“We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.” Eric Hoffer
We—as humans—have a tremendous ability to tell ourselves all sorts of things. And because we’re ourselves, we know we’re smart; so we listen and believe.
The problem is that we’re not always so smart.
We tell ourselves things we would never tell other people. We tell ourselves things we would never let anyone else tell us.
We convince ourselves that one (or two, or twelve) cookies won’t make any difference. We tell ourselves we’ve studied enough after 27 minutes. We convince ourselves of all kinds of crazy things despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Sometimes we know we’re lying to ourselves (“The Bengals will have an exceptional year!”). We do it out of loyalty, out of habit, out of hope. Until we’re out of hope (“Next year…”).
Sometimes we don’t know we’re being less than honest with ourselves.
We listen to ourselves recite excuses and we tell ourselves we’re reciting facts.
Facts are fine. It’s what you do in response to an inconvenient fact that matters.