Psychologists and experts say that most people tell one to two lies a day, and as consumers, we hear around 10 to 20 lies a day – it’s a wild concept! But the lies I’m most concerned about are the ones that we tell ourselves; the ones that hold us back from creating the lives we want.
Let me ask you: what do you want from your life? What would you love to create? And what’s stopping you from creating it? So often, we are lying to ourselves about what we want and are inadvertently preventing ourselves from discovering our own truth. But we have the power to change the trajectory of our lives, and it all starts with radical truth-telling.
In this episode, I’m giving you the opportunity to reflect on whether you are lying to yourself and showing you how to start showing up differently to get what you want. I’m sharing three common lies we tell ourselves that hold us back from living our most fulfilled life and how to start telling yourself the truth to reclaim your life and go after what lights you up.
You’re listening to episode two of the Unlock Your Life podcast. On this episode, we’re talking making truth a habit so you can reclaim your life and your time with radical truth-telling. Let’s get going.
Welcome to the Unlock Your Life podcast, a podcast for highly successful visionary women who want more out of life. If you feel that ache of unfulfillment in your soul, you’re in the right place sis. Join life mastery consultant Lori A. Harris as she teaches you how to stop living for others and finally put yourself first. Let’s dive into today’s show.
So how are you doing? I’m just getting back from vacation, and this is my first time returning back to my work life after being away for a period of time. When I worked in corporate, sometimes I would come back from vacation and look around and say, “This is my job? This is what I do every day?” I’m not having that experience right now.
Coming out of COVID, I had to plan a different kind of vacation, which is a little unusual for me. I’m more Dora the Explorer, the woman who wants to go to all the museums and all the architectural sites and check everything out. This time I did something more relaxed. I had a little bit of exploration. I went to volcanos and did a little hiking, but most of it was just relaxing and spending time with family. I really enjoyed that.
So what kind of vacationer are you? Are you a combo? Do you do a little bit of Dora the Explorer and plugin things that involve learning? Are you more relaxed, sit by the pool, have a cocktail at the beach in your beach chair? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you love. I think I’m going to go a little bit more combo in the future because it was nice, and I definitely have transitioned back into my work life with greater ease.
So today we’re talking about making truth a habit. Making truth a habit so that you can live the life of your dreams. Reclaiming your life, reclaiming your time. What would that look like for you? What would it look like for you to start telling yourself the truth? Psychologists and experts say that most people tell one to two lies a day. As consumers or people interacting with others, we hear 10 to 20 lies every day.
It’s kind of a wild concept, but I don’t think it really speaks to people being intentionally deceitful. It’s just mindless chatter. How are you today? I’m fine. How’s it going? Okay. When we’re not engaging and really meeting people face to face, heart to heart, having meaningful interactions with people. So people lie. They lie about, “Oh yeah, your haircut looks really good. Oh no, those pants don’t make you look fat.” And all kinds of things. So that’s what I think most experts are referring to when they say people lie.
Those aren’t the lies that I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about the lies that we tell ourselves that keep us from expressing and discovering our own truth. I believe that all of our lives can be an adventure. That we can be growing and expanding every day. Learning and getting in touch with more and more of ourselves. Those things within us that light us up, that make us come alive.
So I want to talk to you today about three common lies that we often tell ourselves. I’ve noticed that as adults as we move through life, we get into a routine, a habit of just kind of going with whatever is served. Life is a whole buffet. There’re a number of choices being laid out before us. Somehow we gobble up what’s at the front of the line never venturing over to the end of the line where the quality high premium ticket offerings are. I want to give you an opportunity to reflect on are you lying to yourself?
When I work with clients, they first have to allow themselves to discover that thing that lives within them that lights them up. We talk about what would you love? What would you love to create with your life? What would you love to create with your time? It could be as simple as what do you want? Sometimes saying “what would you love” freaks people out because they think, “Oh, it’s gotta be big. It’s gotta be incredible. It’s gotta be this big mountain for me to climb.”
The truth is tapping into your own desire and telling yourself the truth is your own internal mountain. It doesn’t have to be something big and impressive for other people. It can be impressive for you because you are getting in touch with that which you really want. The thing that lights you up, the thing that you want to explore and discover about yourself. Not what’s going to impress other people. Not what’s going to check off boxes for your parents or your colleagues or impress the world but doing the thing that lights you up.
So when I turn to my clients and I ask them, “What do you want?” Oftentimes they’ll reply with, “Oh, I don’t know. Oh I’m not sure. I don’t know.” But that’s the work of coaching. It’s an inquiry. It’s an excavation. It’s a deep dive into you, your own desire. So once we get going, eventually that pump starts to work, and desires start to bottle up. When that happens, it can be frightening for people. It can be scary because then they have to confront the life they’re living now doesn’t match the life that they would love to be living, doesn’t fulfill their own desire.
So then they come up with excuses, reasons why they can’t do, have, or be the thing of their hopes and dreams. They want to tell me why. In my seven years of coaching, I’ve found that there are three common lies my clients tell themselves that keep them from living their most fulfilled life.
