Self-Deception Could Be Hampering Your Success –

Oxford Dictionary provides the following definition for self-deception; “the action or practice of allowing oneself to believe that a false or unvalidated feeling, idea, or situation is true.” Self-deception can be useful. It allows us to ignore our everyday mistakes, flaws and failures in ourselves and in the people around us. It has us see the best in people; our spouse or partner, in our employees and in our friends and family. It is the basis for “love being blind”.

On the other hand, it is also why you might lie on your driver’s license about your weight or height, tell yourself you are going to start that new exercise program tomorrow, tell yourself that you really didn’t want a new job after knowing you were not selected, tell yourself you don’t have a problem with alcohol as you empty a bottle of wine every night.

We all participate in some level of self-deception, but when it comes to getting something you really want, it can be far more damaging than you think. Case in point, the new business owner or leader who tells themselves and the people around them that they are really busy.

Of course, you are busy. After all, each one of us is doing something, all the time. Even if you are simply just sitting around watching television, you are busy doing something.  There is a paradox in this…even when you are busy doing nothing specific, you are always still doing something. You can’t not be doing something. However, when you tell yourself you are busy, it could be holding you back from other opportunities.

Back to the busy new business owner or leader. When you are asked, “How’s business?” and you reply, “Business is going really well and I am super busy”, you are telling that other person that there is no need for them to look for an opportunity to give you their business. You might believe that in telling them how successful you are that then this would be the cue for them to want to give you work, but in fact the opposite is true.

Don’t believe me? Think about the people around you who are always telling you how busy they are with their families, jobs and activities. If you needed help, would they be the first to come to mind to ask. Not likely. Chances are you would ask someone who seemed to have more spare time. By being busy, that person is missing out on the opportunity of being asked to participate.

This same thing happens with leaders. Most leaders want their people to come and ask for help when they need it, however if you are always telling them or giving them the perception of how busy you are, chances are they won’t be coming to you.

The thing with self-perception is you are lying to yourself and only to yourself. When you can admit to things like; not knowing what to do, not being busy enough, not having the relationship you want, not having the job you want, then you can make a change. If you are never willing to admit your truth to you, then you will never be able to get to the things you want.


Cathy Snelgrove

Cathy is a Senior Partner in Siere, a company, focused on developing small to medium size business leaders to engage their workforce. Cathy is a guest blogger and speaker on the topics of small to medium business growth and entrepreneurship. She is the co-author of two books; It Is What It Is, Or Is It…All About Business and the award winning book, You Couldn’t Have Told Me This Before I Started My Business?.