8 Harmful Lies You Tell Yourself
Lying to others is bad enough. Lying to yourself is the worst of all lies. The lies you tell yourself have an insidious purpose. You’re either trying to absolve yourself of responsibility or justifying inaction. The damage you do by lying to yourself is tremendous.
Avoid these lies and take control of your life:
1. There will be time in the future to do it. Do you want to do it or not? Often, we enjoy the idea of doing something, but lack the interest or determination to put it in time, work, or sacrifice to make it happen. Playing the guitar might sound like fun to you, but the idea of putting in hours of work to play at a mediocre level isn’t appealing.
• If you really want to do it, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find 1,000 reasons to put it off and procrastinate.
• Realize that you choose how you spend your time.
2. I can change another person. Think about how difficult it is to change yourself. Any change is extremely challenging, even when you’re highly motivated. Odds are that the person you want to change is less than enthusiastic. You have a losing battle on your hands.
• If it’s vital that the other person change, you’d be better off finding another person to fulfill the role.
3. I’m not like anyone else / there’s something wrong with me. Everyone believes they’re different from others. You are certainly unique, but you’re remarkably similar to the average person. You’re not deficient or flawed.
• This type of thinking serves as an excuse to play the victim and remain small.
4. It will get better or go away if I just ignore it. Things tend to get worse if ignored. Unless you have a magical fairy taking care of business for you, you’ll have to deal with the challenges of life directly. Otherwise, you’ll find your challenges grow and multiply.
5. I’m too young / I’m too old. It’s true that you won’t be a CEO at 3-years of age or start medical school at 106. However, age is much less limiting than you believe. The young and old have accomplished incredible things. You can too.
6. I don’t have any other choice. You have more choices than you could possibly realize. Your habitual actions and thoughts are limiting. Open your mind to all the possibilities. There are always other choices. Brainstorm with a creative friend and investigate your other options.
7. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself. Like most of us, you’re probably far too inhibited. You’re not a teenager anymore. It’s time to let go of the fear of others’ opinions.
• An exciting life is boldly lived. When you’re bold, you’re going to receive some negative feedback. When you’re timid though, you’ll still receive negative comments. You’ll be criticized no matter what you do, so do what’s best for you.
• Remember that 99% of the time, no one really cares. Everyone is too absorbed with their own issues.
8. It’s too late. This is similar to “I’m too old.” Starting a business might have been more convenient before you got married and had children, but it’s still a possibility. The idea that it’s too late is just another excuse to justify staying where you are, comfortable in your own misery.
By lying, you take the responsibility off of your shoulders and redistribute it. You lie to yourself in order to protect yourself from possible failure. But lying to yourself ensures that you’ll stay stuck. Start being honest with yourself and face life head-on.
You’ll be glad you did!
Make Life an Adventure Not a Challenge
The Flaw of Comparing Yourself to Others
If you’re lacking contentment, it could be because you’re comparing yourself to others. You’ve been on Facebook and seen the pictures of others living their seemingly exciting lives. It only takes a moment to find yourself wishing you had someone else’s career, body, house, or vacation.
Comparing ourselves to others is a common activity!
But there’s a critical flaw in this mental exercise.
You simply don’t have all the information. Someone might have a great body, but they might be seriously ill. That great vacation might have been paid for with an inheritance after a family member passed away.
A smarter strategy is to compare yourself to your own recent past.
How is your figure compared to 6 months ago?
How are your finances compared to last year?
If you’re making progress, congratulate yourself.
If your life isn’t moving forward, then take pause and address the situation.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Think about that statement and decide if it rings true for you.
Try these tips to free yourself from unnecessary comparisons:
1. Catch yourself early in the process. As soon as you realize that you’re making comparisons to others, shift your focus to something else.
• You can control your thoughts, so use that ability to your advantage.
2. Remember that the journey is what matters. Everyone is on a journey to learn, create, and become something unique. It’s an individual experience that isn’t impacted by what others are doing or accomplishing.
3. Comparing yourself to others is a game that can’t be won. There are a lot of people in the world. Through sheer statistics, there will always be someone with a more attractive spouse, more money, a better car, or a more interesting life.
• There’s no way to compete with 8 billion people in every facet of life.
4. Look to your strengths. Comparisons tend to focus on our weaknesses. We usually compare our shortcomings against others. Embrace your strengths and be proud. Now use those strengths to your advantage.
