Lying to others is bad enough. Lying to yourself is the worst of all lies. The lies you tell yourself have a negative effect on you as you’re trying to absolve yourself of responsibility, justifying inaction on your part, or failing to face up to a fear. The damage you do by lying to yourself is tremendous.
Avoid these lies and take control of your life:
- There will be time in the future to do it. Do you want to do it or not? Often, we enjoy the idea of doing something, but lack the interest or determination to put it in time, work, or sacrifice to make it happen. Playing the guitar might sound like fun to you, but the idea of putting in hours of work to play at a mediocre level isn’t appealing.
If you really want to do it, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find 1,000 reasons to put it off and procrastinate.
Realize that you choose how you spend your time and what you do. Is it productive or unproductive? Is it leading you to your goals?
- I can change another person. Think about how difficult it is to change yourself. Any change is extremely challenging, even when you’re highly motivated. Odds are that the person you want to change is less than enthusiastic. You have a losing battle on your hands.
Trying to change another person is like trying to stop the tide from coming in. Instead, focus on you, on becoming better in some way that’s meaningful and important to you.
- I’m not like anyone else, or, there’s something wrong with me. Everyone believes they’re different from others. You are certainly unique, but you’re remarkably similar to the average person.
You’re not deficient or flawed. This type of thinking serves as an excuse to play the victim and remain small.
Each of us have our own unique gifts and talents, that’s what makes us special as people. God doesn’t make mistakes is an important realization for you that has nothing to do with religion. It means that you are not a mistake. You are in fact a special individual with unique talents that can make a positive contribution.
- It will get better or go away if I just ignore it. Things tend to get worse if ignored. Unless you have a magical fairy taking care of business for you, you’ll have to deal with the challenges of life directly. Otherwise, you’ll find your challenges grow and multiply.
Procrastination is a curse if you let it run your life. Use the ‘DINDIP’ philosophy which stands for ‘Do it now and do it properly’.
- I’m too young / I’m too old. It’s true that you won’t be a CEO at 3-years of age or start medical school at 106. However, age is much less limiting than you believe. The young and old have accomplished incredible things. Think of the young entrepreneurs who have made important contributions in our worlds. Similarly, think of much older people who didn’t ‘make it’ until well past the age of 60. Age is just a number and if others have made it, you can too.
- I don’t have any other choice. You have more choices than you could possibly realize!
Your habitual actions and thoughts are limiting you if you believe that you don’t have a choice. Choice is one of our greatest gifts. Open your mind to all the possibilities. There are always other choices. Brainstorm and investigate your other options.
- I don’t want to make a fool out of myself. Like most of us, you’re probably far too inhibited. You’re not a teenager anymore. It’s time to let go of the fear of others’ opinions.
An exciting life is boldly lived. When you’re bold, you’re going to receive some negative feedback. When you’re timid though, you’ll still receive negative comments. You’ll be criticized no matter what you do, so do what’s best for you.
Remember that 99% of the time, no one really cares. Everyone is too absorbed with their own issues.
- It’s too late. This is similar to “I’m too old.” Starting a business might have been more convenient before you got married and had children, but it’s still a possibility. The idea that it’s too late is just another excuse to justify staying where you are, comfortable in your own misery.
By lying to yourself you’re aiming to take the responsibility off your shoulders and redistribute it elsewhere or trying to protect yourself from possible failure. But lying to yourself ensures that you’ll stay stuck, you’ll keep living the same reality over and over. Start instead being honest with yourself and face life head-on. Own your life and choices, you’ll be so glad you did!