The Lies We Tell Ourselves Seem Like the “Truth” … Until We Realize They Aren’t
What is the biggest lie you are telling yourself right now?Is it about money, sex, an addiction, how you are living your relationships? Before you read this post, I want to suggest something radical: You don’t know what the biggest lie you’re telling yourself is, because right now it seems like the TRUTH. If someone challenged one of our false beliefs right now, we might sound like Atticus Finch defending it in an oratory that would bring our audience to tears … We might be worthy of an Academy Award in how passionately we would defend our limitations as the TRUTH … and still it’s not the truth.
Let’s start out softly here before we get into the hard core tough love. Many of us are very defensive about our limiting beliefs, and especially we will defend to the death our self-deceptions about money, sex, the people and ideas that make us uncomfortable, and relationships … So to show you that I’m not preaching from a pulpit on high … I want to begin this article with a personal story. I want you to see just how convinced I was how TRUE was the lie I was telling myself. And what it took for me to see through my own baloney to the truth …
“It’s my cat’s fault.”
One of the biggest lies I told myself for a long time – and we will get to this one in a minute because a lot of people have it – is that I was “not good at business.” This crippling limiting belief kept me stuck in stifling institutions for most of my life. Like so many people, I slaved away at school or jobs with very little freedom because I didn’t think I could do any better. I didn’t believe in my ability to create a really amazing life without someone holding my hand and telling me what to do. And yet what is even stranger is how when I finally broke free from my day job and officially became a location-independent entrepreneur … I still wasn’t free.
And that brings us to the first of the twelve biggest lies we tell ourselves:
1. “I Can’t Because of My Responsibilities”
I was not free and could not travel the world … because it was my cat’s fault. Lol, no … *really* it was my cat’s fault. Here I was – miraculously – with no day job, a really solid income from my location-independent internet-based business. I had what most people only dream of having. In theory I could immediately started traveling the world, living anywhere, having adventures. But I didn’t. Oh, I spent more time at my cabin in the Lake Tahoe area for sure. But for two years I never left the United States and barely traveled within the country.
Why? Well, I had this bulletproof story about how I had to take care of my cats. The excuses were all piled up on one another. If I were going to leave the country, I would want to go for two weeks at least and probably four. A cat sitter would only come twice a day so I just *couldn’t* leave the cats alone that long without me. Nobody could take as good of care of them as me. My only option would be to give them away to someone else, and I couldn’t do that because I had made a COMMITMENT to my cats. Blah blah blah lol.
It reminds me of this quote from A Course in Miracles:
“Prisoners bound with heavy chains for years, starved and emaciated, weak and exhausted, and with eyes so long cast down in darkness they remember not the light, do not leap up in joy the instant they are made free. It takes a while for them to understand what freedom is.”
Here I was an empowerment coach with a thriving business and no day job, helping lots of people reach beyond their limiting beliefs. And I could not leave the state because of my cats. To me, it seemed like the absolute TRUTH. In fact, I even made up the story that I didn’t want to travel. I was perfectly happy just staying at home. That’s how deep the lies went. Never once did I think that maybe, just MAYBE, there could be some creative option that would allow me to have EVERYTHING I wanted without any sacrifice.
It’s interesting how this lie came to be seen as the lie that it was. I often tell my clients that they can expect things sometimes to get worse before they get better. Well, the truth is I was feeling frustrated with my perceived imprisonment. It seemed really unfair that people like my ex could be running free all over the world while I was imprisoned in California. So I applied my coaching method to the situation and tapped on the unfairness and frustration.
That’s when something happened that I never expected. Everything got MUCH WORSE. One of my beloved cats Fritz the Cat developed severe kidney failure and almost died. When he did recover enough to come home, I was told by the veterinarian that I would have to give him subcutaneous fluids via hypodermic needle EVERY DAY for the rest of his supposedly short life. I told the vet that I did not think this was emotionally sustainable for us, and she told me I didn’t have any other options if I wanted him to live as long as possible.
