Why you need to stop lying to yourself
The human mind baffles me sometimes. We often choose to see what we want to see, and stay ignorance about everything else. We convince ourselves that reality is what we picture in our head, even though it clearly is not.
Self-deception is the process of lying to ourselves without realizing that we are doing it.
The funny thing is, we all do it at one point or another. Our subconscious mind works hard to protect our feelings from confusion and harm, and in the process often blind us to the truth. If it goes on for long enough, self deception can completely derail us from the right course in life.
So why do we do it?
As I mentioned earlier, we often don’t even know that we’re in a state of denial. Even when many people try to alert us to the truth, we can still choose to believe otherwise.
For example, a woman who is in a physically and mentally abusive relationship believes that her partner was just doing it out of love, or the lack of knowledge about how to express love. They tell themselves that their abuser will improve and become better over time. Every one of her friends tell her she needs to leave the abusive relationship, but she stays in a stage of self-deception because she refuses to believe that her abuser is a bad person.
“We deceive ourselves because we don’t have enough psychological strength to admit the truth and deal with the consequences that will follow”, psychological expert Cortney S. Warren once said.
One major cost of self-deception is that we hurt ourselves and those we love the most when we don’t take full responsibility for our own choices or try to make ourselves better. When we use painful life experiences to justify being a non-ideal version of ourselves, or to justify the bad behaviour of their loved ones, they are merely making things worse.
Another cost of self-deception is that it can leave us with mountains of regret. During this state, we may have made some choices that have caused some harmful results. What is unfortunate is that when looking back at life with regrets, you realise that there is nothing you can do to change what has already happened, and you have to live with that regret for the rest of your life.
How can we be true to ourselves? Here are some thoughts that you might be interested in:
1.Identify your life purpose, values and goals
Set small goals that move you in the direction of your bigger goals and values. When faced with difficult situations, aslk yourself what do you really want in life.
2.Be aware of your self-talk
What do you think of when you first wake up in the morning? Are your thoughts supportive and positive? Be your own best coach, not your own worst critic. Watch your own thoughts and keep them positive.
3.Take time to play
Life can get really tough, so this is important. Give yourself a break so you can recharge by allowing yourself to do the things that you love. When you get back to work, you will see things with clearer thoughts.
4.Honor your strengths
Write down the 3 strongest things about you. Ask a friend’s opinion if you need to. Think about your strengths, respect them, and think about how you can further optimise them.
5.Get help if you feel stuck
If you are in serious need of help, don’t hesitate to talk to a supportive friend or family member, or even seek proffessional help. Read about others’ experiences, and reflect upon you own. Eventually you will come to appreciate who you really are, and stay true to yourself.
“我们会欺骗自己全都是因为我们的心理不够强大，至少不够说服自己承认事实以及承担尾随而来的后果”，著名的心理学界Cortney S. Warren说道。