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