“The ingenuity of self-deception is inexhaustible.” Hannah More
The belief that you never lie to yourself means you’re trapped by self-deception.
Dangers of self-deception:
#1. Self-deception limits potential. Growth depends on self-awareness.
Self-deception is the opposite of self-awareness.
#2. Self-deception weakens relationships. Self-deception justifies itself and attacks others.
“We do not deal much in fact when we are contemplating ourselves.” Mark Twain
5 symptoms of self-deception:
#1. Imposter syndrome.
A successful person who believes they’re lucky, but not also competent is self-deceived. It’s self-deception to selectively choose evidence to prove lies about yourself.
#2. Impulsive reactions.
A person who justifies thoughtless knee-jerk reactions is cloaked in a fog of self-deception.
#3. Lack of concern for others.
Someone who says they don’t care what others think or feel is likely walking in a fog of self-deception.
It takes more strength to open your mind than close it.
#4. Justification of bullying.
If you’re proud of pressuring people against their will, you think self-destructive behaviors are beneficial. That’s self-deception.
#5. Everyone is wrong.
When everyone is wrong, you are wrong but can’t see it.
10 ways to look self-deception in the eye:
- Stay open to the possibility that you’re lying to yourself.
- When two or three of your friends see something detrimental in your life, believe them.
- Corrective feedback isn’t always wrong.
- Evaluate yourself by your purpose and values, not resistance, fear, or defensiveness.
- Acknowledge the insight and skill of others.
- When you’re pushing back ask, “How am I making the world better?”
- Set achievable short-term goals. Do something YOU can achieve.
- Say, “I was wrong.” The person who is never wrong is wrong.
- Focus on self-development BEFORE other-development.
- Build relationships with mentors. (See the following video.)
Jenn Lim is CEO and cofounder at Delivering Happiness and author of, “Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact.” (I recommend you take a look.)
What symptoms of self-deception do you notice?
How might leaders navigate the challenge of self-deception?