The Idea: According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, 60 percent of people lie at least once in a 10 minute conversation. People name-drop, over state relationships, discount their weaknesses and even twist the truth to make themselves look better. How do you ensure that you aren’t lying to yourself? More importantly, how do you ensure that you don’t believe your own lies?
We are all guilty at times of willingly denying what is right in front of us; it’s easy and sometimes beneficial in the moment. You see this with friends and family, narcissistic co-workers, unchecked politicians, and all leaders before a fall. It is easier to deny the truth that is right in front of you, because you either can’t or don’t want to believe it.
The trouble with lying to oneself is that a false reality is created. Lying is like building a house on sand and often it’s the most powerful and knowledgeable that is susceptible. Researchers at the University of Exeter found that people with “excessive knowledge in a specific area are often duped more than those who are less well-versed.” They are in need of a reality check.
When people are overconfident, they are sure they will never be misled or hoodwinked by themselves or someone else. But they are wrong. In fact, they are the most vulnerable to being deceived.
Here are three ideas to stay rooted in reality:
- Conduct 360 feedback discussions with your team – partners and friends. Be vulnerable enough to uncover how you are really showing up.
- Work with a coach that loves you enough to be honest and pull out your best while courageous enough to confront your blind spots.
- Be willing to work on your own emotional health. We all have inner battles and the quicker you recognize and own it, the better.
Author Derek Landy once penned “The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.”
Have you recently rationalized something away that is sitting right in front of you?