You're a Liar! 10 Lies You Need to Stop Telling Yourself
You're such a liar!
No, it's not an insult - don't worry. In fact, if we're honest, most of us have told ourselves these whoppers, often over and over again, to the point that we accept them as truth.
In life, it is the lies we tell ourselves that keep us from really living authentically and keep us bound to ideas, people, and situations that don't foster growth or serve our highest good.
Do you ever feel like something is missing? Or do you struggle with wondering who you are and what the purpose of your life is? If so, chances are you may be telling yourself some of these doozies that may be sabotaging you.
If I had ___________, my life would be perfect.
Nope, no it wouldn't, but that's ok. This is often the credo many people who are struggling with personal fulfillment have come to believe. We live in a consumer driven society where we are constantly bombarded by messages of "never enough". We are prodded to do this, buy that or have the next trendy thing to be happy.
Watch a few minutes of commercials or read a Women's magazine and feel your self-esteem take a hit. Chances are you are too old, too fat, too wrinkled, too uncool etc. ;). If we could just be "thinner, prettier, smarter, luckier, richer" etc.
Marketers are perfectly willing to manipulate these feelings, because in doing so, they promise to fix what is missing in your life. If you buy this lotion, car, gadget, diet food etc. Your life will somehow be better.
While buying things may provide a quick shot of enthusiasm or an initial high, it is always fleeting, leaving us longing for the next "fix". The best way to fix this lie? Start appreciating what you do have - and who you are. Perfection is an illusion - there is only one thing you will ever be perfect at and that is being who you are. There is no one like you.
This leads us into the next big lie you tell yourself....
I am not ____________ enough.
Fill in the blank here too. People tend to spend far too much time declaring all the ways in which they are not enough. I am not smart enough, rich enough etc. Accepting “not enough” as gospel leads to self-sabotage every time.
If you're already convinced you aren't enough, it really doesn't make sense to give something your all right? Think about it. If you aren't “enough” why bother? This is the fear/false belief that lies behind a lot of things like procrastination, accepting mediocrity instead of pushing for more etc.
You ARE enough. Just like a snowflake, you are wholly unique and there is no one like you. What collector doesn't love an original? So why is it we get so caught up in comparisons? Unique is good – embrace what makes you, you.
It's not possible for me to ___________ right now because of _____________.
This is something most of us do – we declare that we can't do something and then immediately make an excuse as to why. The truth of the matter is the more often you do this, the least likely you are to ever be truly successful at something you love. Why? Because you shift blame and make excuses. Harsh? Yes – ouch, but honest.
Here's a famous one I used for years. “It's not possible for me to work from home full time right now because we have bills to pay and the economy is bad and I need the stability of a paycheck”. This was fifteen years ago, long before anything like today's economic crises – it was a built in and plausible excuse that others would like shake their head in agreement with. This let me off the hook to not really try.
The honest truth was though, that yes situations may not have been ideal, but they never are. At that point, I was not willing or ready to take a risk. Later on, I overcame those fears and addressed the situation with honesty. The result? I started working for myself, trying different things, until I found what worked.
I realized, finally, that excuses would always keep me held in places I didn't want to be and that life is too short to waste all that time doing what I hated.
Any goal where you say “It's not possible now” is kicking the can down the road. Eventually you'll run out of road – or time. Stop making excuses and start finding ways to be proactive. Maybe you can't quit your day job yet, or maybe you don't have hours a day to spend at the gym, or whatever it is, but you can take small steps every day that move you in the right direction. The more steps you take, the more your motivation and determination also move in the right direction.
I would love to ___________, but that just isn't practical.
Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something you truly wanted to do because you believed, or allowed others to tell you, all the ways in which your goal was too lofty or not practical?
As a young girl, I was convinced I wanted to be an astronaut one day. I was outside constantly with my telescope. I had books about the planets, the constellations, etc. At 9 years old I knew all sorts of information about all those celestial bodies we gaze upon each night.
My well meaning grandmother laughed at the idea of a woman astronaut. Women aren't astronauts she said. You should be a nice teacher or maybe a nurse. So, that's what I grew up believing.
