“What you think, you become.”
We’ve heard the “think yourself rich” stuff for a long time. Gurus have sold us all for decades on how to make it work for us like they did. If you could just think different you could be a millionaire, own a jet and build a huge business. I’m sure most of us check out when we hear that – I know I have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to someone selling hype. BUT (with a big but) I think there is truth in the principle of self perspective when it has to do with the way we think about ourselves- especially when it comes to us thinking about our own value in life.
We are WAY to hard on ourselves. Have you ever had someone belittle themselves convinced of a lie that they believe about themselves that you don’t even remotely believe? It manifests itself more when we hear or see people’s actions. How could they do that? Why are they always in a funk, in trouble, hurting themselves and others? Lies. They are believing and acting out lies about themselves that they’ve come to believe that are simply not true. They aren’t worth it, they should feel guilty and ashamed, they don’t matter, etc.
I was at a luncheon once that was raising resources and awareness to rescue women from sex trafficking. In this horrific practice, the “pimp” that would introduce and keep women in the sex trade would start with a subtle lie about their value. These are women who you would NEVER think in a million years would consider anything like this.Then they’d continue to build the lies until the point where they’d convince these women that their only value is to sell themselves. It is sick and twisted – yet it demonstrates that what we end up believing about ourselves (true or not) will manifest itself into reality. Once we believe it, it is very easy to become it.
Here are the top 3 ways it creeps into our lives and keeps us from all our potential:
We believe other’s lies about ourselves.
We live in a harsh world with a lot of broken people. Angry, frustrated, mean and hurting people. In relationships, scenarios and situations we encounter a lot of false information. One person’s opinion doesn’t define us. When I was in middle school I was a bit of a class clown. I felt that was where I got the most self esteem and people looked at me as someone that was funny but not smart. I played “dumb” a lot and that believe actually impacted all my output in school and many relationships. I remember one scenario where another peer strait asked me – Why are you acting dumb? You’re not dumb.” It completely shattered me. I thought to myself – he’s right what am I doing? Just that pivot changed a ton of things in my life. We have to diligently filter other’s input against what we know is true about ourselves.
We internalize these lies and wire them into our reality.
Usually as a second stage of believing the lies other people spin, we internalize their belief. We think, “..they said that so it must be true”. STOP. People say a lot of things that aren’t true – especially immature, emotional defunct people. Think about bullying. Did you have any bullies when you were growing up? Bullies hurt a lot of people but usually when you dig deeper most are really immature hurting people inside. They are trying to numb the pain in their lives by taking it out on others.
I remember this guy from highschool that I felt was always picking on me for some reason – acne, weight, you name it. This dude was such a jerk. He hurt me with his words and comments when I was prob most vulnerable and it took me a long time to get over it. Some of the stuff he said I felt just replayed in my head. Lies.
I found out later that he was physically abused pretty badly by his parents all through school. When I heard that, it just broke my heart in a way that I never thought I’d feel for this person. I went from resentment to compassion.
I believed some of the lies that he told me and for a long time because I made them my own. They kept me from seeking my full potential. Just because someone says it, doesn’t mean it’s true or that it defines who you are.
We build our lives based on other people.
We’ve all heard the phrase “keep up with the Jones'”. It has to do with building our lives and making decisions around what other people think or how we think we look to other people. Facebook feeds this desire. Everyone seems so perfect that we feel like our lives aren’t matching up – but behind the scenes everyone is broken and struggling just like the next person.
Why does this destroy our potential? Because it keeps us from being who we really are, making the unique contribution to our world only we can make and it perpetuates this belief system.
Thing about when someone is just real – an unadulterated “what you see is what you get” kind of person. It is almost refreshing. That is because we are drawn to authentic people – they feel “real”. Authenticity has become so rare in our world but so attractive.
To sum it up:
Evaluate what lies you might be believing from your past and debunk them. Curate a positive self image and be yourself. The world needs you and what you bring to the table. You are valuable!