The 15 Most Damaging Lies We Tell Ourselves

mbg Contributor By Shannon Kaiser
mbg Contributor
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment including The Self-Love Experiment, Adventures for Your Soul, and Joy Seeker. She has a B.A. in Journalism and Communications from the University of Oregon.

It can be hard to make happiness stick, especially if you pay attention to what you tell yourself. What hurts us most in life is not actually the situations or our experiences that turn out less than predictably, but our reaction to them, and what we say to ourselves about them.

Often we lie to ourselves in hopes of saving face. But these self-inflicted lies come at a cost.

The truth is that we all want happiness, health, and inner peace, but these can only come when we release expectations about how our life should unfold. Instead of putting timelines to your goals and lying to yourself so that you can cope with conditions, consider regrouping from the inside out.

You can live a happy life, but it starts with recognizing the most damaging lies you may be telling yourself:

1. I’m not doing enough.

You are perfect as you are in this moment, stop comparing yourself to others, and start to celebrate you.

2. When I have (x, y, or z), then I will be happy.

Happiness will not come from anything you can get; it will be temporary and fleeting. Instead, work on cultivating the sense of happiness in the moment to bring more joy into your life.

3. I’ll do that tomorrow.

You and I both know that this one doesn’t work, and it's the default lie we tell ourselves when procrastinating. Stop saying "you will," and start celebrating "you did!"

4. I am a failure because I'm not successful.

Let go of expectations about how your life should look, and start focusing on how it feels.

5. No one understands me.

I've got news for you: everyone in the world thinks this. So you are not alone. The reality is that there is no cookie-cutter version of you, so instead of feeling alienated because people don’t agree with you, start being thankful for the contrast.

6. I will be alone forever.

You won’t be alone forever. But if you keep thinking this you will keep happiness from coming to you. Instead of focusing on lack, turn your attention to gratitude.

7. Things aren’t happening for me because of my past mistakes.

Your past has made you who you are. If you think you’ve made mistakes and that’s why opportunities aren’t coming to you, ask yourself what you learned from those situations. This will help you move forward more quickly.

8. My life is off track.

Consider that you are more on track then you have ever been. The fact you even think this shows that you have goals and you want to achieve them. Focus on the good instead of the bad.

9. I have no control of my life or what is happening to me.

Everything in your life is a result of a choice you made. This includes your job, the people in your life, and even where you live. If you don’t like something, stop complaining about it and take steps to change it.

10. It’s my parents’ fault.

A friend of mine says there are two types of people in this world: Those who blame the world for their problems and those who blame themselves. No matter what, you can't win with blame. Stop taking on all that pressure, and learn from your situations. This will release the blame. Consider that your parents did the best they could with what they knew at the time.

11. If that person really loved me they would do _____________________.

Any time we put conditions on another person to do what we think they should in order for us to be happy, we set ourselves up to fail. We will always fall victim to unmet expectations. Instead, give yourself the love you need, and let other people show their love in a unique way that is true for them.

12. I have to get “IT” done.

You will forever have a checklist of things to do; it's part of life. Instead of trying to get everything done, focus on what you did accomplish and know that that is enough.

13. I am not enough.

Your ideas, your viewpoints, your dreams, and deepest desires all matter. The more you start to trust yourself and live your dream life, the more you will see that you belong.

14. My flaws are ugly.

The things you hate most about yourself, and those insecurities and habits you try to hide are actually what make you unique and beautiful. Look at yourself the way your furry friend or loved one does: perfect, beautiful, and full of love. That is the real you. Your flaws do not define you.

15. I can’t trust myself.

You have an internal guidance system that is the strongest compass for you. The more you listen to it the happier you will become. Your heart knows the way. Trust it.

For more inspiration and to create your own happiness list grab this FREE Love Your Life to The Fullest Guide.

Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment...
Read More
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Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology...
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