5. List the things you have. Comparisons highlight the things we lack. It’s much more productive to think about the things you do have. Your mood and frame of mind will be more positive, and you’ll be in a better position to compete and succeed.
6. People only let you see the things that want you to see. Sure, they’ll let you see their new BMW and the vacation pictures from Maui. But you’ll never see the tears and fights in the bedroom, or the verbal abuse they take from their mother-in-law. Keep in mind that social media is primarily used for showing the good, rather than telling the bad.
7. It’s just a habit. Our lives are filled with habits, and some of them are harmful. Poor mental habits are restrictive. It’s like going through life with the emergency brake on.
• Labeling the tendency to compare as a habit has a powerful advantage because we know that habits can be broken.
Comparing yourself to others is limiting and self-defeating. No one can be expected to compare favourably to the vast number of people in the world.
Make an effort to limit your comparisons to your own recent past.
Are you making progress or backsliding?
If you continue to enhance the areas that are important to you, your life is likely to be fulfilling and exciting
Every now and then, you may ponder the complexities and maybe even some chaos in your life.
You might struggle to figure out what's next.
Maybe you feel confused at times about which way to go.
Have you thought about setting your life priorities to make your life easier?
When you're struggling to determine what's important to you, it's hard to make decisions.
What will you do next?
Where will you go for the evening?
Who will you choose to pass the time with?
Feeling torn between two or more people, places and things is common if you haven't yet identified your priorities. After all, when you consider everything and everyone in your life as all-equal in terms of their "level" of importance, it's going to be tough to choose what to do next.
Setting your life priorities is a way of identifying what's most important to you. Once you determine your priorities, you'll be pleased with the ease of making decisions and the serenity that comes with knowing you did the right thing.
Establishing priorities also gives you a clearer focus on how to allot your time. If you allot the bulk of your time to doing what's most important with the most important people in your life, you'll feel more fulfilled and satisfied with your life experiences.
Common Life Priorities
What might your priorities be?
The possibilities are endless. In the list below, you'll find many common priorities in no particular order.
Feel free to use the list as inspiration to help you figure out your own priorities.
* Extended family
* Personal appearance
* Health and physical exercise/activities
* Nutritious eating
* "Alone-time" with partner
* Quality time with the children
* Playing games on the internet
* Talking on the phone
* Watching television
Example of a "Prioritized" Listing of Life Priorities
The whole idea of setting priorities is to put the many elements of your life into an order, with those that are most important to you at the top.
Knowing your highest priority on the list is necessary in order to make focused, wise decisions that are right for you.
Consider this next list, which is prioritized, as an example of someone's life priorities (in order).
2. Alone-time with partner
4. Health and physical exercise
5. Nutritious eating
7. Watching television
8. Personal appearance
9. Hobbies - movies and reading
Coming Up With Your Own Priorities
Setting your priorities in life may take time and effort. However, taking the time to reflect on your day-to-day life and determine what's on the top of your list will make your life so much easier. Once your priorities are clear to you, decisions on how to spend your time and with who will be a cinch.
Engaging in this exercise of figuring out your priorities might reveal some things that shock or surprise you.
For example, you might realize that you're spending most of your time hanging out with friends even though you feel that your family is more important. Or you aren't taking as much care with your kids as you thought you were.
Regardless of what you discover that you weren't expecting, setting your priorities now will help you limit or even remove the less-important elements of your life and enable you to focus more fully on what means the most to you.
You can live more joyfully by setting your life priorities.
Knowing what's important to you and devoting your time to those things at the top of your list will ensure you experience an enriched and fulfilled life.
Set your life priorities today.
Self-Belief: 7 Tips to Get Your Mind on Your Side
Self-belief isn't optional. It's vital. Think of all the things you haven't accomplished or tried because you didn't have enough belief in yourself. Self-doubt will always creep in at times. That's why it's so important to have an excess of belief in yourself.
Create a reserve of self-belief and you really can accomplish nearly anything you can imagine. What would you do if you believed you could do essentially anything? How would your life be different? How would you feel?
If you need a little more faith in yourself, read on:
1. Examine your beliefs. You weren't born with any limiting beliefs. You learned every single one of them. We all learn to limit ourselves unfairly. Give yourself the credit you deserve.
* Think about the limiting beliefs you already have. Do what you can to discard them. Ask yourself if this limiting belief is really legitimate. Where did it come from? What evidence do you have that it simply isn't true?
