Are You Feeding Yourself This Bologna???

lying to yourself

You’re a big, fat liar and you know it.

And you’ve been lying….forever.

Remember when you were in middle school and the teacher announced to the class that everyone would have to give an oral presentation.

Your first thought was about how you were going to get yourself out of it.

Then the teacher said it would count towards half of your final grade for the class. That meant if you didn’t do it you’d instantly fail even if you got an A+ on everything else.

Crap! Now you’re stuck.      

What are you going to do? You can’t pull that off, providing a full presentation to the entire class. No way.

You can barely speak without your voice cracking when the teacher calls on you to answer a question you know the answer to.

How are you going to talk for 5 minutes about something you just researched the night before (you know you’re going to wait until the last minute :-P).

You focused on nothing else but the thought that you couldn’t do it, you scared the life out of yourself.

Then when the dreadful day finally came, you stood stiff in front of a classroom filled with people you’ve come to know and robotically mumbled a few sentences.

Following some back and forth engagement with your teacher, some life was put back into your body. You stopped sweating and regained the use of your hands.

You were speaking as if you had the class’ attention hooked on an awesome joke you were telling at lunch in the cafeteria.

Then just like that the 5 minutes were over.

You did it. And it didn’t even feel like the 5 minutes of torture you thought it would.

Really What Was That All About?

You can speak. You’ve been doing it basically your whole life. So what were you so afraid of? Talking in front of a group of people, you’ve done that with your friends and family a bunch of times.

Sure a classroom with 24 other people staring at you is a bit scarier but that doesn’t change the fact that you can do it. Besides, they had to do the same thing.

You repeatedly told yourself that you couldn’t pull it off. That there was no way that you could get in front of everyone and talk for 5 minutes.

Regardless of the fact that you’ve watched your teacher speak to everyone for almost an hour nearly every day.

But when push came to shove, and bit of a rocky start, you did it.

So why were you lying to yourself?

You’re trying to play it safe.

If something seems a little scary, regardless of the fact that you’ve done half of the task for 95% of your life, you just harp on your fear, that one scary part.

You try to figure a way out so you don’t have to do it at all. If you keep telling yourself that you can’t do it then maybe you won’t have to.

It’s a way of keeping yourself in this little bubble where you’re comfortable.

But you’re not protecting yourself living in your bed of lies.

The Placebo Effect

Lying to yourself is like taking a pain killer when you have a cold.

Sure, you might feel better for a little while, curing your aches, but you’re still sick with a fever and coughing all over the place.

You haven’t solved the real problem because you took the wrong medicine.

It’s time to start using real solutions. No more band aids or blatant lies about your abilities.

It’s time to rethink the common lies you recite to comfort yourself.

When you’re working on your goals and your life you have to overcome these kinds of obstacles. Lying to yourself about what you can do could mean not achieving the very thing you want most.

But if you stop now, you can to take into account your real abilities, fill in any gaps and take action to get the rewards you seek.

You have to stop telling yourself this:

1. “I have to..”

This is typically the lie you tell yourself when you do something that you really don’t want to. But the truth is, you didn’t have to.

You always have options, whether you choose to acknowledge them or not, they’re there.

The problem is you may not think the other options are any good, leaving you feeling like your hands are tied.

If you selected something because it was the best option, tell yourself that. Acknowledge that you did the right thing.

No point in making yourself feeling like someone is constantly twisting your arm.

2. “It’s too late now”

Unless you’re trying to re-do that oral presentation from middle school it’s never too late.

People are getting married and having kids later in life. People who have been in the workforce for 20+ years are shifting careers, even going back to school and starting businesses.

As you get older and have more responsibilities in life, things may become more difficult to juggle but they’re not impossible.

A challenge isn’t a sign to start waving the white flag.

3. “Everything has to be perfect”

If you sit around waiting for the perfect moment to make the perfect move, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands.

Perfect conditions are not realistic so you can’t bank your life on them.

Make the best of the situation at hand and get busy.

Doing something in near perfect conditions is more effective than waiting for that last element to fall into place. Besides, there’s always room for improvement so can make things better along the way.

4. “I’ll be happy when…”

Ay, another time waster.

Happiness is a moving target. What makes you happy will continually change throughout your life. Even what you thought would make you happy might not.

