Self Deception, It’s a Hard Habit To Break
A very good friend reminded me the other day we lie to ourselves far more than we ever lie to anyone else. Self-deception can be a hard habit to break. You’ve probably experienced the feeling of things moving in the right direction and you’re feeling good about certain triumphs, then, suddenly, BAM!!! Up comes one roadblock after another. You hear your inner voice saying, “Not again,” or, “Why does this always happen to me…?” Sound familiar?
The truth is, it doesn’t just happen to you. It happens to everyone at various times. The difference lies in how you approach it. With some people you don’t notice that they are working through roadblocks because they seem as enthusiastic and determined as ever. While others are feeling deflated and flicking it into the ‘too hard basket’. Maybe it’s time to look inside and see what’s going on in your mind. What deceptive little tricks is your mind playing on you?
Everything starts with a thought. Thought → Action → Outcome which, when taken a little deeper, says our reality is as simple as Be → Do → Have. Simple yet powerful information that tells us the results and outcomes we reap begin with the thoughts and energy we sew. So, how do we become aware of what our thought process is? How do we know which Mindset we’re in?
Let’s use a simple example to assess your Mindset. Imagine you’re in a situation where you see a person exhibiting certain behaviours that don’t fit those you deem acceptable. You may perceive them to be overbearing, loud and dominating. Or maybe they hold a belief or values systems that differs from your own. Does your inner judge quietly condemn the person? Does your facial expression (whilst contained) hold signs of dismay or disgust? Or perhaps you try and put yourself in that person’s shoes and offer explanations for their behaviour.
That displays a Fixed Mindset. A person whose beliefs tell them, ‘they are the way they are,’ and there’s precious little they can do to change it. As a result they are likely to avoid challenges and obstacles, give up easily and avoid negative feedback. The consequences of this are they don’t change or improve much with time. They don’t reach their potential and their beliefs feed on themselves.
So, how would someone with a Growth Mindset approach this situation? Well, they’d probably just talk to the person in question, or ask them about it! From their point of view, that person is an opportunity waiting to be discovered and learned from. They will confront a challenging person or challenging behaviours/views with the mindset of, ‘I may not understand this person’s motivations or actions right now but I’m going to find out what this person has to offer and try to understand their perspective.’ Through this positive exploration, people with Growth Mindsets improve and create a positive feedback loop that encourages them to keep learning and improving. Got a mirror handy?
Listening to and understanding that inner voice provides opportunity to understand where your Mindset sits. If your Mindset is focused on failure (even if it is avoidance) you are already potentially well on the path to failure. Listen to whether it’s telling you, “This is the way things are/aren’t,” or whether it’s exploring new possibilities. Challenge your inner voice to see whether it is simply advising of potential risk and trying to keep you in your comfort zone, away from potential failure.
When we embrace challenges, new ideas and other people’s perspectives we’re allowing ourselves to grow. What was once seen as a roadblock is now an opportunity to do something even better, create something that may even make a difference.
Exercise for today… where is your head at? Is it helping or hindering your growth and ultimate success?