One of the most important ways to ensure that you live the good life is to see things clearly.
If you see things worse than they are, then it’s easy to be hopeless and never get started on your journey.
If you see things better than they are, then you’ll accept a less-than-awesome life, and it will subconsciously grind away at you. Today, we’re going to dive in and explore the ways in which self-delusion may have unintentionally become part of your life.
“I need to go do this.”
Wait, you need to or you want to?
“Oh, I mean I want to.”
Trust your first reaction in these scenarios. Far too often, people end up doing things they don’t want to do. It’s normal. We all have obligations. But when you convince yourself that you like these things, congratulations you just played yourself.
Be clear on what you like to do and your obligations. If you can’t tell the difference, you run the risk of filling your life full of crap you hate.
There’s something to be said for the “fake it ’til you make it” philosophy. It helps you generate confidence when you don’t have it. There is a place for it.
But there are consequences.
By thinking you’re awesome at everything, it’s difficult to improve. Also, you have no idea where your vulnerabilities are. You take on projects that have no chance of success because you don’t realize that it isn’t your strong suit.
This is the difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence gets things done. Arrogance often doesn’t.
On the flip side, realize that if you think you suck — at everything — then you are just as self-delusional. No one is terrible at everything. It’s just impossible. At the very, very worst, you’re awesome at failing, and that’s actually something to build on. So, if you think you’re bad at everything, relax. You’re deluding yourself.
Unfortunately, people think this way all the damn time. When someone has a shitty job that they want to leave, the response is often, “I have to stay. I don’t have any other options based on my (financial situation, education, family, age, curling hobby, etc.).”
If you’re ever the type of person who thinks this way, please hammer this concept into your head: You always have options. Always.
No matter how bad things are, no matter how trapped you might feel, you always have an alternative. Living with this kind of self-delusion can be the most harmful because instead of convincing yourself that you like something that you don’t, you’re admitting you don’t like something and forcing yourself to stick it out anyway.
No one should have to live that way.
This self-delusion can hit hard because it preys on your desperation. Let’s say you like a girl. Deep down, she doesn’t like you back. Maybe on some level you even know it.
But you don’t want to admit it. Instead, you hang onto anything you can to create the illusion that this girl likes you back. You hear her say, “See you later” and blow it up to mean that she wants to hang out with you — even though you’ve haven’t actually spent time together in two weeks.
This self-delusion can waste a ton of your time, and it doesn’t even prevent you from the eventual heartbreak you’d experience anyway if you just saw things as they were from the beginning.
Self-delusion is difficult to spot, primarily because if you have it, then your viewpoint is unreliable. But here’s the thing: Most of the time when you’re deluding yourself, you feel it on some level.
You might convince yourself that you believe something, but do you feel it in your gut? Do you feel it in your heart? If your brain and your gut disagree, trust the latter.
Also, check in with your friends. Ask them to be honest. Getting opinions aside from your own can help you see things clearly. And once you see clearly, you finally can deal with a situation head-on.