Lies You Tell Yourself To Avoid Dealing With Your Problems

We all lie sometimes, whether to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, to save face, to keep the peace, to get an extension on a project deadline… the list goes on and on. Some of these lies are benign and even valuable because they save us from unnecessary headaches and conflicts. However, there are certain lies we tell ourselves that are damaging and keep us stuck in the same lazy, toxic, unhappy, regretful, stagnated, and procrastination-filled cycles. If you truly want to grow, you have to learn to face your problems head-on instead of hiding behind these fibs.

1. “I just need more self-discipline and control.”

Self-control and discipline are like muscles. Everyone is born with them, but they only get stronger and more obvious when you exercise them. Lack of discipline is not what’s stopping you from doing or not doing the things you want, Psychology Today reveals. Your issue is a reluctance to put your discipline into practice because thinking you naturally don’t have enough discipline is an easy cop-out. Rather than waiting to wake up one morning and find that you gained a ton of willpower overnight, take (drastic) steps to build your discipline. Want to stop checking in on your ex? Delete that app. Want to stop overindulging in retail therapy? Cut up your credit or debit cards.

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2. “This is just how I am.”

I’m terrible at staying in touch with people, no matter how much I care about them. For a long time, my response to being called out for this was that it’s just the way I’m wired. While it’s true that I’ve always struggled with many aspects of social interactions and intimacy that seemed to come easily to others, it’s also true that I’ve never really made much of an effort to get better. Once I admitted that, I started thinking about ways to stay connected with friends and family that wouldn’t overburden or overwhelm me. That you’ve been able to get away with some poor behavior in the past doesn’t make it who you are. Like me, you can change, if you’re honest and motivated enough.

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3. “I’m not brave enough.”

You tell yourself that you’re not brave enough when what you mean is that you’re not prepared to try, that you’re afraid of failing or looking stupid, and that you don’t want to deal with the potential messiness your actions might bring. Fear can be paralyzing, but it also has a very simple cure: doing it anyway. Tell that person you love them. Launch the business idea. Start afresh if you have to. Reach out to that person from your past you can’t stop thinking about. You’ll be less afraid after you take that leap the first time and with every additional leap, your confidence will build even if the outcomes remain unknown.

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4. “Tomorrow, I’ll do it from the top.”

It’s what you say to make a case for not working on your business pitches, to justify abandoning your plans to exercise today, or to avoid talking to your partner about that thing that’s been bothering you for a while now. You swear that what you need is a clean slate — a new day, new week, new year — to finally get on track and make the changes or do the things that you’ve been promising to get out of the way. If you truly wanted to make progress, you’d realize that now is a good time as any to honor the promises you make to yourself and choose to stop procrastinating.

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5. “I’ll do this once I have the time.”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve told myself this lie, I’d have enough money to splurge on something expensive. I’d say I was too busy to write, to fill out applications for grad school, to start painting again, to pick up a new hobby, to read more books, to eat more nutritionally balanced meals. Yet later that same day, I’d spend my free time rewatching a show I’d already seen a dozen times before or scrolling aimlessly through social media. You may not have time to chase your goals all at once, but you can always find a bit of time to work on a little here and a little there until you reach them.

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6. “My mental health issues are holding me back.”

I know first-hand how crippling mental illness and mental health conditions can be and how easy it is to believe the lies it tells you about yourself. Yes, depression makes the future and the thought of getting out of bed impossible. Sure, ADHD steals your time, wrecks your focus, and makes executing tasks efficiently akin to trying to run across a field of nails while fires rage all around you. You shouldn’t just give up and stop trying. You can choose to seek help to develop healthy coping mechanisms to make navigating daily life a little easier.

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7. “I’m not good enough.”

