Real Talk for the Lies We Tell Ourselves
Let's be honest, we all lie to ourselves a little. Some of the lies are harmless, but others hold us back. Those lies manifest themselves in little habits and patterns for problem solving and getting work accomplished that only seem to be effective. Give yourself a chance to rethink the things you ‘know to be true’ to help you move forward in a more productive way.
Lie: I'm always just so busy.
Truth: If you’re postponing necessary projects and goals because you’re drowning in non-essential busywork, you need a reboot. You might not be managing your time effectively. Ask yourself what you can do to cut down on non-essential tasks, the marginalia and clutter that takes up headspace and your schedule and that’s keeping you from making bigger strides. Whether it's delegating, hiring or changing up your system, there is always way to solve the "busy" problem.
Read more: How to Get That Lying Voice in Your Head to Stop Sabotaging Your Dreams
Lie: I’m the only one who cares about this project.
Truth: Are you? Chances are, there are others who want to work toward a solution, you haven’t found them. Or you haven’t engaged them effectively. Don’t get stuck in the past and focus only on the work. Think about who else might be motivated to work with you and reach out to those people. And listen: through co-creating your ideas will find their best route to success.
Read more: This One Habit Holds Leaders Back
Lie: No one will listen anyway.
Truth: Maybe you’re the one who’s not listening. Neuroscience shows us that entrenchment in a point of view can lead to an addiction of sorts – an addiction to being right. You see, each time you are right, Dopamine is released, leaving you wanting more. Like an addict, you’re left less and less careful of your impact on other people.
Read more: Stop Having the Same Conversation Again and Again
Lie: We tried that and it didn’t work.
Truth: If we never revisited ideas, we’d never have cars or airplanes any of the innovations that stayed static for decades until the right mix of people and technology came along to transform our lives. As someone with experience, your job is to speak up, but also to understand that situations are fluid and that a new attempt could create real headway.
Lie: I'm in charge. I always have to have a solution
Truth: Your employees will look to you for a broader vision, but you’re not the best source for how everything in your company is running. You don’t have visibility into problems certain departments face and how your approach might complicate things. You hired your staff for a reason, so tap their expertise. Create a dialogue and ask for input. This will ensure that you have the buy-in you’ll need for your solutions to succeed.
Read more: 7 Leadership Lies You Need to Stop Believing
Lie: I can teach myself everything I need to know.
Truth: Information alone isn’t in the world but it's impossible to do everything yourself or to know how to implement what you've learned in the best way if you've never done it before. Whether you are looking to learn more about coding or figuring out the right payroll system for your business, something could end up falling through the cracks if you try to go it alone.
Read more: 5 Lies Entrepreneurs Need to Stop Believing
Lie: If I love it, there’s a market.
Truth: Your passion can motivate new hires, carry you through rough times and help you see what no one else does. But it can’t conjure a market that doesn’t exist. Ask yourself if a pivot would help and how it might change your company. Chances are, a small change can do a world of good.
Read more: 6 Dangerous Lies Entrepreneurs Tell Themselves
Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.