One of the most painful realizations I've had in my life is coming to terms with how often I’ve lied to myself.
It was hard enough to come to terms with how much I lied to other people. My people pleasing. My nice guy act. It was all bullshit. I was basically conning people into thinking I was a better person than I actually was.
Nearly everybody does this, it’s pretty common stuff. Most people pretend in order to create a smooth social and emotional experience, or to satisfy their neediness for validation and recognition.
But I was in for a shock when I realized me lying to myself happened at a far greater intensity and frequency. I lied to myself all the time. It was like a non-stop radio station in my head just talking absolute shit.
I justified my poor behavior. I made up stories about what other people were thinking. I created narratives that made me look like a hero or a victim according to my whims, and all of it was bullshit.
I think it's Neitzche who said:
The most common sort of lie is that by which a man deceives himself: the deception of others is a relatively rare offense.
Try this wake-up exercise: Sit down with a pen and paper and write a list of all the bullshit things you tell yourself. All the stories you use to justify doing things you know you shouldn’t. All the assumptions you make based on little to no evidence. All the “should” stories about how you wish the world operated.
And just watch how long that list is.
For more on this topic, check out my longer video: How to Know Yourself, Step One: Stop Believing Your Beliefs here: