There are two lies you can believe in the world that will get you into trouble. The first is that you’re not enough. The second is that you’re something special. – My dad
When we believe lies, we have a hard time seeing through them. We must recognize and claim some other truth to be able to fight against them, and more so, be on guard against them because many times we don’t question how we see the world.
These two lies fall on either side of our performance. The first can be self-perpetuating: we don’t think we can, so we don’t try, and by not trying, we don’t. This gives rise to further doubts, and so on. The second is more insidious. While it might give us confidence to try new things, it also creates a dangerous delusion we want to perpetuate. We think we’re really something, so we look for proof that indeed we are. We weave narratives about how those around us have failed but how we have prevailed. The longer we live with the delusion, the more we believe it’s veracity and discount anything that says otherwise. Moreover, we become narcissistic jerks, inevitably leading to our downfall but sometimes too late to do anything about it.
I have found myself believing each of these lies at various points in my career and while I loath the second, I’m surprised how easily I can be sucked into its vortex, becoming the very thing I despise. Inevitably, I wake from it shocked again that I have been seduced by it’s madness.
We all have known those who never wake from this delusion though. They can’t imagine that they have ever failed nor done anything wrong. Data to the contrary becomes warped to continue to feed the dream. Though they may never attribute the failures they see around them to themselves, yet still, they carry the destructive storm. Oddly, many of us are guilty of encouraging their delusion because we want to believe that even though we are scared and insecure, there are those out there who have no fears.
We can all understand how this happens, yet still we must be on guard for these lies because we will want to believe that we are free from them, even as we slip into their grasp.