No. 29 | The Lies We Tell Ourselves
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. We can be our biggest champions and harshest critics. We acknowledge what we’re capable of and at the same time doubt if we deserve what we have. It’s an interesting phenomenon, this internal tug of war between self assurance and distrust. I’ve definitely struggled with this conflict. I’ve believed the lies I’ve told myself that I’m not good enough or that I’m a fraud or that what I do doesn’t matter. It can be disheartening. On one hand, this struggle is part of what motivates us to grow, change, and optimize ourselves. But if left unchecked, this self dissatisfaction can turn toxic and lead to self doubt and sometimes even self loathing. If left unchecked, the very thoughts that encourage us to grow can turn from merely motivating ourselves to telling ourselves unbased lies. It can be hard to spot exactly when a healthy desire to improve turns into self depreciation. That’s why it’s so important to get ahead of the lies before they even have time to plant themselves in your brain. Here are a few ways to keep the lies at bay:
Make a list of truths
The best way to keep the lies out is to make sure there’s no space for them in the first place. Write down some uplifting truths about yourself — that you’re capable, you have the power to change, or that you are loved unconditionally. I have a very long mantra I memorized growing up that I keep right above my desk. I look at that mantra whenever I start to notice the lies creeping in. When I speak those truths over myself, there is no room for lies. I begin to believe the right things about myself and the negative thoughts don’t have room to stay long enough to embed themselves in my brain.
Celebrate your wins
As a perfectionist, I definitely struggle with this one. I can find the flaw in anything I do and I tend to dwell on it. When that happens, I begin to spiral down the usual list of lies I tell myself that I’m not good enough or that I’m a fraud. But instead of instantly trying to look for the things that are wrong with what I make or do, I have had to relearn to look for the good things first. It’s ok to see the mistakes because that’s how you learn and get better but balancing wins with loses will definitely help your thought patterns stay positive and truthful.
It’s nearly impossible to escape from the lies we tell ourselves if we’re isolated or don’t open up about those lies to other people. The people around you can often see things you can’t. Sometimes, they may be able to spot a lie you’ve been telling yourself before you can. So surround yourself with people you trust who can give you feedback and spot the lies you tell yourself.
Stop comparing yourself to others
In our 24/7 social media world, it’s hard not to see what other people have and begin to feel “less than”. We’re consistently shown pictures and videos of perfect bodies and careers and relationships and it’s so hard not to compare our own situations to those of others. While this comparison can be used in a healthy way to either figure out what we want or to visualize the goals we have for ourselves, more often or not, this constant comparison can lead to us putting ourselves down. So if you start toxically comparing yourself to others, put your phone away and grab that list of truths you made. Say them over and over to yourself. Have a coffee with a good friend. Do something you love. You have control over your mind. You have the power to say no to lies. Fight for yourself, you are worth it!
Until next time,