Imagine racing toward a finish line against other versions of yourself. Win the race you get to live your ideal life. However, every time you procrastinate, or lie to yourself, a heavy weight is chained to your feet. The more dishonest you are with yourself, the more obstacles you drag with you.
People may say, “I’ll start going to the gym next month. I can start anytime” But then constantly put off their goal of getting into shape.
Or they say, “I’ll face my fear of public speaking by going to more events, I can start anytime.” It’s also common to be completely delusional and claim they are already satisfied with their social life, health or financial situation when in fact they desperately wish for instant change. Instead of trying to hide your flaws from yourself and others it’s much healthier to honestly acknowledge them.
It’s okay to want more out of life. The more you lie to excuse procrastination and bad habits, the slower you will run in that race to your ideal self. Eventually the deluded limiting beliefs and excuses you chain to yourself will bring you to a complete stop. At this point, depression, and anxiety might ruin your life.
So how do you prevent these negative consequences?
Be As Objective As Possible
If you aren’t honest with yourself you can’t change the things that need improvement. The first step is to look at yourself honestly.
What areas of your life do you need to improve?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you satisfied with your level of financial success?
- What goals and passions do you NOT have enough money for?
- Are you satisfied with your relationships?
- What kind of people do you want more of in your life?
- Are you satisfied with your health?
- What’s your ideal weight?
- How much stronger do you want to be?
- What common skills are you weak in?
- What skills do you still want to learn?
If answered honestly, these questions are the key to exposing those limiting beliefs that hold you back.
The major obstacle is admitting your flaws. It can be painful to give up our efforts to preserve an image of perfection. Instead, most people hope for praise, respect and approval. When we get these seemingly positive symbols of acceptance we feel good. Often, this praise comes from people who want their own flaws ignored and accepted.
But all this praise and approval has a dark side. It reinforces a mediocre mindset that gives up on improvement. Some people really love being mediocre. That’s okay for them. But before you make the decision to give up on your potential like that, ask yourself, “am I really satisfied with mediocrity?”
Be Honest About Your Reality
It’s important to recognize when you lie to yourself to justify the mediocrity you’ve accepted. For example you might lie to yourself that you’ll only play video games for an hour, but then play games all day instead of working on important projects.
Or someone might accept working for a rude boss by saying “the salary is good enough to survive. It’s enough.”
Several of my coaching clients have been overweight men. They say they’ve tried to lose weight but bad habits interrupted they progress. They all slowly started to think, “It’s ok to be a little fat.” Even though in the back of their mind they still felt disappointed in themselves for giving up their efforts to improve their health and physique.
What these examples have in common is that they are the emergence of self-deception and limiting beliefs. When someone starts investing in these types of mindsets it sets them up for disaster and disappointment. The lies you need to tell yourself will just get bigger and more ridiculous.
They might give up the opportunity for their dream job because it’s safer and easier to stay in their boring, soul draining job.They might feel it’s too risky to start a new job. Or too difficult to lose weight, or accomplish any goal they care about. Instead it can feel easier to indulge in entertainment instead of engaging reality and goals.
When you lie to yourself to justify accepting mediocrity in this way, it forms limiting beliefs that hold you back. If you want to succeed in life you must honestly look at what areas of your life are dissatisfying.
Dishonesty prevents growth in every area of your life. At first every white lie you tell yourself may seem harmless. They allow you maintain an image to yourself and others. However, the negative impact over time just isn’t worth it.
When you choose to confront the lies that fuel your limiting beliefs you can finally let go of the real obstacles of growth. If you can admit your fears and flaws you finally have a chance to change them.
Be honest about every area of your life.
What are your Fears?
Admit your fears and they can no longer hold power over you. Instead of constantly struggling to avoid fears, you can finally start a process of systematically facing and overcoming them.
Which of the following cause you fear or anxiety?
- Talking to a new person
- Talking to people with more authority
- Trying to get laid on a date
- Trying to even get a date
- Traveling to a new country or even city
- Public speaking
- Physical confrontation
These are just a few common examples. If you are honest with yourself you can realize which of these fears trigger dishonest, limiting beliefs. Such as shy people often say, “nobody talks to me,” or “nobody likes me.” It isn’t that people don’t like talking to them. But that limiting belief allows them to justify avoiding social interaction. They can then say, “I don’t need to go to that party, nobody will talk to me anyway.”