SLAM! went the prison door. Already feeling stifled by the caretaking of my cats, now my life had suddenly turned into sheer drudgery. Not only could I not leave my home for a few days … I couldn’t leave at all. Who was going to come by to feed them AND inject him with subcutaneous fluids every day when he wouldn’t even cooperate with me giving them. I spent entire days dreading the moment when I would have to drag him into the bathroom and stick a needle into his neck. He would fight me the whole time, and I would get stabbed with the needle, or we would have to use three needles in one night and I was brought to tears over and over again. I was at the end of my rope and feeling totally hopeless and very upset.
Well, now I had a very stark choice. I could do what most caretakers of “kidney cats” do and resign myself to the veterinarian’s limiting beliefs and our cruel fate. Or I could take charge of the situation and find a new way. Ironically, it was our extreme health crisis that finally gave me enough motivation to break our way to freedom.
Fritz the Cat and I made up our minds that we simply were not going to live this way, as chronic patient and caretaker in a co-dependent death spiral. We just weren’t going to do it. And in my heart, death was never a solution. My Fritz deserved to live, and he deserved to live a happy and healthy life. So I resolved instead to go all the way the other direction, and do what the vet had told us was impossible: we were going to get him healed. I used Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as EFT tapping – read more about it here) and tapped my rear end off for several months, and his test results improved and improved … until on intuition I took him off subcutaneous fluids. And miraculously, six weeks later, the veterinarian – who had told me it was not possible he would ever be off subcutaneous fluids, AGREED WITH ME that he didn’t need them anymore. If you’ve ever had a cat with kidney failure, you know one of the biggest problems is getting them to eat. I’m happy to report that we have the OPPOSITE problem. Fritz the Cat wants to eat so much and so often that if I didn’t ration his food, he would soon be looking more like a whale than a cat :)
(By the way, if you want to improve your health or your pet’s health with EFT tapping, I have several products for that including the 30-Day Health & Fitness Challenge. Feel free to private message me for more information.)
Woo hoo!! It wasn’t all a bed of roses after that, as I was still giving him extra water in his meals three times a day just to make it easy on his kidneys, but at least now there was some light in the situation. And I had gone so stir crazy that I finally came up with an idea that I could have had from the beginning … if I had not been BLINDED by my own self-deception. I could get someone to come and STAY at my home, take care of my home office, the mail, the plants, watch over everything … and also take care of my cats.Thus, a full TWO YEARS after quitting my day job, I finally took my first trip abroad to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for a month last April and May. And it felt SO liberating that I decided to do it again in September in October with a Simplify Your Life in 30 Days with EFT Tapping. It took me two full years to see through my own self-deception and come up with a creative solution that would give me everything I wanted. What I thought might be “bad” for my cats turned out to be great for all of us. We all became way less co-dependent. My cats became more comfortable with strangers, and I stopped micro-managing because I couldn’t. I was half a world a way with no easy way to get back … I had to LET GO. And eventually I did.
Here’s the real shocker. I thought it would be hard to get people to volunteer to do this for me. Why did I ever think that? I have prime living space in California … it turns out that LOTS of people want this job of taking care of my home … and my next extended trip abroad is probably just around the corner. Problem solved. Freedom discovered. Now I truly HAD become a location-independent entrepreneur.
So now that I have shared just how completely SNOWED I was by my own baloney, and how radically UNTRUE it turned out to be … I hope all of you will read this list of the 12 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves with an open mind. Open to the possibility that the more you want to defend one of the lies below, the more you need to let it go to find the freedom and happiness that is your birthright …
“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” – Brene Brown
I had to let go of my micro-managing and my fear about my cat’s health in order to travel abroad … What fear do YOU need to let go of to be living the life you really want instead of the life you are settling for?
2. “I Can’t Afford It”
Oh, this is almost everyone’s favorite lie. It’s not any more true than the lie I was telling myself that “I’m not good at sales.” It turned out that when I wanted to be, I could be pretty damn amazing at sales. I made $250,000 in six months at a time when my website was only getting 1500 monthly visitors. Most internet entrepreneurs would say that result is IMPOSSIBLE because you HAVE TO have more web traffic to make that kind of money. It’s not impossible … because I did it (How to Attract Money with EFT Tapping).