2. Give yourself an unlimited number of opportunities to be successful. It's easy to be filled with doubt if you think you only have once chance to get it right. Give yourself permission to "fail" as many times as necessary. Learn something from each attempt. This is a great way to build self-belief.
3. Eliminate self-criticism. As soon as self-doubt starts to invade your thoughts, ask yourself where that inner critic is coming from.
* Are you channeling a negative experience from the past?
* Is the source of this criticism credible? It rarely is.
* It can be challenging to quiet your mind, but that doesn't mean you have to let it drag you down. Focus on positive self-talk.
4. Trust and love yourself. For one month, try being your best friend instead of your worst enemy. How do you treat your best friend or your children? Probably a lot better than you treat yourself. Give yourself the gift of kindness.
5. Coach yourself. Everyone needs a little support and encouragement. So when you find yourself struggling, consider what you would say to someone that you really believed in if they were feeling the same way you are. When self-doubt starts to creep in, take a few minutes to coach yourself.
6. Think about how you would like to act. Think about how you would think and behave if you were full of self-confidence.
* You can effectively borrow traits from others, too. Who are some of your heroes? Sometimes it easier to imagine others dealing with a situation than to imagine ourselves. See yourself acting the way your hero would act.
7. Remember all your past victories. We've all accomplished some pretty impressive things, but we're quick to forget them. Grab a pen and some paper and list all the successes you've experienced in life, no matter how great or small.
* If you need help, ask a trusted friend or family member. You might be surprised at what you hear.
Self-belief isn't about becoming arrogant or turning a blind-eye to one's flaws. The belief you have in yourself needs to be focused on what you wish to become.
You can have weaknesses.
Everyone does. But there is value in being relaxed about your weaknesses and working to strengthen them.
A strong belief in yourself is a sure ticket to reaching great success.
Build your self-belief and seemingly impossible tasks can become routine.
Identify your 'Hero' ...
If you've been looking at the various articles on this blog and pages on this website you will no doubt have noted that the boxer Muhammad Ali features as a source of inspiration for me.
What was, possibly one of his 'throw away' comments about having a 'Future History' really caught my imagination. He was talking about a visualisation technique, but we do know that simple visualisations may not be as effective as some self-help writers and trainers suggest. However, with the addition of other sensory modalities 'total sensory visualisations' can be very powerful. This is something explored in my forthcoming book.
In this article I really wanted to explore the idea of personal 'heroes' and 'inspirations'.
As we grow and develop we may 'look up' to many different people - some within your own family and friends, some from the stories we read and the films we watch.
We may identify the the heroic behaviours of those who have overcome incredible odds and challenges; we may recognise the values and attitudes of those who have achieved and we may recognise those characters who set themselves incredible goals.
If I reflect on these inspirational people my list would include...
Captain Picard (Star Trek)
And many more you could find on my growing Pinterest Boards Inspirations and Icons
The point, for me, is that it possible to draw inspiration from so many sources - and, you may not have to agree with everything about an 'icons' behaviour and personality. You can be inspired by their behaviours and actions in specific situations.
Whilst it is interesting to ask 'who inspires you', it is more useful to ask 'how' they inspire you?
What facets of their outlook, commitment and engagement in life are inspirational and possibly aspirational?
Now let's be clear here.
We're not trying to become a carbon copy of which ever heroine or hero inspires us. We are looking to our 'idea' of them to offer different perspectives on our current situation. This means that a powerful question could be...
What would Picard do in this situation?
What would Marie Curie say, do?
Of course these questions may never have been answered by our named 'heroic guru'.
But, that's not the point.
The point is that we have created an internal representation of these people; and in many ways it is as complete as we want it to be. We can hallucinate (imagine) the characteristics, values and attitudes of our heroes, they our versions of them.
Of course we can research more about these people; we can read biographies and better understand their motivations, perhaps, and this could create a deeper understanding of them, However, by identifying them as inspirations we have created an internal, personal, representation of who and what they are.
In NLP terms, your Heroes and Heroines can become part of the resources you use to navigate your own way through life.
Both Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell have written about the power of archetype and myth - so let's embrace our heroes and let them guide us on our own quests.
Create and revisit your own list of inspirations, heroes and heroines (you could use Pinterest to do this in a very visual way).
Then ask yourself about the qualities you admire in each; explore how these qualities could help you when you feel that you are out of ideas or lacking in resources.
Play with your ideas about these people and if you like read more about them...
FIND INSPIRATION FROM YOUR HEROES.
Dr Alan B JOnes
Director Inspire NLP