Instead, if they open their mind to the possibility that people could enjoy talking with them, then fun interactions are actually much more likely. Instead, the dishonest, limiting beliefs allow socially anxious people to justify avoidance. In the moment of deception, they may relax. However, the long term effects are severe psychological struggle with the desire to be accepted and paranoia about avoiding rejection.
The most important step to growth and maturity is to be honest about your fears. Most normal people do have a healthy fear of rejection. It keeps people polite enough from destroying each other so that society can survive. However, hypersensitivity to rejection leads to depression and abandoned life goals.
Want to Improve Your Health?
Without health, you can’t accomplish anything. Poor sleeping habits, insufficient nutrients, and dehydration can lead to a confused mind and weak body. At the very least, sleep and nutrition should align with your goals. It’s unreasonable to expect that you can focus on challenging tasks every day if your mind and body aren’t functioning properly.
I often encounter people who ask me, “How do I stop feeling tired all the time, and have more energy?”
I then give a reasonable response explaining the importance of a proper sleep cycle, avoiding sugars and caffeine especially before bed. They then add the caveat that they want more energy, but still want to maintain their shitty sleep schedule, wake up at different times every day, and keep drinking several sugary, caffeine filled beverages every day!
One person I met even claims, “I can’t sleep at night, I can only sleep in the day because I like warm sun on my face while sleeping.” That same person also complains about chronic insomnia and fatigue! He completely rejects everyone’s logical advice that humans need to sleep at night because darkness triggers melatonin production.
He’s completely messed up his life because he lies to himself that, “I can’t sleep at night.” No dude. You are not a vampire. Lying to yourself justifies bad habits that prevent growth. This becomes a limiting belief that prevents adequate health and mental functioning in his case.
Other lies people use to justify poor health choices:
- “It’s just one soda.” But they drink a can or more every day
- “I’ll just stay up another 10 minutes.” Becomes several hours.
- “I don’t have time to cook, I’ll just get fast food.”
- “I’ll start going to the gym next month. I don’t have time now.”
These are common examples. Each of these can easily fuel limiting beliefs. Such as, “I NEED to drink a can of soda with every meal.” Or “I don’t need to go to the gym, heart attacks are great.”
Your health is your responsibility. Indulging in a sugary snack once in a while is fine. The problem is many people pretend once in a while is several times a week or every day.
How healthy is your diet? How much do you exercise? Take an honest look at your health and recognize the lies these questions trigger. If you haven’t yet reached your health and fitness goals then start taking action immediately.
What Are Your Financial Goals?
Money buys experiences, education, security, and allows you to provide the world with exactly the value you wish to provide.
Do you lie to yourself about being satisfied with your current level of financial success? It can be very uncomfortable to admit. You want the fun experiences, opportunities and training that money can buy. But at the same time, you might feel completely lost about how to achieve that financial success.
Start With A Specific Goal
When you know exactly how much money you want to earn it helps you choose the best path. Think about exactly what you want to buy. How much do you need to afford that lifestyle?
No matter now pessimistic you are about your ability to earn that amount, there are opportunities available. When you are stressed about not having enough money to pay rent it’s difficult to believe it because scarcity is the only reality you know.
Unfortunately, your education likely did not prepare you for financial success. However, you can take responsibility and figure out how to make enough money to live the life you want to live.
Self-Honesty = Success
If you are honest with yourself, you will recognize when you are engaging in destructive behavior. Instead of unconsciously diving into limiting beliefs that prevent growth you can focus on improving your situation.
Some people try to be happy all the time. They repeat positive affirmations like, “I’m happy! Life is great!” hundreds of times a day. But these statements mask what they really feel about their lives. If they pretend life is great when it isn’t then improvement is impossible!
If you really want success it’s important to be as honest as possible. Especially with yourself. Admit your fears. Admit the areas of your life you really want to improve. Next, you’ll need to set goals and create a plan that gives you exactly what you need.
Check out my FREE Goal Setting book if you want to craft the perfect plan to get closer to living your ideal life and let go of deceptive limiting beliefs.
I hope this article encourages you to honestly assess your life goals. Leave your questions in the comments here.