When I was a youngster, this little jump rope chat could be heard daily on the playground as little girls gathered in groups to skip to the beat of the rope. There were other versions too, “Liar, liar, pants on fire, Hanging by a telephone wire!” and “Liar, liar, pants on fire,Your belt’s hanging on the telephone wire!” are two that I still can recall. Every now and then, when someone is not quite as truthful as I expected, I still hear the little chant inside my head, forever imprinted there.
Liar, liar, pant’s on fire…
Sadly…every now and then, I have to say it to myself.
Not because I have told somebody a lie ( I try REALLY hard never to do that). But because I told one to myself. I don’t MEAN to tell a lie. They just sometimes fall out of my thoughts.
Like the famous, “Today, I’m not eating a single bit of white flour or bread. I don’t eat that stuff.” (Liar, liar…I’ve been scarfing it down for a week now,)
Or, how about, “I’m going to bed early tonight, my sleep is important to me.” (Oh yeah? So why did the clock strike pumpkin time before I ever saw my sheets? Liar, liar…)
I makes my shoulders slump. I feel like I let myself down. I feel like a fraud. It creates pot shots in my self-esteem. I question my personal integrity.
Does this ever happen to you?
If you are human, it probably does. So then, if everyone is doing it, no harm done right? We can just chalk it up to being part of the human race and accept that the things we say to ourselves just don’t matter.
Except that this is the biggest lie of them all.
The truth is, that when we let ourselves down, it digs a hole. When we make ourselves promises that we don’t keep, we feel untrustworthy. We begin to doubt our personal integrity, our motivation, our will power and our ability to make our dreams come true. We begin to look toward outside influences for our accountability because we can’t trust ourselves to be accountable to our own internal being.
Does that mean you have to be perfect?
You won’t be. You can’t be. Perfection isn’t of this world, we call that place heaven. But what you can be is accountable. You can take stock of what you are saying to yourself, sit down and ask yourself,” Hey Self, What’s up with this?”
Get to the bottom of why you are not accountable to your personal word to yourself. There are probably really good, fixable reasons.Here are a few of the most common.
A Few Reasons We Lie To Ourselves
The Goal isn’t really important to us. It’s important to somebody else, but secretly, we really don’t care. We are people-pleasing all over ourselves and our inner being isn’t buying into the program. First available chance and our subconscious mind whispers, “Just kidding! Never had any intention of waking up early to exercise! And we are more than happy to fall back asleep. We never wanted to get up in the first place!
The Goal is overwhelming. We bit off so much that we are choking and our subconscious is talking back through the ginormous bites screaming that this is unsustainable so why even bother?
The Goal is no match for our fatigue. When we are exhausted, there is very little that can keep us on task and motivated without considerable effort. It’s easy to break promises when we have no energy. In order to have more personal integrity, we need to take better physical care of ourselves. In order to take better physical care of ourselves, we need better personal integrity. It’s a tricky one and the trick is this. Establish a bare minimum, no matter what threshold that keeps you honest. That way when you are feeling run down, you can institute Personal Pampering Day, and get by on your bare minimum without breaking your integrity. But at least you are doing something!
The Goal is not part of your routine. Out of sight, out of mind. Routines and systems help us to keep our personal integrity by making habits automatic. The more automatic a habit is, the less time the Liar and excuses voices can sit on your shoulder and tempt you to quit. Here is a tip. Link your new habit to an existing habit so that your brain will accept it more readily and not argue.
Let’s face it, none of us want to be liars. We all want to have integrity, faith in ourselves and great self-esteem. It isn’t like we are TRYING to sabotage ourselves with excuses, lies and broken promises.
When it does happen, be kind. Recover with grace and forgiveness to your struggling self and see if you can implement a few systems or ideas to help your poor self out. Yourself will thank you for it!