Home » 94 – Lies We Tell Ourselves

94 – Lies We Tell Ourselves

by Jill

It’s bad enough to lie, but it stops us from achieving our dreams when we tell ourselves lies. We can’t fix what we won’t be honest about.

I Will Never Get My Goals – You will never get your goals if you keep telling yourself that you can’t get them. If the plans are reasonable, you should be able to work towards your goal. 

I Will Never Be Good at This – You will never get good if you keep telling yourself this! Getting good at something possible is about intelligent and targeted practice. 

I am Not Lucky – People who feel unlucky have an external locus of control. Fate is against them, and they have control over what they can get in life. Thomas Jefferson said I’m a great believer in luck, and the harder I work, the more I have of it.

I Have No Time – Of course, you have time, at least a little. We all do things for stress relief but isn’t there sometimes you can carve out?

I was Not Born with Advantages – Having advantages is a significant step up and helpful. But if you have no advantages, you can still get there. It will take work and a great plan, but you can get your goal. 

I Am Not Perfect – And you do not have to be either. Your strengths and faults allow you to be successful. So you do not need perfect. But instead, you need your unique perspective. 

Everything Stinks – Everything can’t stink! It is a blanket way of getting out of any goal, hope, or dream. It is the lie that blanks out everything. Some things stink, some are fine, and some are great. If you believe this lie, you need perspective on how many things are going your way. 

This Thing is Preventing Success – Hurdles in life can mean you might not be able to reach goals as fast as you wish, but you can get there. The idea is that you must mitigate the hurdles and reduce their impact. They might give you a better perspective and make your projects better. 

I Need Something First – You might feel you need something special to achieve your goals, and indeed some things help. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want without those things. There are always ways around the hurdles.

Why Bother? – You might tell yourself that you won’t get what you want. You could tell yourself what you want doesn’t matter. But what you do does matter and what you want is essential. Even if it doesn’t work the way you hope, you will always get value. 

I Need More Information – It can feel like more information will help, another book, another class, or one more week of research. That is procrastination. More time can teach you something new, but you can start now. You know what to do next. Do it. 

I Must Attain Perfect Success – You may feel to do your goals, you must be perfect at what you are trying to do. You might feel you lack enough perfection to succeed, but everyone has flaws. No one is perfect. Keep going. This is a big lie. 

I Will Start Tomorrow – Nope! You won’t! There will be a new excuse tomorrow. Start now. 

I’m Fine – Are you fine, or are you telling yourself this because it lets you off the hook with your dreams? Are you saying this because it is a way to dismiss your need for something new? Stop saying this terrible lie. 

I am Entitled – The world owes you new and better things! Others have this goal and haven’t worked as hard as you! This lie makes you decide you don’t need to work for your goals; when they fail, it isn’t your fault. 

I Can’t Be Unique – There are a lot of best practices and pathways to achieving goals. You might feel like you must follow these systems to get your goal all the time and not add your uniqueness to the project. But it will be your uniqueness that makes the project better. The world is not made for cookie-cutter plans or people. 


Start writing down five lies that you tell yourself frequently. Write them down. Are you the worst? No, you’re not the worst. Is it too late for you? Nope, it’s not too late either. But start writing them down and coming up with why those items are lies.


[Music] Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast. This is Jill. Have you ever wondered how lying to yourself is damaging to everything you do? That’s what we’ll talk about today. [Music] We must kill the lives we believe before they kill our ability to live life to its full. Nikki Hardy