The first one is, “I can’t because I don’t have the time.” The reason why that’s a lie is because there are 24 hours in every day. I suspect that if you look at the way you’re investing your time, managing your time, working with your time, you’ll find that there’s places where you’re wasting your time and you’re not using your time to the best of your ability. So check it out. Check out your behaviors. Look at how you spend your time. Are you spending your time on social media? On your email? On television? Those are three major time sucks that steal away your precious, most precious commodity. Your time.
So if you look at the way you are using your time, there might very well be places you could find the time to pursue something that lights you up. Perhaps it’s an advanced degree. Perhaps it’s an enhanced level of fitness. Perhaps you’d love to start a business or write a book. Check out where are you investing your time.
Now, how might you do that? How do you find out where is the time suck? Where is the time leak? Well, the best way to do it is to audit. To do a time study. The way you can do that is to choose a seven day period and actually record where are you spending your time. Now there are apps that can help you do that. Relying on our electronic devices for yet another task. Or you can use screen time to see what information is already being recorded for you.
The final thing you can do is good old fashioned pen and paper. Make a chart. Chart out seven days. Chart out the hours of the day. You could do your waking hours, or you could break them down into quarters from 6:00 to 9:00, 9:00 to 12:00, 12:00 to 3:00, and 3:00 to 6:00 until your bedtime. You get to decide how you want to quantify your time but do a time study and see where the time is going.
So you would start from the very first time you wake up in the morning until you go to bed and rest. See where you are spending your time. How much time do you spend piddling around the house? How much time do you spend on social media? If you’re not watching social media, that doesn’t mean you’re not investing your time in other people’s creative efforts. If you’re watching TV, and Nielsen ratings estimates that the average American watches five hours of television. Five hours of consuming other people’s creative efforts every day.
If you were to find out you were investing that kind of time, think of all the things you could create with that time. Perhaps you could start a business. Perhaps you could write a book. If you wrote a book and you decided to write 750 words a day, a page a day, for 365 days, at the end of the year you’d have a book.
So I encourage you to carve out two hours every day to pursue something that lights you up. You will discover that you will have changed the trajectory of your own life. If you find two hours a day, that’s the equivalent of two weeks of work, 45 hours of work that you are doing to invest in yourself. Look at your time, look at your choices. Make sure that you are investing your most precious commodity. The one thing that cannot be replaced. Where are you investing your time or wasting it?
The next lie or common excuse that I’ve heard people say in explaining why they don’t pursue their creative efforts or their desires, their hopes and dreams, is, “I would do the thing that lights me up, that excites me, that brings me joy just thinking about it. I’d do that, but I can’t because I don’t have the money.”
Now this is a lie because most of the time people haven’t even explored how much money it costs. They just have an idea of how much money it costs. They won’t even go to the next step to make the inquiry. So they say, “I would do that thing that lights me up, but I can’t because I don’t have the money.” That’s generally not true.
So the first step in discovering whether or not you actually need the money is to discover what is the investment. Actually find out. Then look for alternatives. Is there another way to do it? With this big thing we call the internet, there’s often a way to get more information, explore more creativity or intellectual investment by just going to the internet. There are lots of things available on the internet. Trainings and educational tools available for free. So first check. Just find out one, how much does it cost; and two, what is the investment? You might be surprised that you can find what you need without a large chunk of money.
Then ask yourself, is there another way to do it? Perhaps there’s a scholarship available. Perhaps there’s a trade available or bartering system available. Or perhaps you could do something more in order to get the money. Look around your house. Look at all the things that you have in your home that you’re no longer using that had value for you at one time and might have value for someone else that perhaps you could sell. Look around your home and look and see the treasure that you’re surrounded with.
I often have people in my coaching programs who initially think they can’t do it because they don’t have the money. I’ve had clients who have come from really kind of dire straits, foster care or homelessness or unhouseness, survival people who’ve found a way to get themselves in a coaching program. Who have found a way to invest in themselves and their future. I’ve had domestic violence victims, survivors, invest in a coaching program.
It’s really about first making a decision that yeah, this is important to me. So you want to start a new business? There’s lots of ways to start businesses. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a lot of startup capital. If you do, there are ways to get it. The first thing that must happen is you first have to make a decision, “I want this thing, and I’m willing to do what is necessary in order for me to pursue it. Lack of funds will not be my excuse for not pursuing my dreams.” There is a way. You just need to discover the way that’s available to you. There’s no lack of resources. It’s about a willingness to be resourceful.
So don’t let “I don’t have the money” be the reason why you don’t pursue that thing that lights you up. Don’t be the person who’s running around saying, “I would but I can’t. I would but I can’t doesn’t make any sense. Be the person who at least puts in the effort. With making an effort, a way will be revealed to you. Maybe not the whole path, but the first step of the path. You don’t need the whole path. You just need the first step. Then once you start that step then the next step will be revealed to you. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t say “I would but I can’t” because that’s a lie.
