• Kevin S. Smith

The Lies We Tell

It is safe to say that at one point in time or another we have all had a desire to be, do, or have more in our lives. Perhaps we want better business performance, a better career, a better home, better relationships, or better health—but for some reason, we struggle to make things happen. We often wait for motivation, a change in circumstances, or some other “magic” revelation that will jumpstart our movement. And while we are waiting, nothing happens.

As a coach, speaker, and trainer, I am often asked what I do to motivate others. The truth, however, is that it is not about motivation. Motivation is a myth. Motivation is a mask that allows the lies we tell ourselves to flourish and grow until some outside force pushes us through some imaginary boundary. It makes us believe that there will be a future point in time that is more appropriate or conducive to reaching our goals. The lies we tell ourselves, however, transmute to positive results only when we recognize, monitor, and circumvent them—whenever they become present in our minds.

The lies we tell present themselves in different stages along the way to achieving our goals. When we recognize the lies outlined below, we begin to see that it’s not about motivation. It is about ignoring the lies and reducing the energy they create in our lives that dictates our decisions and behavior. All of the following lies are created to “protect” us, but they protect us from problems that exist only in our own other-than-conscious minds. The lies are a burdensome deterrent for a problem that does not exist, and in fact they drive us to behavior that produces the exact opposite of what we really want.

LIE #1 – The Lie of Contentment

Human beings are creative and expansive beings. From the time we are born we have a desire to learn more, explore more, and be more. As we get older, the critical need for change appears to lessen. Along the way, we also collect and harbor misguided impressions from our environment and influences that dictate what we believe to be normal, “what we deserve,” or what we should be satisfied with. All of this helps create a belief system that signals us to pause our expansive nature and settle into what we have come to know as our comfort zone.

The problem is there is no inertia in this world. Everything is in a constant state of vibration and movement, from the building you are in to the innovative thoughts that come to fruition in this world each day. The truth is that if you don’t move, the world will move without you. As we fall prey to the lie of contentment, opportunities to make our work, our business, or our lives better simply continue to pass us by. As one of my mentors once said, opportunities are never lost; they are just picked up by somebody else.

LIE #2 – The Lie of Impossibilities

Once we realize there is more out there that we would like to have in our lives, lie #2 ushers in to “protect” us from imaginary defeat. This lie tells us that we can’t have what we want in life, that it is too late, or that it just wasn’t in the cards. The lie of impossibilities brings with it unlimited excuses and rationale to support its position despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

No matter your current circumstances, there are plenty of examples of people with much less doing much more. There are plenty of examples of poor people becoming rich, lonely people finding love, lost people becoming found, imprisoned people becoming free, and the list goes on. Yet we embrace the lie of impossibility. We cling to it because once we realize it is our decision to remain in the status quo, we must also own the fact that we are 100% responsible for our current position and outcomes.

LIE #3 The Lie of Circumstance

Once we realize we are 100% responsible for our outcomes, we can finally take steps to go for what we desire from life— but not until the time is right, when circumstances are right, when the economy turns around, when pigs fly, or whatever the lie of circumstance says must change first. The truth is, the only change that must happen is the one between our ears. We must remember what life has shown us time and time again: that we are creative beings and we can be the creators of our circumstances, not a slave to them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do the thing and you will have the power. But they who do not do the thing, have not the power.” The circumstances in life will change once we begin the journey to gaining what we want in life. But even as some of you read this, the lies creep in and insist this is simply not true. They are telling you to be satisfied with the status quo for now, that you can’t have more with the hand you're dealt, or that you can do it only when circumstances change in your life. These are lies - and cunning ones. They creep in and make themselves comfortable and often even mask themselves as logic.

“Do the thing and you will have the power. But they who do not do the thing, have not the power.”


The first step in overcoming the lies we tell ourselves is to simply be consciously aware they are happening. Once we become aware these lies are impacting our growth, results will begin to change. Until then however, we continue to run on auto-pilot. Carl Jung once said “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life – and you will call it fate.”

So whenever you become consciously aware of that voice whispering in your mind that you can’t do something, don’t deserve something or that it just isn’t time, remember this: The circumstances in your life will only change after you do something, not before. You must do the thing and then you will have the power. You will have the power to ignore the irrational need for some forthcoming motivation. You will have the power to transmute the lies you tell yourself into the outcomes you seek.

“until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life – and you will call it fate.”

Recent Posts

See All

© 2020 The Kevin Shabaar Smith Comopany | Leaderstone, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.  2501 West 12th Street, Erie PA 16505
Leaderstone is a registered trademark.  All Rights Reserved