Before going forward, I will openly expose me to explain why I behaved the way I did to gain a better understanding, which may seem obvious, but who knows, maybe this will help someone gain a new perspective.
When I was young, I believed since there was nothing interesting about my life, I chose to create a new identity to make myself seem more appealing.
I wanted be interesting. I wanted to be funny. I wanted to be the kid everyone liked. I wanted to be the kid that was always invited to parties. Girls liked me. Everyone liked me. I wanted to be that great all-around guy, comfortable to be me, confident, and strong, and cool as ever. Instead, I was uncomfortable. I always felt different in some way. I believed I was the opposite of cool. Therefore, I had to find a way to create a new identity.
Now, since I couldn’t play sports well, I could never be a jock. I never did very well in school so I could never be a scholar. I struggled to read and failed terribly in math, I needed help with the material in all my classes, but asking for help never seemed like a cool thing to do. More accurately, asking for help seemed like a brave thing to do, —and I was too afraid to be brave.
I was afraid of everything. I was afraid of people, places, and things. My stress level was high; only, I was a kid. I could never explain this to anyone.
I hardly knew what the word stress was. All I knew is I was uncomfortable. All the time!
In an effort to boost my chances of social improvement, I created lies and fabricated stories. I made them up to appear cool or crazy.
I tried to find an angle and find my way into a circle of friends, which would only proved temporary at best.
Eventually, people realized that lies are lies. And therefore, I became that kid, which I think is common amongst young people.
After all, everyone has insecurities. Everyone tries to hide the cracks in their façade to keep from being vulnerable, to keep from feeling exposed, and to keep from feeling the fears of public humiliation and the pains of loneliness.
The thing about my lies and my stories is they became habit forming. The problem with this habit is the same problem with any habit. The compulsion made sense to me but the benefits were only temporary and short-lived at best. Not to mention the end result was sad and generally unfortunate.
I was always trying to fit in. I was always trying to be involved to feel included; however, because I always involved myself, I never had the chance to understand the compliment of being invited.
Why do people lie?
(Here’s why I expose me as an example)
I lied because I didn’t like the truth.
I lies because of my perception of the truth, which was never actually true; it was only true to me.
I lead because I needed to cheat.
I needed to find an angle.
I lied because it was uncomfortable to be me.
What happened was this:
I always lived in fear of being exposed. This grew into fears and concerns that followed me into young adulthood.
Since I never addressed the fact that I was uncomfortable being me; this means I never learned how to be me. (If that makes sense)
Everyone is quick with suggestions on how to overcome self-doubt. Everyone has a recommendation that intellectually make sense, but emotionally, none of this seems possible—especially when you feel like you don’t know how. And that’s the part no one helps with. They tell you what to do . . . but they never say how.
Getting back to the pathology:
I lied because I knew I was doing wrong things. I lied to hide my shame. I also lied because I did not have the ability to honestly explain my fears and insecurities.
The more I lied to hide the cracks in my story, the more my façade became weak, until eventually the shields I used to protect me were strong as wilting ashes left behind from the bridges I burned behind me.
Of course, one could argue, “But hey, don’t be so hard on yourself. You were just a kid.” But I was more than a kid. And the results of this behavior were more damaging than I can explain in one text.
Pathology like this follows along.
The reasons behind my pathology are fear-based and rejection related. Deep down, I just wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be included but yet, in my efforts to be “In” I pushed myself farther away from the circle I so desperately wanted to be part of.
Essentially isolating myself, I felt alone. I developed something called Imposterism in my older adult life.
The pathology behind behavior is the science that causes the effect. The science behind me was very simple. I was uncomfortable and insecure. I pretended to be someone else because I never learned how to be comfortable in my own skin.
I never learned about the acceptance of self. I never learned about my ability to honestly improve. All I knew is that I didn’t like me.
And I say I didn’t like me because this is part of my past; however, our past is gone but our past is where we base our opinions from. Our past is where our experiences come from, which is where we gain internal biases; we form opinions, we come to assumptions and create predictions, which are not necessarily based on fact or fiction, but more to the point, our predictions are based on feelings and fears in relation to past emotions and experiences we’re afraid to experience again
I cannot say this is everyone’s chain, but the above is the chain in which my thinking follows. I always wanted to be something. But yet, I never felt like I was or could be anything. So I lied to be somebody.
Know what happened—
I lost everything . . .
I lost friendships. I lost relationships. I lost irreplaceable things and wasted irredeemable time. In my efforts to try and create me as the hero, to be that great all-around guy, I created the antithesis. I became the opposite; untrustworthy, un-included, unhappily and involuntarily uninvolved.
The hardest thing for me to do was step out from behind the lies. It was hard to give up the fake façade and the transparent images I used to hide behind.
I met with a young boy whose mother asked that I sit and speak with him. He was somewhat portly. Chubby is more like it. He was from a modest home but lived on the fringe of a wealthy neighborhood. His skin was light brown and his accent was slightly different from the others in his class. He ate different foods. He drank different drinks, which come with a culturally acquired taste and were not shared well with his other classmates.
I listened to this boy for nearly an hour about his classroom struggles and the fights and the older boys that took advantage of him, to use his home, and steal from his parent’s room.
I looked at this boy and saw me. I recall feeling so foolish for allowing people in my home because I believed we were friends; only to find out, I was just a joke. They came in to wreck my house.
I created a program for the boy and wrote up a syllabus for the parents but they chose a different direction.
When I began my journals, I decided that I wanted to keep this place sacred to me. There is no reason to lie here. There is no one to impress. When I began this trip, I did so because I wanted to find ways to free my thoughts instead of having them twirl around in my head like a hull in a china shop.
I had to learn ways to dismantle the pathology. I had to learn how to untie the knots in my thinking, which seemed like a bird’s nest of tangle string that wove around, kinked, and knotted.
In order to change, I had to learn about my pathology. This does not mean I am always confident in my own skin. However, through my journey and exploration of self-awareness, I have learned more about me and more about why I behaved the way I did.
Understanding the reasons why we behave is the key to changing our behavior. Understanding self is the key to improvement because so long as I understand me, I don’t have to feel threatened by anyone or anything.
I have been spending time working on confidence coaching over the last two weeks. The common sources for lack of confidence are fear and rejection.
God, I love what I do. . .
I learn more about me every day. I learn more about people and the more I learn; I find out that we are all truly similar creatures. We may respond differently, but our sources are all very relatable. We all want to be protected. We all want to be liked. We all want to fit and feel important, and when we don’t; we try to find an angle to see if we can change the unchangeable. Doesn’t work so well, now, does it?
Note: the feeling of powerlessness will only increase when trying to control the things we have no control over. Therefore, a change of approach is in order. And that ain’t no lie . . .