It’s challenging. As much as it pains me to say that, it is incredibly difficult to stop lying to yourself. At least this is true for me. And it becomes especially true in the face of adversity, conflict, and temptation.
It’s far too common and all too easy to cave into the lies that are within our minds and the world around us. We have become lazy and decide to take the easy way out instead. Since nobody is truly a fan of confrontation, we resort to lying to ourselves and to others.
But have you ever thought of the damage that follows if you don’t stop lying to yourself? What about being truthful? Why have we strayed so far away from being truthful with ourselves and those around us? What does it even mean to be truthful in the first place?
All of these are questions that we need to ask ourselves and reflect upon because the more we resort to lying to ourselves, the more miserable our lives are going to be.
Why You Need To Stop Lying To Yourself
A lie is something that you make yourself believe in order to make your life just a little easier. As a way to avoid pain, you decide it’s best to lie so that you won’t have to face the reality of the truth. But a lie will destroy you, inside and out.
Have you ever felt that pit in your stomach that follows a lie? That twisted knot that almost makes you want to vomit? It’s a horrible feeling, but it’s what follows when we know right from wrong and we still allow our fears to consume us.
It’s almost as if we are telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough for the truth, that we aren’t strong enough to face the truth, that we don’t matter enough or aren’t deserving enough for the truth. What we fail to realize is that every time we lie to ourselves, we are slowly killing our confidence, our peace of mind, our mental stability, and our own self-worth.
Talk about a recipe for extreme failure and misery.
What Does It Mean To Be Truthful
How do you stop lying to yourself? By being truthful. Being truthful is more than just telling the truth both to yourself and to the world around you.
It’s about believing in yourself despite what anybody else tries to tell you.
It’s about following all your goals and dreams no matter what others may think about them or the probability of you actually achieving those goals and dreams in the first place.
It’s about having enough respect and trust for who you are as a human being.
It’s about loving yourself, accepting yourself regardless of your imperfections, and finding the desire to grow from the person you are now into the person you want to become.
Not going to lie, being truthful doesn’t sound like such a bad thing.
How Lying Impacts Our Brain
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman
It starts out small, but after repeating them over the years, the lies that we tell ourselves become beliefs that stay with us – beliefs that reinforce our negative behaviors and emotions. When we lie to ourselves, our brains start to paint this image of being someone we’re not and we lose touch with our true identities.
Think about it for a moment. You don’t trust somebody who constantly lies to you, do you? So why would you then trust yourself?
If you continuously lie to yourself, how likely are you going to be to seek the truth? Reflect on all the resolutions that you set at the beginning of the new year. Did you actually have the expectation of achieving them? Did you blindly set these resolutions in hope of a miracle? How has it impacted the way you feel about yourself now?
Every time we lie to ourselves – much like how we set a resolution and fail – a piece of our confidence and dignity gets ripped out of us. Odds are that we are going to struggle to be confident in any decision that we make in the future. The next time we set resolutions, we aren’t going to actually believe in our ability to achieve them. Because of this, we aren’t going to take them as seriously as we probably should and won’t take the necessary strides to achieve them. Another recipe for failure and misery.
Over time and with repetition, what should we expect? Would you expect to have the same confidence in yourself after feeding your mind with lies? Most likely not. But that is essentially what we are doing when we lie to ourselves. We are killing our confidence, killing our own perception of ourselves, and killing our dreams. Basically, we are saying that we aren’t good enough, which is the biggest lie of all.
How To Actually Stop Lying To Yourself
The sooner you learn to be truthful to yourself and to the world around you, the better your life is going to become.
I lied to myself for years. I allowed the opinions and words of others to dictate what I did and didn’t do. As a result, I became depressed and grew to despise not only who I was as a person, but life itself.
It truthfully wasn’t until I started to actually face my fears and decided that I was in control of my life that my life began to change. That’s the first step in being truthful with yourself.
1. Decide that you are in control.
Nobody else is in control of your life. You are. You determine the success that you are going to endure and the life that you get to live.
What does this mean when it comes to lying to yourself? It means that you shouldn’t be following somebody else’s plan for you. Every day that you follow somebody else’s desire for you instead of following your own, you are simply lying to yourself. Eventually, you are going to be swallowed up into a web and won’t know what your true purpose is or what you should be doing with your life.
You must take control.
2. Let go of perfection.
How many times have you caught yourself lying to either make yourself look better or to cover your own skin? Probably every time. I mean, these are the two main reasons why we lie in the first place.
This is why it’s important to let go of perfection. You don’t need the justification of others to tell you how awesome you are. You don’t need anybody’s approval to tell you whether or not you are on the right path. It’s your life. Choose whatever path you wish.
As far as covering our own skin, we all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and I promise you that the consequences of telling the truth will be far less than the consequences of being caught in a lie.
3. Focus on learning and improving.
You learn, you grow, and you improve. That’s what life is about. Each and every single day, you should wake up with the intention of improving on the person that you were yesterday, and moving towards becoming the person that you want to be. If you do not learn and focus on improving, you will never take chances. If you never take chances, you will never achieve anything that you haven’t already achieved.
Being scared isn’t a bad thing. Being complacent is. Never stop taking chances, and never stop trying to improve who you are as a person.
4. Realize that you are hurting yourself more than anybody.
Yeah, you might get away with a lie, but you are only doing yourself more harm than good. You will only see yourself as a liar, as a cheater, and will experience that pit in your stomach that you get when you do lie. Your confidence will significantly decrease and the trust that you have in yourself will evaporate with the lie that you told.
Plus, imagine the consequences if the truth comes out. Odds are that the consequences of lying are going to be far more significant than the consequences of telling the truth.
Everybody lies. It doesn’t mean that it’s okay to lie, but it’s a reality that we all face. I have lied in the past and I am sure that I will do so again in the future. So will you and everybody that you know. It doesn’t mean that we should beat ourselves up. In fact, quite the opposite. It means we should reflect on how we feel, have the desire and passion to learn from our mistakes, and strive to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
You are you and that is your greatest power. Be your own best friend. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Respect yourself as much as you want others to respect you. Have confidence in the amazing person that you are. Most importantly, stop lying to yourself, because when you do, you are only robbing yourself of all of the good in life.