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  • Writer's pictureYve Anmore

Tell the Truth to Yourself About Yourself

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

It's the only way to know who you truly are!

If there’s one thing I can say I’ve truly mastered in life, it’s telling the truth to myself about myself. I may not always tell the truth to everyone else, but I sure as hell won’t lie to me.

Lying about who you are — what drives you, motivates or inspires you, is just you, fooling you. We already live in a world of illusion, hyperbole and spin, so fooling yourself simply complicates matters further.

The most important part of all this is that when you don’t tell the truth to yourself about yourself, you can never know who you truly are.

I recently met a guy who fooled himself so much he had no clue what was true anymore. Even at the most basic levels of self-honesty, he contradicted himself:

‘I always walk everywhere, I never get taxis I love to walk,’ he said. Fair enough. But then when speaking with him a few days later — and he was a little bit tipsy to be fair, he slurringly said this. ‘I always take taxis. It makes everything so much easier. I just pay for the taxi and it takes me where I want to go.’ Notice the use of the word ‘always’ both times.

When I brought it to his attention that only days previously, he’d insisted that he’d never waste money on taxis, he was ready to defend his version of events to the bitter end.

Now you may think this seems like a silly tale, an extraordinary example of someone who clearly doesn’t have a clue about who they are. But in fact, this is what we all do to some extent each and every day of our lives — until we learn not to.

Your example of when you lie to yourself about yourself may be a lot more subtle. It may not be immediately noticeable, but some part of you does notice. This part of you is the truth teller and it always tells you the truth, especially the uncomfortable truth.

We may not like to listen to this part of ourselves. It can make us squirm inwardly to look at our inconsistencies and contradictions and so the inner truth-teller can get pushed to the background of our awareness.

We may especially not listen to this part of ourselves when it tells us we are whole, worthy and complete. When it tells us that we have inherent value and need to do nothing to become more worthy, we may scoff and dismiss its voice vociferously.

Yet in dismissing this voice when it’s trying to show us our true value, we become more likely to lie not only to ourselves but to everyone else.

We may lie about being confident or successful. We may lie about how much we eat, how little we eat, and what we eat. We might deny how envious, judgemental and condemning we can be towards others.

We may deceive others and exaggerate how much money we have or how spiritual we are. We may deny our stress levels or the creeping feelings of depression that may be rising to the surface. Putting on that brave (lying) face so the world never sees our true vulnerabilities.

We can especially lie about what we really want from life. We may ignore the things that make us truly happy and content, the things that make life feel most fulfilling to us and instead focus on making everyone else happy.

Lying to others about these things is completely understandable. We live in a competitive world, where survival of the fittest is a base measurement in so many areas of life. Lying to ourselves about these things, however, causes us to deny who we really are.

If we don’t know what truly motivates, inspires and drives us, then whose life are we really living? Are we living our lives based on what our parents, our partner, our culture, our religion, or our society expects of us?

How can we find the answer to these questions if we’re always lying to ourselves?

When I really started to tell the truth to myself about myself it was revelatory. I discovered a whole different person that I never knew existed.

I didn’t judge any aspect of the self that was emerging, I was just curious about it. I needed to know who I was if self-judgement, self-attack and self-doubt weren’t present and how that self changed if they were.

I was able to look at the good, bad, ugly, downright mean, and magnificent within me, without flinching. I was able to call myself on my b.s. and applaud my desire to know what was true.

It has got to the point where very few people can tell me anything about me in an attacking way, that I haven’t already looked at, acknowledged and made peace with.

That doesn’t mean those verbal attacks don’t hurt, it just means they hurt less and the hurt doesn’t stay around as long. Because, if what the person was saying was true, and I could admit it was true to myself, then what was the point of holding on to the hurt of that?

Paradoxically, telling the sometimes brutal truth to myself about myself has made me much more self-loving, self-forgiving and self-nurturing.

When some aspect of my personality wants to go into attack and defence mode I see it and sometimes I give it free rein if it feels like the right circumstance.

Equally, when the softer, gentler, more vulnerable self wants to show itself to the world, I’m more willing to let it be. It doesn’t need to win every argument, be the top dog, or prove how good it is. It just wants to express itself, whether people try to take advantage of it or not.

But because self-love, self-forgiveness and self-nurturing are now inherent, lying down and playing a doormat is not an option for me either.

When we are willing to tell the truth to ourselves, our full self begins to emerge and it may surprise us.

In my case, it has caused me to become my own best friend, my biggest cheerleader and my own accountability partner. Though of course, I seek out those who lovingly hold me accountable also — because there’s always more to see, know and learn.

What about you? Do you tell the truth to yourself about yourself and what have you discovered? Are you afraid to really look at yourself for fear of what you might discover or are you open to the possibility that hidden in that discovery may be your greatest gift to yourself?

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