Humans are great liars, telling an average of 1,000 lies per year to others – but the number of lies we tell ourselves is much higher. People often don’t even realize that they’re lying. It’s almost a protective reaction to help us feel better about ourselves and the world around us. While some people think that this reaction is quite innocent, the seven lies I’m about to introduce you to can actually be quite harmful.
Lie #1: I must have the love and approval of others. Many people desire the approval of others, but it’s a hurtful lie when we build our lives around satisfying others, without taking our own needs into consideration.
Lie #2: Happiness is caused by external events I have no control over. Believing that we have no control over our own happiness sets us on the road to unhappiness. This is the lie that tells us that good things only happen to lucky people, and we just aren’t lucky.
Lie # 3: Things must be the way that I want in order to be happy. We all have goals in life, but when the outcome of your goals dictates your happiness, you are no longer living with reasonable expectations.
Lie # 4: My happiness is defined by my accomplishments. Many people’s egos urge them to believe that their value and happiness are defined by their accomplishments in life. This may include a raise at work, a softball championship, or winning an argument with a spouse.
Lie #5: To be liked/loved, I must be agreeable. Some folks just can’t say no. Perhaps they’ve said it a time or two, seen the resulting disappointed faces, and vowed to be a yes person. The problem here is that we end up giving up our own life to enhance that of others. While this may appear to be truly generous, it is mostly destructive.
Lie #6: If I had time, I’d… People are always telling themselves that they don’t have time to do the things they truly want to. There are two problems with this. One, this is often an excuse designed to give us an easy way out of our fears of failure, and two, if we are truly that busy, you need to heed the advice in Lie #5.
Lie #7: A little white lie never hurt anyone, including myself. This is one of the biggest lies of all because it perpetuates unhappiness. If you try to protect yourself from life by lying, you are only hurting yourself worse. Sometimes in life we must experience pain and disappointment to find true success, love, and happiness. Life wouldn’t be worthwhile if it was easy.
What are your favorite lies that people tell themselves… or should stop telling?
How can you get more in touch with your inner self?
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