3 Lies We Tell Ourselves That Sabotage Our Joy
Not all of our thoughts are true, there are many lies we tell ourselves that take away our happiness.
Real quick I want to introduce myself, my name is Bre. Something you should know about me is that I have struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life. Right now, at this point in my life, I am the happiest I have ever been. I’ve only been able to get to this point because of my struggle, because of how I’ve been able to mentally process it and push forward.
I’ve been able to manage my anxiety and depression with natural means. In this post, I want to talk about 3 lies we tell ourselves that sabotage our joy and peace of mind.
My first profound experience with this concept happened about a year ago. My husband and I went out on a weekend trip, I was really struggling with managing my anxiety at this time and I had this recurring thought that could cause my whole day to change in a blink of an eye. I would become worried, anxious, and suddenly feel like my life was falling apart.
I felt this stressor of mine creeping up on me, I noticed the thought and decided I didn’t have to entertain it. It wasn’t a true thought. It didn’t have to control how I felt for the rest of the day. Because that thought was a lie! And if I did entertain the thought my peace of mind would be gone, I’d become an anxious wreck. So I let the thought go, and was able to feel so much peace.
Now here are 3 common lies we tell ourselves that keep us from having joy:
Lie #1: I’m not good enough
Smart enough. Pretty enough. Tough enough. I’m just not enough – this is the biggest lie you will tell yourself. Because you are enough, what you can do right now is enough.
Don’t you dare limit yourself by telling yourself you’re not good enough. Sometimes you have to be your biggest cheerleader so don’t you dare for a second tear yourself down.
You wouldn’t be friends with someone who talks to you that way so stop thinking you’re not good enough.
Lie #2: I’ll be happy when. . .
This lie comes in many variations:
- I’ll be happy when x happens
- I’ll be happy when I accomplish x
- I can only be happy if…
These are all lies and a disservice to yourself. Don’t rob yourself of your happiness in the present moment. Happiness doesn’t exist in the future, it can only exist right now.
How can you truly be happy in a week, a month, or a year if you still don’t have that one thing that would change your world? You’re still going to be miserable if you can only be happy when x happens.
Don’t base your happiness on factors. Base your happiness on facts.
The facts of here and now. Be happy because you have a family, a roof over your head, a place to sleep, a device to read this post on,etc. If you don’t think you have anything to be happy about, write a list of things you’re grateful for. Do this exercise at the end of every day and write at least 3 things you’re grateful for that day. After 21 days of doing this, it alters your brain chemistry to be more positive, happy, and grateful for what you have.
Choose to be happy now and you won’t have to wait to be happy in “the future”.
Lie #3: I can’t achieve x because of y
This one varies from person to person but the message is the same.
To name a few common ones:
- I can’t start a business because I didn’t go to business school.
- I can’t get the promotion because I’m new.
- I can’t get a date because I’m shy, ugly, not skinny pretty enough, etc (all bs btw, because you are enough and the right person will see that)
- I can’t be me because people will judge me
- I can’t be successful because of my past
That last reason used to be the one that controlled me. For the longest time, I thought my life and happiness is a result of my past, I am the way I am because of how I was raised and there’s no getting around that. There is some truth in this. We are shaped by the experiences that we go through but just because you had a childhood that was less than great it doesn’t make you less than great. It doesn’t diminish what you are capable of achieving.
I was telling my husband I feel like I missed out on a lot of normal childhood experiences and I feel like it jipped my future. I told him I feel like I can’t be successful because of my past. His response was, “So what?”
Excuse me. So what?!
But then he said this:
So what if I was raised a certain way. So what if I missed out on certain events, or if certain things weren’t important to my family growing up. So what? I can’t go back and change the past, but I have complete control over my future, and what I can do now.
My past doesn’t mean I’ll be unsuccessful unless I tell myself that. Our thoughts bring forth our actions. So if you think you’re going to fail you’re right.
This lie “I can’t achieve x because of y” holds us back. It stops us from growing and putting ourselves out there. It puts us in a box, that’s what I had done for so many years and just like that my husband challenged my belief about something I thought was true. I let go of that lie and have found so much peace and brilliant success in many forms.
So challenge your lies, question your thoughts and honestly ask yourself if the thoughts that prevent joy in your life are they really true?
Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are. Let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it. –C. Assaad