By Connie Shih
It’s cruel and it’s unfair.
You are lying to yourself because you seek comfort. Well comfort is overrated. You are lying to yourself because you are scared of the unknown. But you must stop. To continue lying will eat away at your soul, causing you untold amounts of future pain.
A lie is something that you make yourself believe in order to make life a little easier. A lie is a paradigm under which you operate to avoid pain. A lie will destroy you, inside and out. A lie is something you want to believe because to consider the opposite would hurt your ego.
Sometimes the difference between a lie and the truth can be subtle. Sometimes your brain will try to “logically” trick you into believing a lie. I cannot give you a definitive guide on how to differentiate between the two; I am not you and I do not understand your specific circumstances, motivations, and desires. I can, however, give you some tips to guide you to make decisions that will serve you well.
You are lying to yourself when:
- You try really hard to fit yourself into a mold that hurts.
- You make that decision that is “logically” correct, but something feels off when you say it out loud.
- You feel anxious all the time.
- You seek something familiar, even though you can’t grow from there.
- You deny your passions and fail to pursue what excites you, no matter what it is. This is a denial of your highest being and your truest self. This is unfair and disrespectful to yourself.
- You think you can do this all alone.
- You put someone else’s needs way above your own. You are lying to yourself when you neglect to take care of yourself.
- You seek distraction to get away from the real stuff — the hard problems. You seek distraction instead of actually working to fix the problems that bother you to your deepest core.
- You settle — for anything. You think you don’t deserve more than what’s handed to you.
- You care intensely about what someone else thinks — and let their opinions color your actions.
- You fail to produce quality work. You are entirely capable of trying your best. Perhaps failure to produce your best means you are in the wrong profession.
- You ignore that gnawing feeling in your heart and gut.
- You seek popularity and profits, instead of seeking authenticity.
- You make rash decisions from a stressed state of mind instead of a place of calamity and rationales.
You can stop lying to yourself by:
- Being courageous enough to make a definitive decision — going forward even though it is scary.
- Taking responsibility of what has happened, what is happening, and what is going to happen.
- Detaching yourself from the fantasy of reliving the past.
- Moving — actively working to find a place that resonates with you. Take action.
- Telling someone something hard. Tell someone that you have been lying to yourself and to them for some time now.
- Doing something dramatic, in a good way. Take a risk.
- Not doing something simply because you are told to do it or because everyone else is doing it. Think first if that action resonates with who you are. If not, then don’t do it, even if everyone else is.
- Facing the music, even though it hurts.
- Making a decision to stop lying to yourself. Today.
- Forgiving yourself for hurting yourself for so long.
- Focusing on what you know to be most important.
- Meditating — getting still and observing yourself from a calm place.
- Asking a trusted friend or mentor what he thinks of your future based on your present actions.
- Refusing to associate with people who don’t share your values.
I encourage you to actually act on these ideas. Thinking and reading passively is entertaining. You may even trick yourself into thinking that reading is productive. However, you will forget what you read shortly. Without action, you really just wasted your time by reading this article.
This article was first published at Lifehack