Do you know when you are lying to yourself?
Are you desiring a deep connection with others but just can’t seem to get there?
Do you disappoint the people closest to you, and you either don’t care or don’t understand why?
Do you find it easier to deal with life by using substances to numb your thoughts and feelings?
Deep down, are you incredibly unhappy?
Being able to know when and why you lie to yourself will help you open your heart to love and acceptance of yourself.
Here is how to open your heart to love and acceptance.
Anyone who lies to themselves will likely never know it, let alone admit it.
If you lie to yourself, you are, without a doubt lying to others as well.
Now I am not talking about the little lies we tell ourselves to get through a rough situation or to make someone happy when they are down. We find these lies acceptable, and even though we should be honest at all times, sometimes little white lies are ok providing this is not normal behaviour for you.
What I am talking about here are perpetual lies that become so ingrained that they affect your life negatively and get you into trouble not only with other people but, most importantly, with yourself.
When you are lying to yourself
You start believing the stories you tell yourself, they go unchallenged, and it is simply more natural and more comfortable to say to yourself, another little lie.
Facing the truth about yourself is seriously hard work and can be very uncomfortable. Still, if you desire to be a better person and yearn for more fulfilling relationships, you have first to start making a genuine connection with yourself.
The sooner you admit or begin to see that you lie to yourself regularly, the sooner you can live a more authentic life and be much happier as well. This then leads to an open heart and accepting yourself more.
Here are eight key factors that will help you to identify if you are a perpetual lier to yourself with strategies to help you break this soul-destroying habit.
1) You Use Substances to Numb Your Feelings
You may not be a full-blown alcoholic or a drug user, but at the very least, you often escape from ‘life’ through substances that help numb the drama in your life and help you to ‘feel better’ in the short term.
Substance abuse is a real indicator that you are hiding from something, in denial or trying to escape.
Anything can be addictive. I’m not talking about just alcohol or drugs; it could be an obsession with social media, gaming, your kids, your pets or anything else that ‘allows’ you to not connect with yourself.
Until an addict is ready to admit that their dependency is taking them away from themselves, they will nurture that dependency because it is the easiest way to disengage from whatever it is they are running away from.
2) You Run Away From Uncomfortable Situations
When things get too ‘real,’ like when people question you or express their disappointment in you in any way, you quickly zone out and may even cut people off.
You either tend to go in and out of relationships, or you may be a loner.
Almost every person is not comfortable with the uncomfortable and will choose the more natural way to solve issues. People who lie to themselves will not challenge themselves and choose the easiest least painful way – almost always – even if it sabotages their future success and stability. The short-term gratification is all they strive for.
3) You are a People Pleaser
People-pleasing is a problem when your primary goal in all relationships is to be liked by other people no matter what. This is dangerous because it means you are seeking approval from outside of yourself, and it takes your attention away from establishing what you want or like in your life. Since you are not grounded in yourself, it leaves you vulnerable to being used and abused.
People can easily walk all over you, and you will go into a rage quickly and unexpectedly. This instability comes from not being yourself and having to work overtime to keep up a persona you can’t possibly maintain long term.
You are desperate for other people’s approval because you want to feel more secure in your insecurity.
4) Your Life is Busy and Even Chaotic
When you are lying to yourself, you will feel very drained and even exhausted more often than not because your emotions swing wildly between extremes of feeling great to feeling lost.
You will also find it extremely difficult to sit quietly with your thoughts. Meditating is impossible.
Connecting deeply within yourself will feel very uncomfortable, yet that is the very thing you need to bring calm into your life.
5) You Hurt the People Closest to You
Now you would not recognize that you hurt people, but what you will realize is that people are very frustrated with you, and you won’t understand why.
You make a commitment then, either cancel at the last minute or just don’t show up. You disappoint the people closest to you and hurt the people who love you. When they express themselves to you, you don’t understand them at all and wonder what the hell they are talking about. You won’t accept how your behaviour impacts others.
People eventually keep a healthy distance from you because you are so unreliable and insensitive. This further distances you and makes you feel even more desperate, but you will never admit that to yourself. As a result, you create stories to justify and create a division between you and others. This lie is easier to accept than look at yourself and make the change that will bring real transformation within you.
6) You Over Extend Yourself
When you are lying to yourself you will have exaggerated expectations of what you can do because, quite simply, you don’t know yourself well enough to be able to back what you say or commit to something. You have unrealistic expectations of others and yourself.
Your goal is short-term peace, at the expense of long-term happiness.
When you are lying to yourself, you live in the moment and will do anything for immediate gratification, even if it means using and hurting other people.
You are not stable in yourself and can be easily knocked around by others. One minute you are doing well and seem calm, and then next minute someone says or does something that instantly derails you and you either go into a rage or a depression or hit the substances to escape.
This behaviour is draining and only wears you down. Your best strategy for relief is to succumb to altered states of consciousness (substance abuse), which helps to numb the painful feelings you feel.
7) Your Relationships are Shallow
Your relationships are shallow because you don’t have a relationship with yourself.
You want the very thing that keeps eluding you. Lying to yourself blocks you from having meaningful and authentic relationships with others.
You want nothing more than to have deeply profound and loving relationships.
Since meaningful relationships elude you, you blame other people for not being able to attain this. It is always ‘their’ fault.
Blaming others for your issues is the biggest lie you tell yourself, and it keeps you stuck in a self-defeating pattern.
The reality is that you are not grounded or connected with yourself.
You don’t even know yourself!
Until you start to see how lying to yourself is destroying your own life, you will not understand why you should change your behaviour (it’s someone else fault). Nor do you know why you should set healthy boundaries (what are they for? I’m wild and free). You will not be able to speak honestly about how you feel or be comfortable with a challenge. Instead, you lie to yourself, so you don’t have to deal with any of these things.
Avoidance is how the small little lies to yourself become massive, and so sabotage your well-being in the long-term.
By continuing to lie to yourself, you choose to suffer.
8) Secretly You Wish Your Life Were Different
You recognize deep down; you are not happy.
Just when you start feeling those ‘real’ feelings, you quickly disengage from yourself and start the whole cycle of escaping from yourself, and the people who you view are bringing you down. As soon as anything gets too ‘real,’ you run.
You then repeat the vicious cycle again and again.
If you see yourself in some of the above, then that is very good, that is the first step to getting better.
Recognizing the patterns and seeing what you do to yourself is the first step.
Admitting that you are central to all of what is happening in your life is the first critical step to waking up.
2) Listen to the People Closest to You
Ask those who love you or who you trust for advice.
Ask them how you have hurt them in the past. Sit and listen, fight the urge to defend and derail the conversation. Be prepared to hear some hard truths which are going to make you feel VERY uncomfortable.
Listening to others, you have hurt the critical next step after recognizing the problem.
You can also go to a therapist, but the only problem with that is you will likely tell your version of the story – which will be skewed in your favour. So, the lies that you do not even recognize anymore will still be controlling your narrative. A good therapist will see through this, but many may not.
The best most authentic thing to do is go to the people who you hurt the most and ask them for feedback about YOUR behaviour.
Facing them means you will be ready to face yourself.
Underlying the motives of almost every person who ‘lies’ perpetually to themselves and others is an intense desire to be loved and accepted.
Somehow, somewhere you were hurt by someone. But that was probably a LONG time ago, and you are only continuing that hurt by sabotaging your happiness.
Break the pattern and start to respect yourself by admitting that you can, should and actually must treat yourself better.
It’s time, in the abyss of your life; it is time to stop lying to yourself, time to find yourself, be yourself and embrace who you are.
I’d love to hear your comments. Do you see yourself in here or someone close to you? I’m sure you do, so please share your thoughts below.