Many times, people love to inform us of the things we “can't” do, or how impractical our ideas are. Here's the thing though, visionaries who create and do things we are awestruck by, had ideas that went against the norm. If all we ever focus on is doing what others do, or what seems most “practical” etc, the world would be very boring and there would be precious little innovation.
So, maybe the whole astronaut thing wasn't really in the cards, but I still took a non-traditional path in life after a lot of years struggling to try to find my “norm”. Eventually we have to stop living according to these preordained “rules” others set, and start deciding what we want to do with our own lives. Me? Next to being an astronaut; I always wanted to be a writer. Eventually I gave up my former “career” in hotel management and did just that. I freelance as a writer – something else I was informed many times was not a very “practical” idea.
I Should ______________, but _______________.
“I should” followed by a reason says basically that you do not set yourself as a priority and that you have plenty of excuses to keep engaging in behaviors that sabotage you.
Here are some good examples:
I should take better care of myself (but I work all day)
I should exercise more (but I can't find motivation)
I should eat healthier (but I'm busy)
The truth of the matter is we better serve others when we first learn to serve ourselves. No one is impressed by your excuses. They may agree with them; they likely make similar ones themselves, but no one ever admired someone for their excuse making abilities.
What people do admire and want to emulate are living examples. Do you want to help others? Help yourself and you give them permission to do the same! You work all day – ok, so do many others. Walk on your lunch break or talk to the boss about company incentives towards good health.
Healthy workers are productive workers – and happier people. Be a revolutionary and start a movement! It will break you out of excuse mode and boost your self-esteem while also helping others to help themselves.
You can should all day long, but "shoulding" all over the place isn't going to get you anywhere now is it?
I'm going to start ________________ tomorrow.
I remember seeing commercials when I was younger for AA and how the people talked about making excuses and procrastination in seeking treatment. “Tomorrow never comes” was the tag line, and it stuck with me because it's so true.
How many times in life do we tell ourselves, oh I'm going to do this or that? The fact of the matter that saying and doing are not the same thing. Stop saying what you are going to do and start actually doing it.
If you say “I'm going to start saving for my retirement” then do it – now. Put your extra pennies in a jar if that's all you can do, but do something, or your goals will always remain in the future. Whatever it is you're putting off and making excuses for, address the fears and negative beliefs that lie beneath and address them.
Accomplishing smaller tasks that lead towards the larger goals are a great way to build momentum. It's easy to always kick the can down the road, but it doesn't lead to results. Results happen every time we make it about “now”, not later.
I Can't Change ______________ About Myself, It's Just How I am.
This is a great built in excuse that can allow us to somehow be willing to accept things that cause us to go against our actual true nature. I remember a former friend of mine who was always very condescending and sarcastic to people, to the point of alienating others in droves. She would say all the time “Well, that's just how I am, I can't help it”.
She would say this defiantly, but in her face you could see the sadness and frustration as people just stopped wanting to deal with her. Had she been honest with herself, she would have know it wasn't “just the way she was” - her chronic negativity was a choice she was making. Somehow, she felt her biting sarcasm made her appear tough, like she couldn't be hurt. It was a way to escape feeling vulnerable.
This lady had a tough life. She grew up in a verbally and emotionally abusive environment and learned to use words as fists, to protect herself. Ultimately though, it didn't prevent her from facing the pain of abandonment. It wasn't until years later that she sought some counseling and began to see the truth behind “how she was”. Long story short, she isn't that way anymore.
We do not have to be limited by perceived flaws and limitations. If you are sabotaging yourself and saying “it's just how I am” - you're lying to yourself and, more often than not, others can see the truth right through your lies.
“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls—family, health, friends, integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
― Gary Keller, The ONE Thing
Multi Tasking Makes Me More Productive
Are you chronically busy? Do you feel like you are able to do a million things at once? Even if you are, do you feel satisfied at the end of the day or are you always pondering the next million things you have to do?
The whole multi-tasking lie was a doozy for me. It took a LONG time for me to accept that I was wasting my life by trying to do too much at once. It took me even longer to accept the harsh reality that not only was I wasting time, I was not nearly as productive as I thought I was.