The third excuse is my personal favorite. It’s the one that if I’m not careful, I often will employ myself. I have to catch myself on a regular basis saying this. “I don’t know how. I don’t know where to start.” Because when you say I don’t know how, it kind of cuts off all creativity. All efforts stop right there with I don’t know how. So I have had to train myself to be willing to put in the effort.
The reason why I say it’s a lie is because we’re living in an information age. There’s more information available to us at an instant than ever before. So when you say, “I would but I can’t because I don’t know how,” that is the biggest lie of all. So check in with yourself.
Is it, “I would but I’m not going to because I don’t know how because I won’t allow myself to know what I need to know to do what I need to do because I don’t really want to do the thing that I’m being called upon to do. I won’t allow myself to know because I don’t really want the result that will come from doing the activity.” That’s a possibility. If that’s the case, just tell the truth. “I’m not doing it because I don’t want to.”
So the last bit that I want to offer to you is a major principal or tool that we use in coaching. It’s just really noticing what you’re noticing. When you’re noticing what you’re noticing, it’s a mindfulness practice that calls you to pay attention. Pay attention to yourself, pay attention to your thoughts, and pay attention to your self-talk.
So I invite you to play with words a little bit. As you are playing with the words, see how they land for you. So one of the things that I do is when I catch myself saying some day or one day, I just eliminate it for myself. I’ll say, “I’m never.” It’s either I’m doing this thing now or I’m never going to do it. I’m making a step towards it, or I accept the fact that I’m never going to do it. If that doesn’t feel good for me then I know that it’s important to me, and then I start taking steps.
Someday or one day is not a day of the week. I catch myself with my self-talk and I don’t allow it. I don’t allow myself to say someday or one day. I’m like what day? If it’s not a “it’s gonna be this day” then it’s a never. Oftentimes it just doesn’t feel good, and I feel better about making the effort. So check yourself out. Check your self-talk. Are you saying someday? Are you saying one day? If so, replace it with I’m never going to do and see how that feels. If that doesn’t feel good, get started. This is your life. You only get one. Get started with living it.
The last bit of language that I want to talk with you about is, “I can’t, but I can’t. I would, but I can’t.” Just replace that word can’t with won’t. “I’m not going to do it. I won’t.” See how that lands for you. Because when you take the word can’t out and you put in won’t, that’s the contraction for will not. It puts the onus back on you. It gives you control. It gives you responsibility. It makes you follow up and look at your own language and your own thoughts and how you’re interacting with your life and yourself.
So then when you say I won’t, find out why. Maybe you won’t because you’re afraid you’ll be laughed at or ridiculed. You care more about the opinions of other people than your own hopes and dreams and ambitions. Maybe you won’t because you’re afraid to fail so you’re not even going to try. Or you won’t because you know it’s not going to be perfect. So you won’t even play the game. If it’s not exemplary then you don’t even want to try. So you play safe. You stay over there in the emptiness of safety rather than in the discovery of what you are capable of.
Maybe you’re afraid of who you become. So you give up on your dreams because you’re afraid of transformation. So just know if that’s the case, then you’re playing small. You’re choosing small. You’re shrinking. You’re choosing a form of death. You’re letting your hopes and dreams die. Change represents expansion. Lack of change is no such thing. You’re either expanding or you’re dying. You’re either growing or you’re dying. Nothing is not in motion. We all have some kind of vibrational tone.
So decide. It’s your choice. Recognize the choice. You are always choosing to either stay small or choosing to grow. You’re choosing the comfort of the familiar or the discomfort of growth and expansion. The discomfort of what if or the discomfort of look what I did. You can either arrive safely at your death having never explored anything about your true nature or you can find out what’s possible.
You can check in with yourself and say, “Wouldn’t it be cool if,” and then go do that thing. Do that thing. The thing that lights you up. Don’t allow yourself to tell yourself lies. Reclaim your life, reclaim your time, engage in radical truth telling to yourself. Make telling the truth a habit for yourself and see what happens with your life.
So this podcast has been a long time in the making. I’ve been working on and aspiring to have this podcast for a while. I’ve recorded many, many an episode, and I know from whence I speak. I know it’s hard, but there’s excitement and joy in the effort. I encourage you to keep going. Don’t allow your lies and excuses to keep you from having a life that lights you up, that brings you joy.
Now to celebrate the launch of this podcast, I’m giving away a soft cushy Unlock Your Life hoodie. I’m going to be giving away five to five lucky listeners who follow, rate, and review this show. I’d love it if you gave me a five star review, but what really matters is your honest opinion. I want to hear from you because I aspire to create an awesome show that provides lots of value.
So visit loriaharris.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about my contest and how you can enter. I’ll be announcing the winners in an upcoming episode. So thanks for listening. I’ll see you on the next episode of the Unlock Your Life podcast. It’s your life, make it a great one.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Unlock Your Life podcast. If you want more information on how you can transform your life and do it quickly, visit loriaharris.com. See it on the next episode of the Unlock Your Life podcast.