5 Ways Lying Kills Your Dreams

by Dan Johnston

5 Ways Lying Kills Your Dreams

“The more honest I am, the more I allow other people to also open up and be honest and it’s easier to build real relationships.”

In this post we’re going to look at five reasons that you should lie a lot less than you currently do.

And if you’re reading this thinking:

“Dan, I never lie, I don’t need to read this.”

Well, then you definitely need to read this.

Lying is a topic that gets me fired up.

I can’t claim I never lie.

I think we all lie on some levels and if you really want to analyze us, we all have these deep internal beliefs that we think are true, but we’re really lying to ourselves.

But in terms of typical day-to-day stuff, I really do my best not to lie and I think lying is one of the worst things you can do and it will crush your dreams.

And here are five reasons why that happens.

#1 – Takes Away The Pain

Lying takes away the pain and it also takes away the motivation.

I remember back in high school there was this guy named Pat and this guy was a sociopath. Not in an evil way, but he would just lie about everything.

There’d be stories where he’d tell us about this girl and how they hooked up and then the girl’d be like:

“Nope, never going to happen, did not happen.”

Like, it wasn’t even exaggerating things – he’d just make up stories.

And I can see why for someone who’s a little unstable or doesn’t have great role models this becomes addictive. Because there are things that you want to do, like win a sports championship or kiss a pretty girl or like, I don’t know, have a crazy adventure, or a trip or something that when you tell people about, you get admiration.

And what do people like?

Admiration.

Especially if you’re a young guy or girl who doesn’t have a lot of attention from your family or maybe you’re not that popular, lying is a way to get that attention.

Because you can tell people like:

“Yeah, I went to China, and I fought the samurai invaders and had all these adventures and then I kissed three cheerleaders…”

And people, when they’re young and naive, will be like:

“Wow, you’re so amazing!”

Now, of course, we know what happens to most of these people. Eventually, they get found out and they create chaos in their lives.

So that’s the extreme example of this, but this can have negative effects even in terms of softening things.

Let’s say you’re really not that happy with your life, things aren’t going exactly how you want them to be. If you really always focus on the best and tell people exaggerating how good you’re doing and then people admire you a bit – it takes away that pain.

Sometimes it’s good to feel bad about yourself and use that pain as motivation to push forward and to change.

There’s a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he would, apparently, when he had a belly, lift his shirt up and just walk around his town with his belly out because it was embarrassing and made him feel bad. That was his motivation to get rid of his belly.

And I think today we live in probably the opposite type of a society like that. It’s all about feeling good about yourself, no matter what.

Something to consider is: If you feel really good about something that’s actually not good, you’ll lose a lot of that motivation to change.

That – to me – is a pretty dangerous thing to do.

#2 – Creates Serious Problems and Drama

The second reason lying can kill your dreams is it can create some serious problems.

I started watching the show on Netflix. It’s the reboot of Lost in Space.

I was craving some kind of sci-fi show, I just got a 4k TV.

I couldn’t keep watching it.  I got through four episodes – all the characters lie to each other, the entire show would be solved if people just talk more and had proper communication within their family. But they’re all lying to each other and it just created all these kinds of problems.

I think this can happen in a lot of areas of life.

If you have a problem, if you’re struggling with something, and you just tell people about it, often that can help lead to a solution. But if you’re lying to people, and they’re lying to you, because usually liars attract liars, then the reality you’re dealing with isn’t the reality.

And it’s only natural you’re going to create more and more problems, more and more drama, and your life is going to get worse and worse.

#3 – You Miss Out on a Lot of Opportunities

The third reason that lying kills your dreams is you miss out on a lot of opportunities.

If you’re interacting with someone who’s a problem solver, then you telling them the truth gives them an opportunity to help you as well.

This has come up a few times with me recently, and it’s led to me actually thinking about talking about his topic.

When someone contacts me about coming to one of my events, or working with me as a coach, and sometimes when the price comes up, or the details of a program come up that don’t quite work for the person, I’ve noticed that they’ll either disappear or they will come up with what is kind of transparently a lie about it.

