Denial: Stop lying to yourself.
We lie to ourselves over trivial things, whether it’s you’ll go to bed an hour early or you won’t be on your phone today or will minimise your usage or you’ll exercise tomorrow, these statements you tell yourself don’t have lasting consequences, these can be more detrimental to you than small white lies. These lies can be deeply ingrained into your unconscious mind, affecting your behaviour, the way you think and the way you feel. Once these lies become ingrained you don’t recognise them as you see them as the truth.
A few misconceptions you should be aware of about lying to yourself:
- If X happens, Y will automatically happen. Assuming a change in circumstances (e.g. a new job) will automatically make you happy is a big misconception, that can easily set you up for a fall. This doesn’t take into account that your own unhappiness is contributing towards you being unhappy elsewhere
- You can help someone even if he/she doesn’t want your help. It’s a great thing to want to help someone and know how to do it, but it’s near enough impossible to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. Forcing someone to think, act, behave or change in a certain way, will result in that person feeling angry, resentful and can even cause him/her to lash out at you because it can cause him/her to feel controlled. Accepting people are a certain way, supporting them if they ask for it is your best strategy.
- I’ll start tomorrow. It’s an avoidance tactic, not to have to implement any changes right now and putting them off until tomorrow. Your mind and body get used to things and will look for excuses for you not do something because it’s not used to it, and it doesn’t feel comfortable implementing and sticking to the change. Convincing yourself that it has to be a fresh start before you start to implement any change, can be classed as black and white thinking, which is a negative thinking pattern.
- He/she didn’t mean it. We make a lot of excuses for people’s behaviours, especially those we love. It makes it easier for you not to take things personally and look over what was said, allowing you to justify it in your own mind, easing the pain and hurt. Everyone makes mistakes and looking past these and forgiving people creates healthy relationships however when it’s a pattern of behaviour and it’s the same thing over and over again, it’s a reflection of who they are, which can be different from what you want them to be.