When it comes to selling ourselves on bad ideas, we’re all professional salespeople. In moments of decision, we convince ourselves to choose happy over healthy, pleasure over self-control, now over later – choices that lead us down a road of regret.
We all look back on bad decisions we’ve made and ask, “How could I have been so deceived?” “How did I miss the signs?”
Failing to be honest with ourselves can lead to dumb purchases, doomed relationships, and destructive habits. Have you ever found yourself handing your credit card to someone you didn’t even know, to buy something you didn’t really need and couldn’t really afford? Have you ever dated someone you knew wasn’t good for you, and even though everyone warned you against it, you convinced yourself that you were in love? Has something that seemed like a fun pastime turned out to be a harmful habit or even an addiction?
Often the problem isn’t what someone else is telling us, but what we are selling ourselves. We make excuses even when they don’t make sense. We listen to our own convoluted and confused reasoning until we actually believe it.
Don’t you wish you could talk yourself out of – instead of into – those bad decisions? When you think you might be selling yourself on a bad idea, try asking, “Why am I doing this, really?”
Being honest with yourself brings clarity and empowers you to do what you know you really need to do.
Why do you continue to go out with him, really? Why are you changing jobs, really? Why don’t you call your kids, really? Why do you drink so much, really?
You owe it to yourself to answer honestly. Those are brutal questions, but the kinds of questions we need to ask to ensure that we don’t deceive ourselves into doing things that will leave us with regrets.
Next time you’re faced with a big decision, pause and ask, “Am I telling myself the truth or am I selling myself a regret?” “Am I being honest with myself, REALLY?”
It’s your move.