But what I’ve found with a smaller group of people who are really direct with me, they’ll say:

“Hey, I really want to work with you. But I can’t do that. This doesn’t work for me, could we do it this way?”

90% of the time I find a solution for them.

And those people working with me know that, when someone’s just honest with me, like: “Here’s my situation, here’s what I want, can we make anything work?”, I’ve got a problem solver mindset. So I’ll work with them and I’ll try to find a solution.

And a lot of people are this way, I found it in my own life. If you just be straight up with people, like:

“Here’s the situation. Can you help me?”

Opportunities will come up, you’ll have other people collaborating with you to find a solution.

If you lie, or at least don’t bring up the truth, you’ll never have that opportunity for other people to work with you.

#4 – People Will Know

The fourth reason that lying can kill your dreams is that people know.

Listen, you might be smart, but people are smarter than you.

I’ve noticed this as I’ve got older because I reflect back on my 22-year-old self when I would miss a deadline with my work or do something and I’d come up with some excuse, and I’d lie to people about it.

Same thing happens in school, right?

Students lie to their teachers.

Ah, you know, the dog ate my homework.

Do you think the teacher who is twice your age and has worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of students can’t tell you’re lying?

They are smarter than you.

It’s kind of interesting to me because now I’m 34, I’m not exactly extremely old, but I’ve interacted with a lot of people and I’ll get emails from young people – and sometimes I can really see through their lies.

And it reminds me of something I might have done when I was younger.

It blows my mind because I think back and when I send emails, like, that was sort of a white lie or a full lie to someone about why I was late or why I didn’t get back to their email, that I would assume they bought it, I would be like: “Yeah, I’m so smart. I bet that worked.”

No, it doesn’t work.

The truth is – most people pay attention to that stuff.

The kind of people that you want to spend time with, the kind of people you want in your life, they will notice when you’re lying and they may not tell you:

“Hey, you’re lying to me.”

They may not even cut you out of their lives.

But you have been put in one category – and I will tell you this – for me, I have distinct categories and I’m pretty strict on this.

If someone I know is a liar, in any capacity, they remind me of that guy, Pat, who I did not like and they are put over in this category.

And maybe I’ll keep interacting with them, but I’m never going to do business with them.

I’m never going to become a close friend.

I’m never even going to reveal a lot of parts of myself to them because they’ve made themselves known as a liar.

The thing is you might have a lot of people in your life right now who are liars as well. So it feels really normal. But the people you probably want to be spending more time with, people who are really trying to develop a great life or have a great life and have a high standard for who they’d be friends with – those people also probably really look down on dishonesty and lies.

So something to consider is: If you use a lot of dishonesty in your life, you’re probably filtering out people from relationships that might be really powerful people to have in your life.

#5 – You Miss Out On a Powerful Tool

The fifth reason that lying can kill your dreams is you miss out on a really powerful tool when your word comes to mean something, both to yourself and to other people.

When you say something, and, you know, like: Yeah, I said that I will do it.

When other people say:  “Hey, if he said it, it’s true. His word means something.”

It is awesome because:

Number one, for your own kind of discipline, it becomes easier and easier because you do the things you say – you kind of build that habit.

But number two – if people around you know that you’re someone of your word, if you say you’ll be somewhere, you’ll be there. If you say you’ll do something, you’ll do it – when you’re that kind of person, life gets easier.

People respect you more, your relationships work better, it’s easier.

If you’re a business owner, it’s easier to get investors or get clients or get people who will believe in you and support your business.

It is an awesome tool to have.

Basically, your word means something.

If you’re someone who lies, you don’t have that and you miss out on that awesome opportunity.

Along the same lines, things become just easier when you tell the truth in terms of your own energy level.

Along that same line of thinking, I’ve personally found that the more honest I am, the more I allow other people to also open up and be honest, and the easier it is to build real relationships with people.

Something to at least think about and consider – your words.

Your words have a lot of power and I just wanted you to think about the choices you make when you are communicating with people and some of the consequences they can have.

So my question for you in the comments is:

When do you consider it’s okay to lie and why?

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