We learn from a young age that lying is a bad trait to have, that when we lie to others it damages our relationships with them, that it makes it impossible for others to trust us and rely upon us if we continually lie to them. We know that in order for our relationships with others to thrive, then we need to be honest with each other.
What we don't often contemplate is that the most important relationship we have in our life, is the one we have with ourselves.
It's certainly going to be the longest relationship we have and the only one guaranteed to last.
So when we tell lies to ourselves, are we in turn damaging our relationship with ourselves? YES!
Every time we tell ourselves a lie or we promise ourselves something that we do not follow through on, then the only person who really suffers from that is us.
If I tell myself that I am going to do something and then flake out at the last minute, it directly impacts my relationship with myself. For if I become unreliable to myself, how can I ever believe in myself when I really need it.
After speaking with friends and clients, I have complied a list of some of the most common lies we seem to tell ourselves:
"I will start that tomorrow ..."
"I'll be happy when everyone else is happy ..."
"I will rest when I have got through this period of time ..."
"I don't have the time ..."
"I'm not good enough to do that ..."
The list goes on but hopefully you get the point. We lie to ourselves far more than we lie to other people in our lives and yet we do not consider how it could be damaging our self belief, resilience and self trust.
So how do we stop lying to ourselves? Well, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner (world experts on leadership) found that the biggest predictor of creating trust in any relationship could be broken down into one simple message.
DWYSYWD - Do What You Say You Will Do
Whether that is trust with others or within the relationship we have with ourselves, trust is built and maintained when we do what we say we will do.
So the next time you hear yourself making a promise to yourself, make sure that once you have said it, you will do what you say you will do!