Lying to Yourself

Self-Deception Is the Refuge of the Weak

Why is it that we hesitate to deceive others, but think nothing of lying to ourselves? I’m afraid we all practice self-deceit and sometimes with grave consequences. The most common ploy we use is rationalization. That’s just a fancy way of saying we make excuses and blame our lack of success on circumstances beyond our control. We don’t like to admit we are the cause of our problems, so we invent reasons for our failures. Let me give you some examples of the lies we tell ourselves.

Did you ever notice in your discussions with others that they are wrong and you are right? Isn’t it odd that you are ALWAYS right and NEVER wrong? How can that be? This lie prevents us from learning from others. Why do we feel threatened by different opinions and find it painful to admit we may be wrong?

Well, we often get stuck in “either-or” thinking. That is, EITHER Tom is right OR I am right. Either Mary is clever or I am. But it is never that way. Actually, SOME of what Tom says is right and SOME isn’t. Tom is SOMETIMES right, but SOMETIMES wrong. Just because Mary knows more about SOME things than I do doesn’t mean she knows more about EVERYTHING than I do. Once we understand this, we will feel less threatened by different ideas and more willing to listen and learn.

The lies they tell themselves allow some people to destroy their health with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and overeating. Others go penniless because they justified their wild spending habits by saying “I work hard, so I deserve these luxuries” or “Perhaps I can’t afford it now, but I’ll be able to pay for it later, so I’ll put it on my credit card.” Lies. Lies. They’re all lies.

A favorite lie of many is, “I couldn’t do it because I didn’t have the time.” If you didn’t have the time to do the important stuff, how come you had time to do the unimportant stuff? Yet another all too popular lie is “I have more than enough time to do it LATER.” These procrastinators while their lives away, LATER wondering where all their time went and why they failed to reach their goals.

Those who are too frightened to step out of their comfort zone and make something of themselves proclaim, “I’m not afraid, I’m just being cautious.” “Those who year after year fail to make any progress announce, “I cannot help it. That’s just the way I am. It is my nature; I was born this way.” Lies. Lies. Lies. They don’t get us anywhere.

Unless we end the self-deception, face our fears, admit our faults, accept responsibility, roll up our sleeves and get to work, things will remain the same. Is that what we want? Is that what you want? Assuming that it isn’t and that you are committed to stop lying to yourself, let’s look at some of the methods we use to deceive ourselves, for once we are aware of them, they will be easier to uproot.

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~ by UTS on November 17, 2010.

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