Self Deception - Don't Rob Yourself Of Your Life

We should all be aware of self deception and not fall pray to it. We can be deceived in several ways. All lead to us not being the person or living the life we would most like or want. A closer look at what can occur can give us invaluable knowledge. Putting this knowledge into practise can help us avoid these pitfalls.

Common place?

Self-deception is probably more common than we realize. And in our own lives. But why would we want to deceive ourselves. We would not set out to deceive ourself, would we? What would be the gain, what would be the purpose? A closer look at the self deception process will be informative and helpful to remove this from our possible sphere of actions.

How does self deception occur?

So, what is self deception? It is a falsehood. A sleight of hand. Both trickery and misleading. It can be all these things or a combination. And the perpetrator? Who knows how much deception occurs between people. All we know is how much we deceive others. Or how much we attempt to do so.

But do we know how much we deceive ourselves? And in what ways does this deceit occur? Are we aware, partially aware, or totally oblivious of these deceptions?

So, what is deception?

When we try to be something we are not, we can deceive ourselves. When we try to be someone we are not, we can deceive ourselves. When we portray ourselves in a good, honest light, we can deceive ourselves and others by our actions or behavior. When we try to take credit for something we did not do we can deceive ourselves and others. And so it goes on.

But, why?

Often, to attempt to hide ourselves or our actions from closer scrutiny. At times we are less than happy by something we say or do and hide this as best we can.

And for what reason?

To appear better than we are. To appear more honest than we've been. To appear more heroic than we have been. To appear more friendly than we acted. To appear to be more intelligent or clever than we are.

So, often as not, to not lose face. Not to lose our position in the group we are interacting with. Not to appear weak-willed, dishonest, or less than we would like to be seen.

The self deception philosophy

So self deception is an occurrence of a falsehood directed 'against' ourselves. Perhaps we are less happy than we might be regarding what we have done or said and don't wish to admit it. So we 'paper-over' the crack(s) in our personality and behavior to appear to be seen in a better light. And for fear that we might not meet the expectations of others? For fear we might not be accepted by others? For fear of losing a friendship? For fear of losing our job and livelihood? For fear . . .

Why deceive yourself?

Such mis-direction can be for many reasons. Yet at the heart of the matter is perhaps the thought that we are hiding something from ourselves. There is something we don't quite like about ourselves and, rather than admit it and confront it and resolve it, we would rather gloss over this occurrence (or regularity) of behavior, and move on to nicer things. Move onto things that make us feel good. Not dwell on things that might make us question ourselves. That might require attention. That might require action from us.

After all, we are good people, aren't we. Nothing wrong with us. A good friend, a good person, we do well, we are nice to be around, … no chinks in our armour is there?

What are we hiding?

Perhaps this is the crux of this self deception scenario (problem?). That we, like everybody else if we care to think about it, are not quite as perfect as we might be. But we dare not admit that, and especially to ourselves. And so, in parts of our life, we live out (act out) our existence in a 'manufactured' way - rather than just let the dice fall and living with that, and accepting the consequences, and being responsible for them, and held to account for them.

Perhaps if we had more faith in ourselves then we would not hide nor feel the need to hide nor feel the need to act or be something that we are not. And the longer it goes on the harder it is to extract ourselves - for fear of losing face. And so the 'lie' goes on and the deeper our pit becomes. Something that started out as a bit of a laugh, a bit of a giggle, a bit of foolery - after all no one is getting hurt, we think - ends up spiralling out of control.

To deceive self - a crime against one self, our self

And the person being hurt, being deceived is our self and no one else. Perhaps others see through our little games. Perhaps they don't. Do we? And if we do can we stop them. Should we stop them? What harm can they do?

The trouble often is the ripple affect. Start something far away and it will eventually wash up elsewhere. In time it will affect things far away. Or in our case, will affect us in ways we did not realise.

For life is life. We are living it out. As best we can. But if we are not truly being ourselves how can we really expect to experience life to the full. Realize our true potential. Get to the bottom of the wonders and magic of the life we have.

We are being robbed . . .

To live a life of self deception robs us of the experience of who we really are. Just like self criticism robs us by hitting and hurting ourselves. By deceit our very actions make us an actor/actress in our own play. But who is directing? Who is producing this affect? The play (life) or the actor/actress (us). And who can make a difference? Who can go off script to get the play-life 'back' on its real track?

We know the answer, but the causes of this deception, this self deception? If we study ourselves, we can realize that we might have fooled ourselves about any or some of the following:

  • into not liking ourselves
  • into not being proud of the way we act or behave
  • into not liking what we say or how we say it
  • into not liking the image we portray
  • into not realizing the esteem and confidence that lies hidden within us
  • into forgetting our focus, our motivation in life
  • into forgetting our array of talents waiting to be used
  • into forgetting the values we have built up and wish to live our life by
  • into neglecting our self development within the clouds and mists we find ourselves
  • into forgetting what we have already achieved in life, and the sense of growth and worth we feel deep inside
  • into forgetting the discipline that supports our life
  • into neglecting the control we exhibit over ourselves and our life to not just take from life, but to contribute, really contribute to life
  • into forgetting the way we manage our life in so many things and the achievements we have made
  • into forgetting to enjoy our life, into making it a dim replica of the real thing
  • into neglecting the love that life has for us, and the love of friends and family that mean so much to us

But this is not for us. We know we can make a difference and live the life we now we can.

March forward

So, to have a healthy experience without self deception is to enjoy ourselves. That is for each of us to enjoy being ourselves. After all, no one else has that opportunity (but they can have theirs).

Be proud of who you are. Perform on your stage, in your life, to the best of your abilities. Do your best, by yourself and others. Grasp the nettle of life and march forward to claim your place in life and reach and fulfill your potential. A bright future is ahead of you. Go claim it.

Leave self deception behind and you will be able to lead a free, enjoyable and satisfying life. One in which you can be yourself. And yourself without fear or favor. Proud of who you are and what you do. Proud of your interactions with others and the world you live in. Proud of your contribution to life. Proud of being you and living your life.