Five Hard Truths You Need To Accept

Denying the hard truth

Ignoring the hard truths of life is a dangerous thing to do. Unfortunately, because the truth is so damn scary, it’s something we all do from time to time. In order to ignore them we tell ourselves lies–lies that warp our view of reality to the point where we’re incapable of knowing the actions we can take in order to make real changes for the better.

Coming face to face with realities that we may have been denying for years is by no means an easy thing to do. We pretend we’re not overweight by wearing bulkier clothes so that we don’t have to do anything about it. We fantasize that things will go well for us in the future so that we can feel better about watching TV and playing video games. We blame our problems on other people so that we don’t have to take responsibility for them. By not accepting the truth, we take the easy way out.

But there comes a point when these lies are no longer satisfactory, when you take a look at your life and realize that reality is far removed from the delusions you’ve created for yourself. You get fed up, and finally you decide to stop telling yourself lies and face reality head-on.

I came to this point about a year and a half ago, and of all the hard truths in life that I’ve avoided, I have found the following five to be the hardest to accept. Upon accepting them, however, I’ve found them to be the most liberating. It’s important to understand these truths and the lies we use to avoid them so that we can get back to leading our lives the way we really want to.

Hard Truth #1: Your problems are your own, no one else’s

The lie we create to avoid this truth
“It’s (My parent’s/the economy’s/my disability’s/my colleague’s/the government’s) fault that I’m experiencing all the misfortune I’m having now.”

Why this lie is dangerous
When you blame external factors for your problems you effectively place them out of your scope of control. When you think your problems are other people’s fault and not your own it’s easy to believe you can’t do anything about them. This gives you an easy excuse to not do anything at all to improve your situation.

What we should tell ourselves instead

“There are some aspects to my life that I’m not happy with, but I’m not going to make excuses just to make myself feel better. My problems are my responsibility and no one else’s. It’s up to me to solve them.”

Hard Truth #2: No One Owes You Anything

The lie we create to avoid this truth
“People are naturally going to want to (help me/hire me/support me/choose me) because of how smart and special I am.”

Why this lie is dangerous
When you feel entitled to something that you want without really earning it, you set yourself up for a lot of disappointments. When you don’t get what you want you’ll probably tell yourself it’s someone else’s fault (see hard truth #1), and blaming other people is not a good way to win friends.

What we should tell ourselves instead
“People will only help me out when I prove my worth through my actions, not just talk.”

Hard Truth #3: There are No Shortcuts

The lie we create to avoid this truth
“There must be some way to (get rich/become famous/ be successful) that’s easy and won’t take much time. I just haven’t found my angle yet.”

Why this lie is dangerous

When you tell yourself that there must be an easy way to succeed, you’ll be chasing the quick buck instead of investing your time and efforts into honest, hard work. You’ll eat up the words of the hucksters who promise “surefire systems” that’ll get you rich in under six months. In most cases, all you’ll be left with is a $500 hole in your pocket and a set of 12 worthless DVDs.  Even worse, you could lose your life-savings on some “safe bet” stock that went *poof*. Looking for shortcuts is a surefire path to frustration.

What we should tell ourselves instead

“The only surefire path to success is hard work. There may be some shortcuts out there, but they are so few and far between that it’s much easier to do something simple, honest and valuable than to look for them.”

Hard Truth #4 Superman Won’t Swoop Down to Save You

The lie we create to avoid this truth
“Everything’s going to be okay when (The economy gets better/I get a big promotion/I win the lottery/I become a reality TV star)”

Why this lie is dangerous
Just as it’s easy to blame the bad economy for your misfortunes, it’s also easy to expect that the government will pass some magic law that will make them all go away. The solutions to your problems will come from you, not anyone or anything else. When you wait for someone or something else to solve them, they will most definitely persist.

What we should tell ourselves instead
“I must rely on myself first to solve my problems. No one’s going to do it for me. I make my own luck through persistence and hard work. I don’t need to wait to win the lottery. I can take steps today to make the money and do some good while I’m at it.”

Hard Truth #5: Dreams Don’t Come True Just by Thinking About Them

The lie we create to avoid this truth
“Someday I’ll be a successful(actor/writer/singer/CEO/President of the United States)”

Why this lie is dangerous
Oftentimes fantasies like this are but short lived escapes from reality. When you avoid reality, you limit yourself from seeing the necessary steps that you can take to change your it.

What we should tell ourselves instead

“What actions can I take today to accomplish my goals?”

Facing these truths can be frightening at first. But once you begin to accept them instead of avoiding them, you can be surprised how many paths open up for you. The more accurate your view of reality is, the more power you have to change it. Accepting these hard truths is the first step in claiming that power.

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  • Very insightful…this is so true….so many people are conditioned culturally to think that they have an edge or special situation that renders them different than the herd. But in reality most of us are just the same when it come to experiences and keeping that truth in mind has helped me come to terms with many of lifes lessons. great blog

  • Kenji

    Thanks for your comment Terry. Coming to the realization that we’re no better than the next person can be a difficult truth to face, but in reality it takes a great weight off our shoulders. There is to pressure to perform, and thus we perform better.

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  • Wise words. I find #2 to be one of the harder ones to grapple with personally. It’s amazing, the things we’ll assume about other people and what we mean to them.

    There’s a great quote in the book the Well-Fed Writer that goes something like: “People think astonishingly little about you. You would be shocked at how little.” Doesn’t mean they don’t care (or that they won’t come to care once you prove yourself), it just means that you have a responsibility to show the world who you are and prove that you can be trusted.

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  • you know what this is the truest thing ive ever read thanks writer

  • TheUninvited

    I agree with all that you wrote but how do i change my point of view when i try to do things? I am going to the gym for instance and then i just like i can’t wait to finish…. and i am getting impatient any way to fix that?

  • Jen

    You can tell yourself things like, “this takes time. Health takes time, getting fit takes time. Losing weight takes. Its going to take time and i can take the time, and keep on trucking. Easier said than done but it can be. Good luck

  • TheUninvited

    thanks for your reply i really appreciate it:D

  • TheUninvited

    yeah but thats excuses to hide what’s really going on.

  • Jen

    What is actually going on then? Excuses are a way to not address the real problem. Do you mean the advice on being patient isn’t working. Then work at it! Telling yourself things like those statements above should help so you won’t be impatient, give you something to think of instead of saying things that’ll guarantee you won’t accomplish something. Good luck