Multi-tasking means you have no concept of time management. Ouch – another hard truth. The fact of the matter is that you will be more productive and more goal oriented when you prioritize a to-do list and take care of one task at a time in the order of importance.
Lists and prioritizing will quickly show you all the ways in which you waste time and resources. Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either until I tried it. Today, I spend five minutes each morning making a list and prioritizing it. Almost every night I go to bed feeling confident and accomplished, instead of frazzled and rushed.
I'm Totally Healthy
A lot of people proclaim to be healthy. Who really wants to admit that they feel bad? I have been caught in this trap before too, and it wasn't until I really made it my priority to get truly healthy that I realized just how much I had let myself go. When I nearly died due to a preventable condition in my early 30's, I became very proactive about health on all levels.
This may get angry responses, but if you are overweight, do not exercise, have chronic health issues like headaches, backaches, uncontrolled asthma, allergies, or insomnia etc. you are NOT healthy. These conditions point to inflammation in the body, which only occurs when something is not right.
Healthy people are active people and they focus on all aspects of their well-being – mental, emotional, and physical health all effect one another. This is why people who are depressed often feel physical pain, and why those who are dealing with physical ailments often feel defeated mentally and emotionally.
Many of us have bought into the idea that all our assorted maladies are “normal”, when that, in fact, is not the case. If you get headaches every day for example, something is triggering that response in the body. It is not “just normal”. Unfortunately, doctors tend to chase symptoms and give you the pill for the headache, but that doesn't address the underlying cause – which could be poor diet, high stress levels, exposure to a toxin, or any number of variables.
Until we decide to be proactive about health and stop seeking easily solutions through pills and quick fixes, we will continue to live in a society that accepts chronic symptoms and illness as “not that bad” or “kind of healthy” - nope, it isn't.
Consider this. The weight loss industry makes billions per year and over a 1/3rd of the country is overweight or obese and the number is consistently rising. Obviously, diet pills, fad diets and other schemes do not work, but these industries thrive on people's complacency and desire for a simple solution.
The fact is, learning about nutrition is daunting, especially with so much misinformation being spread like gospel. When you stand at the bottom of Everest and look up, you feel overwhelmed! Of course you will naturally seek out the elevator right? The truth of the matter is your body and your health should be your first priority. If you are unhealthy, you are not living your best life.
Whether you're overweight, out of shape, chronically stressed, or whatever the problem may be – illness is not “natural” or “normal”. Your body is telling you “Pay attention!”. We all have it within our power to improve our health and well-being. Yes, some people have injuries and illnesses that make life more difficult, but there is never an excuse for giving up, unless you make them.
I Can't Be Successful Because I Don't Have Money
One of the biggest lies and traps we tend to buy into is that money and titles define success in life. I used to believe this when I was younger too. I spent a lot of time working my way up the ladder in a career I hated, because I thought that was what I had to do to become successful.
We all have to take our lumps right? If you don't live in a big house or have a nice car, no one will believe you are successful. This is a fallacy. Some of the most successful people I know in life live very humbly. They are successful because they are authentic, have a great work/life balance, and are doing what they enjoy.
Yes, some have made money; others struggle a bit with finances, but the common thread is they are content with who they are and they love the lives they lead. I count myself as a success story these days, but it took a lot of time, a lot of soul searching and I had to deprogram myself from a lot of the things I had been lead to believe.
I live in an old farmhouse that needs TLC and I drive a 15 year old car. So what? I wake up every morning at peace with who I am, even if I am facing some challenges. I work doing what I have loved to do since I was little – writing. I make enough to provide for my family, pay my immediate bills and I make it my mission to always improve myself and to help others in whatever way I can. I rarely complain and have become a much more honest and proactive person than I used to be – the result – a consistently happier version of myself who I enjoy much better.
Are your lies and self-deception sabotaging you? Take steps today to be more honest and accountable. Do this with love and not judgment. Empower yourself to take control of your own life. You deserve it.
Do You Lie to Yourself?
How many of these lies have you told yourself? Be honest ;)
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