How do you know when you are lying to yourself?
We are human beings – it’s human nature that we are adjusting the story we tell ourselves to match our preconceived conceptions about ourselves and others every day.
All the time.
I know. Every time I say this, I piss someone off! There is a knee-jerk reaction: “Oh Stephanie! I’m very honest with myself. You don’t know me, you can’t judge me!”
But the thing is, your brain does a ton of work to protect you all the time: your brain is constantly filtering and adjusting how you view the world around you. So there are areas of your life where you’re straight up lying to yourself. The question is, how do you find them?
I had a couple of back to back conversations that triggered this article that were, at the end of the day, really great conversations to have. At the time, however, they sure didn’t feel like it.
One person gave me 10 reasons from Sunday about how a group coaching program didn’t work for them and that they needed one on one coaching. The next gentleman gave me a litany of reasons and stories about how this was the year (after four years of trying) that he and his wife would make the business their full time jobs and replace their incomes. At first, I was frustrated.
Then I realized that it was the same story. When life isn’t working out like we want, we start creating stories for ourselves. Leading ourselves in circles to try and avoid facing the facts.
Once I figured that out, I (as nicely as I could) pointed out that they both had access to specific action items that they’d been given but if neither of them were taking action in the small things, what made them think they would suddenly transform just because they tried to talk me into providing free one-on-one coaching.
The issue is...
When we build habits of putting things off again and again, it becomes easier to walk away from a conversation or a relationship than to face trying to change the habit. Having that conversation with someone is the same as holding up a mirror to someone who doesn’t like what they look like. It’s not comfortable for anyone involved.
It’s funny because I hear it all the time: “This is the year Steph! I'm going to walk away from my full-time job! I'm going to start doing the business full time!” But when the track record doesn’t hold up, and that person isn’t doing anything differently this time around, the results won’t change either.
I am sick and tired of seeing people with incredible potential sabotage themselves. So often I see a massive potential impact in individual humans, not just for their life, but the impact they can have on others. And to see that potential get thrown away is heartbreaking.
I know, who can determine whether my insight is accurate or not? The truth is, I’ve learned from looking at myself. I never would have guessed I’d be where I am today or having the impact on the lives I get to have. But now I look at so many others and think to myself “If I can do this, how huge can this person be?”
But I’ll get fired up talking to somebody, and then I'll watch them put their future on hold due to fear or misunderstandings. It is bitterly disappointed to see someone else not realize that they are straight up lying to themselves, and I want to start catching myself as well.
So! Here's the test for us all to run, to check if we’re self-sabotaging.
What is something you want, that you say you want, that you still don’t have? That you haven’t done everything in your power to make happen?
The part of your life where your words and actions don’t line up? That’s the part of your life that you are lying to yourself about.
I understand. I don’t know you. But I know humanity. So I’m going to be real, and I’m doing it out of love: there is some part of your life where you are lying to yourself. If you don’t like that, you need to find that part and work to fix it.
Take a minute. Identify that part of your life and start making changes.
You don't have to make massive steps right away, but you can start with small steps to move yourself forward towards your long-term goals.
I’ll give you the first step you have to take. Identify what area of your life that is, and then identify some steps you can take every day that are going to move you forward, and move you away from lying to yourself. That will move you towards being honest with yourself and with the people around you.
So go out there, and make it an awesome life!