There is one thing that all humans have in common: Regardless of what age, race, religion, country, class, education, height, weight, dick size, vaginal depth, and gender (all two of them), we still share one very specific trait.
And that trait is the ability to bullshit ourselves.
Not only do we all have it in common, but if a competition was held at who was the best at it, we’d all come in at a draw and win gold medals.
Evolution has done some amazing things. The human eyes and brain are fantastic at recognizing faces. Even if we haven’t seen someone for 30 years, they’re 20kg heavier, and their face now resembles a scrotum, we can still recognize people. However, there is a bit of a consequence to this incredible gift.
There’s a term in psychology called pareidolia (pronounced parr-i-DOH-lee-a), in which humans respond to some sort of stimulus by perceiving a pattern that doesn’t exist. This is the reason why we can see a face just about anything that even slightly resembles a face. No, Jesus has not made his image in your toast, that’s just pareidolia fucking with you. (Or that LSD tab you took hasn’t worn off yet… Hey, it happens to the best of us).
We also have very good survival instincts. We hear stories about people surviving after having been lost in the jungle without shelter or food for weeks on end, and still, without any skills in survival, they make it back home and on the front page of your newspaper. But as with any advantage, there comes a disadvantage.
One consequence of having consciousness mixed with a survival instinct is that that we lie to ourselves about how we really feel. There are a lot of reasons for this, most of which are beyond the scope of this article. Despite the causes, the reality is people lie to themselves because it is an easy short term fix to our immediate problems so we don’t have to face the pain caused by seeing the truth.
I used to have a friend. (Well… I have like at least 2 friends, but this one, in particular, was years ago).
Let’s call this friend Todd.
Todd was a guy who was incredibly motivated to improve himself with women. Any chance he had to go to the shops, an event, a night out, a singles night etc he’d always jump at the chance.
Todd would tell me that he “didn’t give a fuck” about rejection. As a result, he had no problems doing things that border lined on socially unintelligent. He’d use unnecessarily direct openers that very rarely worked, he’d do push-ups in the middle of a shopping mall and invite himself to parties people didn’t want him at because “he didn’t give a fuck”. He went out of his way to make it clear to everyone of how little of a fuck he actually gave.
Todd wasn’t a bad guy. He just wanted to live a life free of judgment. But wasn’t kidding anyone though – He gave a lot of fucks. And in reality, he wasn’t trying to prove it to anyone else, he was trying to prove it to HIMSELF.
Everyone could see straight through it.
The thing is, no one really cared if he “gave a fuck” or not. We liked Todd for who he was – even despite his inherent flaws. They weren’t an issue to any of us.
The issue was, he was trying to prove it to HIMSELF.
He would go out of his way to convince himself that he didn’t care about judgment when in actuality, he cared about it a lot, and he HATED that he did.
So as a defense mechanism, it was easier for him to convince himself otherwise.
Self-deception is the most damaging form of dishonesty.
The problem with lying to yourself about what upsets you is it prevents you from dealing with the root cause of the issue. When your conscious mind is constantly ignoring what your subconscious is telling you, you end up playing a life long game of whack a mole. It’s a zero sum game that gets you nowhere. Then after a lifetime of playing, you’re tired, miserable and haven’t moved forward at all.
All of the same issues are still there because you haven’t addressed the root cause.
In the case of Todd, him trying to convince himself that he didn’t care what other people thought, prevented him from addressing the fact that he DID care. Until he was able to tackle the real issue underlying his behavior, his insecurities would pop out in other areas of his life.
For someone else, it might be that they love their life and things are exactly the way they want them to be. Whilst, in reality, they have a life that they hate, because being honest about being miserable, requires you to feel miserable. Thus, it gets avoided like getting HIV from an African prostitute.
Getting to the core of your problems is a lot like cutting onions. And let’s be honest here, cutting onions is (probably) worse than eating a bag of donkey dicks. You have to peel off the layers to get to the root of your issues, and yes, there’s often a lot of crying in the process. Sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally.
It’s very hard to become a highly self-aware person on your own. More often than not, we’re so emotionally invested in our own bullshit that we can’t see the forest for the trees. And this is because we are so good at lying to ourselves.
So how can you be honest with yourself? How can you pull your own head out of your ass for long enough to get a whiff of the shit you’ve been neck deep in?
Did you ever play the opposite game as a child?
It’s where you had to say the opposite of what you really meant. (If not, it was a shit game anyway, you didn’t miss out). But whether you played it as a kid or not, playing an adult version of it with yourself can be an effective way to develop true self-awareness. (If you’re willing to challenge yourself).
What would it mean if the opposite was true?
With Todd, he would have to ask, what would it mean if I did give a shit?
Well, it would mean that he’s insecure about himself, and puts way too much focus on what others think.
It would mean that he is not as confident as he wants to be.
If Todd was able to play this game, and those answers made him feel terrible, it would mean he’s onto something.
When you come to a conclusion that makes you feel like you’ve been stabbed in the chest by a junkie with an ice pick, then, generally speaking, it’s a good indicator that there’s an area you should be taking a deep look at.
I’m sure you’re reading this thinking that this game is retarded, and to a degree, it is.
It’s a game designed to make you feel like shit – Shit in the short term (as you can work on what needs to be improved), but ultimately you will be happy in the long term.
The problem with developing self-awareness is that it sucks. It’s why so many people avoid it like the plague and live a life of bullshit. That’s the reason why so many of us are about as self-aware as a lobotomized rock. It’s pain inducing and we don’t naturally want to seek out pain. But if you want to live a happy life, with some great women, killer experiences, and a top-notch career, you need to face it the truth, conquer it, and move on to big and better things.
I’ll leave you with a quote that resonates well with all of this.
“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule. Never lie to yourself” – Some dude on Twitter.