The Cost of Lying to Yourself

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard Feynman

The biggest lies are the ones we believe about ourselves.

Who you are and who you want to be aren’t the same.

You don’t have to fake it to be who you want to be. You need to start acting how you want to be, and slowly stretch your life towards that reality.

For example, think of how we can easily wash over or even boast about our lives and how we feel to others, yet the opposite is true.

“Oh hey! How are you?”

(Everything sucks) “I’m great, you doing well?”

“Yeah! things are good.” (I hate my job. My back is killing me.)

I don’t necessarily see this as lying to others. Technically yes, but these kinds of opposing inner thoughts and outer dialogue are more like a protective mechanism. Whether or not you think this is an example of lying to others, it is an example of how we lie to ourselves.

The cost of lying to ourselves is staying stuck—right where we don’t want to be.

We hold in pain and anger so we don’t have to explain how we got here and protect ourselves from looking stupid. But by brushing off how we feel to others—especially people who are close—we do a disservice to ourselves. We’re avoiding our problems by pretending like things are normal.

Think about, how many people have you actually confided in with your problems and goals? Does anyone actually know what you are going through?

Maybe that’s why no one seems to not care to help you. Because they don’t know.

How does that help you be the person you want to be?

We can begin removing these barriers that are holding us back in three stages:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Assessment
  3. Action

Acceptance

Acceptance isn’t about giving up to your situations, it’s taking a bow and respecting the good, the bad, and the fugly of your life.

Accept things as they are. Accept who you are. Accept the moment, so that you can move beyond it.

Assessment

Assessment is about turning over every rock, shining a light into every dusty cobweb filled corner, and looking head-on at the things you’ve been avoiding.

Things like looking at where your money is going and how much debt you owe. And journaling about what values and principles you’ve been living by. And assessing where you’re time is going. Comb through every aspect of your current life and see how it relates to the life you want to have.

It isn’t fun, but it can often be a relief, because at least now you know and have something specific to work towards, versus a mystery blob of problems and fears.

Action

After accepting where you are and looking at the state of things, the last step is to take immediate action.

Make a list, prioritize that list, then focus on knocking out one thing at a time.

The key is building up momentum. The more momentum we have, the easier it is to keep stepping forward.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1075

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Giving In

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”

George Orwell

“The only way out is through.”

I’ve heard that phrase here and there (—heck I’ve probably said a couple of times too) but I don’t think I really understood what it meant until recently.

I assumed it meant tough it out. Keep pushing. Grit your teeth and make it happen. Don’t give up. Don’t back down. Anything that resembled the country musician Rodney Atkins’s lyrics “If you are going through hell keep going.”

But I don’t think that’s the true meaning, or at least not the whole story.

Realizing that “the only way out is through” is actually about acceptance.

Acceptance feels like a word that means giving up, but the opposite is true. It’s standing up for yourself by giving in to your problems and circumstances and letting go of the outcome. Again, which to some people might sound like failure, but really its success wrapped in confidence.

When you accept where you are, you can find progress forward. The process isn’t the goal, but a byproduct of accepting whatever life throws at you.

You get sick, and that becomes part of your story.

You lose your job, and that becomes a stepping stone on the life you were meant to live.

It leads you to not only sympathize with others like you but allows you to impact others with your personal story. It leads you down a path you wouldn’t have taken.

When you accept the path you must take, suddenly opportunities start springing up everywhere you look.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #919

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This post was inspired by the book The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection

Giving up Success

Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.

Dwayne Johnson

Success and giving up start on very similar paths.

Step 1: Awareness.

You discover where you are on your path. When you know where you are, sometimes you find yourself on track, other times you realize you are further than you think. You can, unfortunately, discover you’ve been going the wrong direction.

Step 2: Acceptance.

This is where the paths seem to be going in the same direction, but are actually starting to diverge. This is where a deciding factor determines your course. Now that you are aware of and accept where you are, what are you going to do about it?

Lastly, step 3: Deciding

The road towards giving up is accepting where you are and decide to do nothing. In the act of doing nothing, acceptance becomes defeat. We cope. We blame. We write off our dreams. We avoid. We do everything but the thing we need to do: something.

The road to success is accepting where you are and decide to do something about it. Sometimes that means going back to the drawing board or folding the cards this round. Sometimes that means you pushing on, living each day better than the last. But the key here is you keep going. Despite the pain, frustration, anxiety, fear and doubt. You keep going, because doing anything else would mean defeat.

When all seems lost, there’s always a road back to success. Even in defeat, there’s a chance to do something about it. 

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #628

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Flexible Minds

Our thoughts are our greatest asset or greatest weakness to any situation.

Open — not closed.

Adapt — not break.

Accept and move on — not dwell.

Change not complacent.

What can I do‘ — not ‘this is hopeless.’

 

Whatever we face, color’s our experience.

A flexible mind is a resilient one — and therefore a renaissance mind

#KeepPursuing,

Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me (josh@renaissancemanlife.com) your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

related

“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” — Marcus Aurelius

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius