I’m one of those people that sometimes struggles to see really obviously things until they are right in front of my face.
When I was 23 I spent a summer living in a tiny village in Ireland, which sounds much more exciting than it really was. I worked in the local pub and the only other business in the village was a small corner shop.
Out of boredom, I would visit the corner shop a few times a week and I was thrilled to learn they sold pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. (As a side note, at that age I could eat anything under the sun and still look like a toothpick.) Well I thought I could. Until the Summer of Ben & Jerry’s.
For several months, I ate pints of ice cream 3-4 times a week. (I think you can see where this is story is going.) But guess what? I could not. One fine autumn day I put on my jeans and I was COMPLETELY shocked that they did not fit.
The moral of this entertaining story?
You can’t always trust what your brain is telling you. (And maybe sometimes eat ice cream in moderation. Maybe.)
So, on a more serious note, the fact is our brains can’t always be trusted. Most of us are, to varying extents, dishonest with ourselves.
There are many reasons why we aren’t truthful; here are just a few that resonate with me:
- We can’t acknowledge when we’re wrong because it is painful to admit we’ve made mistakes.
- We are scared to go against what is social acceptable, so we pretend we want what everyone else wants.
- We confuse the lives we wish we had with the lives we really have, and can’t tell the difference.
In short, we try and protect ourselves and usually, we don’t even realise it’s happening.
But despite the best intentions of our well meaning brains, it’s very hard to be happy unless we’re honest with ourselves. It’s called living authentically and it’s important because:
If you don’t know what’s wrong, how can you fix it?
If you don’t know what you want, how can you chase it?
And face it, your gut knows. If the life you’re living doesn’t match what you feel in your heart, it hurts.
But where do you start? If you want to change, you need to be honest, but if you don’t know you’re lying, how can you change?
INTRODUCING THE HONESTY SERIES
How did I know it was finally time to lay off the Ben & Jerry’s? (sob)
Because my generously sized bum could not fit into my very expensive Topshop jeans.
In other words, sometimes we need a wake up call. A jolt of self-awareness.
And the #honestyseries was born.
Every few weeks, I’ll be asking big questions to inspire authentic living and new perspectives about relationships, money, values, dreams and more. My hope is to encourage you to explore, to write, to share, and to ultimately listen to your heart and live the life you want most.
The first post in this series will be out later this week, but until then – Have you ever failed to see the obvious? Are there any topics you’d like explored in this series? Or we can just talk more about ice cream – hit me up in the comments! x x
PS: If you have a spare 15 minutes, I highly recommend you check out this fantastic TED talk that better explains the “Psychology of Self Deception” (but sadly does not include funny ice cream stories.)
photo credit: Jonas Nilsson Lee // Used with permission