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Lies You Keep Telling Yourself

& How To Combat Them

We lie to ourselves for a few different reasons: to maintain comfort, to not disturb our self-image, to protect ourselves; and ultimately, to avoid suffering. As much as we try whether it be subconscious or not, our truth will come out. Holding in our truth can eventually cause symptoms like insomnia, eye twitches, nightmares, constant exhaustion, and overwhelming depressive episodes. When we deny our truth by lying to ourselves, we miss opportunities for growth and learning, and we all owe it to ourselves to be true and live our authentic lives.

Committing to living your truth isn’t easy, and you aren’t alone in your journey. We’re right here with you. Here are 5 common lies we tell ourselves and ways to combat them to live in alignment with your authentic self.

  1. “There is something inherently wrong with me.”

    At some point in our lives, many of us come to the conclusion that there is something inherently wrong with us. Maybe you were bullied in school for your weight, your clothes, or for being too flamboyant, or maybe people told you that you were too sensitive or weird. As we develop we might look for evidence to maintain those judgements, strengthening the story that there is actually something wrong with us. Doing this can lead us to living in fear of being “found out”. We then monitor, edit, or overanalyze ourselves and create distance between us and other people.

    One helpful way to take the power away from the story that you are broken is to let it out. Try writing a list of the things you would never tell anyone else. It’s your choice what you do with this list but here are a few ideas:

    • Read them out loud

    • Go down the list and write in depth about each one

    • Share them with a trusted friend or therapist

    • Burn or throw them away

  2. “When I achieve “x” then i will be happy.”

    We’ve all been here. Once I have x, y, & z THEN, finally, I’ll be happy/complete/fulfilled/satisfied. “X” can look like the need to finish up grad school, to get married, to buy your dream car, to lose five pounds, to clean your room, or to get those shoes you’ve been wanting. We all do this at some point or another and we all know that after the initial short term satisfaction of earning the degree or getting the shoes, we are left still wanting more.

    Now, we aren’t saying to drop your goals or that wanting to achieve things in wrong, we are saying that once you become aware that you are already whole, already complete, and already worthy of happiness and joy, THEN reaching for your goals becomes less about the quick satisfaction and more about the journey, the lessons, and the insight you gained along the way.

    The next time you catch yourself saying “I just need ‘x’ to be happy”, or “As soon as I get ‘x’ I’ll be satisfied”, ask yourself: do you believe that you aren’t worth of happiness right now?

    Creating a gratitude journal can help you gain awareness and appreciation for the things you already have, and the things you already are.

  3. “Others have it together and i don’t”

    It can be so hard to accept that others are just as confused, doubtful, or flawed as us. It’s even harder with social media and the highly edited and curated lives we see there. The truth is, when we compare and convince ourselves that others have it all together and we don’t, it becomes easier to not try at all.

    Try to humanize the world. When you encounter someone who you believe has it all together, remember that we know ourselves from the inside, and we know others externally; by what they do and tell us. By humanizing the world, we can allow ourselves to see the truth that we are all flawed, and we are all more similar than we are different.

  4. “I just need to stay positive.”

    What is toxic positivity? The idea that focusing on only positivity and “good vibes” and ignoring or pushing away difficult emotions will make us happier. Toxic positivity can look like:

    • Telling yourself or others to “get over it” or to “focus on the positive”

    • Saying “people have it worse”, or “just think on the bright side”

    The truth is, pushing “good vibes only” leads to denial and the suppression of emotions. We aren’t meant to be happy or positive all the time, and there is a time and a place when forcing positivity or “faking it until you make it” is appropriate. Sometimes it is helpful to be reminded of a positive outlook, but make sure that you’re creating time and a safe space to be vulnerable by allowing yourself to feel whatever difficult emotions you are feeling. Remember, ALL feelings are okay! We have time to be upset, angry, or to cry and not allowing our feelings to be felt and acknowledged is harmful to us and our truth.

    While we love a good gratitude journal, there is value in writing about how upset or sad you are, and what things hurt you. Hold compassion for these journal sessions and try not to judge yourself for expressing what you might believe as negative emotions.

  5. “I am not enough.”

    We live in a world that often values “doing” over “being”. We tell ourselves things like, we aren’t smart enough, we aren’t deserving of a good relationships, we aren’t worthy of being happy. When we tell ourselves that we aren’t enough we reinforce the belief that in fact we aren’t worthy or deserving. We stop trying and we stay in our comfort zone rather than allowing ourselves to explore and grow.

    Ask yourself, what is “enough”? What does that mean to you? What does enough it look like?

    The truth is, you were born enough. You are already whole and worthy enough to achieve anything. Yes, you might need to learn new skills or gain competency in certain areas, but believing that you are enough is the first step in achieving genuine happiness.

    Try writing a letter to you highest self, the part of you that is unconditional love and compassion. Write about what you love about yourself, what you are proud of yourself for, and what you hope for yourself. Read this letter back whenever you feel like you aren’t “enough”.


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