It’s not true that you “can’t afford it.” Perhaps you haven’t become motivated enough to afford it. Perhaps you’re still sleeping in your parents’ basement in a hopelessly co-dependent relationship and haven’t looked yourself in the mirror lately to ask “why am I doing this to myself”? Perhaps you’re too scared to tell us the real fears behind the knee-jerk “I can’t afford it.” Perhaps you’re still telling yourself that because of the country you live in, or your family background, or whatever other excuse there is, you somehow are the one special snowflake who can’t take advantage of our now global economy and build an internet business FROM ANYWHERE …
I don’t care how “bulletproof” your story is that you “can’t afford it” … it’s baloney. It’s just as much baloney as “It’s my cat’s fault.” If you want it enough, you will find a way to afford it. Get in the habit of saying “I want” or “I don’t want” rather than “I can’t afford it.” It’s more honest and it will help you get deeper into the real truth about why you are or are not doing something.
(By the way, if you need help with your limiting beliefs around money, this is one of my specialties. My starter product is the How to Attract Money with EFT Tapping)
3. “It’s Popular, So It Must Be A Good Thing”
We see this lie all the time, and there are so many examples of it that we will only mention a few here. It’s popular to watch television, does that make it helpful? It’s popular to be poor or barely getting by or deeply mired in debt – does that make it the right goal for you to have? It’s popular to give all your power away to so-called “scientists” and let them make all your decisions for you (we’ll get to that one in a moment). Have you ever heard of thinking for yourself?
It’s popular to believe that your veterinarian is some kind of “god,” and when they tell you that your beloved cat will NEVER recover and you’ll have to give him subcutaneous fluids with a needle indefinitely – and it’s popular to believe that is the TRUTH because some false god told you so.
It’s popular to believe that if your doctor tells you that you have a terminal illness, it’s actually true. And now you should spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to POISON your body with chemotherapy and radiation so you can squeeze a few more absolutely horrific days out of your pathetic little life.
It’s popular, but it’s not at all helpful. And it’s also not true. You make up your mind to get healed, and you’ll be healed.
It’s popular to get deeply into debt like I did going to graduate school, but it’s not at all wise in this day of the internet economy where you’d be better off starting your own business IMMEDIATELY.
SO STOP BUYING IN TO THIS BALONEY.
Almost without fail, the best decisions I’ve made in life and business were the ones that were the exact OPPOSITE of what everyone else thought I “should” do. Did Bill Gates stay in college? It’s “popular” to believe you have to graduate from college to be successful. Is it true? No, it’s not. It’s a lie.
All I can say is, stop doing what is popular and start thinking for yourself. Does it make sense? Do you want your life to suck? Then stop listening to everyone else’s limiting beliefs and believing they are the truth. #thinkforyourself
4. “Everyone Else Wants It, So I Should Want It Too”
This applies to everything. You look around and everyone wants that “prestigious” job. Almost everyone claims to want monogamy. A lot of people think they want a Ferrari, but have you thought for five seconds about what a pain in the rear end it’s going to be to maintain? I can pretty much guarantee you, you don’t actually want a Ferrari. It’s yet another golden handcuff that will imprison you. Whether it imprisons you because you have to garage it, worry about it getting scratched, or because you stupidly go deep into debt acquiring a totally impractical possession that won’t give you what you really want … you don’t actually want it.
Maybe you think you want what you think the Ferrari is going to get you. The approval of other people, the social confidence, the women. It won’t get you any of those things. I had a private client once who – before he started coaching with me – blew a whole bunch of money on a fancy sports car thinking it would solve his social problems. Wow, did he look back on that as an act of stupidity. It was inner game coaching with me that solved his social confidence problems. The car provided nothing but disillusionment.
