I can trick the world and say that I did everything I said I would do (or not do). I can convince it about who I am and what I am not. But would that be worth it?
At the end of the day, when I look at myself and introspect – I realize that I can’t hide from myself.
I can’t lie to my conscience
I’m the person I’ll have to deal with and live with. And if I lie, self-acceptance gets harder and my superficiality lets me down.
So, I avoid any little tricks I can play on myself. I try not to manipulate my own being and I avoid any phony blunders that may define me.
What does that mean?
I admit that I may be tempted to do stuff that doesn’t resonate with my conscience – but that leaves me empty and unsatisfied.
Here’s how clinical psychologist Cortney S. Warren puts it in her article about self-deception on Psychology Today:
Humans are masters of self-deception. We fool ourselves into believing things that are false and we refuse to believe things that are true.
In fact, we lie to ourselves about just about everything—from why we like wearing designer clothing instead of non-name brand fashion to how our childhood influenced our choice of romantic partners. And most of the time, we are completely unaware of the rampant lying going on in our own minds.
I personally find that I’m satisfied with the direction of life when I’m concerned with the stuff that intuitively feels right to me.
Hence, the staying-true-to-myself part occurs when I accept my feelings without posing resistance, admitting my flaws without any ego-issues, and remaining open and willful towards change.
Also, I came across this video of Bruce Lee while searching for references in which he talks about self-expression in work, but the idea is equally applicable to how we lead our lives.
It’s fulfilling to find what matters to me.
I’d rather focus on the stuff with real substance
Am I being honest with myself? Am I avoiding what needs to be taken care of? Am I becoming the person I’d want to be be?
I know that some of this might appear fancy and philosophical, but every time I read these questions, some obvious topics that had been going on in my head pop up.
Once I analyze them, I grok what to do next, and I calibrate my steps to move in the right direction. That wouldn’t be possible if I’d been lying to myself.