In my work with vulnerability, I’ve found that an important part is authenticity and being willing to speak our truth. I’ve touched on this in past episodes from a different aspect, but this week is all about how we lie to ourselves – and therefore also to others – by the way we say certain things.
There’s a saying, “People will doubt but you say but they will believe what you do.” And this is because it is well-known that what we say isn’t always what we mean. What ultimately matters is what we DO. How we show up in the world.
There are many ways that we tell sneaky little lies to ourselves and to others by not saying what we mean.
One example is the word “try.” When we say we will “try” to do something, we know deep down that means we don’t really want to do it, we aren’t going to do it, or we aren’t sure if we want to do it.
At first, it may sound noble, like you’re sort of on board, but really it’s a sneaky distraction to what we really want to say and what we’re actually feeling: not that excited about something, not committed to it, not sure about what we want, or afraid we won’t follow through.
Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” This is because trying lacks commitment. And listen up rebels: creating a life of freedom and pursing spiritual growth (and Jedi training;), requires commitment.
When we don’t speak our truth, we also lose the opportunity to grow and address those underlying thoughts and beliefs and for those around us to know the real, authentic us.
Another example of these sneaky lies is, “I can’t.” The reality is, most of the time we say we can’t, it’s more that we just aren’t willing to make it happen, right? We just don’t want to! Because if Oprah called you and said to come over, you’d reschedule a whole lotta shit, right? And while there are, of course, exceptions to this, true “I can’ts” are a lot more rare than we’d like to admit.
And it’s OK – we don’t have to be mean about it, but we are dancing around the truth when we say, “I can’t” we really, if we wanted to, we could. Instead of “I can’t” we can say, “I want to stay home and take care of myself tonight instead,” or “I’m really excited for you to do that [if it’s true] – but I’m going to decline because I want to spend time with my partner tonight.”
Sure, it’ll likely be awkward at first, especially if you normally people please most of the time and never say no, but it is necessary to giving voice to our true selves. And, we also find out who our real friends are, who accept us authentically, who are healthy for us.
Other sneaky lies I go deeper into on the pod are when we “should” on ourselves (which is a way to just tell ourselves old stories) and when we put ourselves into a box and say, “I’m not the type who does that” or “that’s just not who I am” (which absolves us from admitting we are making a choice in that moment).
These distractions and seemingly benign lies contribute to us being indecisive, not committing, or not owning our authentic selves – our preferences, desires, beliefs, wants.
It’s a very disempowered place to be.
So then why do we do this? Because ultimately, it feels safer. We think it protects us from rejection. It allows us to pretend we want to do whatever it is that will make people feel better, even if we are the ones who end up feeling uncomfortable and their expense.
On top of evolutionary contributions around safety and needing to belong, this is largely because we were taught – especially those of us socialized as womxn – that we’re responsible for other people’s feelings and that we should do everything we can to not make other people uncomfortable because that’s what “good” girls – and good wives and good partners and lovers, and good friends and good mothers and good sisters do, right?
And if we weren’t “good,” we might be rejected and then be abandoned by people – some of whom we didn’t even like to begin with but we were taught to still care a lot about what they thought of us because our worth is determined by external factors.
No wonder we’re drawn towards these sneaky little lies!
But what’s really happening is we’re sending ourselves a message that what we want doesn’t matter. Our needs, preferences, and desires aren’t worthy of making someone else uncomfortable. And it’s like with each lie, our authentic self shrivels up and dies a little bit.
Speaking our truth helps us stay connected to our authentic self, to be aligned with how we want to show up in the world.
Another element of why stopping the little lies is so important is that while it makes sense why we tell ourselves – and others – these little lies, if we want to start cultivating our ziji – our radiant inner confidence – we need to be willing to be authentic and speak our truth. Otherwise, we will never believe that we are worthy of our own experience of this one precious life, and we will never believe that people love the “real” us. And there’s a deep confidence that comes with giving voice to our authentic selves and trusting people love the real us.
The truth is your people absolutely will love the real you! But they can’t find you if you’re walking around pretending you’re like whoever you’re hanging out with and not being yourself. If you put all your energy into “fitting in” instead of finding the people with whom the authentic you belongs.
When we don’t have that confidence – ziji – we spend a whole lot of time trying to “fit in,” but never feeling like we quite… belong.
So, what does it look like when we take out those sneaky little lies?
Maybe there’s some discomfort and awkward moments. I’m not going to lie about that. But that is temporary – and absolutely worth it. Why?
We learn what we want in this life.
We make decisions.
We commit to those decisions – we put it on our calendar/we schedule it. We take action.
We have our own backs.
We do that, and we start to trust ourselves. We start to cultivate that self-respect and ziji – that radiant inner confidence.
And we attract our people. We start to not just try to “fit in” – we finally feel like we BELONG.
So, rebel today, notice if these little lies sneak into your language. And don’t beat yourself up about it – that’s not what this is about. Just notice it. And ask yourself, “What is the real truth underlying this?”
You deserve to be authentically you, and to belong.
In this Episode you will learn:
// Why we lie to ourselves and others
// The difference between “fitting in” vs “belonging”
// How being authentic – and genuine personal and spiritual growth – requires us to stop the lies
// Surprising examples of sneaky lies we tell ourselves, and what we can say/do instead
// How speaking our truth will set us free and lead us to the people with whom we genuinely belong.
// Episode 11: How to Stop People Pleasing
// Episode 62: Commitment and Massive Action
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the starter kit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll get access to the private Facebook group where you can ask me questions! Once you join, there’s also a weekly FB live called Wake the F*ck Up Wednesday, where you can ask questions that come up as you do this work – in all parts of your life.
// If you’re ready to *truly* know yourself – all of you – and to start actively creating your life to align with that with your people who accept all of you and with whom you BELONG, check out the upcoming Adventure Mastermind. It’s a no-bullshit group of 6 womxn ready to slay the next year – YOUR way. It’s 6 months of transformation and adventures (inner and outer!), and you can learn more at www.AdventureMastermind.com check it out – applications just opened, with an amazing bonus of 1:1 coaching with me, and you won’t want to miss the chance to hang out with me and a small group of rebel womxn in adventurous places to get unstuck and create the next chapter of our amazing lives!
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