You must train your intuition - you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.

~ Ingrid Bergman ~

Are We Lying To Ourselves?

October 16th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 48 secs

Why do people lie to themselves?

Lying to others is widely recognized as a kind of weakness. “Don’t mind him. He’s always lying to save his skin. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.” But what about those deceits we dish out to ourselves?

Some people seem to be in a constant state of self-delusion. As if they can’t bear to face whatever their life is screaming right at them.  Consider the overbearing mother who keeps controlling her grown up daughter. There is a reluctance to face what’s really going on because the truth doesn’t suit. Lying to our selves is easier.

Leastways, it feels that way. But it takes a huge amount of energy to keep the illusion going. Projecting feelings elsewhere takes mental effort. As you and I know, lying always comes at a price.

It’s funny what we lie about too. Just one or three more cream-cakes won’t hurt. Nor will an extra drink, smoke, or whatever else. We use excuses to permit our actions, even though they’re contradictory, or don’t make sense. In a way, it’s a kind of lying game. A way to get what we want and still keep our lofty intentions.

Take chocolate (which I love to do). I can have a bit, then another bit, and another, and another, until I’ve had too much. But I can tell myself that it was all right, because I only had a little bit (at a time). That makes it so much better than planning to have a whole lot at once

There are countless variations to the lying game played out every day. But, it’s only when we realize our double standards that we can move on from there.

Why bother, you ask? Well, the importance of being true to your self is the cornerstone to personal growth. When we reach a point of inner honesty, lying to ourselves about anything seems more than silly, it’s unnecessary. But getting to that point calls for 3 essential elements:

  1. A big dollop of self-acceptance
  2. A reflective mind that questions the need for personal perfection
  3. A willingness to suspect our own agendas.

Being prepared to ask what is generating our behaviors is immensely powerful. Yet, whilst liberating, it can unleash a whole host of issues, which are sometimes painful to face. Still, as difficult as they may be, the self-destructive nature of lying to delude our selves is much worse. If happiness matters then the choice is clear: only personal honesty can bring fulfillment.


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