When I look at my children, my family and my friends, it’s so easy to see how amazing and beautiful they are. Even in their tender faults, they are beautiful. I believe in them and I encourage and support their every dream.
It’s so easy to cheerlead for and support others, to always see the good and sparkling parts of them. It’s easy to tell the truth to others too — not just about their greatness but also about their flaws.
Unfortunately, for many of us when it comes to ourselves, we do not express the same type of kindness that we do with our family and friends. In fact, we are often are worst critics and tell ourselves the most horrible things. The type of ugly stuff that we would never, ever dare to speak to our loved ones. Those ugly things we tell ourselves are often lies.
Some of the lies we tell ourselves way too frequently are:
1. I’m Fat
In my younger days I had moments when I lied to myself about how I looked. “Oh my god, I’m so fat,” I would tell my reflection. I remember shopping with Pam at Bebe one summer and trying on the perfect pair of aqua shorts with white trim and looking in the mirror and saying, “I can’t buy these. I’m too fat.” I was 21 at most and a size six. But, I lied to myself and I truly felt fat even though part of me knew I wasn’t. Too often women lie to ourselves about our bodies. We lie to ourselves telling ourselves that we are fat. It’s the number one lie I hear my friends tell themselves. It’s destructive and it’s an unhealthy thought pattern and it’s one of the lies that we need to stop.
2. I Can’t Do This
Recently, Stari told me that she could never do something. I asked her how she knew. She said she just knew, but she hadn’t tried. “Well, how do you know you can’t do something if you haven’t tried,” I asked her. She agreed that maybe she should try and not just assume that she couldn’t do it. This is another huge lie that we tell ourselves. For example, I told myself that I could not have an induced labor and give birth without pain medications, but that was a lie. People tell themselves they can’t start a business, go back to school, date the person of their dreams, or do quite a number of things. If you tell yourself you can’t do something and you haven’t even tried then you’re lying to yourself in a way. People can do extraordinary things when they believe they can.
3. No One Understands How I Feel
The “no one understands how I feel” thing is something commonly associated with teenagers and a slammed door. But, as adults we often feel this as well, especially when we’re going through hard times or major life changes. The idea that no one understands how you feel is a lie. While our life experiences and perceptions are unique, feelings themselves aren’t unique. Even though someone may not have been in exactly the same situation that you are in, chances are that there is someone else who understands how you feel. Sometimes just reminding yourself that you’re not the only person to ever have felt whatever you’re feeling can help put it into perspective.
4. I Need Something/Someone Else to Complete Me
You are complete. You are whole. You do not need anyone or anything to complete you. The idea that you need someone or something to complete you is an absolutely lie. Don’t believe it! That’s not to say that people or things can’t help enhance our lives or bring joy to us. That’s not to say that people and experiences can’t help us to grow, but finding the perfect spouse, job, car, etc. does not make us whole or complete because we were born whole and complete. You, my lovely, as you are now with all your beautiful light and dark sides, you are complete.
5. I Need to Be Fixed
Ah, my lovelies, why are we so hard on ourselves? No matter what is going on in your life, you are not a broken toy that needs to be fixed. I believe in personal development and striving to be the best versions of ourselves, but not because we are broken or something is wrong with us. Our stumbling blocks and challenges in life are lessons. Our flaws are just areas where our spirits have the most work to do. You are love and light. You do not need to be fixed because you are not broken. Don’t believe the hype.
7. They Have It So Much Easier Than I Do
Ah, cry me a river, eh? Doesn’t it always seem like someone has it easier than you do? I know I see moms who work full-time like me, with the same number of kids, who are at every PTA meeting with freshly baked cookies, cute outfits, and cars that never have cookie crumbs in the seats. They go to the gym everyday, do yoga and never feed their kids McDonald’s. And, golly, their life just must be so much easier than mine because I just can’t even keep up. This is a big fat lie. There is no way to know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Just because someone appears to have it all together doesn’t mean that their life is easier than yours. Their journey is their journey and perception is not reality. Get off the pity-party train and get with the idea that other folks have ups and downs too. (Yroko, I’m talking directly to you.)
8. I’m Too Old To…
So, I may be too old to be a professional ballerina, but there are tons of other things that I’m not too old to do. If you’re telling yourself that you’re too old to do something then you’re lying to yourself. Absent things like becoming a professional football player or ballet dancer, you can do all sorts of things no matter your age. For example, the Office Administrator at my last job got her MA at 65. My uncle graduated college when he was in his mid to late 40’s. I have friends in their 50’s who have started new careers, and know people who have fallen in love and gotten married in their 60’s. “I’m too old…” is just an excuse or a way of saying that you’re scared to step out of your comfort zone. If there’s something you really want to do, put your big girl (or boy) pants on and do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re the oldest person (or youngest person) there.
The next time your hear yourself telling yourself a lie, take a moment to stop and really listen to yourself. Pretend that you’re your own child or a friend and ask yourself if you would say that to them. If you wouldn’t, cut it out.