Tor Constantino peels back a few of the damaging self-fulfilling lies we tell ourselves as guys.
Almost everybody lies at some point in their life.
A recent article cited a study where as many as 96 percent of Americans have lied to someone close to them.
However, I would assert that 100 percent of men have told themselves one of the following lies.
Each of these lies plays into a stereotype or fiction of contemporary manhood that’s ultimately unhealthy and destructive.
1. I’ll be happy if I get ….
This untruth relegates happiness to an unobtainable future state that will never occur, because once you begin the chase of obtaining external things as a condition of happiness—you’ll never achieve happiness, because it will always be associated with the “next thing” rather than the now.
Happiness is not a treasure hunt.
Happiness might best be described as a state of internal contentment marked by gratitude for the things you have and the people in your life.
Chasing after fame, fortune, things, prestige … etc … won’t make you happy—in fact, the chase is likely to make you miserable.
2. I don’t need anyone else—I can go it alone!
This is the lie of “rugged individualism” most often foisted upon us via the media in the form of movie characters, fictionalized novels, pickup truck commercials, certain genres of music, cigarette ads in magazines … just to name a few.
This is the most ludicrous lie of them all because we all need somebody—we’re social creatures that crave connection above almost everything else.
Seventeenth century priest and writer, John Donne debunks this particular falsehood the best with his famous phrase,
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main …
The part that each of us play must occur within the social context of others for true fulfillment and meaning.
3. My best years are behind me.
The older I get the more often I hear this particular bit of blather thrown about whether it’s in the locker room at the gym, on the golf course or in the board room.
For some reason, many of us guys tend to think at our current age (whatever that age might be) we should have already arrived at the mythical “success” threshold in life—again, whatever “success” might be.
A lot of guys who believe this lie are also the ones who define a successful life as something that might vaguely resemble a rock video from some hair-metal band from the 80’s.
Perhaps the greatest quote ever bestowed on mankind comes from Roman statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero,
Where there is life—there is hope.
In other words it’s never too late for you to be great and become the best version of yourself.
4. I’ll never amount to anything.
Of all the falsehoods on this list, this is by far the most destructive because it is usually placed on us from someone we once trusted and loved. This particular fallacy tends to be most frequently bestowed by an unloving, thoughtless, and controlling adult from our childhood.
It’s the verbal equivalent of the thin rope tied around a baby elephant’s foot that conditions and controls the animal to never run away; even when the elephant reaches maturity and has the strength to snap forged leg irons with ease.
As grown men, we need to take responsibility for unhealthy thought patterns and self perceptions.
The truth about who you are is summed up in this ancient proverb,
For as he thinks within his heart—so he is. ~ Proverbs 23: 7 (Amplified Bible)
You’ll become what you think you are; don’t let a misinformed ghost from your vulnerable past define your present thinking and future destiny.
5. My value as a person is defined by my (job, bank account, car, status … etc.)!
Every one of us has an intrinsic value as a human on this planet. That value is unconnected to the trappings of wealth, our possessions, talents, or economic contributions to society.
Each of us has inherent worth.
Ultimately we each have the final say about who we are and the type of life we will live—don’t let your final say be packed with self-fulfilling lies.
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