Episode 17: Self Deception: Confronting the Lies We Tell Ourselves

by | Feb 3, 2023

The Samantha Leith Podcast WEB Episode 17

Episode Description

After years of lying to myself, I finally confronted my own self-deceptions and uncovered the truth behind my lies. Now I’m sharing what worked to help stop the habit and build up my self-confidence and trust.

Show Notes

After years of lying to myself, I finally confronted my own self-deceptions and uncovered the truth behind my lies. Now I’m sharing what worked to help stop the habit and build up my self-confidence and trust.

I’m discussing how most of us have told a lie at some point in our lives, usually to protect our self-esteem or avoid discomfort. Then there are some tips on how to recognize and overcome self-deception, such as practicing self-reflection and being honest with oneself. 

“You can love yourself as you’re getting better at it.”

In this episode, you will learn the following:

  1. Are you a liar?
  2. What are the consequences of self-deception?
  3. How can you identify and overcome self-lying?

Chapter Summaries:

Are you a liar? Most of us do it at some point of our lives. It’s a problem and we need to acknowledge it. And lying can be in various forms. One of them I’m going to tackle in a couple of podcasts.

What I think is the worst form of lying that we can actually do is self deception. We spend this energy convincing ourselves that something is either not true or true. Bee: It has such a negative impact on our mental and emotional wellbeing. It can also spill out into our relationships.

We all have conversations in our head. We can make projections that are very self deceptive. Sometimes we even avoid new experiences because we’re lying to ourselves about what that experience is going to actually be. In our head we blame other people for things. It really, really is harmful.

The more we lie to ourselves, the more it chips away at our self confidence. Your self concept, who you are, how you think about yourself is paramount to anything that you want to do in life. Here are some tips on how to overcome lying to yourself.

You’ve got to practice self reflection. Ask yourself the questions about why you’re doing it. A great way to do it is in journaling. It’s not a quick fix, but hand on my heart going to tell you it is so worth it.

When you’re repeating an affirmation, you’re affirming something that you want to be true. This lying that we do is more about avoidance and denial. Affirmations are proactive. Self deception is reactive. One is a tool for growth and one is going to suck you down the drain.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Podcast. Oh, it’s a goody today. I’m going to ask you a question. Are you ready? Are you a liar?

 

ARE YOU A LIAR?

Now, if you’d asked me years ago, I would have said no. And guess what would have been lying. So let’s go back a while. I guess my first memory of lying, which actually isn’t a memory because I’ve got very few memories of my childhood, but that’s a whole other story. I’ve been told this happened on numerous occasions.

So apparently my sister said to me, have you been eating chocolate? And I said, no, I haven’t been eating chocolate. And of course I had chocolate all over my face. Now, we probably all have a gazillion stories like that funny little anecdotes that we’ve been told about our childhood when we told porky pies and Pants on fire. I can’t even remember the sayings now but you know what I mean.

It’s a problem and we need to acknowledge it and we need to admit that most of us do it at some point of our lives. Some of us do it more often than others, and some of us do it which do it in a way that causes more problems. And lying can be in various forms, okay? So one of them I’m going to tackle in a couple of podcasts is what’s an interesting one it’s a goodie, it’s all of the lying we do when we people please.

But for today, what I want to talk to you about is what I think is the worst form of lying that we can actually do, and that’s self deception. And I’m pretty sure that if they gave out awards for self deception, not only would it be a really common award, but I’d probably have a gold medal in it. I’m really good at it and I’d be lying if said I hate it. I wanted to admit that.  Of course I don’t want to admit that, but it’s true. Okay?

It’s a self deception. It’s this psychological thing in which we think we’re better off holding on to like a false belief about ourselves, about a particular circumstance, and we hold on to it even if there is evidence that completely contradicts what we’re saying to ourselves or thinking true about ourselves. Okay? So we spend this energy and this brain power convincing ourselves that something is either not true or true.

You can do it either way. And we do it tend to do it because we want to avoid facing something, a reality, or because we want to protect how we’re feeling about ourselves, about something. We don’t do it to be mean or nasty to ourselves. We do it to make ourselves feel better, I guess, and to not admit those deadly disasterly secrets about ourselves. I didn’t eat that.

Of course I didn’t eat that chocolate. Now it seems so inane and yes, I verbalized that one, but at the time, you know, now, probably 42 years later or something, I know that in my head, I was probably saying I didn’t need any chocolate. I only had a teeny, teeny tiny bit. And if I only had a teeny, teeny tiny bit of chocolate, then that’s not really a chocolate. So, no, I didn’t really have chocolate.

You know what I mean? And we can do it in many different ways. We can rationalize things. We can ignore warning signs. We can go, oh, that was nothing in our head when it was something actually really negative.

Or we can actually deny the mere existence of something, okay? We can take it on in so many different ways, and it has such a negative impact on our mental and emotional well being, like, it really does. And it can also spill out into our relationships. It greatly impacts our decision making.

That old age one, I think, doing everything I can to look at my best or do something, and so therefore, I’m going to be able to squeeze into that frock. But you really can’t squeeze into that frock because you haven’t been doing that, and you should have made the decision to actually buy something that fit you at the time. Now, I first really noticed that I was lying to myself through my journaling practice because I would write things down and I’d go, that’s not really what I was saying to myself yesterday when that happened. But in that journaling process, I removed almost the armor of that lie that I was telling myself. And I noticed that when I don’t know if you’ve followed me for some time or you’ve seen some of the things I do.

I like having, like, posters up of the things that I’m actually working on, and I tick off my, like, my daily do goals and, you know, did I do and the habits that I’m trying to form. So I might have a sheet that has, like, 20 things on it in a day, from connecting with a friend to did I do the cold shower or did I do this particular workout, read a book, etc.

And I caught myself only about two years ago now, marking off that I’d done this workout. And in my head, you have done the workout, but I knew that it actually stops the workout halfway through because I was running late and I needed to get to something. Now, as insignificant as that seems, I didn’t do the workout.

I was not honoring the commitment that I made to myself. I should have been on time, should have been able to do the whole workout. And the fact that I was ticking it off, like I was actually in the act of putting pen to paper, that I was committing to this lie that I’d done the workout. Whoa, Samantha Mary, what are you doing?

 

COMMON LIES

So some of the things that we lie to ourselves about more commonly ones in particular I’ve noticed about myself and clients that I work with and friends and people in my life would be food, would be exercise, would be work. Like you’re telling yourself that you spent 6 hours doing that particular thing because you had to get it done. And you really know in your mind that of those 6 hours you probably spent five and a half months on Facebook and you really rushed to get the rest done. So it’s actually not your best work. That’s a very common one.

Drinking is a really common one. You say to yourself before you go to bed, I just had two glasses of wine and you’re feeling really saintly, but your two glasses of wine were half a bottle of wine, which is not two glasses of wine. And then the next day you might not feel great about yourself, oh, I shouldn’t have drunk that last night. Or you get on the scales or your skin feels worse or you didn’t sleep well, but you’ve told yourself that. You’ve told yourself the lie of only the two glasses so you can’t work out why you felt bad.

See, it has this carry on effect. Money, oh my gosh, money is another one we continually lie to ourselves about. We can lie to ourselves about relationships, lie to ourselves about sex, our values, the things we do. We can even lie to ourselves about movies. We can get to the point where if you are telling yourself enough lies and the self deception is just growing, you are actually avoiding the truth and hiding the truth of who you are to yourself.

Everybody else likes bananas and you think, okay, well, I got to eat a banana every day and you really hate bananas. But you’d lie to yourself and go, no, I’m loving this banana, it is so good. No, you’re lying. Okay, we want to do it because as I said, we want to protect our self esteem and we want to avoid discomfort. And it’s completely less conscious.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF SELF-DECEPTION

Like it’s subconscious to us so often we don’t even think about it. It’s this automatic response to lie to ourselves. And the consequences of it are so huge that I really want to help you stop doing it, improve it, do it less. Can’t promise you never going to do it. Yeah, I can’t promise you never going to do it because I still catch myself occasionally and I really work on it.

I’m going to give you some of the common signs of this lying, this self lying, self deception that I want to talk about. One of them is denial. Okay? So you just refuse to acknowledge that something is a problem rationalization. You’re going to walk your way out of in your head because remember, this isn’t what you’re saying to other people.

This is those conversations that you’re having in your head. I think if Martians came to Earth and they heard these podcasts where we talked about things. Like we’re just talking about the conversations that you’re having in your head. They think we’re all freaking loony, but we all have conversations in our head, so let’s be open and talk about it. Okay?

So making excuses for a negative behavior or justifying why something’s just the way it is. We can make projections that are very self deceptive. So about our behaviors or our traits, we can minimize things. So we downplay the severity of something.

I was only a week late that day. It’s not that bad. That’s self deception. It impacts all sorts of things and sometimes we can even do it in a kind of black and white way.

Sometimes we even avoid new experiences because we’re lying to ourselves about what that experience is going to actually be. We don’t want to try something because we’ve lied to ourselves about why we don’t want to try. Like going for a goal or going for a job or shooting for that really big thing, asking someone on a date. And we don’t do it because we’ve lied to ourselves about how it’s going to turn out. Like we’ve awfulized the situation we’ve prefailed by telling us ourselves these things. So then we actually don’t have the new experience, which could have been freaking amazing.