You convince yourself that other people who are starting businesses, graduating with distinction, landing high-paying jobs, growing their social media accounts, or enjoying amazing romantic relationships have some secret superpower you weren’t bestowed with. You conclude that you can’t achieve the same things because they’re more ambitious, attractive, and intelligent than you, so you don’t even bother giving your dreams a shot. You belittle your abilities repeatedly and start to believe that you don’t have what it takes to go after what you want. You’re wrong! Half the work of succeeding at any goal is taking meaningful action towards it and doing your very best.

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8. “If not for X, I’d be Y.”

If you had richer parents, you’d be able to pursue your artistic ambitions rather than working your bones off at a 9-5 job that you hate. If only your partner was more romantic, you’d be happier. If not for the state of your bank account, you’d be a fashion and travel influencer. These excuses keep you tethered to your present state and keep you from daring to reach for your desires. Remember that you’re not a slave to your circumstances. You can strive and take small steps towards wherever you’d like to end up, despite the challenges.

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9. “All I need is a lucky break.”

Yes, luck can turn things around for your love life, career, or business seemingly overnight, but you can’t just fold your hands and wait for the magic to happen. Bear in mind that what we call luck, in many instances, is just compounding hard work yielding interest. Your lucky break may or may not come, but one thing is for sure, you’re not going to find it by dreaming alone. You’ve got to put your skin in the game, stay persistent, leverage opportunities that come your way, and create your own luck.

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10. “I can make them change for me.”

This is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves to keep from accepting difficult truths about the people we love. We like to believe that it’s in our power to change people’s behaviors, desires, and attitudes by simply willing it or giving them a nudge in the right direction. Unfortunately, this only works when the person in question is willing to change. No amount of cajoling, positive reinforcement, or sheer will is going to make a person stop abusing drugs, pop the question, or start treating you better if they’re not interested in changing.

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11. “I can’t afford to fail.”

Yes, you can. Few successes were ever achieved on the first try. You didn’t immediately begin walking when you stood for the first time as a toddler. The first person you ever loved probably isn’t the one you love or are married to now. Think of all the many times in the past that you wanted something so desperately and were sure you wouldn’t survive without it, yet it didn’t work out. You survived and went on to try other things. Failure is just a learning curve. If you fail, take the lesson and try again a different way.

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12. “If it’s not perfect, it’s not right.”

Perfection is a thief of time. Waiting for all the stars to align before you quit that job, travel across the world, start a family, plan for retirement, write that book, or mend that relationship is a surefire way to avoid never accomplishing it. You can always go back and rework a shitty idea or improve upon or even perfect your actions and their outcomes, but you can’t improve on what doesn’t exist.

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13. “I need to change my life all at once.”

Making grand proclamations and plans can be exciting, but they’re also intimidating. It’s the reason people give up on New Year resolutions so easily because they seem like too much work. Instead of comforting yourself with huge goals that you will struggle to live up to, pick one or two of the most pressing ones and break them down into smaller steps and changes that you can make day to day.

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14. “It’s too late now.”

“The time will pass anyway” is one of the most transformative responses to the question of whether it’s too late to do certain things with your life that I’ve ever encountered. Worried about switching to a different career because you’re reluctant to start over in your 30s? The time will pass anyway. Don’t want to take dance lessons because you’re older and more self-conscious? The time will pass anyway. Might as well take advantage of it and do the things you want. It’s never too late to change your life, LifeHack explains.

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15.  “I’m happy with the way things are.”

Your partner doesn’t want to get married, so you convince yourself that a ring and a wedding don’t matter to you. You’re terrified of getting rejected by your dream company or for your dream role, so you tell yourself that you don’t need the hassle of job hunting, so you keep staying at a job that no longer challenges you. You don’t let yourself hope so disappointment can’t find you and you don’t have to admit that something’s wrong and take action. It’s time to stop running away from yourself and face the truth, no matter how scary.

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A girl preoccupied with living her best life even when it's uncomfortable to do so. She spends a lot of time with her thoughts. She hopes you enjoy reading the results of those thoughts.