Stop being hypnotized by magazines and television shows and marketing pitches … start a meditation practice, because nothing and I mean NOTHING will get you in touch faster with your REAL desires, which have nothing to do with worldly opinion, than a meditation practice. This goes back to #3 … #thinkforyourself
5. “That Person Annoys Me So I Should Cut Him/Her Out of My Life”
I’ve written extensively about this subject in other articles, so I’m not going to repeat it all here. For a really solid article on this topic, CLICK HERE. I keep negative people in my life to keep myself honest. They show me where I need to grow. If I had the people skills that I ultimately want to have, I could reach everyone. No exceptions. If I can’t reach someone, it’s because I need to develop better skills. If I can’t resolve a conflict with someone, and they are still upset with me, I am lying to myself if I cut that person out of my life. It means I need to address something in myself not avoid it. Sometimes I take breaks from “negative people,” improve my skills, and then I go back and try again. Because if I think it’s “the other person,” I’m lying to myself. If I start judging someone as mentally ill or “not worth my time” or even just “annoying,” I’m lying to myself.
6. “The Physical World Is Real”
It’s not. Everything you see is a projection of your mind. Which is why you cannot escape a “negative person” through avoidance. This is way too much to explain in this article. The way to understand this is through experience. Change the beliefs in your subconscious mind, and you will see the “physical world” change before your eyes. That is also why we can heal kidney failure with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping). The kidney failure was never real in the first place. All I had to do was change my mind about the outcome I wanted …
Yeah I know that’s a brain f*ck … and I ask you to try try try not to dismiss it out of hand. Sit with it. It just might be the best thing you ever do for your life to change your mind about this lie.
7. “If It’s Backed Up by ‘Science,’ It MUST Be True”
Oh Gawd, where can we begin? I don’t consider myself a stupid person. I grew up in a house of scientists and was taught science from an early age and of course I thought it was the “truth.” But boy was I annoyed in high school when I would read about the scientific studies that came in and out of fashion. One week you were supposed to eat all carbohydrates, the next week they changed their mind and it was protein, the next week they changed their mind again and it was fat … Science couldn’t make up its mind about anything. And as time went on, I noticed that people were able to use “science” to back up just about any ridiculous theory they wanted to bandy about …
This falls in the category of #thinkforyourself. If science were true, it would be consistent. I spent most of my life searching for ANY consistent belief system on this planet, and as far as I could tell it didn’t exist. Everything was relative. It was not until I finally found the ultra-powerful book A Course in Miracles that I said … ah yes … finally something that is believable. Finally something that is consistent.Science is a web of lies. I know it seems true. It’s not. If I had believed science, my cat would be dead. I chose not to believe science, and my cat is sitting here right now next to my computer with hearty appetite and high energy. And no needles.
Science would tell you that you have to spend hours at the gym and go on a diet to lose weight. Then how come I was able to do it with EFT tapping and no gym membership? Because I stopped believing in science a long, long time ago …
You think science is your friend. It’s not. It’s limiting your ability to live in absolute freedom. Its primary purpose should be as a guide for releasing ourselves and the rest of the planet from limiting beliefs.
And here’s another point. Are you aware that so-called “science” has been used throughout history to justify appalling practices like racism and sexism … and even genocide? It can be used to justify ANYTHING, that is how we know it’s not true.
Think for yourself, people. How many times has science told you something was true, only to be contradicted by another supposedly bulletproof study a few years later? It’s not true. None of it is true. What Is Holistic Belief Reprogramming?.
8. “God Is Dead, And Everyone Who Believes in God Is Manipulating People”
Boy, I’m on a roll here lol. The irony of the fact that science is more of a religion than religion is, is unfortunately lost on most people. And the ego wants you to believe that religion equals God. Because religion IS a disaster, and if you can believe that religion and God are the same thing, then you’ll never want to believe in God.
You are God. Religion was created to pretend that God is outside of us, and to bastardize God so completely that nobody would want to have anything to do with Him.
