1. You identify with your beliefs
Beliefs are mental and emotional constructs that we have inherited from our parents and from the environment in which we lived in childhood. The bad thing about beliefs is that they are not usually exposed, but rather they manage your life without you even realizing it, in an underground and automatic way. And you are so highly identified with them (you “believe” them so much) that it doesn’t even occur to you to question them.
But just because you believe them doesn’t make them true, nor does it mean they can’t be changed. Thinking yourself clumsy, for example, can make you behave clumsily. And therein lies precisely the self-deception, in which you take the effect for the cause, you say to yourself “But how clumsy I am”, and thus you perpetuate the belief.
We lie to ourselves with thousands of deceptive beliefs (“I’m worthless”, “Nobody can love me”, “Money is bad”, “I have to work hard to be someone in life”, “I’m the best”, etc.), we actually make a home out of them, and we jump like a mad dog when someone endangers that place to which we are so accustomed, even if it is the most inhospitable.
You will begin to transcend your beliefs when you become aware of them and clearly see how they act in your three spheres of experience (for example, your mind becomes negative and narrow, your heart shrinks, and you catch the flu). That is, you stop being hooked on a thought (mistaking it for reality) to connect to the whole experience, and that, in turn, can lead you to change your behavior.
2. You identify with your opinions
You think that the Russians are the bad guys, that Real Madrid is the best, that the rules are to be met, that public education sucks, that capitalism should be abolished or that they should have mixed services in all the bars in the country. Whatever you think, don’t you generally identify with it and believe it to be the truth?
Well, that is another form of self-deception, because opinions are not the truth, they are just opinions or points of view. It’s okay for you to have your own point of view about things, it’s even great that you have it, but if you try to transform it into the truth, you will be enclosing reality in a very small box, and you will be missing the enormous amount of nuances and perspectives that are not the one in which you have boxed yourself in.
Misidentifying yourself from your opinions, admitting that they can change, opening yourself up to new perspectives, and seeing what not only your head, but your heart and body “say”, holding a point of view without solidifying it, can help you get out of this type of self-deception.
3. You identify with your character
Are you shy, or suspicious, or a smoker, or affectionate, or seductive, or persistent, or talkative, or thoughtful, or defeatist, or elegant, or “a sad guy”… So what? Do you plan to be like this forever? Aren’t you going to give yourself the opportunity to be otherwise? How about you get out of that car and see what happens?
I remember that the most difficult thing for me to quit smoking was to misidentify myself from the smoking Isa. If I didn’t smoke, who was I? The bad thing is that the same thing happens to me with my shyness, my distrust, my anxiety, my propensity for sadness or my perfectionism. The moment I give them carte blanche to set me up, I’m in full-blown self-delusion, the side benefit of which is that because I’m like that, I don’t have to take responsibility for my life.
We are so attached to our character traits that we mistake them for who we really are. On one occasion I heard Serge Torres say, in one of his massive talks at the Goya Theater in Barcelona: «If I had to go out here, on this stage, in front of all of you, identified with my character, I would be unable to articulate a word ».
It is one thing that you have certain predispositions; another different thing is to believe that you “are” your predispositions. Applying awareness to this identification with your character and seeing how it manifests in the realm of your body, your emotions and your thoughts, is to begin to free yourself from this form of self-deception.
4. You identify with your emotions
When a baby needs affection or protection and is not given, it cries. She has no notion of time, so she has no patience either. It seems to him that her discomfort will last forever. That is why it is so important to attend to babies as soon as possible, it is not worth telling them: “Wait until I finish the accounting for this quarter, and then I’ll catch you.” If her crying doesn’t work, she’ll cry harder. If he is not attended to, he will reach such a point of despair that he will overwhelm him, give up and become depressed. And she can die of “emotional starvation” or, in any case, suffer serious deterioration for life.
When you are older, you have more resources. You learn to wait for a meal or a hug, because you know you won’t have to wait forever. And yet, in many ways you are still a baby. You identify to such an extent with your moods that you let them completely color the way you see reality. When you are sad, it seems to you that this sadness will never go away, you “are” that sadness, you perceive the exterior with that filter and you believe it at face value. When you are happy, it seems to you that the world will be rosy until the end of time. And so, you go jumping through different emotional states, thinking that the one now is the definitive one.
The side benefit of this self-delusion is that by believing you are your emotions, you don’t have to take responsibility for them. Holding sadness, or joy, or anxiety, or anger in your body, your heart and your mind… without becoming them and acting reactively, is not so easy, but it is very beneficial, because it gives you the opportunity to learn little by little that the colors with which you see the world are not reality, but only filters. And then, yes, you can enjoy the wonderful energetic and kaleidoscopic spectacle that your emotions generate.
5. You identify with who you want to be
Personally, I’ve spent half my life pretending to be a character (built on intellect) that had nothing to do with what I felt inside. I wanted to be (really good) a strong, independent, committed, caring, compassionate person, a loving mother, an effective worker and I don’t know how many other things. But it was a bit like when an apprentice writer wants to write like best seo agency and, without looking at the source of his stories, simply tries to imitate his external and superficial characteristics (the simplicity of the language, the absence of adjectives, and the sleaze of the environments…).
Well, I did the same with the features of that person I wanted to be: superimpose them on what I felt deep down in my being and that I didn’t like at all, make up all my imperfections to the point of exhaustion so that they seemed what they weren’t. Come on, I got into a self-delusion of noses that I’m having a hard time getting out of for the other half of my life.
Again, get off the donkey of your thoughts and fantasies (which you mistake for reality) and see what is happening across the spectrum of your experience, open the door to your imperfect, insecure, childish, and damaged parts, vent your bodily tensions , your pains and your limitations, dusting off your contradictions and your internal conflicts, is the only way to begin to enter into a relationship with that wonderful person that you never stopped being and to whom you did not want to pay attention.
