Practicing Self Deception
“The body & emotions are in control of your mind and they are using the mind in order to get their needs met.“-Eben Pagan
I’ve consciously realized and embraced the fact I’m really good at self deception. No, wait. Let me rephrase that. I am a fucking master of self deception.
I’d be so bold as to even state my skills are well beyond the level of mastery most ninja’s are trained in.
Aside from all of that, I’ll explain why it’s a lost art in just a minute.
Let me give you the inside track of how I went from self deception to a more healthy self conception.
I’m going to warn you, this post is deep. Like 20,000 leagues under the sea deep. So proceed at your own risk and no whining afterwords.
I’ve had a reoccurring occurrence around money & bad credit (My Bad credit resulting after my divorce 5 years ago) that has been an emotionally charged subject for me in the recent past. Like, the kind of charge that you feel when you just bit into a car battery. I knew it was but I thought (Insert ninja self deception mastery skill here) the negative emotions surrounding it were divorced from this reoccurring experience. You know like, “I’m above that ever having an effect on me, I’m enlightened now” sort of thought.
Whenever I’ve started to enter into a relationship with someone I would have huge anxiety because prior to I realized I looked down on people with lesser credit scores.
- I had a 750 + credit score
- I took pride in having a 750 credit score
- There are lots of extra privileges to those with good credit scores
- Therefore if you had bad credit you were less of a person
You can see all of the problems surrounding that attitude. So when it all came crashing down I went into a depression around it.
How did I normally handle this in the past?
I’d go within and nurture the negative feelings. Sulk, be depressed, roll around in it, whimper internally or shy away from relationships with women because I felt inadequate. You name it. I’d give that baby a bottle and completely nurse it until it was fat and happy.
This means I’d tell myself the same stories around the fact that my self worth was related to the amount of money I had. I’ve told myself this in the past, over and over and over. Therefore getting the same result internally and manifesting it externally.
But then something snapped in me.
Consciously, I realized I was doing it again. It didn’t happen until the next morning but consciously, like a dinner bell being rang on the ranch, I realized I was telling myself a story. A bullshit story at that.
The story was being fueled by my emotions (Using high octane grade mind you) not my conscious, logical, & rational mind.
- How did I come to realize all of this?
- More importantly what did I do about it?
- How can you benefit from it?
The Roots of Self Deception
There are billions of bits of information going on around us at any given point in time. Our minds filter it all out and it only allows in what we feel is most important to us. This filtering is a self preservation mechanism that you and I can’t be without. If we didn’t have these filters? You guessed it, we’d go bonkers, loony or insane. (TMI or too much information would bombard us)
This passive self preservation mechanism does serve a healthy purpose.
But can these filters go too far? Yup, they can. Here is where the ninja self deception skills came in.
Hold your breath because this gets super deep.
You and I have had an emotionally charged conversation before, right?
Well, in those conversations you and I had an emotional experience correct? We had emotions boil up and when we did, there is a pretty good chance, regardless of what else was talked about in that conversation, we only remembered those few emotional points. It’s as if the whole conversation turned into those few emotional ideas and we only saw the conversation from one perspective now. Ours.
Our identities become anchored in those emotions thus creating a self image. Let’s call that our story.
How did that happen? We may unconsciously do a few things like:
- delete spots of information or other perspectives
- Take out of context facts and distort truths
- Lump it all into one idea and generalize
You see you and I make up stories about what happens constantly. All the details surrounding an event falls into the fact that we need to see what happened in the context of a bigger picture. Something that we can understand. Can’t make sense of it? Can’t see it in a big picture? let’s make up a story that fits.
Or in short we confabulate.
Confabulation-To fill in gaps in one’s memory with fabrications that one believes to be facts.
Confabulation allows you and I to rationalize our choices & decisions. We can make up a story surrounding the choices we’ve made and can explain it to other people so that it makes sense to them. Then we don’t look like the fool, the lazy person, the incompetent one etc…
- We create stories because it’s the only way we understand things
- We confabulate those stories based purely on emotion because we deleted, distorted and generalized everything else
- Oh an our stories have to be right, because well…it’s our story. We birthed it therefor we feel we must own it and defend it till the death
Worse yet, beyond what we make it all mean to us, we assign people roles in our stories without their permission. This creates a ripple effect of bad juju (negativity) and we jump to conclusions, snap judgments and assumptions which can cause turmoil that push those people farther away from us.
At least that’s been my experience in the past. I would say to myself:
- If they know I have bad credit this person will judge me and not like me
- They will see me as as irresponsible
- I’m not good enough
- My self worth is based on my net worth
Ok, I know that was deep.
My New Story
When I became conscious of telling my bullshit story to myself around bad credit & money I was able to embrace it, love it and accept it so it could no further feed off of any anxiety.
Why is this a lost art? Because unless you’re consciously aware of this stuff it’s effects are silent and seamless. It will consume your life and you’ll confabulate your way to whatever life you really don’t want. In this case I stopped confabulating around why it happened. I chose to eliminate excuses around why it happened.
- Your worth as a human being is not tied to your credit score
- Credit can be repaired
- Credit is a tool to make life easier
- You become more creative
- You appreciate it much more after you’ve lost it
Self deception can be seamless. You’re not even aware of when you do it. It was extremely difficult even for me to go back and really review what occurred, how it occurred and what I did to catch it. I took some notes right after I had the epiphany but didn’t write this all out until almost 4 days later.
So what did I do about this emotionally charged thing I mentioned earlier?
Because I was aware of it as it occurred I didn’t fill up it’s car with gas so to speak, therefor those old processes couldn’t run. Or as my grandpa used to say, “that dog can’t hunt.”
It was funny, when I chose not to confabulate anymore, went inside through meditation and chose to be open to what all of this meant, the truth was revealed about it. It was there to teach me.
- I love me regardless
- People still love me regardless
- Not all peoples financial shit is created equal
- I’m not judged nearly as much by what I have lost, more so it’s what I do about it that matters.
I was ready to face it and let the fear fall away.
No self deception, just truth.
So is there anything you could be confabulating about right now? What stories are you telling yourself around your career, family, spouse, or finances that are keeping you playing small? Are they empowering you or are they keeping you on going in circles?
I’d love your thoughts on this because a year ago I could have never shared this but I’m letting the shit fly as promised and it’s not eating at me anymore. I’ve just done something about it.
What about you?