Photo credit: Josh Fults
Be warned: This is twisted stuff. You may be tempted to think I am a crazy fool for writing such things. I may be. But when you look out at the world – or at yourself – and see people willingly doing all manner of behaviors that create personal misery, you must consider that we need an explanation beyond conventional wisdom.
If you think about how much time, money and energy is spent trying to identify the simple truth, you’ll soon be overwhelmed with awe.
Awe? Yes, awe at what natural deceivers we all are. One interesting study pointed out that 60% of people cannot go 10 minutes without lying!
Courtrooms across the world are steeped in the difficult process of identifying the truth so justice can be served. And it takes billions in resources and an unbelievably complicated system to make the attempt.
Businesses are ravaged daily by deceivers of all kinds. Relationships of all types are comprised by deception on a daily basis.
Then, of course, you have the daily grind of parents, who would give their left arm if they could just figure out who did it.
I didn’t do it. She did. I saw her!
No, Mom! He’s a liar!
No, I’m not!
Yes, you are!
Ok kids, just forget it and get out of here!
Of all the varieties of deception, however, there is one type that rules them all:
We lie worst of all to ourselves. And it damages our growth.
A personal truth affirmation cuts through layers of self-deception and opens your mind toward a deeper and often absurd reality. Once you are aware of the absurdity, you can free yourself from it.
Getting to the deeper truth requires some education before you can begin. Given our pervasive tendencies toward self-deception, it takes some doing to start thinking outside of that box.
Let’s break down the process.
The Essential Preparation
This book will teach you the following:
Often, we seek displeasure over pleasure.
This happens because displeasure (suffering, misery, humiliation, helplessness, futility, rejection, self-deprivation, etc…) gets coded in our brains as pleasure (Your Achilles Eel explains how this happens in simple terms).
This unconscious pleasure is often experienced as familiarity.
Familiarity is powerful. In fact, most people would choose a familiar misery over a foreign happiness every time.
We can sum all this up by saying the following: We often seek misery in it’s various forms because it is familiar.
And this is where the self-deception comes in. The last thing we want to admit is that we’re seeking misery. So, we cover our butts on that one. In other words, we justify it by telling ourselves lies about what we are doing.
Here’s a common scenario:
You’re suddenly faced with a luscious looking donut and are tempted to blow your healthy eating plans.
If you do blow it, you’ll feel lethargic and humiliated – down on yourself. You’ll tell yourself what a loser you are, etc… In other words, you certainly won’t feel good.
So, there you are, leaning toward that donut indulgence. You’re trying to fight off the temptation and suddenly a voice goes off in your mind, saying something like one of the following:
Screw it. Who cares!
I deserve this. I’ve been good all day.
I’ll start my diet again tomorrow.
You know what? I’ll never be thin anyway, so I might as well enjoy myself.
I’m sorry, that donut looks too good to pass up. I just don’t have any self-control, I guess!
All of the above statements are lies.
You do care. You don’t deserve what that donut will do to you. If this is your pattern, you won’t start the diet again tomorrow, really. You WILL be thin of you keep to your program. And, that donut doesn’t look as good as you’re making it appear in your mind.
All too often we indulge in the false power of not caring or the helplessness and hopelessness intrinsic in lacking self-control. These are emotional experiences (and therefore even more ‘believable’). It’s hard to see these justifications as lies – but they are.
They are all lies to justify getting to a place where you harm yourself physically and feel bad about yourself emotionally. Amazing, isn’t it?
You’re actually seeking misery and lying to yourself about it.
Warning: It’s really important that you don’t consider this truth confrontation as a criticism. We’re all this way. So, welcome to the club.
Self-sabotage is a universal phenomenon. According to the most brilliant psychiatrist of all time, Dr. Edmund Bergler (a colleague of Freud), self-sabotage (known at the time as psychic masochism) is an inescapable part of the developmental process of growing from infant to adult. Again, read more in Your Achilles Eel.