Think for yourself, people. Do you really think any religion that advocates stoning women to death for adultery could possibly have anything to do with God? No, it’s not God’s fault. Everything is just our beliefs. It is what WE MADE OF GOD with the ego mind that sucks. Start having a direct relationship with God, read A Course in Miracles, start stripping away your limiting beliefs and accepting divine guidance STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE without an intermediary … and watch how quickly you say to yourself … “ah I see, I was lying to myself all these years.” I am God, and I can fix this whole f*cking mess because I created it.
9. “I Feel Comfortable with What This Person Is Teaching, So It Must Be Good”
Yeah, the comfort zone is not our friend. Remember how it seemed SO TRUE that it was my cat’s fault I couldn’t travel? Comfort zone. I was really comfortable to stay home a lot, but I wasn’t free. Freedom means you have a choice, and you’re making a real choice. Not choosing something out of fear and baloney and excuses that you can’t even see through any more because you’ve been telling yourself the lies for so long … and piling lies on top of lies …
My rule of thumb is that if I’m too comfortable with it, it’s probably not good for me … and conversely …
The flip side of this lie is “I Feel UNcomfortable with What This Other Person Is Teaching, So It Must Be Bad”
Yes, most people on the planet are avoiding everything they really need to heal their lives because it feels VERY uncomfortable. It feels horribly uncomfortable to say “YES f*ckers, I Am God, and So Are You.” We think someone is going to put us in a straitjacket and accuse us of having messiah syndrome.
It feels horribly uncomfortable to look someone in the eye and say “science is baloney.”
It feels awful to tell people that monogamy is not in their best interests and is another lie of the ego designed to imprison you forever.
It feels awkward to tell people that their cat is sick because of their own emotional issues that they won’t face.
Yet all of this is the truth. And the fact that it makes us VERY UNCOMFORTABLE ought to be our first clue that we are on the right path … See above, if popular opinion is telling you to do it, it’s probably wrong.
10. “I Don’t Have the Time”
See above about “I can’t afford it.” Start EFT tapping on a regular basis and watch how the Universe becomes your ultimate time manager and opens up wide swaths of time to do whatever you want. As Wayne Dyer once said, “The more you advance toward God, the less he will give you worldly duties to perform.”
Want to open up more time in your life. Try out my 30-Day Simplify Your Life Challenge. Most of what we do every day is accomplishing nothing. Cut all of that out and watch your days become shockingly open and free.
How to Attract Money with EFT Tapping11. “The People Who Are Doing What I Secretly Wish I Were Doing But Won’t Be Honest With Myself Must Be … Evil, Greedy, Selfish, Jerks, [Fill in the Blank]“
Someone dear to me recently wrote an article where he rationalized why he’s not flying in first class. He made it about the “greedy Monsanto CEO” in first class and pretended he was “better than” the CEO. BALONEY. He’s lying to himself. He’s scared to have what he really wants, so scared he won’t even admit what he wants. He’s terrified of what other people would think of him and everything he does is gauged by how popular it’s going to be. That doesn’t make any of it true. NOBODY AND I MEAN NOBODY wants to be crammed like a sardine into coach class on long international flights if they have a choice.
We all need to start being a whole lot more honest with ourselves, folks. If you find yourself judging someone else as greedy, selfish, morally repugnant, mentally ill, messiah complex … that’s all lying to ourselves. All of it.
12. “If I Ignore This Problem, It Will Go Away”
This is another topic I’ve written about extensively elsewhere. I won’t repeat it all here. Problems go away when they are faced, not avoided. If you’re teaching courage and pretending that this little nagging issue that’s been hanging around for the past four and a half years is “not your problem,” you’re lying to yourself.
If it keeps showing up and knocking on your door, it’s your problem. And if you actually face it, you may just find it to be the blessing in disguise that I found in my cat’s horrific kidney failure. I thought it was the worst thing that had EVER happened to me. Yet by facing it with courage full on, I set myself free …
Word to the wise.
Erika Awakening, Teaching People How to Create Everyday Miracles at TAPsmarter
Erika Awakening is one of the world’s foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and living life on your own terms.
About the Author:
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
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