We grow up and live in a world that tends to dictate that certain values, beliefs, behaviors, thoughts are good or true and others are bad or wrong. Be it our parents, our managers, our friends, the media, politicians, celebrities…etc….. We live in a world where we are constantly influenced to think and act a certain way.
In these conditions, the greatest challenge and achievement of all is to be and remain yourself….
Why is it so hard? Because we all want to fit in, we all want to be loved, we are all scared to be abandoned…. Because we are all afraid to fail…. We all have insecurities…. So sometimes, without even noticing, we act in total opposition to how we feel we should act….
We are all very creative in the justifications that we use to deceive ourselves. But we don’t like to think of ourselves as capable of lying; so we lie to ourselves about that, too.
In the end, we lie to ourselves because we do not have the strength to admit the truth and deal with the consequences that will follow.
When you betray yourself, you begin to see the world through a lens that justifies your self-betrayal. And when you do that, your vision of the reality gets distorted. You begin to convince yourself that this is who you are. You start rejecting the people around you who do not support your self-betrayal and start surrounding yourself with people who do. You create a reality where you invite mutual mistreatment and obtain mutual justification…. Before you know it, you are stuck in this situation….
Here is an example:
You know you have to study to pass a very important exam. This exam is crucial to your next career move, a promotion is on the line, and it could change everything for the better…. But days are passing by and you don’t open a book. You start justifying your actions by saying things like “I was too busy with work”, “I had to go help a friend”, “I was too tired to study”…. You start grabbing every opportunity to skip your study time….. Eventually you start saying things like “This might not be the career for me, there’s no point sitting this exam”, “I don’t need this promotion anyway, I’m fine where I am now”….. You start criticizing your colleague who spent the time to study and got the promotion instead of you and you comfort yourself with those who never had the courage to go for it….. It was easier to make yourself believe that you didn’t want the promotion, than to take the risk to fail the exam and face the truth…. That you might not be good enough.
Are you lying to yourself?We all lie to ourselves…. On a daily basis…..
- We lie to ourselves about how much we really ate today…. We meet someone new and we are so desperate to believe this person is the one, that we dismiss all their flaws and convince ourselves of just how perfect they are…..
- We know smoking isn’t good for us but we rationalize it because it helps us relax….We don’t want to admit that we are jealous, but we secretly check our partner’s phone.
- We say things like “This would never happen to me”…..believing we are somehow special and protected from harm …. We believe we have to earn a certain income to be successful or look a certain way to be beautiful……
- We conform to social norms by getting married, having children and building a little white fence around our houses because we have been told all our lives that this is what happiness looks like.
- We lie to ourselves about our career choices because it’s easier to convince ourselves we love our job than to quit and embrace the unknown…
- We stay in abusive and unhappy relationships by convincing ourselves that it will change, or that it’s not that bad….. Or that we somehow deserve it….
To avoid being honest, we often make choices with harmful consequences to ourselves and the ones around us….
Confronting yourself with the truth is a painful and terrifying process….. What will people say about me? What if I disappoint? What if I lose everything?
But when you confront yourself with the truth, you become responsible for your choices….. When you confront yourself with the truth, you then have the choice to change…. To do better…. To be happier…. Being true to yourself, living your own truth, builds your confidence and your self-esteem. It strengthens your focus and supports the fulfillment of your dreams and goals…
So How Can You Tell If You Are Lying To Yourself?
- Pay attention to your thoughts:
If they tend to be extreme or irrational, if you are torn between 2 choices and wonder way too much what people might say or think about you… Dig deeper…
- Pay attention to your feelings:
If you react strongly to certain situations, ask yourself what it says about you… If a situation feels uncomfortable, uneasy, difficult….ask yourself why!
- Pay attention to your behavior:
If it doesn’t match what you say or what you think of yourself, if you find yourself giving too many reasons to justify your actions, or if you do or say things based on what someone else might think of you, constantly anticipating what others will say or do….. You are experiencing a disconnection with your truth….
Living life in your own truth is the most empowering experience….. Frequently check in with who you are….Do not be afraid to face it and embrace it…..In the end….you only have one life…
Emeline Omont / Founder/ Personal & Business Coach, MomentuM Coaching & Consulting