Lies: the imposed and the self-inflicted

Lies: those things as children we are told not to tell. We are all encouraged from an early age to be truthful, be honest, to not be deceitful. And yet, we all find ourselves telling lies at some point in our lives. Often we justify the lie as a little white lie that won’t do any real harm and is really protecting someone or ourselves. Sometimes it’s just an outright lie that helps us save face when we’d rather not fess up to wrongdoing. But what about the lies we keep with us? What about the lies we tell ourselves every day, that stop us from living fully? What about the lies we’ve believed for so long, that someone told us in the past, and we’ve never been able to shake off?

Lies are evil. They rob us of our true selves and dupe us into a false reality where we drag ourselves down into an abyss. And what’s at the bottom? Self-pity, low self-esteem, unfulfilled dreams, bitterness, anger, jealousy…need I go on? It’s certainly nothing good. More than this, the lies we believe, and the lies we tell ourselves, serve no purpose. They are useless weights on our identity, our dreams, our purpose. So we need to learn to cut away the weight of lies and find the heights and new vistas awaiting us when we free ourselves of the lies that tie us down.

Common lies

Let’s be honest, the list of lies we tell ourselves or that we’ve believed of others isn’t really as long as you’d think. They come around again and again, just with slightly different wording and delivery. Let’s take a look at some classics:

  • You’re not good enough.
  • You’ll never amount to anything.
  • I’m ugly.
  • I’m unlovable.
  • That’s just the way I’m made.
  • You’re worthless.
  • No-one will ever listen to you.
  • No-one would like me if they knew my past.
  • I’m not smart enough.
  • I’m just no good at …

You get the picture. There are many more lies that infect our lives than the limited list above, but they are all just that: an infection of our minds. And just like we would treat our bodies with an antibiotic if we had an infection, we need to treat the lies that infect our minds with a cleansing treatment to bring ourselves healing.

Treatment for lies

So how do we go about treating the lies that infect our minds? Well, unfortunately, there’s no simple step like taking an antibiotic when we’ve got a physical infection. Dealing with the lies that we believe of ourselves requires constant attention. We need to catch the lie in action and counteract it with its opposite.

Here are some examples:

Instead of saying/believing you’re not good enough, counteract this lie with I may lack skill and knowledge now, but I’m capable and determined to learn and be better.

Don’t tell yourself or believe the lie that you’re ugly. Instead realise that we are all unique, have our own beauty, and are incomparable to others. Tell yourself I am beautiful, special, like no other. Also, focus on specifics like my eyes are deep and mysterious, or I’ve got a great butt.

If you believe the lie that’s just the way I’m made then you’re creating a cop-out for yourself and holding yourself back. Instead, realise that we may all have specific challenges that we need to work harder at and that we need to prioritise them, not excuse them. So try instead I’m going to look for ways to get better with…

It’s all about mindset

What these lies really come down to is mindset. Whether it’s a lie someone else said over you or one you believe about yourself, we are the ones who choose to accept them into our lives each day. You read that correctly. We choose to keep these lies in our lives. So that means we can un-choose them. And that all comes down to our mindset. When we reshape the lies and counteract them as I showed above, we can begin to rewire our thought processes and change how we see ourselves. We are what we focus on so we must divert it towards those things that build us up, not tear us down.

It is also important to realise that changing our mindset takes time and effort. It is a daily choice that needs our determination and dedication. When we’ve believed a lie about ourselves for so long it takes time to realign, so be patient but focused and you’ll start to see yourself the way you really are. Begin making choices that serve your purpose and build your self-esteem and gradually you’ll notice a change in your demeanour and mood.

Focus on what’s important

Everyone is different and has their own belief system. Regardless of whether you are religious, humanist, spiritual, or whatever, your belief system can make a big difference in the pursuit of your inner truths about yourself. What we believe shapes who we are so make sure you focus on what’s really important to you to help you in your journey of self-discovery. When we re-focus on the truths we build our lives upon, we can find peace and stability where we were once at sea and mired in uncertainty. Know who you are, stand firm in it, and the rest will fall into place, bit by bit, day by day, through steady work on your goals.

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