Many of us wish that we could sort through the lies and truths that people tell us. I think it would be even better to sort through the thoughts we tell ourselves and identify which ones are lies or the truth. The lies we tell ourselves do nothing but hurt us. These lies feed negative thoughts and tend to have us doubting ourselves and even sabotaging great things within our lives.
Where do these lies even come from? Perhaps your parents told you things about yourself that have been hard to shake off, no matter how hard you have proven those words to be far from the truth. Maybe you’ve been through events in your life where you made mistakes or have regrets and no matter how much you have grown as a person since that event, you still cannot forgive yourself and see your authentic self. Even a one off experience such as being rejected by an unrequited love or being picked on at school can leave you having doubts and insecurities about yourself. All of us have our own share of insecurities and have had moments within our lives where we struggled to simply accept ourselves. As a result, we developed a habit of telling ourselves lies that only hurt us.
Below are some lies that you need to stop telling yourself right now.
1. I am not attractive. Actually you are attractive. You are beautiful and handsome. Attractiveness ventures far beyond what you physically look like. Haven’t you met someone who is beautiful either because of the light behind their eyes, their kindness, creativity, charisma, confidence or something you just can’t quite define but you think is beautiful about them. Redefine what attractiveness means to you. All of us will age and as we age our looks will blossom, evolve and change. Measuring your attractiveness based purely on physical characteristics will set you up to be unhappy. You are attractive. People think you are attractive. Even if you cannot see that attractiveness easily within yourself, you have to recognize that believing you are not an attractive person is a lie that you are telling yourself.
2. I’m not smart or good enough. One of the biggest barriers to achieving that next milestone might be your own mind. And I’m not referring to your intellectual capacity either. I’m talking about the beliefs you have about yourself. It’s easy to lie to yourself and say things like I will never be able to do that. I cannot write a book. I can’t run a marathon. I can’t become a mathematician. Telling yourself that you are not good enough to do something is a complete lie. Truthfully you can do just about anything if you put your mind and body up to the challenge. The human body is capable of amazing things and the mind is even more powerful. Don’t let the lies you tell yourself stop you from moving forward. You are good enough. You are intelligent. You can do this. Challenge yourself and see what you are truly capable of!
3. That’s not possible for me. What’s not possible? Finding someone who loves you and wants to be with you? Doing something where you can make a good deal of money? Traveling the world? Anything is possible. How boring and unrealistic would life be if you could simply just predict what is possible for you right this very moment. Anything is possible when you make a solid and genuine effort. Anything is possible when you choose to not give up and are flexible with how you get there.
4. I’m a horrible person. Look everyone makes a mistake. Every single person has a bad day, is capable of hurting someone and has been in a situation that they are not proud of. Doing something wrong doesn’t have to define your life. Even if the wrongdoing has spanned years or hurt many people, you can move forward, change your attitude and seek forgiveness within yourself. Instead focus on the actions you can take now to rectify a situation or to become a more loving and kind person. Work on being a better person than you were yesterday. You are not a horrible person.
5. Everything is my fault. Hey don’t be so hard on yourself. When you disappoint someone, you might end up feeling like you are the worst person in the world. If something goes wrong, you might have a tendency to constantly overanalyse and blame everything you’ve done. For instance, you might go on a promising first date where the woman tells you at the end that she’s not interested. As a result, you might constantly overanalyse the details of the date and feel that you messed everything up, rather than realize it’s just a case of incompatibility. It’s a wonderful habit to take accountability for your actions, but don’t take on too much responsibility. Not everything is your fault, not even most things. Take responsibility when you can but accept that you are not accountable for every negative thing that occurs. Many things are outside your control.
6. Everything is their fault. Personally I’ve been hurt by quite a few people in my life and it can easy to fall into the mindset of bitterness and wanting to constantly blame and punish these people for hurting me. These feelings are understandable but truthfully, these lies will hurt you. Not everything is their fault. Yes, maybe certain people hurt you. Maybe your parents didn’t care for you as much as they should have, or you had crappy friendships or dated more than your share of jerks. However, stop giving these people power over your life. Be accountable for your own happiness. Stop holding onto the bitterness in your heart and turn that energy into something positive, like moving forward and becoming stronger.
7. Life is unfair. You are born into this world with your own share of struggles and strengths. A person born rich or poor has struggles. As you go through life, things will happen to you that will hurt. You might lose loved ones, be hurt by others, lose a job and so forth. However, going through pain and struggles does not mean that life is unfair. There are gifts that you were born with that have made you stronger, wiser and able to cope and adapt and embrace opportunities. You have also been given blessings throughout your life which may be your parents, your partner, your intelligence, your kindness, the amazing job you have and so on. Yes, life can and will be unfair at times. However, life can be very fair. There is always a balance to life. Recognize that although you will have many struggles throughout your lifetime and disadvantages, you will make amazing memories, meet amazing people and have experiences that bring contentment and happiness. Embrace all aspects of life.
8. I am alone. You are never alone. There are millions of people who share your struggles and understand exactly how you are feeling. These people may not be the ones you interact with regularly but they do exist. There are many people who can relate to you. There are people who love and support you. There is someone whose life is much happier because they know you. Trust me, you are not alone. You are never alone.
Once you accept the lies you are telling yourself, you need to actively work to try and see the truth instead of blindly believing the lies. Below are a few steps you can take to actively work against the lies.
- Be in tune with your feelings. If you have been telling yourself a lie all your life, you will need to repeatedly remind yourself that what you believe is a lie. Recognize the feelings that you tend to associate with the lies. Often times we experience depression, sadness or anxiety when we tell ourselves lies. Whenever you feel upset, take a step back and focus on what you are telling yourself that is causing such negative emotions.
- Challenge the lie. Once you identify the lie start to challenge yourself. Feeling comfortable with this process may take some time but eventually you will form a habit where you question the lie and prove it wrong. As you continually challenge the lie, it will become easier to see the truth.
- Take action to prove the lie wrong. Live your life authentically. Don’t let your fears stop you from going after what you want or prevent you from even getting started. Appreciate something beautiful and amazing about yourself each day. Take time to appreciate all the good things that life has offered you. It’s only through your actions that you can truly change your thoughts.
- Make the decision every day to choose to not believe the lies you tell yourself. Try to avoid only focusing on how this lie isn’t true only when you feel very depressed or upset. Every single day remind yourself that the lies are not true. Trust me, this will not be easy at first. You will struggle, doubt yourself and even be afraid to challenge a lie you have been telling yourself your whole life. But as you keep pushing yourself to choose to see the truth instead, this process will become easier.
Be kind and loving to yourself every day. Remember that as tempting as it may be to listen to the lies you tell yourself, these are just lies that will only hurt you. Work on taking control and shaping your life by consciously acknowledging the lies and replacing them with truths.