Lies you are telling yourself.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Truth or lie

Separating truth from lies is hard work.
Photo courtesy of

If you are telling yourself these things you are lying to yourself and may not even know it.

1. I can’t do it

Can’t usually means won’t.

By telling yourself you are not able to do a thing you convert your own mind into an enemy. Your brain starts creating this failure. Tell yourself you will fail and you will.

People who are positive are much more successful. They tell themselves they can and many times this turns out to be true.

2. Other people think badly of me.

Most of the time, most people are too involved in their own lives to pay any attention to you. Unless they are saying they do not like you and what you are doing, it would be a mistake to think that others disapprove.

Blaming other people for not liking you creates just that result. You think they do not like you, you do not like them and then you’re not liking them results in their not liking you.

You started this avalanche of negativity.

3. I am a failure.

The biggest failure of all is to never try. I see this in a lot of young people who are overly hard on themselves. A few recent graduates do get jobs at top companies. But the majority of them have to start out at the bottom and work their way up. Do not think you are a failure because you are not more successful than everyone else.

The biggest failure of all is to never try.

Accept that you are where you are and then work on improving yourself. You are not a failure because of what you did that did not work. Those are learning opportunities. The ultimate failure is to accept defeat and stop trying.

You have not failed. You just haven’t succeeded yet

4. People will talk about me.

People talk about the President, they talk about the Pope. What? Are you saying you are more important than them?

Having people talk about you indicates you are doing things. No one talks much about those who never try. No one knows they exist.

5. Not paying my bills means I am saving money.

If you came from a poverty mentality then you learned that if you paid the power bill there might be no money for food. What people who live that way miss is that those late charges and extra fees add up.

Learn to manage money, not be bullied by the bills. Pay your bills on time. Budget for what you will need and if there is not enough money find ways to cut expenses and earn more. Avoiding your responsibilities is not an effective way to save anything.

6. I can’t afford to save anything.

Savings is simple. Spend less than you earn. Simple is, of course, not easy.

The more people earn the less able to save they seem to be. Savings do not need to be a lot to add up. Save a dollar a paycheck and at the end of the year, you will have fifty dollars saved up.

Most people in America spend a little more, sometimes just a dollar or two, each pay period than they make. Eventually, this adds up to a mountain of debt.

7. I should do or be —

Beware the tyranny of the “shoulds.” This doing things because you think that you have to can rob you of a lot of time and happiness. Now there are some things you should not do because they are illegal or will cause you problems. There are other things you need to do like pay your bills and care for your children.

But most of us every day do a bunch of things that rob us of time not because we really needed to do those things but because somewhere in our heads we recorded a rule that things always need to be a certain way.

8. Doing things for me is selfish.

Good self-care is not being selfish. Self-neglect is abusive. Do positive things for yourself to maintain your ability to do things.

9. Other people are the cause of my problems.

Blaming others is an excuse. It can keep you stuck. Rarely will you be successful in getting them to change to do things your way. Learn to work around those obstacles. Change yourself, your circumstances, or your reaction to those people, and you can often dissolve the power they have over you.

10. Others can do more than I can.

So? If you use this as an excuse for not trying you will never do anything. You do not have to be perfect. You do not have to be the best at anything. You just need to be you. Do what you can and accept what you do. Just make sure to be truthful to yourself and do your best.

11. Nothing will ever change.

Everything will change – eventually. In the long run, we are all dead. The question is do you want to start living a real-life or do you want an excuse for why you do not try?

12. No one cares about me.

Start caring about yourself. No one in your life is likely to care more about you than you do. If you do not care about yourself you make it difficult for others to care about you.

13. I am right, I know I am.

Insisting you are right can be some comfort but it is rarely helpful to waste time arguing about who is right. Have the courage of your convictions but do not insist that everyone sees things your way.

Be open to the possibility that sometimes you can be mistaken. When new information arrives reevaluate your thoughts on things.

14. I don’t have enough education.

Do what you can with what you have. People often overestimate the education and training they need to find a job, a partner, or to be able to do something.

If you do lack the formal credentials for an opportunity you would like, consider going back to school. Do not tell yourself you are too old to learn. People are living longer these days. Jobs go out of existence. More people than ever before are returning to school in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond.

You are never too old to learn something new.

