The Biggest Lie Holding You Back is Just 5 Words
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
The scary thing about the quote above is who said it. It is attributed to Adolf Hitler. If anyone knows about telling lies and making them believed, it would be him, wouldn’t it? It is terrifying what believing in a lie can do. How much it can change a life. The good news is that it can go the opposite way, too.
Life is good for me. I have worked hard to make it so because it wasn’t always so good. It isn’t perfect. Stuff still happens, because that is just life. However, it never reaches the low points of my life, because I have found the lie that held me prisoner for so long.
Don’t get me wrong, my life has been worth every heartache in every pain and every step. However, the things I struggle with now are considerably easier to deal with, whereas they weren’t before. They just weren’t.
All the pain and hurt of my former life simply weren’t worth it. This is what led to the thoughts and ideas of suicide when I was younger. I saw no other option. Luckily there is another option and it’s a much better way.
That is one of the biggest lies that I have consistently heard throughout my life:
“There is no other way.”
I heard this often growing up. I hear it often now. This time, though, I don’t believe it. There is always another way.
We live stuck in a fixed mindset of the way things are supposed to be. We have this vision that has been handed to us and often by people we love and trust. It might be our parents, it might be the advice of a friend, it might come from a boss or even someone we look up to.
These 5 little words have done more damage in my life than they have done any good. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, these words are generic enough to fit any situation and hold us back.
Need to make more money? Go to college, get more schooling, work hard to apply for and find a better job. Resumes are key. There is no other way.
Want a relationship? Look your best. Do whatever it takes to turn a guy’s head. Look the part. Act the part. Hide your flaws. There is no other way.
Want to travel? Work hard at that good job you found with your good resume, work 40 years or so until you retire. Then you’ll have enough money AND time to spare, what a bonus! There is no other way.
Recognizing the Lie
It doesn’t matter what the problem is, there is a set, pre-determined path to it, that has been in place for years. There is no other way. If you are different, it just makes it harder for you to get what you want.
I don’t know at what point I realized this was a lie. Maybe it was when I diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when I was 24, but life wasn’t harder for me. It was different from the traditional story of someone with TS. Maybe it was when doing everything I was supposed to do and following that pre-determined way yet life still came crashing down around me.
Whenever it was, I started to experiment. I tried the other ways that had been scorned and scoffed at. And I liked them.
Not only did I like it, but I started to suddenly have more success, more happiness, more… everything, really. Everything got better when I realized I don’t have to live this life. I can live life on my own terms.
The more I experiment, the more I find new ways to do things. The more paths I find and explore, the more my confidence and my ability grows.
It shows me that I don’t always have to compromise what I want. I can do what I want to do. Now, I don’t take this to extremes. When I find something that works, I stick with it. If I trust the people around me and the advice they give, I follow it. It may not work at first, but I always give it a fair shot, and sometimes, it’s more long-term advice that takes several months of adjustment and struggle on my part.
Like waking up at 5 am. I have NEVER been a morning person and I love my sleep. If I go to bed late (which is often and easy to do when living the social single life), I’m going to wake up late. End of story. The worst job I had was when I had to start my shift at 6 am. I would roll out of bed at 5:45, though I would “wake up” much later.
I was advised to wake up at 5 am by a mentor that I trusted. I had many others giving testimonials of how much they loved it. But I still had the same amount of hours and could still achieve success without the 5 am thing.
While this is true, I had no idea how much MORE I could get done waking up at 5 am. I grudgingly tried it and was surprised to find I liked it. It took a few months of adjustment, it wasn’t easy right away. Sometimes, it’s still not easy. But I love it. There were certainly key differences after I tried it, like having something I am excited to wake up for.
It’s like working out. I sure don’t like doing it, but I love the results. And the more I do it, the easier it gets.
Finding Other Options
So coming back to the idea of, “there is no other way,” are there other ways to be productive or lose weight? Yes, yes there are. Are they the best ways? I guess that depends on your definition of best. You have to do what is best for you and by your standard of success.
If all you want is to be skinny, eating healthy and working out is one way to go. Often we are told it is the only way, but it’s not. There are certainly things like bulimia, anorexia, tapeworms and crazy diets that work, but are damaging to long-term health. Eating healthy and exercise may not be the only way to achieve the results you want, but I would argue that it’s the best way.
So there are actually two traps that people fall into when making life choices. No matter how small they seem, they make a big difference, but that is a different story for another day. What I see and hear most often when people are making decisions is falling victim to the idea that there is no other way, and they have to simply struggle through it and the results are simply what they deserve, or they choose a less-effective option.
So this is actually a big reason why I do what I do. This actually irritates me to no end. It also hurts when I watch people I love make uninformed decisions that essentially hurt themselves and others around them. I hate how much people perpetuate and create their own pain simply because they are uninformed.
There is always a better way. Even within the best way, we don’t do it perfectly. We are human, after all. Say we decide to finally get healthy and workout. I’m not here to instruct you on your personal health, but it is so much more than simply getting on a treadmill and getting your step count in and eating a salad.
There are thousands of delicious and healthy recipes to try. There are several ways to have a workout. The more we study these things, the more effective they become, giving us better results. Not just the good results we wanted, but more.
Becoming More Than the Lie
We can look better than we thought. We can feel better than we thought. We can do more than we thought. The key concept is there is more. Beyond the simple goals we have, there is a plethora of options and opportunities.
I have been writing my entire life. I started a journal at age 8 and haven’t really stopped writing. You would think that 24 years later, I would be a pro, right?
Not so much. I may write often, not just in my journal, but on Medium, a blog, at work as a copywriter, letters and messages, not to mention the two books I have published with a third planned by the end of the year. I’m not exaggerating when I say I write a lot. Yet I am still learning more about technique and style.
As I have been taught by one of my mentors, Richard Paul Evans, I want each book to be better than my last. With 35 New York Times bestsellers to his name, I think he might be doing something right.
The lie leads us to believe there is a limit in place that we can’t move past. That we can be as good as what is already existing by following the same path.
In a way, this is true. We can be as good as what is around us by following the same path, but it wouldn’t make us better.
There is no limit to the greatness that exists in this world and we have only scratched the surface. People continue to push past the limits all the time. There is literally an entire book about the records that people have pushed and broken and it changes constantly.
I admire Ashrita Furman, who currently holds the record for most records broken. He has broken over 600 records and currently holds 226. Meaning that the other 300+ have been broken by others.
He may not hold world records in athletics. His tactics are a little more creative, such as the fastest mile on a kangaroo ball, the most sit ups in an hour, breaking records on all 7 continents and the most jumping jacks. 27,000 jumping jacks in a row — isn’t that crazy? That was his first record breaking moment back in 1979.
As Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote in their musical adaptation of Cinderella, “impossible things are happening every day.” It’s usually done by the “crazies” who do “stupid” things, because they don’t believe this lie. They know there is another way, and they do it.
In order to really grow, we have to realize that small lie that stands in our way. If there is something — anything — you want to do in life, you have to see what is holding you back. Identifying it and recognizing it for the lie that it is will be key to moving past it.
Knowing that there is another way is liberating. Not only does it mean that you get to end up where you want to be, but it also means you get to figure out how to get there.
Just like the explorers who have spend their lives mapping out the earth’s surface, we get to map out our own lives. We get to explore the unknown and make it known.
Who knew that in today’s world there is anything left unknown? The good news is that there are still areas we can find and explore beyond the limits placed around us.
So What Now?
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