It’s time to stop lying to yourself and start getting real
There are all sorts of lies we tell ourselves and they’re destroying our potential.
by: E.B. Johnson
Ashumans we lie about everything from the food we ate for breakfast to how we feel about our best friend’s choice of attire. We tell big lies and we tell small lies and — more often than not — these lies have the purpose of protection.
Lies are a defense mechanism meant to protect us from the uncomfortable reality of our beliefs and the behaviors we engage in. They shield us from accountability and they also protect the ones we love from similar realities and home truths that make them wriggle.
We lie; but the worst kind of lying we engage in is the lying that we do with ourselves in the quiet of our own internal realms.
This type of lying shapes the way we see ourselves and the world. It impacts everything from our peace of mind to our emotional stability. When we lie to ourselves we destroy ourselves and put our minds in a prison. Frozen, in stasis, unhappiness and unfulfillment rein supreme.
The Lying Cycle
Often, the lies we tell ourselves start off small, but after repeating them for years they become beliefs that reinforce our negative behaviors and emotions. When we lie to ourselves, we start to live in an illusion of being someone we’re not and we lose touch with ourselves and our passions.
When we lie to ourselves we destroy our peace and our emotional freedom. It effects not only the way we see ourselves, but the way we see the people around us. We wallow in half-truths and (without any concrete evidence) form a personality around a skewed perception we have of ourselves.
The cycle is never-endless and reinforces itself by creating beliefs that generate negative emotions which then generate negative behaviors. When we see how poorly we act, we reinforce that negative self-dialogue that we all engage in and the cycle goes on and on.
We can end this cycle of self-delusion but it takes effort and it takes honesty. You have to take step back and get critical with not only ourselves but our intentions. Are you as terrible as you think you are or is that just a more convenient lie to believe?
The 6 Lies Everyone Tells Themselves (And How You Can Stop Them)
There are a range of lies we tell ourselves, but there are 6 core lies that everyone engages in — no matter how happy or confident they may be.
By getting a handle on these central misbeliefs, you can transform your life and give yourself the chance to grow in an all new direction. Things will only get better when you stop making excuses and start making some honest assessments.
1. I’m fine.
This is, perhaps, the biggest and boldest lie we are all guilty of.
It’s okay to say you’re “fine” when you don’t want to worry your children, your spouse or your mother, but it’s bad when you start telling that lie to yourself.
Instead of addressing issues that you’re becoming keenly aware of, you’re choosing the easy route by glossing over them with an “I’m fine.”
This is one of those lies we use when we just can’t face the reality that’s bearing down on us. Rather than dealing with a problem, we bury it and cover over it with one lie and another one, digging deeper and deeper until we’re buried under a mound of painful truths.
Problems don’t go away just by pretending they’re “fine”. When we conceal our unhappiness or our mistakes with an “I’m fine” we’re simply delaying the solutions stage until everything converges in an a monumental explosion that results in a collapse of everything we hold dear.
We have to be brave and face reality. We have to learn to speak up when things aren’t okay and we need a little help.
We are all human beings and even when we do everything right, things go wrong. Deal with problems right away, rather than waiting for them to become a crisis and you’ll find that you’ll be able to keep your goals (and your peace of mind) in clear sight.
2. Now is the wrong time to deal with this.
Putting things off takes a “not now” and turns it into a “never”. If you’re facing issues, the hard truth of the matter is that there’s no better time to deal with it than right now.
Just like “I’m fine” is an excuse, “not right now” is an excuse.
Every moment that we’re alive is a moment that is filled with opportunities. Opportunities, however, take work and they take a lot of effort on our part, both physical and mental.
Not right now lets us put off those opportunities and allow us to remain complacent — a much easier road to follow. When we put off the things we want or the change we know is needed, we delay our growths and allow our laziness to prevent our success.
Later is never guaranteed. Instead, we must focus on the here and now. There is no time like the present to tell someone you love them or start work on that project you’ve been putting off for years. No one is stopping you but you, but it’s going to take some honesty to own up to that.
3. I can’t do it.
This lie is one of the most toxic that we tell ourselves. If you want to be successful and move forward in your life you have to stop telling yourself that you can’t and you have to start believing that you can.
While we might not be able to conquer every obstacle we come across, we are far more capable than we give ourselves credit for.