Another way we do it is we can exaggerate in our own heads so like talk ourselves, oh my God, gold medal minor. Or we can talk ourselves down. We can do either. Okay. And lastly another one I think is one of the common ones we use is in our head we blame other people for things.

And I think that is a really bad form of this self lying or selfdeception so we something may have happened and it’s actually our problem. Like it’s our issue. It’s a thing we did. But we shift that focus in our head to blame someone else and that is us lying to ourselves.

Maybe it’s harbor and some truth in my life, but that blame game that we can play for something that went wrong in our childhood, which is why we do something the way we we do do it now. Or that guy was an asshole. So therefore in our head, all men are assholes. So we never try something new. If you sat down with a piece of paper just with those little categories and went, okay, have I ever with yourself?

Have I ever lied to myself about these kind of things? And I’m sure you would find that you have and that you do, but it’s harmful. It really, really is harmful. So I want to try and help you get out of it because you can’t love yourself as you are while you’re still doing it. If you know that’s not true.

You can love yourself as you’re getting better in it. So you’re never truly, truly at peace. And that kind of yeah, I got this. I’m okay if you continue with these little tiny porcupies in your head. Should have Googled why they’re called porcupines.

If anyone knows why they’re called porcupines, please take a screenshot of this episode and tag me in it, in any of the socials at Samantha Leith and let me know why they’re called porcupines. Because now that I’ve said that a few times, I’m getting hungry. Okay, yeah, I’m going to admit it. I’m getting hungry talking about porcupines. So back to why we don’t want to do it.

Like, chipping away at our self confidence and our self esteem, even our self concepts, like any of those things that are in our confidence stack. The more we lie to ourselves, the more it chips away at that, to the point where we might not even trust ourselves about things we’re doing. We might not trust our decision making. We might not trust how we’re showing up in something.

Your self concept, who you are, how you think about yourself, is paramount to anything that you want to do in this magical thing called life. And I’m here to help in any way, shape, or form I can, to help you build on that self concept and to see yourself as the extraordinary person that you’re meant to be and that you are. Just need to chip away at the stuff that we’ve put on top of ourselves to hide our Wonderness. Wonderness a word. I don’t know.

Maybe I should have made some notes. We don’t want to do it. Okay? We really don’t want to do it. So let me give you some tips about how to work out that you’re doing it and how to overcome it.

Like how to stop being such a lie to yourself. It sounds really nasty. I don’t want you to come away from this podcast thinking I’m a terrible person because I lie to myself. You’re not. We all do it.

I probably couldn’t count the times in a day that I used to lie to myself all the time. Truly, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it.

Okay, this is an interesting one. Many years ago now, when I was at my heaviest, so probably about 140 kilos, I was paranoid about dying, and I was very healthy. I remember my surgeon, before I had my gastric sleeve, said to me the healthiest morbidly rabbit pesticide I’ve ever had. Backwards compliment, I think. But I was paranoid about dying in a car accident or something.

And people come to my house, my parents would come to my house, and they would find the junk that I’d eaten, and if I’d been having a bit of a binge eater, that I lied to myself and other people about it. And if I’d been having a bad day at the time, there were these cereal, chocolate mousse and, like, a little two pack, and I would eat the two of them. And I lived in an apartment, and I would, like, feel so wrapped with guilt and shame and disgust with myself that I’d eaten these two bloody chocolate mousse. The significance that like $4 worth of chocolate had on my life was unbelievable. That I would walk down the stairs in my apartment building and put the rubbish in someone else’s bin.

So if I died the next day in my car, heaven forbid going to work, people wouldn’t know I’d eaten chocolate mousse. And more of more to that point rubber. I wouldn’t have the evidence in my kitchen staring at me going you ate me, you ate me, you ate me. I was so wrecked with shame that I had to get rid of it. Like that was one of the biggest lies I’ve ever talked to myself and I did it on a continual basis was so harmful to who I was and to my gross during that period of my life.

And if I could go back and hug that woman and go you know what? You ate the chocolate mousse, not the end of the world and people are going to be would have been more concerned that I’d actually died. Ironically, I wasn’t react with shame and didn’t care about the fact that my parents might find love letters or sex toys in my bedside. I definitely didn’t want people to be able to find the chocolate mousse. Rappers I think back now actually makes me giggle a little bit anyway sidetracks there with chocolate mousse and I was hungry before.

 

HOW TO IDENTIFY AND OVERCOME SELF-LYING?