15. If I just had – Then I would be happy and successful.

If you are not happy in the process of getting to your goals you are unlikely to be happy when you get there. Happiness is not a destination it is a process you learn along the way.

16. I don’t have that talent.

Talent is overrated. Lots of natural talents practiced thousands or even tens of thousands of hours to get that talent. We are all born with the possibility of becoming talented at something.

Most talent turns out to actually be skills. The more you learn, the more you practice, the more skilled you will become.

17. I was just born this way.

You are nothing like you were when you were born.  People grow. They develop. They learn things. If you learned something and it is not working you can unlearn it and learn a new way of being.

Genes turn on and off based on your life experiences. Do good things. Practice happiness skills and those thoughts you think are “just me” will change as a result of new learning and experiences.

Have you been lying to yourself? Would you be happier and more successful if you started telling yourself the truth?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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7 thoughts on “Lies you are telling yourself.

  1. I was hoping for some help on how to get rid of the unpleasantness of auditioning.

    I was always struck by the irrational absurdity of my feeling fearful and painful
    in relation to unpleasant (but normal) events like exams and auditions and performing.

    I rationally know that there is no reason to feel like that, and that it is also counterproductive,
    yet, when the time comes, I feel like a really torturing feeling of discomfort and unpleasantness pervades me, no matter how i try to coach myself into repeating that it is absurd to feel like that.

    And it takes me at least two weeks to “recover” from the post auditioning: like i would feel nervous,
    and really on the defensive afterwards, and feel like i can’t have the mental strenght to audition again until some months go by.

    I did make a little improvement: years ago i was fearful for days beforehand an audition,
    now i just block any feeling until the very last minutes before and while i start auditioning,
    and the fear comes all of a sudden like a truck running me down.
    But it is torture anyway because i have to force my mind all the time into pretending i am not afraid
    and into not being afraid of not being able to prend of not being afraid, and also afraid of feeling the fear. As a result it is really tiring for me to audition.

    So now i keep thinking (and i feel really annoyed when i ponder on the strangeness of it): why can’t i feel relaxed just like i was going to do something i don’t mind or, even better, like it was something i can’t wait to do, with happy jubilant anticipation, like opening a present, or going out with a boyfriend, or watching a movie, or finally getting home after a hard day’s work …

    Since i believe in the possibility of influencing my own self, and on free will in general,
    i WANT to be able to turn smthng absolutely unpleasant into smthng I am even eager and jubilant to do!

    What’s the trick? What should I do?

    P.S. has it anything to do with the fact that i always seem to fantasize of myself AFTER the (worrisome) situation,
    and therefore experiencing the CURRENT situation as smthng bothering and possibly hindering to the RESULT afterwards?
    Sometimes i feel i can’t even enjoy nice situations because i have the feeling that they won’t last.
    And also I feel that part of the problem lies in the fact that:
    i don’t trust myself BEFORE i actually DO smthng … like, i only relax if i get the impression
    that i am actually DOING fine, otherwise i struggle to calm myself during the performance.
    It’s like i need PROOF to trust myself, but i cannot trust myself BEFORE i do smthng, it’s like i never know how good/bad i am going to sound BEFORE, because one never knows, theoretically anything is possible.
    Anyway, Knowing what makes me worried does not help me get enlightened about the real issue behind it all and on finding possible solutions.

    I know that it is normal for human beings to dislike smthng that causes fears and worries,
    but what’s the difference (in mind, thinking and personality) between me and smbdy who
    absolutely loves (or at least doesn’t mind) performing and auditioning, and feels NO fear,
    but just joy and willingness and anticipation to perform?

    Can i BE like them? is there a possibility for me to overcome my fears?
    What do i have to change in my personality/mind/thought processes?

    Please help, i want to feel good when i perform, i know i can learn, there must be a trick!


    • Take a look at my reply on your other comment. Yes you can come to terms with this problem. Professional coaching or counseling might help. You are not alone in having this problem. It sounds similar to test anxiety. While I cant do therapy here in the blog I will try to write more on this issue in the future.


  2. I really liked this list, David – thank you. I fall into quite a few of these thought-traps, I’m afraid! With your permission, I’d like to print this out and stick it on the fridge 🙂 or better still, scatter them through the house – because the eye can take in a soundbite! Think I could do with the constant reminders. Thanks again.


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