Today we’re going to talk about the lies we tell ourselves, and it’s one of the most damaging things we do to just destroy our goals. Because if we lie to ourselves and we don’t tell ourselves what’s honestly going on, or how we’re honestly feeling about something, we can never really fix it. Imagine if you had some kind of a store where all the employees were lying to the owner and never telling that owner what’s going wrong, what’s happening. owner can never fix those things. It’s the same thing for us. We can never fix what we can’t identify and if we lie to ourselves about what’s really wrong we never get there. So the first episode we’re going to talk about what lies we tell ourselves and then in the next episode we’re going to talk a little bit about why we lie and what we can do about it. The lies we tell ourselves is gonna be a big long list of the different lies we tell ourselves and what can we tell ourselves instead so that we can get past them? I can never get my goals It’s just never going to happen and that’s not true It’s true if you keep saying that to yourself, but if you start to actually look at the problem Look at the situation Then you might be able to get those things you might be able to create a plan You may be able to take small steps and get to that place where you can do it This is where a bit of honesty takes place Because if you’re saying I want to be a quarterback in the NFL or I want to be the captain of my soccer team Maybe that won’t happen Maybe that requires something that you don’t have and so maybe you do actually have to look at a more realistic goal And so maybe you can never be a thing But maybe you could do something that’s pretty darn close or something that is really in line with what you want. I I always wanted to be an astronaut. And at some point, I was told by my dad, I have terrible eyesight. And because of that, I could never become an astronaut in the program. And so instead, I found other ways to do it. I was in honors astronomy. I did a lot of research inside of astronomy. And even now I’m thinking about doing some podcasting about citizen science, about how we can observe the world around us and learn to appreciate things like astronomy better. I’m no good at X. And that may be true. It may be something that you’re not good at, but most things, not everything, you can get pretty darn good at it by just taking a class, starting out small, doing a lot of practice. It’s not the 10,000 hour rule when it comes to practice to get good at something. It’s about strategically placing practices in your path, about doing the next thing that will make you better, about getting a good plan or a good program or a good class. And maybe you’re not going to be perfect at something, but chances are in most things, you can get pretty good at things just by taking some steps towards it. “I’m not lucky” or “That person got it because they’re lucky “and I’m not lucky.” And both of those statements aren’t necessarily true. Luck is one of those things that when you work harder, when you come up with a plan, when you start taking small steps towards that progress, amazingly, you start getting luckier. And luck tends to be what they call an attribution error. We tend to think of things in our lives as caused by something. They’re either caused by me, internal attribution, or it’s caused by other people, external attribution. But if I’m lucky or I’m unlucky, that’s an external attribution. And we have a lot more power in our own lives than we think we do. If you start throwing everything up as fate or throwing everything into luck, you may not feel like you can get what you want because you’ve just tossed it out to the universe. And there’s no such thing. Other people who got what they got, sure, maybe they were born in a better family, born in a better economic situation. You have hurdles, there’s no doubt, but that’s not luck. And there are ways to get past those hurdles if you keep going, if you just start. And that means that you’re gonna have to be a little bit better, you’re gonna have to have a pretty good plan, but you can get there. I have no time. Boy, that’s the lie I love to tell myself the most. I have no time. I have this busy job. I have a podcast. I have a lot of things to do. But I bet that if I started writing down all those times where I just wasted time, I would find a lot of time there. I’d find time where I’m just playing a game, watching TV, or doing something silly like sorting a drawer that doesn’t need to be sorted. I’d probably find time. Now, it’s not to say that I don’t need downtime. Everybody needs downtime. And so if playing a game helps gel your mind, gives you a little bit of relaxation, helps you de-stress a little bit, absolutely do it. But there’s a point too, where you could stop and start getting something done towards your plan. Next slide. I was born in a place or a time or with parents that I can’t just do X. I can’t get there. And this gets a lot of people in place because they look at people who are wealthier or they look at people who had supportive parents and they say, “Well, if I had parents “like that person has parents, “I could have done all these things. “But because I don’t, I’m just stuck.” You’re just gonna have to do more work, have a better plan. It might take you a little bit longer than other people who had more advantages than you, but it’s doable and you can get there. I’ve made too many mistakes or its counterpart, it’s too late. I’m too old. I should have tried this in college. I should have practiced this back here or back then or when I was single or when I was married, too late. And that is a big lie because it’s never too late to start working on the things you dream about. It might’ve been easier again a decade ago, but they always say that line, When is it best to plant a tree? 10 years ago. When’s the second best time to plant a tree? Today. If you couldn’t get there 10 years ago, you had stuff 10 years ago. If you interviewed you who’s from 10 years ago, you’d probably have a bunch of reasons then too. So the best thing you can do is just start now. I’m too dumb. I have to be perfect. I should be better. My brain’s just not in it. I’m really not good at these types of things. And this lie is interesting because, you know, I’ll tell you that most people think that they’re not very good at things in general. Everyone gets to where they’re at through a process. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who lost 35 elections before he became a senator. There are people who failed and failed and failed again. There are people who were imperfect, who had speech impediments. You had Beethoven who was deaf. People have impairments or they have things that they’re just not perfect and they get there anyway. Again, takes a little bit more work and a little bit more planning, but you don’t have to be perfect. And you probably aren’t broken in the ways you think you are broken. Maybe you’re not great at some things, but no one’s entirely lost in a particular thing. Everything stinks. Yep, that’s right. I can’t do things because everything in my life stinks. And I have seen people who believe that. And it’s unfortunate when they do, because first of all, it is absolutely not true. If this other thing was out of my life, I could do the things I wanted to do. That might be a person, that might be a job. If I just had a different job, my life would be better. If I just had a better boyfriend, my life would be a lot better. And the truth is, is that you can get to the things you want even if you have these hurdles in your way. Chances are these horrible things aren’t so horrible. And it’s just an excuse for not getting what you want. There’s always time, there’s always resources where you can do the things that you need to do and get them done. And then the opposite is true. If I just had this thing in my life, I