About the Lies...
The lies are told to all of us by a variety of (usually) well-intentioned people, who often have their own problems, which cause them to tell these lies. When we are young especially, we soak up these lies and believe in them strongly. For most of us, we will live our entire lives without challenging or even noticing this list of lies.
Sometimes the lies are told directly with words, and other times indirectly with action. For instance, someone can say "wow, you're really stupid," or they can say nothing, ignore you, change the subject, roll their eyes, let their eyes gloss over like you're the world's biggest idiot, etc.
We then continue to re-tell these lies to OURSELVES throughout the day, every day of our lives. We take action and go after goals (or avoid goals) that are consistent with the lies, we find friends and relationships that are in line with what the lies tell us -- we surround ourselves with that same false information. This helps us to feel that life "makes sense" and is easier to predict. The only trouble is -- the lies are not true.
You'd be surprised that some of the most admirable, confident, attractive, successful people are completely swimming in these lies -- it prevents them from truly be free, happy, and take the risks they need to truly live their best life. It prevents thoughts from even being formed, stifles actions and sabotages success. You'll find a lot of unfilled potential with these amazing individuals, simply because of the lies they've been taught.
What are some of these common lies? Here are a list that many of my clients mention -- keep in mind these clients are extremely successful financial traders, CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, artists, and other amazingly successful, smart, charming and attractive people:
- I'm not the "cool guy" or "pretty girl."
- I'm rather meek and not very outgoing.
- I'm lazy.
- I'm not very smart.
- Relationships never work out for me.
- I don't deserve better.
- I'm not the kind of person who becomes "rich."
- I must work extremely hard 10 hour days to be a good person.
- I can't take a break, even for a second, or I'm "lazy."
- I have no motivation.
- It's not a big deal if people treat me badly/say negative things to me because I deserve that.
- This is really the best I can hope for.
- It's better to not take a risk
Either way, it is our responsibility as adults, to identify and rid ourselves of this list of lies that holds us prisoner and prevents us from attaining what we truly DESERVE in life.
Usually, when my clients come to a point where they are truly challenged in a new way, their list of lies come to the surface. The lies argue and protest with new efforts to break free of the LIES, insisting the client STOP and not chase the life they truly DESERVE.
For some clients the lies are relatively minor (they weren't lied to that much). For other clients the list is long and intense. Look at the things you were told about yourself. Make a list. What things do you feel about yourself that you know are holding you back? What would you become if those lies were no longer there?
It can be scary to let go of these lies, because the are so comfortable and FEEL like the truth. It can be hard to know what is on the other side of that blank slate, once you rid yourself of the lie -- on the other side, is the TRUTH. It's a good thing about yourself, and your life will become much easier when you live your truth.
However, for all clients, there is an underlying KNOWING that the lies are not true, despite feeling strong emotions/thoughts that insist they are true. But you'll feel tension and a tug-of-war inside yourself when you try to believe the truth.
It will take time to re-train yourself and build thoughts that are the truth.
Here are some example stories of common lies we believe, and continue to believe. Can you see yourself in any of these examples? What is your list of lies? Truths? And impact?
A girl from the projects is told she's ugly and will never finish high school. She sees nothing except for poverty and friends and family working at minimum wage jobs. The LIES are, that she is ugly, she will make no money, and not have an education. The truth is, she is vivacious, beautiful, and is very good in school and has potential -- but the lies don't want her to believe that. The impact? She marries the first guy who shows any interest in her (who eventually cheats on her), drops out of high school, and works a minimum wage job that barely supports her and her children, but assumes that's all she can hope for -- she doesn't even consider scholarships, or finding another man who won't cheat. She makes jokes about her "lot in life" and plays the lottery in the hopes of striking it rich, but doesn't expect to make more money on her own -- though she could easily be quite successful at work if she tried.
A young boy sees his dad focused on his older brothers who are both star athletes. He is okay at sports, but doesn't make the cut. He's made to feel weak and told he'll have to focus on other things in life. The LIES are that he is a sports failure and will never be good enough, so why even try? The truth is, he's athletic and better than average at any sport he tries, and fully capable of a successful life. The impact? He gives up on sports completely (even for fun), doesn't work out (because why try?), gains a lot of weight, and considers himself a failure who can only excel at non-sports-related things. This impacts his career, as he doesn't see the point in trying at any area of life. He doesn't date anyone he really likes (because he has nothing to offer), and doesn't try for promotions. He makes less money than he could and his health suffers from the excess weight, and he alternates between being single and remaining in bad relationshps he doesn't really want.
A girl is ignored by her busy parents. She notices the other children at school all have friends, but she has none. She figures no one wants to be around her. Her mother says she isn't pretty, because she wants her to be strong and not rely on her looks. The LIES are that there is something really wrong with her for no one to want to spend time with her, and that she is ugly. The truth is, she is very likeable and attractive and many would like to date her and be friends. The impact? She assumes no one will have time for her (due to this unknown "defect" in her), and she avoids contact with people, becoming depressed and spending most of her time alone. She feels awkward if anyone asks her to hang out and declines (they'll only find out the "truth" about her and her "defects" if she lets them in, and she avoids dating due to assuming she will be rejected. Because she fears rejection, she doesn't even attempt to get to know others. Her depression leads her to not have the energy to pursue her career goals and she drinks more than she should.
A boy is only rewarded when he finishes tasks around the house or does well at school. He's told he's smart, but it's a "good thing" he is, because he is not as fun as his siblings. He doesn't really "click" with his parents the way his siblings do, and he is yelled at often for being lazy, despite getting good grades and succeeding. He's locked in his room for hours to do homework and only allowed to come out to eat his dinner after he finishes, sometimes as late at 9pm. The LIES are that he is boring, lazy, and his only value is in completing tasks or work -- he must suffer in exhausting work in order to get any rewards/attention. The truth is, he is not boring, but simply had a personality that didn't click with his parents (others find him entertaining and fun), he is smart and good at working, but there are other things he's good at as well, and he doesn't need to suffer in working, but can instead work a reasonable amount of time and still be rewarded. The impact? He finds himself drawn to the longest-hour jobs available that leave no time for a social life (out of fear he'll have relationships and be "found out" as being a boring, worthless friend or date), he succeeds at work and climbs the corporate ladder quickly, but is horribly lonely and avoids all social events, blaming his work schedule. He has money, but doesn't enjoy spending it because there is no purpose, and no one to share it with. He has short flings but is terrified of someone actually knowing him. He'd like a family, but is too scared to date anyone seriously.
My list of lies________