When the Home Shopping Network (HSN) was very new, my sister and I would watch the show faithfully. We absolutely loved the jewelry segment of the show and who wouldn’t? Amazing gold filigree rings and necklaces. We watched thick gold Figaro bracelets and doorknocker bamboo earrings sellout in minutes.
However, when you’re an unemployed teenager of working class parents, the Home Shopping Network was nothing more than at-home window-shopping.
Right after HSN mesmerized us with all the beautiful, shiny gold trinkets, the silver show would air and noticeably there was a huge price difference between the two segments.
That’s when I told myself a very comforting and reassuring lie. I convinced myself that I looked much better in silver. That gold didn’t look good on me because of my yellow undertones. Lies. All lies. I look absolutely stunning in gold—like some kind of African queen. Bright gold jewelry against this milk chocolate skin is absolutely dreamy honey!
Now there are a couple of different ways this whole incident could have been handled. I could have told myself that if I really wanted the pretty gold jewelry, I could have worked for it but for lots of reasons, that wasn’t my first thought.
Lying to myself was much easier, much more palatable and kept my wickedly low self-esteem hidden.
I don’t know when we learn to lie ourselves. I know children learn to lie early because they don’t want to get in trouble.
Sally? Did you take mommy’s lipstick? No!
And we all know Sally took it but her knee jerk reaction was to protect herself from mom’s chastisement.
This lying to ourselves however is such a great deception. The lies we tell ourselves harm us in ways that others couldn’t possibly harm us.
We convinces ourselves that:
- We can’t do better so we settle for less than
- The extra weight really doesn’t matter
- Sharing a man is perfectly okay or that he really is going to leave his wife one day
- All men are dogs so we don’t allow ourselves to receive love
- We don’t need a man
- We’re not worthy of good things
- We’re doomed to live out the fate of our parents
- God is out to get us
- Life is extremely hard and it’s impossible to get ahead
- We don’t measure up so we aim low or don’t try at all
And so on. You probably have your own list.
Who Do Lies Really Hurt?
The thing about the lies we tell ourselves is that we believe them. The old saying is that if you keep telling the same lie repeatedly, it becomes your truth. And these lies hold us back. They keep us from even making the attempt and settling for far below our privilege.
The beautiful thing is that you can begin to unravel the lie and reclaim truth at anytime.
My truth was that I couldn’t afford the pretty gold jewelry and rather than face my monetary lack and poor self-esteem, I constructed a well-crafted lie that hid my truth. That single lie added an additional boulder to my plummeting self-esteem and worth and the lies wouldn’t stop there.
You can’t just tell yourself one lie. You have to tell yourself multiple lies to cover up what those lies created. And let me tell you, the lies you tell yourself can create some pretty dismal and lonely realities.
I know for sure that whatever a (wo)man thinks, so is (s)he,
I know the lies we tell ourselves keep us from living fruitful and enjoyable lives. Lives filled with love and peace. That’s why it’s the greatest deception.
If you’re willing to face your truth, tell yourself a new narrative, forgive yourself and others, there’s absolutely nothing you can’t achieve.
You can absolutely:
- Love and be loved
- Start that business
- Finish school
- Have peace
- Travel the world
- Be a better parent, spouse, friend, employee, business person
- Write that book
- Buy that house
It all starts with dismantling the lies you’ve been telling yourself and discovering and thinking God’s thoughts about you and allowing yourself to dream again.
Then plan like crazy.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.
You would look beautiful in anything. Isn’t it interesting how we try to convince ourselves of so many falsities? Somehow lying to ourselves becomes a protection mechanism. Yet, when we can face the truth of what is going on and believe we are deserving, new creativity emerges. It is in those moments of truth that we become even more powerful. We can see and go for different possibilities.
Thank you Stephanie! I loved your comment on Facebook. “Thou shalt not lie (even to yourself). That was strong! Thanks for sharing!