Getting caught up in your own lies can devalue your sense of self-worth, distort your view of reality and negatively affect your close relationships. Here are 10 ways to stop lying to yourself and become a better, more honest you!
1. Stop taking constructive criticism as a personal attack.
There is a difference between being an overly critical bully and an honest and helpful friend. If someone you consider a friend gives you a bit of honest, somewhat critical advice, you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it. The issues we are most unsure about tend to be the issues we get the most defensive and emotional about when confronted with ideas that challenge our opinions.
2. Stop trying to convince everyone that you’re right.
Some people can be swayed on some opinions some of the time. But if you believe something passionately that someone else passionately disagrees with, you are never going to change their mind. Maybe if you talk about it long enough and with enough research backing your statements, he or she will say they agree with you. But they’re probably thinking to themselves that it’s not true, and resenting you for not letting them have their own opinion.
3. Realize that the fun is in the effort.
Face it: very few people get to claim they are “the best” at something and really mean it—olympic athletes, perhaps, and maybe some classically-trained musicians or chefs at three-star Michelin restaurants. However, most of the time, there’s always going to be someone better than you at any task you may try to accomplish. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Even if you are not the world’s best pianist or even the biggest wine connoisseur in your hometown , it doesn’t mean there’s not still enjoyment to be had in that activity. And if things were only worth doing if you’re the best, how would you ever try doing something new?
4. Take chances.
Everyone gets scared sometimes, and that’s not a bad thing. Fear keeps us from doing stupid things or getting into situations that may harm or kill us, and it has been essential in our development as a species. But fear can do more harm than good when we’re artificially creating it to avoid unpleasant situations. Next time you start to worry about something, take a deep breath and decide whether or not it’s something worth getting worked up about.
5. Stop putting things off until tomorrow.
Really? What’s going to change? And how? If you don’t set out concrete steps for yourself and really narrow down exactly what is going to change and how, tomorrow will be exactly the same as today. Don’t let yourself fall back upon old habits instead of striving for the change you wish to embody.
6. Quit doubting yourself.
Age is what you make of it. Are you really too old to make new friends or take up a new hobby? Chances are, you’re not, and you would be happier if you made the attempt. Don’t start telling yourself you are too old to try new things; if you live for another decade or more, that’s over a decade that you’ve been telling yourself you’re too old to do them.
7. Consider others’ points of view.
It is easy to develop a kind of selective understanding of reality that allows you only to believe what you already suspect to be true. Before you get upset at someone for doing something you wouldn’t have done, stop and try to consider their reasoning. You can even ask them for their side of the story. Chances are, they had a good reason that you simply overlooked.
8. Realize when you’ve taken on too much.
Learning when to say no is an important skill and happiness tool. Some of us are driven to take on more than we can quite chew—whether that means at work, or perhaps even in helping organize an event for a school fundraiser on your own. Truly acknowledge whether or not you have the time or energy to take on a task before accepting it, and if you can’t, don’t be afraid to say no. Chances are, you’re not going to hurt anyone’s feelings by saying no every now and then.
9. Don’t give up.
Sometimes we can be a little quick to admit defeat. Before giving up, stop to consider your options. There may be another way.
10. Don’t ignore your feelings.
If you have to tell yourself you don’t care, chances are, you do. Instead of turning a cold shoulder on a friend or loved one, admit that you are hurt. While you may not change their mind, you may find an unexpected compromise.