The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Who could possibly forget that little gem from childhood?

It’s probably a good thing your pants don’t burst into flames every time you lie, or you might be sitting here reading this article surrounded by flames.

What the heck do I mean by that?

It’s pretty simple really. Of all the people we lie to throughout our lives, we lie to ourselves the most.

Stay with me here.

You’ve recently discovered an interest in something. You’re captivated. You’re out on Youtube watching as many videos as people will upload about this topic. Then you’re on your favorite search engine, looking at the many thousands of articles out there on the web discussing this thing.

Hours pass. Maybe days. Maybe even months or… gasp… years!

And there you sit, still watching videos. Still reading articles.

“I’m learning!” you exclaim.

Meanwhile, you’re not doing.

You’re telling yourself a lie.

You’re telling yourself that you’re not ready to do X just yet. Just a little more research. A little more preparation.

Learning has become the new procrastination. And guess what — it’s the hip thing to do. By all means, go back to school and get a Ph.D. in underwater basket weaving. Spend years and years learning and researching until… the magic is gone. This new thing has lost its luster, and now you’re on to the next big thing.

Meanwhile, you’re still standing still at the very first step. Hell, you haven’t even taken a step yet. You’ve stood there studying how to go about putting one foot in front of the other, that you’ve been too damn busy to actually put that foot forward.

So unless your dream is to be a surgeon or nuclear engineer or something along those lines, what’s really holding you back? If you want to write, then don’t study every writer you can find. Write. Write again. Write some more. Have people critique your writing, and use that criticism to get better at writing.

Want to be a painter? Then paint. Paint whatever is in your imagination. Paint your wildest dreams. And put it out there for people to look at. If they don’t like it, well then to hell with them. You didn’t paint it for them, you painted it for you. But go ahead and take their feedback, if it’s useful, and use it to improve your art.

Go ahead and take that first step. Learn how to walk by walking, not by watching videos of others walking, or by reading articles and papers about walking. Swing that foot forward and go!

And for goodness sake, stop lying to yourself.

Trust me, you’ll never feel like you’re good enough. You’ll never feel like you know enough. There will always be some area in which you’re lacking. That’s fine, we’re not robots; we can’t be all perfection. But I guarantee you that you’ll learn a hell of a lot on your journey if you just get moving.

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