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10 Ways To Let Go Of The Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself

10 Ways To Let Go Of The Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself

We all lie to ourselves. Every day. President Obama, Billy Graham, Harrison Ford, Oprah, me, you. Yes, even you.

We all lie to ourselves. Let me show you:

  • Your boss asks you to change the way you do something at work. Your first instinct is to conclude you aren’t good at your job.
  • Your daughter cries because you are not able to take her to her friend’s house and she has to stay home. Something whispers to you that you really are a bad parent.
  • Your sweetheart is withdrawn and distant lately and you are wondering what you did to make them angry with you. You just know it’s your fault.

As famed life coach Tony Robbins claims, “It’s not the situation, it’s the meaning we give it that makes all the difference.” And that meaning, if more negative than positive, can destroy your self-confidence, your courage and your relationships. This is big-time, life-changing stuff I’m talking about here.

Let’s narrow it down into the simplest of pictures. Did you know that every lie we hold within our hearts about ourselves fits underneath the umbrella of these two statements: “I am not enough. And if I am not enough, I will not be loved.”

So how do you reveal and then let go of the lies you’ve been telling yourself? (And – good news – change your life forever with the truth!) Here are 10 ways:

1. Let go by listening to what your body and your head are telling you.

When the lies are talking, you will know because you will feel a tension growing somewhere in the region of your stomach. Your jaw will tighten and you will find yourself becoming defensive in the middle of whatever is happening at the moment.

This is when you must back up and ask the major question, “Why am I reacting like this?”

You will hear statements such as, “I am an idiot,” or “This is just like the last time,” or “I may as well give up!”

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2. Let go by confronting what you hear head on – don’t hide.

When the lies raise their ugly heads, you automatically respond.

Most of us run from them by giving ourselves a treat. It may be your favorite drink, a festival of sugar, a few too many hours of escape into movies or a book. Oprah’s favorite, as we have all heard her talk about, was eating everything and anything and calling it comfort food.

The secret here is to observe yourself. What is happening? Where do I hide so I will feel better when I feel guilty or inadequate?

Confronting means to figure out the secret plan your heart is using to avoid things. So face it – bravely.

3. Let go by honestly asking yourself the tough questions.

They are called tough questions because that’s what they are. Tough. To face them requires courage.

Don’t mess around. Cut right to the root. Ask yourself, “Do I believe I am enough? Do I have what it takes?” Secondly, ask, “Am I afraid I won’t be loved (or applauded/appreciated/valued)?” If you don’t like the answers to these questions, then don’t stop there.

Freedom is wrapped up in the ‘why’ you would come to that conclusion. There will be two or three incidents in your past, maybe as far back as preschool or early elementary school. These left you with the conclusion that you were not enough and so you are most likely unlovable.

Every hurtful obstacle after that reinforced this by driving this idea in deeper and deeper. It’s like a furrow was being dug in your mind.

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However, there’s hope! It lies in the destruction of the root and in shushing the lies. It means digging a new furrow.

4. Let go by becoming your own greatest ally, best friend and confidante.

Deep in your heart you want someone to affirm that you are enough, that you are lovable and are loved. But, even if you find 10 people who tell you these things over and over and mean it, you won’t believe them because you don’t believe for yourself. Ironic, isn’t it? They offer what you need and you reject it.

So, you must make friends with ‘you.’ Become your own partner and cheerleader. You must be the first to be consistently there for yourself through thick and thin. You must be the one to promise to do everything possible to care for and to guard your vulnerable, soft underbelly. After all, who would understand who you are better than you?

5. Let go by enjoying a hot air balloon ride up above the road map of your life.

Seeing only what is in front of you can make the moment seem as if it’s going to last forever. I like the imaginative picture of climbing into a hot air balloon and letting yourself gently lift up high above the spot on the path where you are. It’s so quiet up there.

Look around. You can see forever!

Imagine the bird’s eye view of the path before and the path to come. And all sorts of beautiful areas around it not seen from the ground.

While you are up there, mark a giant X on the places where those incidents happened that left you with your false conclusions. This will remind you from here on in of why you believe what you do about yourself.

Now look to the road ahead. From way up here, you can set the course for the future. Feel excited about that!

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6. Let go by determining to focus on building your strengths not your weaknesses.

Counteract the lies by recognizing all that you are instead of focusing on all that you are not.

I am not a great cook or seamstress, but once I learned to tell myself, “That’s OK. I have strengths in other areas,” I began to grow those other places instead. It no longer mattered that I couldn’t do everything well. You can become great at what you love to do. Simply put, those are your strengths.

7. Let go by standing tall, shoulders back, eyes straight ahead.

As silly as it may seem, how you hold your body matters. Remember the tension that comes when the lies are talking? Zoom in right now on your shoulders. Are they slumped just a little as you are reading this?

Try this: Pull yourself up tall, shoulders back. Lift your chin a bit as if you had the confidence of a warrior or strong leader or a princess. Now say, “I am enough and I will figure this out.”

Something feels different right away. You have just experienced an easy but important first step in resisting the lies you tell yourself.

8. Let go by looking those lies right in the eye and telling them to go sit in the corner and eat a cookie.

You will hear the lies every time you perceive you are being criticized or rejected. I am truly sorry to tell you this but they are part of life and they will never go away completely.

That being said, the upside is that you can learn to tell them who’s boss. I have begun to picture them as little, blue, hairy cartoon characters who are prattling on at the most inconvenient times. I just say to them, “Yes, I hear you but I am too busy to listen right now. Go over there in the corner and eat a cookie. I’ll deal with you later.”

Then I go on with my day being the strong person I am and doing what I know I need to do.

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9. Let go by diminishing the need for significance and shifting your focus to growing and giving.

It’s all about focus. Is it most important to you that you are praised for what you do or that you are serving others around you out of the strength your difficulties have built into you?

Instead of worrying about what your boss is thinking, concentrate on how you can help them build their business to be the best.

Instead of stressing over whether or not you are a bad parent, reassure your child that you love them as high as the moon and you want to see them happy. Help them to understand that sometimes life disappoints us and how they can deal with that.

Instead of wondering if you have blown it again with the one you love, take a good look at your partner and ask yourself how you could bring a smile to their face today. Talk to them and listen to what’s truly going on.

Shift from it being all about you and let it be about serving others around you. The lies can actually build a rich compassion into you when you realize that everyone you meet is going through the same thing inside.

10. Let go by keeping your eyes and your feet moving forward – leave your past behind.

Your past does not define you no matter who left you or what someone did to you. What truly defines you is what you do from this moment on and how much you are willing to fall down and get back up again, wiser and deeper each time. Greatness comes from learning not from perfection.

Diminish the past to the size of a rear-view mirror in a vehicle. It’s there and you can see it, even check it for information, but to drive forward with your eyes riveted there would be disaster. Looking out the wide windshield, instead, will take you to the wild adventures of the fulfilled life. Not to mention the beautiful scenery and interesting surprises that are waiting to be discovered along the way.

Forgive, let go and be thankful for all that the past has taught you. Quiet down the lies to white noise in the background and replace them with the beautiful music of living focused on love and compassion instead.

How have you triumphed over those lies trying to hold you back from all you have to live? Please share in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Image credit: zavulonya / 123RF Stock Photo via submit.123rf.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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