Lance Armstrong lived one of the most complex and well-orchestrated lies for the better part of a decade.
As fast as he was on a bike, his lie still caught up with him, ruining everything he had worked so hard to achieve (there is a new documentary about titled The Armstrong Lie scheduled for release later this year).
We all yearn to be recognized for who we truly are, but we often get caught in the trap of trying to please others, sacrificing our authenticity to accommodate other’s expectations. This is a slippery slope that can lead us into a life of frustration and misunderstanding until even we don’t remember who we truly are. My career as a life coach and SoulBlazer is based on this dilemma that almost everyone faces in their lives, and the first step is to admit that we’re not living from our Authentic Soul. It’s a thousand times better to give yourself permission to admit it to the world before it catches up to you!
- Why did you lie in the first place? Usually when you lie, you’re afraid of something—a repercussion, a judgment, an action against you. But that fear is a symptom, not the sickness itself. Ask yourself why you felt like it was easier to lie than to be honest from the beginning? What is it about your thoughts and actions that you’re not proud of? And if you’re not proud of your actions, why are you behaving that way? Does it feel like your decisions are not your own? That may be because your Impostors are running the show—the voices in your head that are responsible for a lot of our bad behavior. Take my Impostor Quiz and find out which Impostor is motivating the lies.
- Think of the long-term rewards. It’s always easy to think of the immediate repercussions of admitting that you’ve been behaving falsely. “What will people say?” “How will I be judged?” “Will my spouse leave me?” “Will I lose my job?” “Will I lose my friends?” It’s incredibly valuable to instead consider how relieved you’ll feel when you come clean. Close your eyes and think about what going through a day would be like without the heavy burden of that monkey on your back. Feels good, doesn’t it? No more passing your days filled with guilt and shame.
- Courage is always rewarded more than cowardice. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you’re wrong, and because everyone’s been through it at one point or another, it’s easy to relate to and respect. Think of how many politicians the public has given second chances after they’ve done some pretty terrible things! Remember, former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry? It looks like disgraced Governor of NY Eliot Spitzer is going to win his campaign as NY Comptroller. Ever heard of Bill Clinton? If these men can make a comeback, so can you.
- Apologizing feels good. If you’ve been lying to someone, it’s no doubt put a fissure in how you relate to him or her, and even if they can’t put their finger on it they probably feel it, too. If you feel bad about lying to this person, then you have respect for them. Apologizing illustrates the level of respect you have for this person and it very well may be a relief for the other party as much as it is for you. They may not accept your apology, and that’s okay. The act of apologizing is also an act of respecting yourself, too.
- “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” When you have an opportunity to reveal your inauthenticity to someone, it gives you an opportunity to explain why. Most likely you did not mean to cause people harm, but the lie came from a place of fear, and the fear triumphed over your Authentic Soul. By admitting guilt, you pave the way for your Authentic Soul and all the good intention that come with it to take charge again, cleaning the slate for a more honest and fulfilling life ahead of you.
The first step, as they say, is admitting there is a problem. So before you do anything else, take five minutes and look at yourself in the mirror. Don’t look away. Remember what it was like when you were younger, when life had less responsibilities, when you didn’t feel you had to make so many accommodations. Remember when you didn’t have to falsify what you did and who you are. Felt good didn’t it? That was you connecting with your Authentic Soul, the original you. Now what’s your plan after you walk away from that mirror…?