Rip the band-aid
Deep down, you know you’re full of shit.
Don’t beat yourself up too much about it, though. You’re human. If you didn’t have _some _rationalizations you use to cope, you’d probably go insane.
You’re not going to transform your life in an instant and start being your authentic self just like that. It takes a gradual unlearning of your BS to accomplish the process.
Continually catch yourself when you’re lying to yourself and try your best to course-correct. Always have this underlying sentiment though.
You lie to yourself a lot. You know you do. Stop pretending you don’t and stop packing lies on top of more lies. At some point, you have to rip the band-aid.
The Lie of Miscalculation
“People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.” — Charles Bukowski
You try to tell yourself it’s okay, but it’s not.
“Nothing wrong with living a normal life,” you tell yourself. I used to hedge in my articles and tell people it’s okay to live a normal life as long as you’re happy.
But, I look around, and I don’t see that many happy people these days. I see lost souls sucked into the machine. Captives of society with Stockholm syndrome.
They’re not physically or mentally healthy and they think it’s okay. It’s not. They’re lying to themselves. You’re probably lying to yourself if you fit any of the following:
Some things you might note are:
- You work a job you dislike, hate, or tolerate
- You lack control over your time
- Your mental, physical, and spiritual health could use a tune-up
If you’re okay with the way you’re living and don’t feel like your life is slipping by, then you shouldn’t be reading this post. But if you’re someone who’s let large chunks of time go by without taking care of some major priorities, well, it could be time to reflect and pivot.
The Path to Radical Honestly
“Here’s the key: I’m not going to tell you how to change. People don’t change. I want you to trust who you already are, and get to that Zone where you can shut out all the noise, all the negativity and fear and distractions and lies, and achieve whatever you want, in whatever you do.” — Tim Grover
There’s been this growing cultural trend that says you should feel okay about your life no matter what, that there is no such thing as success or failure, and that if you just go through the motions in life, things will work out. It also tells you that you shouldn’t judge yourself for making mistakes.
Nope. Wrong. Sometimes you fuck up really bad and the residue of those mistakes lasts a long time.
Sometimes you feel bad about yourself because you should feel bad about yourself. Sometimes your life is objectively trending in the wrong direction.
When you finally admit to yourself that you need to pivot and that there’s a core to who you really are that you’re ignoring, then you start the difficult process of change.
For me, that process involved doing a lot of work, sometimes, often, work I didn’t want to do at all. But, I followed the mental equation that leads to success — I weighed my_ long-term goals_ more heavily than my short-term emotions.
Realize this, and understand you’re actually doing yourself a favor by ripping the band-aid, experiencing discomfort upfront, so you can live the rest of your life doing what you want to do.
Fight The Uphill Battle Daily
“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” — Thomas Sowell
I don’t provide cures. If I know anything about self-improvement it’s because I battle and struggle with it every day. Most self-improvement writers are writing to themselves, with the hopes that it helps you. Yes, it’s a little bit of a strange emotional pyramid scheme we have going on, but it can benefit everyone when done correctly.
To this day, I spend more time lying to myself than I do being radically honest. I come from the position that you’re already at a major deficit, and even getting a bit better can move the needle in your life.
So use the concept of radical honesty, with yourself and with others, to fight the uphill battle needed to change your life. Be honest with yourself about who you are, want you want, and what you need to do to stay true to both. Throw societal conventions to the side.
Which do you choose? Convenient and comfortable lies? Or the harsh yet liberating truth?
Contributed by Ayodeji Awosika
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