When we spend years cultivating lies around the things we do and don’t do well, we create beliefs that we see as absolute truths and they cripple us. Many things might be impossible, but (wo)man has proven time and time again that she / he is always capable of going beyond what is believed to be possible.
Realize that things you consider impossible are not so hard to do. Give things a try rather than just dismissing them our of hand.
4. I don’t need to change; everyone else needs to change.
While it’s true that we shouldn’t change ourselves in order to receive the love or approval of others, it’s not true that we are never the ones guilty of needing a few tweaks here and there.
Too often than not, we tell ourself this lie when we’re trying to mislead ourself (or others) about the worst of our habits.
When we do something we regret, it’s more comfortable to blame our shortcomings on our personality or some disfunction of other people rather than our own faults. Instead of changing, we declare that some people “just don’t like us” and refuse to take responsibility.
Humans are adaptive, however, and despite how much we might not enjoy it — change is possible.
Rather than blaming someone else when we’re negative, late, offensive or hurtful we can instigate real internal transformation by making ourselves accountable and committing to change. Everything is temporary, so the sooner we realize that our behaviors and personalities too are temporary, the more change we can generate in our lives.
5. I don’t need anybody, I’m better off by myself.
When we’re feeling hurt or vulnerable, it’s often easier for us to push people away than to function as a considerate person.
It’s a bit like when a cat crawls off to die when it’s sick or seriously injured.
Being down in the dumps leaves us lost and feeling hopeless. When we’re caught up in our feelings we start to believe the lie that it’s easier not to be in love, or that it’s easier not to show feelings. We ends up alone, whether we want to or not, and when that happens it reinforces all the negative beliefs and lies we tell ourselves.
We’re all afraid of being hurt, but help is necessary sometimes. As humans, we’re social animals, and when we’re feeling hurt it can help to have others bolster us up again.
Pushing people away from you causes you to miss out on some of the most beautiful aspects of being human. When we insist on allowing our lies to isolate us, we miss out on love and on having someone special that we can count on.
It’s time to learn that it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s time to learn that others are just as scared of being hurt as we are. Life keeps going, no matter how much fear we build up into walls around ourselves, and it’s lonely going when we don’t allow the love of others in.
Admit that sometimes you need someone; to hold your hand, pet your head and tell you that it’s going to be okay. It’s okay to need someone just like it’s okay for someone to need you. Even if we find rejection on the other end, it’s an opportunity to grow.
6. I don’t deserve any better.
Even if we’ve convinced ourselves that it’s okay to be vulnerable we often struggle believing that we deserve the kind of things that we envision for our lives.
This is one of the most common lies that we all tell ourselves. After a series of bad events, a few of which might have been caused by us, we come to the assertion that we’re worthless and that we are so bad that we don’t deserve the love of good people.
Everyone deserves happiness.
Happiness is free and the universe contains and endless supply of it. Not only are you deserving of happiness, it’s your God-given right, and there’s more than enough of it to go around for everyone — no matter who they are.
Even if you’ve done something wrong, you deserve a second chance. We can become better people when we face the lies we tell ourselves and learn to lend a helping hand to those in need.
When we stop telling ourselves that we’re unworthy and start to understand that happiness is an inherent right of every living thing in this universe, we start to understand that everything we’ve told ourselves is completely and totally wrong.
By being honest with ourselves about ourselves, we can find our way back to happiness and find our way back to a state of authentic living.
Putting it all together…
There are a million lies we tell ourselves every day, but there are six core lies that go much further than the others when it comes to destroying our value and self-esteem.
When we refuse to face our problems and insist that we’re “fine” we delay the inevitable and discount the emotions that make us who we are lying to ourselves about our capabilities too allows us to be lazy and delay the growth that’s so necessary to creating a better tomorrow. Alienating ourselves and convincing ourselves that we don’t need help, too, can cause feelings of hopelessness and isolation, but no lie quite destroys us like the belief that we are undeserving of the happiness we seek.
Build a better life for yourself by facing up to the lies that ruin your chance to change. Turn your dreams into a reality and live a better by learning how to replace the lies with positive statements and come to embrace your freedom again.
Society will tell you that you can’t do it. Ignore them. You’ll tell yourself you can’t do it. Ignore that too.
You can transform your destiny into any vision you want, but it starts with you and it starts right here and right now.