For years, I was an extremely busy-headed person. I was focused on either the uncertain future or the replays of the past that I realized my present life was just moments filling the gaps between the two.
Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Over the last two years I have placed more focus on being comfortable with myself, meditation and being fully engaged in the moment. I may look the exact same on the outside, but those two years of study and practice have made a world of difference in my internal world. For the most part, I am more present to my current moment, but on a random morning I will wake up and be caught right in the place I have spent so much time releasing myself from the “what-ifs,” uncertainty, and “I wish it was different”. These thought processes used to be so consuming that I couldn’t imagine my life without this commentary, and now I know so much different. Today, for a moment, I will forget my progress and allow the head-games to tease me, asking me to play, but as I get stronger in mindfulness I remind myself that these thoughts are not me. I am greater than my ego. Here are the common lies that our thoughts will tease us with:
1. I Can’t Do It
We are stronger than we realize. When the toughness comes through we somehow dig deep and give even more. Whether it’s as simple as giving a few extra reps at the gym, or holding integrity and owning a failed project. You do have it in you. To move past what you thought was your limit in that moment, you inspire yourself and those around you. You have it in you.
2. I’m Not Good Enough
This is a terrible one that prevents us from even starting. We’ve already convinced ourselves that we are destined to fail, so why try? The big lie here is that we’ve convinced ourselves of an outcome when truly we do not know.
We do not know if the person on the other line of the phone is going to say your credentials aren’t enough or if they will say I’m so glad you called could you send me a follow-up email? The truth is we’re convincing ourselves out of the game while we’re still in the stands. It takes boldness to take the first step and that boldness comes by admitting that we do not know, so we may as well try.
3. There Was More I Could Have Done
This is the one I most commonly go to. I am notorious for having high expectations of others and even higher expectation of myself. If things don’t work out I get caught in the vicious pattern of constantly asking myself what more could I have done? This is a terrible lie. I know that I have done everything I possibly could have. What I get caught in is that there was still something more that either I could have done or inspired the other person(s) to do. This is so false. We never fail or walk away unless every avenue has been exhausted. It is our human nature to give everything into tasks that we truly believe in. I have to forgive myself and others and know that we did all we were fully capable of. We gave it our all.
4. I’m A Failure
There is a massive difference between failing and being a failure. When a project or a relationship fails we take the failing to automatically mean we are a failure. That is the absolute wrong conclusion. Speaking to any entrepreneur or executive, you could ask them how many times they failed. I guarantee you the answer is more than one. I would be shocked if it was a number that they could even count, and yet these people are our mentors and our role models. Would you selectively choose a failure as your role model, probably not. The reason you chose them is because they were willing to risk it all in order to succeed. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, and the times it didn’t it became a learning experience and they eventually succeeded.
When I notice one of these lies in my thoughts, I take a moment, close my eyes and tell myself that there is only this moment. It provides me with a wave of relief. It’s not about telling myself the opposite of the lie that came into my head, it’s about knowing what the truth actually is. Do I have more in me? Can I hold my head strong and move forward? What is my next step? Only the next step. You are greater than the stories your head tells you and that is the most inspiring thing in the world and it is completely true.
What other lies do you tell yourself? What truth is actually present?