Don’t hinge your happiness on a specific thing or situation. You are completely capable of being happy now, without it.

Life is ever changing so you have to learn to enjoy the journey along the way if you want to be happy.

5. “I can change (enter name here)”

Your goal should never be to change someone else. You will be thoroughly disappointed.

Look at it this way, how hard was it for you to kick a bad habit when you were consciously making an effort.

Now think about doing that to someone who is oblivious to the change.

Each person is capable of change, when they want to. You cannot force someone into being who you want them to be.

When they are ready they can change themselves.

6. “I can’t do that”

I know it sounds cheesy and cliché but, you can do anything you put your mind to.

Your mindset is typically your biggest obstacle. If you think you can’t do something, you won’t.

Once you start believing in yourself, you’ll be amazed. You’ll probably even look back in awe of all that you’ve accomplished.

Enough of the Bologna

The lies you tell yourself are protecting you the way you thought they would. They’re actually hindering you from reaching new heights.

You could always continue feeding yourself the same old bologna but that isn’t going to get you where you want to be.

While it might save you from the initial impact, the collateral damage will be much worse.

You deserve the future you envisioned for yourself. Don’t sacrifice that to appease your emotions at the moment.

You’re capable of having everything you want in life. Don’t allow your own lies to keep you from it.

You know it’s time you started being honest with yourself.

 

Tell me…

What’s the biggest lie you’ve been telling yourself?

 

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  • Thanks for this post, Lea! This is very timely. How you speak to yourself is SO important. We definitely need to catch ourselves when we lie to ourselves.

    I’ve been doing a lot of mindful work – especially meditation. I believe a big part of us lying to ourselves comes from not really stopping and realizing that we’re actually saying this stuff. It takes a lot of self-reflection and mindfulness to be aware of that.

    Thanks for the reminder as this is always an ongoing thing!

    Hope you have a fabulous holiday!!

    • Lea

      Isn’t it important? It definitely sets the tone on what you’re going to do and how you react.

      Yes, you’re right! Self awareness is key to get it under control. This can become especially hard when you’ve been doing it for so long because its like second nature. You don’t even think about it on any level, even the validity of it.

      So glad to help! And thank you for adding your insight.

      You enjoy the holiday as well!

      ~Lea

  • Hey Lea,

    Great post. No beating around the bush. I like it when someone lays it on the line.

    I could so relate to that school assignment in front of the class. I was doing my talk it was going along perfectly. Then I got the giggles and they would not stop. So the teacher told me to stop. Which I did happily. From then on the fear of public speaking were terrifying. These were my school friends and I had a load of attitude at the time, so it had nothing to do with humiliation.

    It was fear and I faced it. I worked hard at every presentation I did and my fear was always a case of the giggles. While I am still real new at public speaking I know I can do it. It’s such a buzz to deliver a subject.

    At present I lie about nothing. Because I am working in every area that used to scare me. I have to push myself into new areas now that when I think about it, is more overwhelmed with the new skills I must learn, knowing I am fully capable of achieving my goal. Thanks Lea, loved the post and the tough talk.

    Rachel.

    • Lea

      Hey Rachel,

      Thanks. I try not to waste too much time ๐Ÿ™‚

      Wow, I can’t believe yours started out so well then turned. Mine was the opposite, a rough start and then a smooth ending.

      I’m curious, what made you start giggling? Did it just come from no where?

      It’s really nice to hear that you’re making strides to move into new areas. It’s not easy but we all have to do it at some point in our lives so it’s probably best to embrace it.

      ~Lea

  • Hi Lea,

    Thanks for boot camp lessons.

    We all take a bit of the bologna from time to time, and I guess that’s okay as long as we know what we’re eating, and know we can’t live on the stuff :))

    I used to be guilty of the perfection thing. It was such a hold-back. I could never finish anything because… of course… it wasn’t perfect. It was perfect for one thing, though, it allowed me to procrastinate. I knew I didn’t have to really get down to the business of completing a project, then marketing it and following up on the marketing campaigns because… it wasn’t ready to finish because… it wasn’t perfect… yet (translation: ever).

    I finally realized that nothing will ever be perfect, so just get through it, put it out there and let it roll. Not perfect? Maybe next time.

    I also like what you said about happiness being a moving target. So true! People start out trying to get one something, but by the time they get it… they don’t want it or need it anymore. That’s why we have to keep in touch with our goals, and always be redoing them and reinventing our chosen “path to success”.

