Are Your Stories Keeping You From the Truth?
You’ve put in the effort, prepared and dedicated time and you’re still not seeing the results you’d like. Some of these stories may assimilate your situations or literally be the following:
- It’s been three months and you still haven’t come close to your weight loss targets despite your stated efforts in working out every day.
- You scored low on your AP Physics exam – and your studying claims for the weeks in preparation seems daunting.
- Your sales numbers are low – despite the fact that you said you spent many hours on the training webinars and are making the sales calls.
Like I said, they’re just stories. Ones that you keep telling your friends, family and colleagues and that you’re even starting to believe yourself. But the operative word here is “real”. And the real stories are:
- You did not “work out” every day. But you have walked around the block a few times this past week and went to the gym twice in the past two weeks. Close to your story? Umm, yeah, in a hand grenade way – you threw it in the direction it needed to go and may or may not have completed the objective.
- You’ve spent more of your study time on TikTok and Instagram than you have on your actual AP Physics homework. But hey, you did study something, right?
- You’ve crippled your way through less than a quarter of the phone calls that the training webinar recommended. But you did say you were “making the sales calls” (just not how many).
Do You Have A False Sense of Self?
If you were honest with yourself, you wouldn’t play the martyr to your situation and stating your own versions of, “I’m the next American Idol!”. As comedic as some of those outtakes of the young and naive Millennial contestants whose false sense of self, likely contributed from their parents are, I hope they have gotten in touch with some healthy and honest truth. And if youth sports organizations are still giving out participation ribbons or 10th place trophies for just showing up, God help us all. At least tell our children that there is only 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Olympics – that might help.
Or perhaps there are other reasons why you don’t tell the real story. Pride, embarrassment, hypocrisy, or blasphemy to your own touted achieving statements [insert your own reasons here]. Or maybe you have Anosognosia. A term used for describing medical and health conditions, meaning:
The lack of ability to perceive the realities of one’s own condition. It’s a person’s inability to accept that they have a condition that matches up with their symptoms or a formal diagnosis.
– Anosognosia Definition
Self-Honesty Is Liberating
OK so you’re not that detached from the realities of yourself and situation. That’s good. Because being dishonest is disabling. Ask someone who is open and quite revealing of themselves and expose their humility for all to see. No, don’t ask them. Just watch them and look at their faces. Chances are they are liberated and quite happy people. When you meet them you’ll feel compelled to ask them what they do in hopes you can make a career change to their job (if it doesn’t require a doctorate). As the term says, “The Truth will set you free” and that’s what they are – free. My best friend is one of those people. He has a name, but we’ll call him what I call him, “Shagger”. It’s short for “Sheep Shagger”, which is what one calls another childhood friend in true brotherhood kinship with Welsh lineage.
He worked for a small electronics company when he was just starting out after college and sold electronics components, wire harnesses, etc. He went to a client who showed him large blue prints layed out on a drafting board, displaying the intricacies of the circuitry specifications. The engineer was spouting off all kinds of terminology and parts needed, so Scott, um, Shagger asked the man if he could take the blue prints with him. He was obliged and walked in through his company door spouting, “I don’t know what I’m doing! I need help figuring things out.” It’s this humility that gave way for other people to jump in to help him. No ego. Just trying to get his stuff done. When I heard the story at that time, I would have never thought to do that and would let my ego get in the way to never admitting I didn’t know anything.
Focus Your Energy on Doing For Good.
“To hide a lie, a thousand lies are needed.”. And you know that one lie leads to another lie. Even the smallest of white lies takes energy to continue with the lie. And then it hijacks your energy. But Mark Twain said it best: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain Random, old writer dude w/ bad hair That means you’ll have more energy to put into the things that matter, stuff you need to do, and the energy to make you happier.
Here Are Three Things To Get You To Self-Honesty:
- Take this Self-Honesty exam or this one to see where you are. It has been said that honest self-evaluation is one of the hardest skills to master.
- Write down your untrue stories you tell your friends, family and colleagues of why some things aren’t happening then, modify them to the authentic and true story and be real about it.
- Openly admit with your friends, family and colleagues of your real story. Don’t think, just say it. Try your best to be vulnerable. Says the leaders on vulnerability, “…vulnerability doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger.”
Remember, these dishonest stories can get elaborate, grow and evolve like the Poison Fire Coral fungus, which, ironically, can literally shrink your brain by just touching it. So get the real story out there, own it and contribute to the next better version of you.
Chris Escobar is a coach for introverts and also enjoys helping teams become efficient. He resides in San Jose California with his amazing wife Boom Boom, two almost-automous teenagers: Zolie and Evanusky, and sassy Bichon, Lola.