Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth (or lack of truth) so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception.
Simple instances of self-deception include common occurrences such as: the alcoholic who is self-deceived in believing that his drinking is under control, the husband who is self-deceived in believing that his wife is not having an affair, the jealous colleague who is self-deceived in believing that her colleague’s greater professional success is due to ruthless ambition.
“Wanting something that is not right for you and committing yourself to having that is a form of dishonesty with yourself, a kind of betrayal.”
“You want to make sure in life that you are not betraying yourself or your deeper inclinations. For if you are, you are suffering, and you are losing life force, energy and time to a situation that cannot succeed, laying you open and vulnerable to further suffering and discord.”
“To be swept along by impressions and infatuations, to allow yourself to be seduced by others, to be overtaken by beauty, wealth or charm is such a form of self-betrayal.”
How we betray ourselves
“There is only being true to your deeper nature, or there is betrayal in all directions. People betray themselves for happiness, to pursue happiness. They betray themselves to pursue pleasures that are unhealthy for them. They betray themselves to give over to attractions and seductions. They betray themselves when they follow mindlessly the dictates of their culture, their nation or their religions. They betray themselves when they condemn others and other peoples, and when they assume, adopt and emphasize the prejudices of their group or their culture. The level of self-betrayal is just immense and incredible. Some of it people recognize. But most of it they think is just life itself, that is the normal life, the normal state of mind, the normal state of affairs when in fact it is a gross and compounded state of self-betrayal.”
7 Principles for Overcoming Self-Betrayal
- Be your own best friend (and then others).
- Champion your own cause (as well as others).
- Be connected to and supportive of yourself (and others).
- Listen to your heart, your head, and your gut (your three brains).
- Create a life that feeds your soul (and nurtures others).
- Pursue your dreams (and encourage others to dream, too).
- Make your life a statement, not an apology.