    -Donna

    • Lea

      Hi Donna,

      Glad to help ๐Ÿ™‚ Very true.

      I never really thought I was a perfectionist (at least not a crazy one) until I noticed that I had a lot of nearly completed projects. I kept thinking something brilliant would strike after it was all done. But I was just wasting time.

      Yup. Besides you can always make tweaks. And life is an endless lesson, so you’ll learn something to do for next time.

      Yes! Life and us as individuals evolve. Your interests and definition of happiness can change also. Which is exactly why we have to do as you said, stay connected with our goals and tweak when necessary.

      ~Lea

  • Hey Lea,

    I use to hate public speaking in Middle School. I was fine when I was in elementary when we use to do “Show and Tell”… I was up for that, but by the time I go to Middle School that changed.

    At the time you’re not only very aware of yourself, but also your conditioning kicks in and you become even more aware of others. So yes, I can relate to trying to lie to myself to get out of it LOL… But we go through it and it doesn’t turn out too bad.

    I started to get over it when I started teaching salsa dancing, which the crowd was usually smaller. I still get nervous but not as much as I use to because I don’t care as much as what people think of me.

    Thanks for sharing Lea! Have a great weekend!

    • Lea

      Hey Sherman,

      Right? It was the worst. When ever a new school year started I dreaded that being on the syllabus.

      Nope, it’s never as bad as you made it to be in your head. And you have to remember that the people you have to speaking in front of are in the same boat.

      And I’m sure its easier since as the salsa instructor you have to info to share and the class is seeking your expertise. Not like in school where no one really cares about the topic your speaking on.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Enjoy the holidays!

      ~Lea

  • Hi Lea,

    There were so many things I loved about this post.

    I finally started doing (a little) public speaking about my book to some small audiences here and there over the last couple of years. As nerve wracking as it was, I got through it all. I just had to be honest about what I was saying.

    I can relate to what it is to lie to oneself. It’s VERY easy to do, especially when we aren’t aware of what’s REALLY playing out in the back of our minds. It’s like the pain pill method you discussed. I’ve learned (and am still learning) to question the source as opposed to simply look for a quick remedy to ease the pain of a situation.

    Self-awareness is such a necessary ingredient when it comes to personal development, but it’s hard work – and never stops.

    • Lea

      Hi Dana,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed it!

      That’s very good Dana. Nice to hear that you’re not letting your nerves stop you. I’m sure it’s become easier to handle now.

      You really do have to dig deep in order to truly solve your problems. Everyone should be as willing to do that as you are, but the simple fix seems to be running rampant. I’m with you on questioning the source. I’ve come to appreciate dealing with and solving deep rooted issues.

      Truer words have never been spoken! You have to constantly be present and aware of yourself to bring about personal development.

      ~Lea

  • Loved this Lea. Public speaking isn’t part of the curriculum in the UK, so many teens don’t actually do any public speaking at all. Often their first experience of giving a presentation is in their 20s, in their job, but they still carry the same feelings with them, and start telling lies to themselves.

    • Lea

      Thanks Sarah. Wow, in the US it seems to be a some point in your academic career you have to get and preform a presentation at least once. I would be so terrified if the first time I had to speak to a group was for work. That’s a whole different animal.

      It’s crazy how you attempt to sheild yourself when you’re scared.

      ~Lea

  • Mark Newsome

    Way to nail it Lea!

    You know it’s odd, but I really don’t remember seeing you at my very first middle school public speaking assignment!LOL!

    But you definitely nailed how I was feeling during the entire delivery!LOL!

    Man, you have touched on so many excellent and extremely relevant points!

    Like where you shared,lying to ourselves, is like taking a pain killer, when you have a cold!

    We haven’t really dealt with the real cause of our problems!That is so
    profound, let me tell you!

    And who hasn’t sung those two all time classics, “It’s too late now” and “I’ll be happy when!”LOL!

    You really nailed it Lea! And it really forces us to take a hard look in the mirror, and know it’s time for a serious reality check!LOL! Thanks!

    I really loved the title of your post BWT! I couldn’t wait to read it, because I knew you were going to nail it!

    • Lea

      LOL you kill me Mark!!

      We must’ve had every similar experiences from school lol. Wasn’t it terrifying??

