Defeating The Liar (and why your future depends on it)
Paul Angone Guest Posts on JustinZoradi.com
This post is by my dear friend Paul Angone. Paul is an author, speaker, story-teller, and creator of AllGroanUp.com - a community for those asking, “what now?” His debut book All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! hits bookstores in 2013. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.
All great works hinge on one single thing: Your ability, or inability, to defeat the Liar.
Because whenever you are doing something worth doing, the Liar’s going to attack. Every. Single. Time. And the Liar is playing for keeps.
As Stephen Pressfield writes in The War of Art, "Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us."
Who’s the Liar?
The self-helpers might call it negative Self-Talk.
The spiritual might call it Satan.
Creatives might call it Resistance.
Whatever you feel comfortable naming it, just know its filthy game. Because when you sit down to do your work, the Liar is going to try and stop you.
And it won’t be a full-front assault like an army storming the castle. No, it will be like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. Sneaking up next to you, whispering in your ear a soft hiss of lies. Each lie poisoned with just enough truth that only after you take a bite do you realize it’s killing you.
Even as I sit here and write this right now, the Liar is whispering in my ear.
“Who are you to encourage people to stop me?”
“You’re not as creative as ____________. “
“Not as funny as _____________. “
“Not as influential as ________ and especially not __________. “
“Quit now before you embarrass yourself.”
Its lies unnerve me, but they have not stopped my forward movement. Because I’m better equipped now at shutting its mouth.
How to Shut the Liar’s Mouth
Speak Directly to Its Lies
Some days when the battle is fierce, I literally speak these phrases out loud.
“Liar, you have not created one single thing in your entire miserable existence. How do you have any right, authority, or credibility to tell me how to do something you are incapable of doing yourself?”
“You destroy. I’m building. You mock. I’m encouraging. You critique. I’m creating.”
Giving the Liar authority to speak truth into my life is as insane as letting a wrecking ball try and build my house.
Constantly Reminding Myself that Failure and Embarrassment are a Necessary Part of the Process
The Liar will have us believe that if we try something big, we will fail. And the problem here -- the Liar is right. At least partially.
If we go for it, we will fail. We have to. That’s part of lifting a weight heavier than you. You tear your muscles so that they can become stronger.
But you see, the Liar wants you to believe that failing is terminal. That failing means you’re a failure.
What a lie.
Failing means you’re finding a more profound way to be successful.
Failing is just perseverance in progress.
The Liar wants us to believe that somehow our failure will be front-page news. It probably won’t. Everyone fails. Everyone trips over their feet on stage. Embarrassment and greatness have to exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re not willing to do something great.
The Beauty of the Liar
Here’s the awesome thing about the Liar - when it starts babbling, you know you’re onto something important.
But we must make sure to cut its head off before it gets its way like a snake suffocating its prey. We have been given the authority to create and the Liar can’t take that away.
Our calling, our children, and our purpose in this world -- all depend on our ability to shut the Liar’s damn mouth.
I’m fired up about this and want to share about 17 more ideas on how to stop the Liar, but much better than that is hearing your ideas and strategies on how you do it. We need to join forces on this one. It’s that important.
- Paul Angone
Photo Credit: Anna Brix Thomsen