I must have been a teenager the first time I thought about what it meant to lie to myself.
I don’t know where the thought derived from, but somehow, at the tender age of thirteen, I had a thought about how frightening it would be to live a lie.
I’m not sure if this is a common thought for most teenagers.
Most of the teenagers I encounter have very little self-awareness, and even though I had a lot more self-awareness than the average kid my age back then, I didn’t fully understand how prophetic that thought would be down the line.
But it did eventually happen. And all because of a relationship. Or maybe I should say because of my insecurity to find love.
The first time my heart got broken, I was a mess.
After a year, I tried to move on, meeting new boys all the time. None of them truly made my heart sing.
I thought there was something wrong with me.
Why couldn’t I feel?
Why wasn’t it like before?
Why didn’t I feel chemistry with anyone?
Many of these boys vied for my love and affection, but, honestly, I just wasn’t feeling it.
I literally felt numb.
The numbness went on for years. And I got more and more frustrated. So I finally decided to have a relationship with a guy who was a friend of mine. I absolutely adored his personality but felt not much of anything else.
I dragged myself through this relationship, trying to talk myself into all the reasons we should be together. But my body, heart, and soul were misplaced in this dynamic.
Plunged into my twenties now, heartbroken from my first real love and utterly confused, I honestly believed this might be my last chance. So I tried to force myself to feel.
Of course, at the time, I didn’t fully understand what I was doing.
I was trying to make myself love him.
As you are probably well aware, that never works. But I tried.
I made my lists of all his “positives” and didn’t listen to my own internal lack of desire for him.
But the truth was, I still wasn’t feeling it.
Here’s the thing: Part of me knew it. But the other part of me was too afraid to admit it.
I was living a lie.
I was in a relationship with someone who partially did it for me. Nope. Not going to work.
But it took me three painful years to finally admit the truth to myself.
One day, while we were hiking in Mount Tam, he asked me point blank, “What are we doing? Where is this going?”
I couldn’t face him. I knew the expression on my face would uncover the truth, which, in turn, would threaten to unravel my lie. So I played it off by responding flippantly, “We’re having a good time.”
But I knew what he was asking me.
He was asking me if I was going to marry him.
The truth was I had no intention of marrying him, and even though right then everything in me knew it, I still wouldn’t allow myself to admit it.
I made excuses.
I fought whatever truth was telling me it’s not all there, it’s not all there.
I finally ended the relationship, but, silly me, I continued to repeat this pattern several more times throughout my adulthood.
- I chose relationships I knew weren’t my match.
- I accepted clients I knew I didn’t want to work with.
- I worked longer than I should have in jobs I knew I didn’t have the passion for.
I doesn’t have to be a relationship.
A lie is a lie. You can tell yourself one about anything in your life.
@Hayleyhobson (Click to Tweet!)
It’s often hard to wait for what you feel you deserve.
It can be much easier to lie to yourself and convince yourself you’re happy.
Here are three ways to know you are lying to yourself:
1. You Keep Trying to Convince Yourself
If you have to talk yourself into something, you’re probably lying to yourself. The right guy or woman, the right job, the right choice always scream out at you.
If you have to argue with yourself, you’re in denial.
You’ve got to know by now that you can’t run from the truth, and someone will eventually call you out on your lie. Hopefully, it’s you.
So either own it now or watch it unfurl in some huge dramatic way.
2. If It Is NOT an Absolute YES, It’s a NO
It’s that simple.
Think about food. You either like ice cream or you don’t. You like peaches, or you prefer apples.
You know what you like and what you don’t like, and when it comes to people and work, if you are making excuses, you are making yourself miserable.
Go toward YES.
3. Stay in What You Know Is Right
People will tell you to follow your heart, and, of course, you should, but what happens when you follow your heart and love someone who doesn’t treat you the way you want to be treated? You’re stuck in a career where you don’t feel appreciated?
You trust your gut, don’t you?
Don’t take less than you feel you deserve in any situation, or you are compromising your integrity.
If you know something is wrong, it is.
I have just given you three great tips to identify whether you are lying to yourself.
Are you lying to yourself? Have you in the past? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments below.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
*Image courtesy of Express Monorail.