The Lies I Tell Myself
Many of us grow up with parents or guardians that try to instill many important lessons in us. They tell us that we should eat healthy meals if we want to grow up big and strong. We should study hard and get a good education so that we can end up better off then they did. They taught us that we should be kind and that we should have good manners. We should help others out whenever we have the chance. They told us that we shouldn’t cheat or steal. We should always be respectful to our elders. And we should never ever tell a lie.
This last one is particularly important. When I was growing up, I may not have gotten into any trouble if I went out to dinner and chose the hamburger and fries over a salad, but I did get into plenty of trouble if I decided to tell a lie. Even now as an adult, I see the negative consequences of what can happen when I lie to other people. The results may not be immediate, but the lies I tell usually find a way of coming back and biting me in the butt. The lies may not always be big, but the consequences usually always are. Even the little white lies that I think I can get away with usually still end up leaving me with a less than favorable outcome. But if we find ourselves lying from time to time then why do we still do it if we know that we can get caught or trapped in our lie? Often times we do think that we can get away with it, so we decide to tell the lie if we think that no one will ever find out about it. Other times we think that if we do get caught, the consequences won’t end up being nearly as bad as the consequences would be if we had told the truth in the first place.
We rationalize and rationalize and rationalize some more, but it seems that these rationalizations don’t end up doing much good for us. And sometimes we even find ourselves using these rationalizations to justify the lies that we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves things like, “I’m not smart enough to go back to school and finish getting my degree.” We say things like, “I’m not talented or competent enough to have a job like that.” Words like, “I’m not interesting enough for people to like me,” come across our minds. Instead of believing in ourselves and in our abilities we lie and tell ourselves that we are not good enough because when we do this we won’t have to try to do something that may be difficult, and if we never try then we will never have the chance to mess up or fail. Failure has such a negative connotation that we deceive ourselves into thinking that we aren’t good enough to do that thing that we really want to do because at least this way, if we don’t try it, we’ll never have the opportunity to say that we failed.
We are taught the importance of not lying to others, but many of us don’t grow up having the same emphasis placed upon not lying to ourselves. Lying to yourself can be just as damaging as lying to others can be. Telling lies always has consequences, but when you lie to yourself, you might end up stopping yourself from doing something that you would actually be good at. When you convince yourself that you’re not smart enough to go back to school and further your education, you may also be stopping yourself from learning valuable information that could lead you to become a better person. When you trick yourself into believing that you’re not good enough to go for that job that you really want, you may also be preventing yourself from having a job that you could actually enjoy. And when you allow yourself to believe that people won’t like you because you’re not interesting enough, you may end up missing out on opportunities for making new friends.
You may not have grown up having the adults in your life telling you not to lie to yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start living out this valuable life lesson now. You can choose to stop listening to the negative voices in your head. Become aware of these negative thoughts in your head, and whenever you come across one, change your thought pattern to one that switches that negative thought into one of positivity. Fear may cause you to do some stupid things, but don’t let it lead you to lie to yourself. That challenge you have ahead of you may be difficult and scary, but don’t lie to yourself and say that you can’t face it, because you can positive thinker. And hey, even if you do fail the first time, you can learn from that failure and change your actions and behavior so that the next time you come across a similar challenge or task you’ll succeed at it.
Positive thinkers don’t listen to the lies you tell yourself. Listen to the voices in your head that tell you that you can. It may be difficult to find this voice, especially if you’ve been listening to the lies for too long, but if the lies are preventing you from doing something that you truly want to do then you have to find a way for the voices that speak truth to be heard. That truthful voice is in there positive thinker; you just have to look deep enough to find it.
Let today be the first day that you choose to let go of all of the lies that you tell to yourself. If you wouldn’t lie to someone you care about then you shouldn’t lie to yourself. You care about yourself positive thinker, so don’t lie to you.