Are These 7 Lies Holding You Back in Your Small Business (& Life)?
This post was originally written for FinerMinds.com and can be found here and here.
Most of us have a constant dialogue running through our minds. Unless we’re well-practiced conscious thinkers, there’s a continuous loop of judgments, motivations, decisions, contrasts, parallels, directions, and seemingly an infinite number of other things running through our heads.
How we speak to ourselves influences our perceptions, choices, and actions. Though we live in a world where we’re greatly assessed by outward presentation, it’s the root thoughts we think that influence us the most.
We’re taught that deception is immoral, and we’re often on alert to determine if the people around us are lying. Lies and omissions can be powerfully painful when we find ourselves on the receiving end of such behavior, but what happens when we lie to ourselves?
When our perception so deeply influences us, it’s our own lies that harm us the most. The words we whisper to ourselves are the most powerful we say.
Here are some of the most common lies we tell ourselves. Learn to recognize and correct these thoughts that hold you back, and you’ll find yourself experiencing a whole new reality.
1. Nothing changes.
Telling yourself that the world is static is a surefire way to limit your possibilities, shut down new paths, and perpetuate stagnation.
The world changes from moment to moment. Every breath we take is different, and being stuck in a lie like this one can destroy your ability to make necessary changes. Addicts get stuck in this way of thinking often. If it’s accepted that nothing changes, then why try to do something better? Why try to adjust your life or the lives of others?
Observe your moments. Watch how nothing is truly the same from one moment to the next. Even simply staring at a wall can change as your perception augments or the light shifts.
Nothing is set in stone. Progress is real. When you treat each moment as unique, your life explodes into exciting, new possibilities.
The world is constantly morphing, and as every person makes a decision, a whole new set of circumstances is set in motion.
If you believe that nothing changes, it’s because you’re telling yourself that little lie. Look around. Remind yourself that everything is a work of art in progress. Play with it. Become it. Live and breathe it. Know it. Move forward.
2. That has nothing to do with me.
Moms across the world have said it for a long time. “Point the finger at someone else and you’re pointing three right back at yourself.” The world is constantly adjusting, and you’re a part of that world. Whether you make active choices or make the choice not to make a choice, both are a choice.
We often compartmentalize and square ourselves away in protective barriers. We see horror and hardship across the news, and pains of all kind splash across our screens every day.
If you’re not actively involved in one of those high-profile situations, it’s easy to judge that it has nothing to do with you.
That is a lie.
The world is a community. How we buy food, shop for clothes, and conduct our lives dramatically affects people not only in our homes and immediate community, but globally as well. Products flow in from all over the world. How we transport our goods and the conditions in which they are made shapes lives far beyond your own. These aspects are also connected to the jobs we choose to work.
Distancing ourselves in an Us v. Them or a Me v. You mindset doesn’t take in the full spectrum of our actions.
When you see something good or bad in the world, ask yourself how you contribute to creating that situation. Ask yourself every day. We do not put enough weight in how we live our lives or choose to spend our money. Paying more attention and understanding that everything is interconnected allows more empathy in our lives. You truly start to recognize that you’re a vital part of how the entire world functions.
When you start seeing your role in the world, you can contribute more of your time, energy, and money to things that heal instead of harm. As more people pay attention, the world has the potential to rapidly change.
3. It’s all my fault.
Our lives overflow with advertising that’s designed to point out our flaws and illustrate how products can solve all of our problems. We’re inundated with the idea that we’re not good enough. Accepting this as commonplace allows marketing to create a global society of self-hating people who lack a core sense of security.
Allowing self-hate and guilt to permeate your life is easy.
Stop it, please.
Start paying attention to how you talk to yourself. Do you speak to yourself harshly? Do you have unkind people in your life that blame you for things that are out of your control? Do you beat yourself up with words on a regular basis?
Being accountable is one thing, but taking on the world’s problems, distorting your own perceptions, and allowing others to project their issues on you is crushing.
Start taking a strong assessment of what is within your control. If something is not within your control, and you have not intentionally done harm, it is not all your fault.
Be aware of how advertising paints your needs into a corner. Do your best to ignore it, and stop shaping a highly negative picture of yourself in your mind.
Thoughts shape action, and constantly belittling yourself holds you back. Be accountable, but don’t be the fall guy.
4. They don’t understand.
Assuming others can’t or won’t make the stretch to see a different point of view is limiting. You’re creating judgment, placing it on others, and carrying it around with you.
We’re often unwilling to expect that individuals are more compassionate than we judge them to be. Living in black and white is easier than truly understanding the complexity of the human condition and accepting that other people are influenced by a multitude of factors – as are you.
This is another example of Us v. Them thinking. Allowing this dialogue to play through your head puts you and everyone else in a box. It lets you off the hook for trying to communicate or expand a situation.
Whenever you catch yourself disrespectfully using the word “they” or “them” about a group of people or automatically assuming someone simply doesn’t or can’t get it, try to see the situation from their point of view. Imagine the shoe on the other foot. Seek examples of how decisions can be made from that person’s experience.
Whether you attempt to expand the dialogue or not, making a habit of showing empathy and giving the benefit of the doubt will broaden your ability to interact with people and broaden your own view of the world.
5. I’m broken.
Note to self: I am not a clock.
If you constantly feel like you’ve failed or can’t do anything right, feeling broken can be normal. When you allow yourself to fall into the trap of judging yourself so harshly, you’re rarely allowing yourself room to grow.
Such thoughts create actions that are infused with doubt, insecurity, and fear. You can’t get on the positive train if you’re focusing on what is wrong with what you’ve done, the life you’ve lived, or how situations have unfolded.
One cannot go back. One can only move forward, and if you become aware of telling yourself that you’re broken, you can remind yourself that you’re not a clock.