The Daily Growth Blog #30/365| I lied.
I started journaling. I mean, not the daily journal that a lot of intelligent people keep. This was something I heard on the Trained podcast by Nike (link). In the podcast, Nicole Sachs shares a step by step plan of going back into our past, writing about ourselves, writing about the people closest to us and also writing about events that have shaped us. The instances we write about can be anything. The important thing is to dedicate some time every single day, to write.
I started last week, and began to write earnestly. It took me a couple of days to write about all the people in my life, some of my personality traits that I want to work on, and some major instances in life that I thought mattered.
Interestingly, one of these instances that I wrote about was about ‘lying’.
I don’t like to lie to people. I hate not being truthful about anything and everything. And I don’t remember when I last lied to someone. It doesn’t happen to me anymore. And I am thankful for reaching this stage in life, where I don’t feel the need to lie. It is powerful to be able to live authentically.
But I have lied, in the past, about random things, that I thought were important back then. Some situations were professional, some were personal. Nothing very major but did affect me some way or the other.
My experiences with the concept of ‘lying’ got me thinking.
Why do we lie? Or more specifically, why did I lie?
The very first major incident I remember, when I lied openly, or hid something from someone close to me was when I (literally) hid my Mathematics answer sheet from my mom because I’d scored low marks (65/100 I think) and I was very scared of how much she’d scold me. Funny thing? I got a 90/100 in English a couple of days later, and I went to show her my answer sheet. She looked at me angrily and said, ‘Why are you getting this to me? Why didn’t you show me your mathematics answer sheet?’
I was so scared, I ran back to my room and cried. She didn’t speak to me for a few days. And this is perhaps what I was scared of, her anger.
So fear was the first reason. What did I fear? My mom’s scolding? That’s fine, but what was the deeper fear? Not sure? We’ll get to it eventually.
Next incident — I was playing cricket, and our team needed to score some 10 odd runs to win, and we were the last batting pair. I hit the ball, and started running but a very good fielder got to the ball quite fast and threw it straight at the stumps as I was crossing the crease. I knew I was short and was out. But I started fighting with my friends, saying that I’d just crossed the line before the ball hit the stumps.
Some of them really knew me and respected me (even at the age of 12–13). They weren’t angry, but looked at me, disappointed. I saw it too. But I stayed put, and we played on. We won the game too. That was the saddest victory in my life. We all went back to our respective homes quietly, our team did not even celebrate. I felt weird and hollow inside.
So why did I lie this time? I lied because I thought I would let my team down and lose the game? Was it the fear of losing?
There have been other instances where I’ve lied. Sometimes to my near and dear ones, sometimes to friends and sometimes to my own self. While none of these lies have caused any lasting harm to others, I have felt hollow and lost every time I’ve lied in the past.
Lying to oneself is the worst though. For a long time I would convince myself that I was doing the right thing when in fact, the quiet voice inside me would be stating the obvious (quietly though). We just know it, don’t we? When we’re making a food out of ourselves, when we are being stupid, deliberately.
I think, the reason why I used to lie was a combination of fear, ego and self-doubt. I was scared of being in a position of vulnerability, I was driven by greed and I was not sure of how I’d be able to come out of a situation. Lies became a convenient hiding spot as I tried to push all my mental (and emotional) dust beneath this carpet (of falsehoods).
In the last few years, I’ve tried to build a more authentic self. I’ve been more sure of who I am, and happy being vulnerable. A major change in who I am is my ability to feel vulnerable, more openly. While I am working on this, and there are times when I fall short of my own standards, being able to laugh at myself and recognise my own faults have really helped me become more authentic.
I’m trying to break down all the facades of my personality, trying to be a more genuine person and at the same time, be open to the people around me. As this journey of peeling off layers of fakeness from my inner being continues, I hope I become a kinder, more loving and at the same time, a stronger version of myself, who will look at all the facets of his personality with warmth.
Till next time, cheers!