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by David N Johnson

June 5, 2019

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It’s easy to lie. It’s even easier to lie to yourself. To convince yourself that you never wanted whatever it was that you wanted in the first place. Those are the kinds of lies that limit your life. They rob you of your dreams. They take away your future and replace them with a present that you’re stuck trying to convince yourself is good enough.

If your present circumstances don’t match where you’d thought you’d be by now, it’s easier to convince yourself that you never wanted those things, or that where you are is okay. Those are the kinds of lies that limit your reach. They prevent you from going that extra mile. They anchor you so firmly in the present that you’re unable to even hope for something better. Why? Because hope shines a light on what went wrong, it illuminates all your wrong turns, and all the lies you’ve told yourself.

Honesty. Be truthful even though it hurts. Sometimes telling the truth is scary. We lie to get out of trouble. We lie to STAY out of trouble. We lie to get what we want. We lie to get OTHERS what we think they deserve. We lie to ourselves to quiet our regrets.

Today I want you to endeavor towards honesty. Honesty in everything that you do. Honesty with others and honesty with yourself. The easier it becomes to slide into a lie with others, the easier it becomes to lie to yourself. Above all, stop convincing yourself that your present circumstances are good enough. That’s the big lie we tell ourselves. The lie that gets us off the hook. The lie that makes us feel better about missing the mark.

Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

1. If I could just ______, then I could _______.

This is another lie that robs you of your future. You place your potential achievements outside yourself and thus outside of your reach.

  • If I could speak as well as Steven, then I could sell more widgets and live the life that I want.
  • If my boss understood how hard I work, then I could get that raise and buy that car my wife has been looking at.

I’ve written on this topic before. Everything you need is right there inside you; you’re 100% responsible for where you’re at on the road to your dreams.

2. I can’t overcome my past mistakes.

This is another self-limiting lie that can be tough to overcome. This is the lie that tells you, “you’re not good enough.” It says you that you lack whatever it is that you need to overcome a past failure. It stops you from even trying, and that’s a shame.

3. The barrier to entry is just too significant.

I’m only going to say this once so listen up. If the dream is worth having, then the dream is worth doing. Don’t convince yourself that the barriers are too great, just grab a larger battering ram.[click_to_tweet tweet=” If the dream is worth having, then the dream is worth doing. Don’t convince yourself that the barriers are too great, just grab a bigger battering ram.” quote=” If the dream is worth having, then the dream is worth doing. Don’t convince yourself that the barriers are too great, just grab a bigger battering ram.”]

4. If only I had ______, then I’d be happy.

Happiness isn’t a thing. Happiness isn’t a person. Happiness is understanding that you’re in control of what makes you happy. Happiness is an inward manifestation projected outward. You create it.

5. If I fail, I’m doomed.

No, you’re not. Failure is the best teacher you have. You can learn all you want from another person, a book, or even a podcast, but until you go out there and do it and fail, you’ll never learn anything. Failure is all in how you look at it. You define both your successes and your failures.

What other lies are you telling yourself? What other lies are preventing you from achieving the life you want?

Be honest with yourself, and it becomes easier to be honest with others.

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David N Johnson

About the author 

David N Johnson

  • Jumbled, ‘overwhelming’ clutter is typically the hurdle I deal with.

    I have learned to stand my ground against thoughts that attempt to make me feel overwhelmed when considering the scope and scale of my ambitions (along with their seemingly endless details) at this point in life.

    Along that line, I’ve taken up the habit of doing battle against mental imagery of ‘a thousand things to do’, daily checking in with myself to make sure that I don’t fall for the deception because the truth is all we can ever do is one single thing well at a time.

    It’s not that the mind necessarily lies, but that it is our lot to discern and weight, our responsibility to maintain vigil over our habitual mental states to ensure they don’t lead us away from our dreams.

    The work to succeed at the kinds of goals I have has forced me to admit the fact that I was not raised with certain necessary tools and have to pick them up and master them along the way in order to take possession, tools required to traverse the upward aiming course of my dreams.

    So, I spend a lot of time hunting for and practicing with the best tools. For example, I’m applying what I’ve learned from the Committed Husband course developed by this blog’s author, David N. Johnson, which helps me be a better man for the woman in my life.

    If I listened to my conditioned thoughts – poisoned by decades of reading bad relationship news – I’d not make the effort I now do since taking up that wonderful tool for my relationship.

    The process of unfolding into the person who can handle my ambitions has also taught me that there is baggage in the ole noggin that simply must be surrendered to history in order to progress along the fastest route to my destination. As this article lays it out with such clarity, I will not allow negative, erroneous, limiting, inhibiting doubts and fears born of simple inexperience stop me.

    The very act of willfully defying what I call ‘INHIBITING URGES’ takes a little courage, but it magnifies that courage and turns it into confident bravery.

    • David N Johnson says:

      Well stated T! Life gets too mundane when we give more power to the thoughts that hinder us than the ones that propel us forward. The latter being more exciting with the former being more safe. Sometimes we chose security over the risk of failure. When that happens we then have to give more power to the thoughts that tell us its okay because they make everything better. Or, at least temporarily.

      We’re dreamers. We’re nomadic by nature and are always looking to the horizon for the next summit to climb. It’s when we fail to look up that we find ourselves looking at the valley floor. At our feet taking root in the shadow of something greater. It’s then that we realize that our lives are cast in shadow with the sun just out of our reach. That’s when the lies start. We have to convince ourselves that it’s better to be safe in the shadow than smiling in the sun.

      Are you ready to climb the next summit? I don’t like living in its shadow.

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