So here are some tips on how you can identify it and overcome it. Okay. You’ve got to practice self reflection. So this is where that honesty part really comes in. So when you go to do something and you feel that lie like creeping up inside your brain to tell you something, why like just ask yourself why?

Why do you think that’s the best answer? What is the evidence there that’s telling you why you’re actually doing that? Okay, another one to do is this is a tough one. I’ve actually never done it but I have known people that have done it. Actually that’s not true.

Sorry. I have done it with my therapist but I haven’t done it with family or friends or anything like that is to talk to them about it and go, look, I’m finding I’m doing this. What’s your take on that? Have you noticed me behaving in this way or talking like this where you think maybe it’s not true. I’m not telling you the lie but I’m obviously lying about myself or to myself.

People that love you will care about that kind of stuff. Another thing you can do is when we’re doing it, we can do it really quickly because we have an assumption or we have this, as I said before, like this black and white way of thinking. So when you’re doing it, I’m thinking that way. Why am I thinking that way? It’s again like that self relaxed self reflection challenging your assumptions, self awareness, they’re all kind of intermingled together in how you can notice what you’re doing and ask yourself the questions about why you’re doing it.

A great way to do it is in journaling. I’ll say it’s lum blue in the face. Journal, journal, journal. I’m even clapping my hands. Can you hear that mic?

Journal, journal, journal. It’s really good if you can just ask yourself when you journal, either in the evening or in the morning, what did I lie about yesterday? Or what did I lie about today? Did I lie about anything yesterday or today? It’s going to take time and it’s going to take effort.

It’s not a quick fix, but hand on my heart going to tell you it is so worth it. Because by being honest with yourself and facing the truth about everything from why you didn’t make your bed that morning or did you really pay that bill on time or what you’re doing, how much TV you watched, how much sleep, all of those things, they seem so little, but I promise you they’re not, okay? So really take some time to do this meaningful. And lastly, I just want to say to you because I have had clients ask me this, Samantha, they say, and obviously they do it with that action, but you have told me to repeat affirmations. So if you’re telling me to repeat affirmations, affirmations aren’t actually really true.

So isn’t that actually lie? No, it is not. Okay, so stick to me. Stick with me here. When you’re repeating an affirmation, you’re affirming something that you want to be true.

You’re repeating a positive statement or a positive belief in yourself. So it’s about reinforcing that something, that’s positive self-deception. This lying that we do, on the other hand, is more about avoidance and denial. So it’s got all those negative connotations. Affirmations are proactive.

Self deception is reactive. And often when we’re lying to ourselves and the moment that we’re doing it, we’re not aware of the truth until we ask ourselves those questions, why am I saying this? What’s actually happening? What do I believe to be true in this situation? Well, when we’re repeating an affirmation, we’re consciously thinking about what we want to believe.

Okay? So they really I wouldn’t have done a whole podcast about them last week if I didn’t think in the last episode, if I didn’t think it was important to use affirmations and have them in your personal development toolbox. But if you’re using them to avoid confronting anything negative or things that are like a bad reality in your life, it can weep into that self-deception piece and hinder where you’re actually doing and what you’re working on. So that’s why when I’m saying things like take the mirror exercise that I do with my clients and maybe you’ve seen it, it can be really hard to look in a mirror and say, oh, you sexy mud the if you don’t actually believe it. Now, if you lie to yourself and say, sexy mother, put that but you’re really not believing it, that’s not going to be good for you.

But if you could look at one part of who you are and go, oh, I love my ears, they got those flappy little loads and big dangle earrings on and I can hear everything people are saying. Whatever it is you want to say, start on something small. If there’s something that you want to affirm that seems like it is too big a thing that might actually be going into that lie territory for you can be it can be a blurry line until you really understand the difference between the two. So just go with me in the way of affirmations about affirming a belief in yourself or a positive statement that you want to repeat or something that you want to manifest, to manifest as means to make happen. So something you want to happen.

Whereas that self deception, remember, is about avoiding denying sticking your head in the sand and not to be something. And it has more of those negative connotations. So one is a tool for growth and one is going to suck you down the drain of feeling crap about yourself. So we don’t want that. Thank you so much for sticking with me on that one.

And I’m proud to say I used to be a lila pants on fire. I’m a work in progress, like all of us are. This isn’t one and done deal people. Our journey to be the best us is a forever changing and moving one and I think that’s part of the magic of it. So here’s, cheers to you.

Thank you so much for listening. And if you have any questions, send me a message on the socials. I would love to have chat. So bye.

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and wanna dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I’d love to invite you to join the club. It’s my monthly membership designed to guide and support you with the tools and the coaching you need to be extraordinary. Head on over to samanthaleith.com/theclub for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside.

 

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