The Lies We Tell Ourselves

“You’re not qualified enough for that position.”

“You aren’t good looking enough”

“You are not good at intimacy”

“You’re in way over your head.”

Sound familiar?  I’d venture to guess that some of you may have similar voices in your head providing unnecessary negative reinforcement to your lives.  There are many of us who then start to believe these unfounded statements, and they then become our reality.  As I’ve worked with clients, I’ve often asked them if they have any specific evidence of these declarations, and the usual response is a meandering, “well… uh.. no.”

Language and our words are a powerful tool.  They are what create context for our world, and add shape and color to how we perceive the environment around us.  I would venture to declare that we as people are simply a conglomeration of these words and conversations floating around in our heads.

One of the most basic demonstrations of this is the proverbial “glass half full or half empty” question. Glass

At the very heart of it, this question drives down into your perception of the world around you.  It is a commonly held notion that optimists see the glass as half full, and that pessimists see the opposite.  It’s no surprise to me that optimists find themselves earning an average of $32,667 USD more an their pessimist peers.  I posit that it’s simply a matter of how these optimists manage conversations in their mind around opportunities, failures, and everything in between.

When crises in our lives happen, how do you respond?  As you prepare for a job interview, what sorts of conversations are you having in your head about your ability to get the job?  What things in your life do you find that you are just settling for mediocrity around?

The hard truth is that it is our responsibility to manage and direct the conversations in our head.  We have the power to overwrite the current conversation, and to create a new narrative for ourselves.  It’s a process that must be intentional and deliberate, but will allow you to regain control of your mind and your life.

There’s currently a large trend around the idea of mindfulness and meditation, which I think is hugely helpful in allowing ourselves to bring calm to our racing minds.  If this is something important to you, I would challenge you to take this one step further, by creating a new narrative for yourself.

When was the last time you looked yourself in the mirror and told yourself some of these truths?

“You are a beautiful person, inside and out.”

“You are a smart, capable, and powerful leader.”

“You are worthy of being loved.”

“You can do anything you set your mind to.  So get out there and do it!”

If you’re up for the challenge, choose one statement that you will tell yourself, into the mirror, once a day for the next two weeks.  Leave a comment if you’re up for the challenge.  I’d love to hear how things are going.  I would venture to guess that you’ll be amazed at how quickly you will start to transform your life with this 15-second exercise in your morning.

Don’t let the lies that you tell yourself take you out of the game.  You’re too awesome for the world not to see what you have to contribute.

  1. Marianne Bunton

    May 22nd, 2015 9:55

    Great post. I'm in!

  2. Step Ahead

    May 26th, 2015 20:54

    Thanks for the encouragement Mac. So right, and even a guy with Carpe Diem as a watchword, and an organization dubbed Step Ahead, can use the reminder.

  3. Marianne

    December 14th, 2015 11:35

    Hi Mac, I just wanted to let you know that I've had a post-it note with your leadership mantra on my mirror for the last few months. A few weeks ago I was starting a new job and really needed the reinforcement, and it totally helped reading it every morning as I psyched myself up for work. I think I'll have it up there for a long time to come!

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