Now, if you were totally free of self-deception, you’d have no temptation whatsoever toward the donut.
You’d look at it and say: It’s not worth how it will make me feel. I don’t want to feel bloated, lethargic and then criticize myself. I want to keep feeling good!
The donut wouldn’t even look very appealing.
Once we see our excuses as lies that speed us toward the familiar (pleasurable) misery of feeling awful, we can confront them with a freeing personal truth statement.
In this case, a truth statement might look something like this:
I am wanting to eat that donut and feel bloated, lethargic and humiliated because this is what I am used to. I am seeking a familiar misery that has become ingrained in me. And I plan to use that donut to get there.
Now, you’re at the truth. And this truth spoils some of the fun, doesn’t it? It ruins the twisted joy of failure.
Of course, you may just think I’m crazy. That’s cool. But there is a reason why people so often sabotage their healthy goals. And when they do, they feel bad about themselves. Those bad feelings are familiar feelings that they have a very, very hard time escaping.
Here is another way to think about it…
Fact: The temporary taste bud pleasure of the donut is NOT as pleasurable as the ongoing personal pride and self-esteem that comes from self-discipline.
However, if there is a conflict in your soul about feeling wonderful most of the time, then you won’t just let go and feel good every day. You’re hanging onto things that make you feel bad.
Hint: it’s not because of the temporary pleasure of indulgence. We already know that this doesn’t compare to the powerful feelings of self-respect that come from self-discipline. There must be another reason you are hanging on to the angst.
Answer: Because the angst may be all you really know and you tend to seek what you know on autopilot. It’s basic programming at work here.
Create Your Own Personal Truth Affirmation
You can answer use the following questions as prompts to begin to form your personal truth affirmation. If you want these questions in PDF form that you can print out, click here. It really helps to write down your answers.
1. Name a problem behavior.
2. How do you feel after doing the behavior?
3. How/why are these feelings familiar to you?
4. What do you tell yourself to justify doing the problem behavior that makes you feel bad (the lies)?
Now you have all the material you need to create a personal truth statement. You can use the following formula as a help if you want.
I am wanting to (insert problem behavior) and feel (insert your end-result negative feelings here) because these feelings are familiar to me and I choose the familiar misery over a happiness that seems foreign.
When it comes to personal truth affirmations, problem behaviors aren’t the only application and the above isn’t the only formula.
I am seeking to be powerless because I believe being powerful is unladylike.
I make myself helpless because I am waiting for my knight in shining armor to rescue me. He won’t be interested in a resourceful woman.
I keep myself overweight because if I become slender, I will betray my family tradition and no longer fit in.
I anticipate rejection because it makes me feel unwanted, like I have always felt. I don’t want to give people a chance to like me.
I rebel against any and all expectations because it allows me to continue feeling controlled, like I have always felt.
I refuse to say no so that my to-do list will be forever impossible to achieve. This way, I can nurture the feelings of overwhelm and helplessness that I have become so accustomed to.
Get the idea?
Figure out where your problem behaviors are taking you and tell yourself the truth about it.
When you do, your mind will open to more insight and resolution than you have considered in quite some time.
Congratulations! You are on the path of personal enlightenment! Now, keep moving!
Most of all, find others who are also on that path and interact with them on a regular basis. You’ll never be the same again….
If you are interested in weight loss, the AHA Weight Loss Coaching Group applies these and other powerful principles toward creating unstoppable self-discipline. Click here to learn more and download the free AHA Weight Loss Handbook.
In our weight loss group we spend time helping each other formulate truth statements such as these (I know, what a sick bunch of folks we are…). Yet, with every truth we discover, we take vital steps toward health and wholeness. Through the hidden truth, we heal, little by little.
You may also get at the hidden truth though the Hidden Truth Miracle email coaching program. Click here to learn more.
Learn more about how self-sabotage works and how to overcome it by watching this free and enlightening video.
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