The Key To Improving Your Life & Relationships
Have you ever been listening to someone and at the same time thinking: “Just get to the point already!” You know they want to ask something of you or tell you something, and you know they’re uncomfortable, and yet they still keep talking and taaalllllking as if somehow the blabbering explanation or story will make it better?
Have you ever stopped to think how much you do that? I mean the rambling or exaggerating or flat out making-things-up (lying) about things for the sake of a good story… Have you ever stopped to notice how much you do that to avoid pissing someone off or having someone think poorly of you?
A few years ago Advertising Standards Canada came up with a great commercial that demonstrated that. There was a girl climbing out her bedroom window when her dad walked in and caught her. Immediately a sign dropped that said “I was going to the library” and then ridiculous interpretive dancers came into the scene to try and distract the dad from the truth. The tagline at the end was “Dressing it up doesn’t make it true”.
Click here to view.
I saw it again the other day and it reminded me how much we do that in life, how much we pretend that we’re not pretending – or lie about things and lie to ourselves about not lying. We are constantly saying things that have been ‘edited’ so the “truth” will be acceptable to those around us, or fudging the truth about what we’ve done or are doing.
Sometimes we even do it to ourselves! Ignore how many calories we’re consuming when we’re on a diet. Ignore how much something costs when we’re on a budget. Make excuses for the way someone is treating us because we don’t want to deal with the tough conversation (and potential break-up) that would result from us standing up for ourselves and speaking our truth. Pretend that we can deal with the stress of our job because we’re afraid that we won’t find anything better… It’s happening all the time all around us.
On an even more pervasive level, have you been really honest with yourself about the way you (might) pretend and edit your life and present a dressed-up image to the world – especially through social media these days? That can be really harmful to your sense of self as it’s blatant fraud and that will erode self-esteem faster than just about anything else, and it’s self-perpetrated which makes it even harder to recover from.
If you get really honest with yourself, you’ll probably find you dress up your thoughts and feelings more than you think. Try on these decorated truths as examples:
“Sure I can do that for you.” When the reality is you have WAY better things to do with your time and energy, you just didn’t want to risk making someone upset by saying no.
“I’m going to _(location)_ for a girls/boys night out!” When the truth is you want an excuse to be there on the off chance So-and-so is there and then it will look like a coincidence that you ran into each other.
“It’s not a big deal, we can _____ another time.” When the truth is you’re really upset, inconvenienced, or disappointed that you’re being put-off.
“You sound tired so I’m going to let you go.” How many times have you heard or said this in your lifetime?! When you know the truth is YOU were the one that was tired – quite likely tired of the conversation – but you just didn’t know how to be honest without hurting feelings.
And my all-time favorite:
“No problem…” When the reality is you’re fuming with the inconvenience this will create for you.
Why do we do this?
Sometimes it’s an ingrained response in an effort to be polite. More often it’s because it’s easier than dealing with the impact of telling the truth, especially in our intimate relationships and close friendships. We pretend to ourselves that we’re ok with the way someone treats us, thinks of us, and speaks to us when the truth is we’re not ok with it at all.
Have you ever considered the impact of this behaviour on YOU?
The truth is carrying around the ‘secret-knowing’ that you’re not being true to yourself is like an anchor weighing you down! The more of this stuff you have in your life, the more stress and dissatisfaction you’ll experience.
Awhile back I decided to come clean with myself about all of the places I was saying one thing and doing another in my life – essentially look at all the places I was out of integrity with myself. It turned out there were a number of places where I had really been turning a blind eye to the truth and as a result, struggling a lot.
As I went through the process of cleaning up my messes and restoring my integrity with myself, I had to make some really hard choices. When I got really straight with myself, there were a number of relationships that I needed to make some drastic changes to. There were also some significant relationships in my life that needed to end. That was really hard… and on the other side looking back I can say it was really freeing!
What I noticed after the fact was that by keeping the pretending alive in my life, I wasn’t just struggling in those specific areas that I was out of integrity. I noticed that my broken-integrity was seeping into other areas and creating some chaos and drama in a lot of my life. The good news is that relatively quickly after I started the cleanup process, everything started to flow and the speed at which I felt better everywhere was quite amazing!
I’m not complete yet. I still have a few areas I’m working on, however, just the act of acknowledging what is the real truth and what’s the decorated truth has made a huge difference already.
What are you pretending about? What are some truths you need to speak and come clean about? Don’t wait a minute longer… every moment you stay stuck in a story that your authentic truth knows isn’t true is another moment you don’t get to live your life for yourself – free and authentically.
Psssst… Yeah, I’m talking to you… You know you’ve been reading these posts for a long time and you’ve been thinking about doing something to make a change in how you feel in your own skin and in your life… It’s time. It’s time for you to pull the trigger and make a change for the better. Get in touch and let’s have a quick chat about what’s possible and what my special spring package can do for you!
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