may be okay with being one person in public and another in private, but I am not. I believe that if I am to fulfill my potential, I need to live my truth fully in all areas of my life. If I am doing something in private that I wouldn’t want others to know, I might want to reconsider that decision. Vice-versa, if I am doing something publicly that I don’t do privately, am I telling the truth about myself to the public?

I value being transparent, vulnerable, and honest and my focus on truth this year will hopefully help me live out my values even more. Here are some questions I will be asking myself to access my truth:

  • What values do you hold close when you think about this situation? Are your actions aligned with your values?
  • How are you feeling about this problem? Are your feelings getting in the way of solving the problem?
  • Who are you right now? How does that match up with who you want to be?
  • What are you doing that is getting in the way of reaching your goals?
  • What positive character traits do you love about yourself?
  • Every positive has a negative, what are the negative components of your positive character traits?
  • What negative character traits do you have, and how are you working on improving them?
  • How are your actions impacting others? Are you helping or hurting?
  • What do you want for yourself? How hard are you willing to work for it?

As I was setting my focus for 2019, I stumbled onto the song Truth by Gwen Stefani, and it is my anthem for this year. Gwen sings,

“So this is what the truth feels like

This is more of what I had in mind…

Something about this feels so right.”

To me, the truth feels like living my whole self, giving more to the people around me, and working to match my heart with my actions.

What does your truth feel like?

5 thoughts on “What does your truth feel like?”

  1. This post has so much to think about- and that’s a good thing and a tough thing at the same time. I did not know about the Johari Window.- new way to self reflect. Thanks for stretching my thinking- again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jen! The Johari Window was new thinking for me this morning. It sounded vaguely familiar, like maybe I learned about it in a college psychology class or something. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!


  2. Although I’m new to your blog, I’m glad I stumbled onto this. The post raises a lot of interesting questions. I didn’t know about the window, but I’ve been preoccupied with the “public self versus private self” question for so long now. To erase the boundaries between the private and the public is indeed a very difficult task. Some of my friends who are performers constantly try to achieve this with whatever role they play. I’m thinking of talking to them about the window–like you imply, the window is by no means definitive, but works well as a guideline. It gives interesting thought experiments! Thanks!

    Looking forward to your posts 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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