      Thanks Mark. It just seems like people are so focused on quick fixes yet still disappointed with the results. Like, what do you expect? You just put a band-aid on it, you didn’t address the real issue.

      Thanks again. I really appreciate your comment and feedback!

      ~Lea

  • Hi Lea,

    Public speaking is a real fear for me, even the one minute pitch at a business networking group. I don’t see me ever getting over it – I much prefer writing, even if that will hold me back. I just can’t see my public speaking would do anything positive for my business.

    My other big fault is I’m a perfectionist, prone to tweaking blog posts over and over again. I’m having a go at improving myself on this one!

    Joy

    • Lea

      Hi Joy,

      Public speaking is actually a big fear for a lot of people. But many are able to get over it and go on to do jobs that incorporate such presentations.

      I used to be uncomfortable and shy about speaking in front of groups of people but I’ve gotten better at it. I don’t think I can give a speech in a stadium but I can speak up in high level business meetings. If you ever want to give it a try you should start with smaller groups and work your way up.

      I’ve previously done things like that. It would usually come down to stalling on the progression of a post because I thought I’d come up with something better later. I try to focus when I’m brainstorming and put a cap on the time when I working on it. Maybe that can work for you.

      It can always be better but it won’t be anything if you don’t just put it out there ๐Ÿ™‚

      ~Lea

  • Hey Lea,

    As I was reading this I recalled one instance that I had to do an oral presentation and I was devastated. I had just gotten retainers so I asked the teacher silently if I could do it to her after class instead of in front of everyone because I wasn’t pronouncing all the words correctly since I wasn’t used to the retainer yet. She said that would be fine but halfway through she called me up there and I was humiliated. No one could understand what I was saying and I was so embarrassed. I wonder if that’s why speaking in front of people scares the living daylights out of me.

    Anyway, I know what you mean by the excuses. I’m working through some of those right now having done my first webinar last week.

    I’ve always said that if you want to do something you can. Everything else is just an excuse so either man up or admit you don’t want it bad enough because that’s the reason for all the excuses.

    Great post my dear as always. You really hit home on a lot of things for us so thank you once again.

    Happy Holidays!

    ~Adrienne

    • Lea

      Hey Adrienne,

      Ohhhh, I’m so sorry you had to experience that. I hope I didn’t awaken too many bad feelings, but yeah that might be why. You just have to remember now that you no longer have the retainer and your pronouncation is spot on. You know, in case you ever have to do an oral presentation at this point lol.

      Congrats on your first webinar!

      Great point! It’s blunt yet incredibly truthful. When you want something bad enough you don’t let anything stop you. So if you’re creating roadblocks the desire isn’t strong enough.

      Thank you! Enjoy the rest of the year!!

      ~Lea

  • Wow you’ve hit some pretty heavy topics Lea and you are so right about the internal blabber we regularly feed ourselves. I grew up in a home surrounded by people who were afraid of their own shadows and was determined not to follow the family tradition – which means I tend to be open to risk more than many, but that doesn’t mean I don’t fall into the trap occasionally. If I catch myself in avoidance mode about doing something I know it’s time to make that a priority. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Lea

      I know what you mean Marquita. I too have had to combat negative traits of those around me. You sure can fall back into the trap every once in a while, which is why I always try to remain self-aware. Sounds like you do too!

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      ~Lea

  • Stella Chiu

    Hi, Lea

    Love your post about personal development.

    Each of us struggles some of the internal lies that you listed at least some points in our life. Some people stay in the lies longer than other; the lucky ones get out of the bondage faster than others. All these internal lies really prevent us to reach our destinations.
    In my opinion, all these lies are because of the word “fear”. Fear of unknown, fear of change, or fear of ……If we want to improve ourselves, we can’t allow anymore excuses in our path.

    The biggest lie I tell myself is ‘I can’t do it”. Whenever I have that thought I will say to myself “I can’t do it but I would like to step inside to try”

    Happy week ahead!

    Stella chiu

    • Lea

      Hi Stella,

      Yes. The lies seem helpful and even true at the moment, but there just road blocks that we put in our own way.

      I agree with you. I can totally see that. You’re afraid so you try to protect yourself by staying in this bubble.

      Stella you can do it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just tell yourself it’s worth a try.

      Enjoy the week.

      ~Lea