1 min read

On Self-Deception

Sometimes we must be dissatisfied with our performance.  When we do not live up to our ideals, whether in the larger areas of life, or simply small matters that we procrastinate or do not put full effort into, we are naturally displeased with ourselves.

However, we need to be dissatisfied with our reaction to our own poor behaviors.  There is a strong tendency to beat ourselves up or be very apologetic, as if this is the end of the matter. Guilt and shame, if not quickly transmuted into tangible actions, are less than helpful. In fact, they become a form of procrastination.

The perennially popular 'woe is me, what a great sinner I am' approach is merely for show. It is a kind of humble-bragging and/or a mental excuse mechanism that we use to avoid effecting constrictive change in our lives.

We must become so dissatisfied with our failings that we can no longer allow them to continue. Less planning, less talk, and a lot more action. Everyone has the same challenges internally, either they are learning and practicing the self-discipline to do what needs done, to shape the character one wants to have, or else they are putting it off with the rest.

If you find yourself frustrated with yourself, angry, depressed, etc... perhaps consider that it is a smokescreen response to prevent improvement.  We most claim to want to be better when we have no intentions of doing anything about it. We can complain, pray, 'work on it' for decades to no avail, but this does not mean that there is nothing we can do about it.

Very likely, deep down (but not all the way down), we don't want to change. We resist growth, and it has become the norm to consider this as acceptable. But at our core, we all know what is right, we all know that no excuse really holds any water... so we must all get on with the job.