Lie to Yourself – And Believe the Lies!

I love information.  New information energizes me.  Learning something I didn’t know previously feels really good.  It feels unmistakably like pure growth.

The other side of that spectrum is lack of information (pure fluff), or false information (lies).  Snopes has done a good job of fact-checking urban legends and interesting stories.  The better service they have done for us is to make us more responsible in the information that we share with others.

As we’re going deeper and deeper into the Information Age, the responsible sharing of high quality information becomes more and more information.  Fact checking everything you read will become inefficient, and at the worst, impossible.

This blog post isn’t about making sure everything you read and everything you share is 100% factually accurate.

This blog post is about driving your beliefs based on your goals, and not based on factual evidence.

Yes, you choose what you believe.

Some of us don’t consciously choose what we believe.

“I’m scared of flying – what if we crash?”  That person believes flying is risky; that there’s a chance the plane will crash – a greater chance than they are comfortable with.

Personally, I’m scared of speaking to groups of people.  I believe that I need to say everything perfectly, with a Shakespearean-like prose, in order to avoid the judgment of the audience.

Both of those beliefs are false.  I’m sure you’ve heard that in reality, flying in airplanes is safer than driving in cars.  And people aren’t expecting perfect speeches from me – just that I’m real and they can relate in some way.

The truth of our beliefs don’t matter – we believe them anyway.  Phobias, insecurities, and other negative beliefs can paralyze us.

My recommendation is that we begin to adopt a different set of false beliefs.  And once they are adopted, that you genuinely accept them as truth.

Match your beliefs to your goals.  Then, match your actions to your new beliefs.

(spoiler alert – stop reading here if you don’t want to see behind my Wizard of Oz curtain…)

One of my goals is to write a book.  It’s called “The Upward Spiral”, and it’s about putting your life on a track of constant growth and improvement – with a focus on automating that growth, so as to remove the constant “hard work” feeling.  It doesn’t mean there’s no hard work – it simply means that it doesn’t feel like hard work.

The first problem I encountered – I’m a bad writer.  Not that I can’t write.  But it tends to sound like a textbook.  And I get drained when I write.  And it’s boring.  And I haven’t achieved anything worth talking about.  And I’m negative.  :-)

How does a boring, tired, unimpressive person write a book that’s interesting, energizing, and uplifting?  That question paralyzed me for years.


I began to believe, with the help of Seth Godin, Michael Masterson, Timothy Ferriss, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, and many others, that I can become a great writer.

As it turns out, practice makes you better.  Yep, that’s the kind of insight you only get here on  Never before heard wisdom that practice makes perfect.  Original and mind-blowing.

So I started a blog.  And I started to write posts that relate to the concepts I’d like to cover in my book.

Are you putting together the puzzle yet?  This blog is my training camp for the book.  I told you it was a spoiler.

Anyway, the point is this:

It doesn’t matter that I had never written anything outside of a school assignment.  I chose to believe that I am already a great writer, who just needs practice to perfect it.  Am I a great writer?  No.  Will I ever become one?  Maybe.  But it doesn’t matter what the answer is – it only matters that I believe it.

I’m predicting the biggest objection I’ll get to this line is “What about all those people on American Idol who think they’re good, but are really terrible?  They believe a lie, and look at them!”

Well, it may be hard to hear, but they’re doing it right.

For every one person who is more passionate about their success and cares more about their art than other people judging them, there are a hundred who are paralyzed with self-consciousness.  If those people would put their insecurities aside and go for it, we’d have a lot of people not hiding from fear, but sharing their incredible gifts.




PS, I usually don’t caveat my thoughts, or apologize.  But for this one, I’m going to add a big disclaimer.  This concept of designing your belief system around your goals doesn’t apply to all things.  Specifically, spirituality & religion.  I directly influence my actions and chance of success with a change in my belief system.  That is not the case with my spiritual beliefs.  So I’d recommend seeking truth there, and avoid making a set of personally convenient beliefs.

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