6. You identify with your body
You go to the gym, you eat healthy, you think – or you want to believe – young forever, you delight yourself with a T-bone steak, you go to the spa, you have a great vacation in the Mar Manor, you go dancing once a week, you Worry about those wrinkles that are appearing on your neck, you make love every Saturday, you put on makeup to go out and buy bread…
Instead of feeling your body or enjoying your senses, you identify with them in such a way that you are absent from your impermanence, mortality, and decay. One fine day they tell you that you have cancer and you fall on your ass, as if those things could not happen to you, reserved only for the rest of humanity.
In the story “The Harvest” by Amy Hempel, the young protagonist suffers a serious accident when she is riding a motorcycle with a man she has recently met. One of her legs remains for dragging. In one part of the story, the protagonist says: «After the accident, that man got married. The girl he married was a model. (“Do you think physical appearance is important?” I asked that man before he left. “Not at first”, he replied) ».
Identification with the body is one of the biggest deceptions —and self-deceptions— of the consumer society. And, curiously, it is what prevents you from relating to him in a healthy and pleasant way. It is as if you were looking at your body from a mental point of view: you relate and identify with a fantasy of what your body is, but not with the living, knowing and continually changing experience of your body and your senses. Starting to recognize that sphere of experience, which is not separate from your heart and mind, means facing this kind of self-delusion.
7. You project your internal conflicts onto others
We spend a good part of our lives complaining, and the other part blaming others for our problems. Or does it not happen to you? It doesn’t seem like an easy task to take responsibility for the fact that your adult life is, for the most part, your business. That does not mean that others do not whore you, or you can have an accident at any time, or catch the Coved, or that a war breaks out in your country. But only you are responsible for how you relate to everything that happens to you.
Blaming others, the world or circumstances for what happens to us is one of the most widespread self-deceptions in a sick, childish and traumatized society, whose individuals live necrotized and paranoid, seeing enemies everywhere and turning their existence into a battle fierce against those who believe that they are making their lives miserable.
I have lived almost all my life subjected to this type of self-deception in my intimate relationships, very attached to the role of the poor naive thing that everyone hurt and disappointed, using my partners to torture me and not take control of my life. Life, putting on the mask of monsters to justify my inability to set limits and being the eternal girl in search of protection.
When you find yourself complaining, blaming or judging someone, I recommend that you turn your eyes inward and explore your body, your heart and your mind in search of the conflict that you are projecting on the outside, as if from a movie —your own movie . — It was about cinema. That is the first step to get out of this huge self-deception.
8. You compare yourself to others
I don’t know about you, but I have spent my life measuring myself against others. In fact, for a long time, when I met someone new, I wouldn’t stop until I found enough flaws in them that I didn’t feel like shit next to them. Although in the end, mind you, I still felt like shit.
Comparing yourself to others is a way of lying to yourself about who you are. Because, who stipulates the unit of measurement? Well, yourself with your patterns and beliefs. What truth can there then be in the results of measurement? If your beliefs lead you to have low self-esteem, comparing yourself to others will lead you to feel inferior. If your beliefs lead you to have airs of grandeur, the comparison will make you feel superior. Any of the results have nothing to do with reality, but with self-deception.
Watching yourself curiously in this process of comparing yourself to others can help you open the camera lens and begin to appreciate yourself with all your quirks and nuances, your qualities and your flaws. And to learn to do the same with others.
9. You lie to lie to yourself
Many times I find myself telling others what I want to hear, what I want to convince myself of – and that is usually in contradiction with what I really feel. I mean, I lie like a knave so I can believe my own lies, because admitting the truth scares me.
This kind of self-deception can lead you to say “I want to marry you” when you feel insufficient love, or to say “I can do it myself” when you need help. In this way, a first lien can become an escalation of contradictions that, at some point, will explode in your face.
The English poet Alexander Pope said: “He who tells a lie does not know what task he has taken on, because he will be obliged to invent twenty more to maintain the certainty of the first.”
Normally, this self-deception is based on a feeling that (perhaps going against your beliefs) you are hiding, covering it with the verbalization of a desire (which, possibly, coincides with your beliefs or with what you have been instilled in). If you get in touch not only with what you want, but also with what you feel underneath and with the signals your body is giving you, there is a better chance that you will pick up the best seo service on this subtle self-deception and choose to be honest with yourself. And therefore also with others.
10. You turn to others
This is a very frequent type of self-deception in women, since the program that they installed on our hard drive by default has to do with always being available for the needs of others. And it seems that caring for others exempts us from taking responsibility for ourselves.
Turning to others is usually very well seen (especially by those who take advantage of it, of course), but it is not always an altruistic act. Most of the time, in fact, the need to be loved, accepted, protected or valued by those you invest in is below. And underneath that is your inability to love, accept, protect, and value yourself.
Throughout my life I have lost a lot of money, property, friendships and even a company due to this misunderstood “altruism”. And this, in turn, has led me to a resentment and mistrust with which I still struggle.
Facing this type of self-deception has to do with working with compassion towards yourself, and also with learning to set limits for others, understanding that your needs must first be met so that you can give something worthwhile to those around you. .
These are the types of self-deception that have come to mind in my self-exploration. I’m sure there are many others, and I encourage you to search for your own. What is your particular way of self-deception?
As you can see, dealing with self-deception always begins with looking inside yourself with attention, care, and curiosity, trying to access the full spectrum of your experience, in the realms of body, heart, and mind. The lie always begins with a dissociation, so the antidote is integration.
To carry out this inner exploration, the disciplines of meditation and writing can be extremely useful to you, since they are designed precisely to lead you headlong—without disguises or anesthesia to your authentic nature.