could do this. I just had a boyfriend. I just had a supportive spouse. I just had a job I loved. I could get there and I could do those things. And the truth of it is, if you’re making up excuses now, chances are, if you had those things, you would make up excuses then too. The problem is, is not the fact that we have or we don’t have. The problem is, is that we tell ourselves these lies in the best of times, in the worst of times. We do it all the time. And so even if you had that perfect thing or you got rid of that horrible thing, there’d be another thing. And the problem is the excuses and not the thing. The lies that you’re telling yourself are actually the thing that is causing you to miss out on some of the goals that are achievable in your life. Why bother? I can’t get it. I won’t do it. It won’t be great. I won’t like it. I’ll probably hate it if I got it. Why bother? And again, it’s another lie that you’re telling yourself. And it’s true. So let’s say you were thinking about starting a new business and then you think, why bother? I’ll probably be terrible at it. No one will come to my store. No one will buy my art. None of those things will happen. And then you decide not to bother. The reason that you should bother and the reason you should fight this particular lie is because it may be that whatever it is you’re going to try might not be successful. but there’s a couple of things that is true about it. The process of you doing it is gonna teach you a valuable lesson. And then if you were to start a store or you were to start an art gallery on Etsy, you’d learn something and you would learn how to do it better the next time. The other thing might be true is that you might find something that is related to what you’re trying to do on the pathway of getting there. And so once you start down this path of looking towards your goal, working on your Etsy shop, starting a business downtown, you might find, yep, it’s right, I did not end up liking that thing. But you know what I found out? I really like doing this other thing. And so maybe you’ll actually find your next big passion in life because you went down this path. So it’s never why bother. It’s always worth the small experiment to try to see if you can get what you wanna get and to figure out what you learned along the way. I just need to read one more book. And that’s me too. Boy, if I could just read one more dieting book, if I could look at one more exercise book, if I could just learn one more thing, I’m sure I will eat better the next day. And the truth of it is, I’ve read a lot of books, I’ve learned a lot of things, I’ve taken a lot of classes, and you know what? When I don’t wanna lose weight, I don’t lose weight. It doesn’t matter whether I read another book, chances are you know What the next step in your goal is You could read another book and it might teach you some things But the point of it is is that you could start today with the knowledge you have right now and do some good Move towards your goal. Of course read a book if you want to read a book But you can start right now without reading one more book. I Must have total success or this will be a failure And the truth of it is that total success or the perfect ideal of what we wanted is Not the opposite of failure If we try something new maybe we’ll have a partial success and it’ll be pretty darn good Maybe we won’t have success at all, but we’ll learn something amazing about how to do it better the next time There is no such thing as failure unless you give up that’s failure But not succeeding in a goal is a step towards your goal. It’s just a rocky road It’s just up and down but Having some failures or not getting what you want on your initial try is not a failure unless you stop entirely. I Will start tomorrow. Nope, you won’t start tomorrow start right now. Just start I’m fine. Are you fine? Is that a lie? You’re telling yourself? I don’t need those things in my life because I’m fine. I remember someone told me they didn’t need another job because they’re perfectly fine the way they are. And I thought, well, you need a little bit more money. You wish you had a job you like better and you wish you had a job that had better benefits. That doesn’t sound like you’re fine. That sounds like you have some good solid reasons about why you should move on and get a better job. I’m entitled the world owes me and boy that is a nasty lie We tell ourselves that the world owes you something because if you believe that’s true You won’t work hard. He won’t work towards what you get I remember once my dad lost his job and when I asked him what he was doing to get another job Primarily out of curiosity because I was just a kid and I didn’t know he said well I I fought for this country in the military. I’ve worked all these jobs. Now it’s time for them to give back to me.” And I said, “Well, who’s them?” And it was pretty much the world. The world owed him. The world owed him a better job. And so that meant that he didn’t have to look for a new job. He was going to sit there and pout on the couch until… “Hi there, sir. We have a brand new job. It’s here on the silver platter. Please, I hope you take it. Anytime you feel entitled to something, it just means that you don’t believe you have to work toward something. I can’t be different. I have to be like everyone else who has done this. And the truth of the matter is, is yes, over the course of years, a lot of times people figure out ways of losing weight, getting in shape, getting a better job, working on a new business, starting a podcast. There’s all these best practices that are out there. But in order for it to be successful in your life, you’re going to have to give it a branding of your own. You’re going to have to make it a you thing and somehow take what you have in your experience and what you have to offer and make it different. If you’re going to start a hardware store and it’s going to be like every other hardware store on the planet, it might not be successful. Even if that’s the exact way every hardware store is, exactly like this. When you make a hardware store that looks a little bit like you, you’ll come up with creative ideas of how to make that hardware store the best hardware store possible. And it’ll be something that will be successful because you brought you to this fight and it made it something that’s special that you did that no one else could do. So my challenge to you is to start writing down five lies that you tell yourself frequently. Write them down. Are you the worst? No, you’re not the worst. Is it too late for you? Nope, it’s not too late either. But start writing them down and coming up with why those items are in fact lies. So now this is the part where we would have our fun entertainment advice of the week. But I’ll tell you what, I started getting pulled down from social media because of the quotes inside of the podcast coming in from movies and television shows.

And so I think I’m going to have to stop doing the fun entertainment advice of the week. In thinking about it, I decided what I will do instead is have some episodes of this podcast that will talk about fun entertainment advice and actually go into a little bit more depth about. funny situations where people got themselves stuck, or some interesting ways people found to get themselves unstuck. But I will try to do some more entertainment advice as entire episodes instead of just a quick one minute fun thing. So thank you very much everyone. I appreciate the fact you’re listening. Please remember that you can email me at jill@smallstepspod.com. I’m always happy to answer questions or cover a topic you’re interested in hearing. And then you can also tell your friends that they can stop lying to themselves and start achieving what they’re hoping to achieve by taking small steps. (upbeat music) you

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