Develop Self-Confidence: 7 Lies You Need to Stop Telling Yourself

“Be honest with yourself, and you will find the motivation to do what you advise others to do.” ~Vince Poscente

What if you could only tell—and more importantly, only believe—the truth? Not the half-truth, the white lies, or the other grey in between, but the pure, beautiful, and unadulterated truth.

If I had to pick one super power, it would be to know the liars from the truth-tellers. I would walk around in public places, eavesdrop on conversations, and know immediately if someone is lying or being honest.

I would go to social events and exercise my super power by posing my burning questions to friends and strangers alike. I would sit in the courtrooms of the world, and know instantly if the victim is lying or telling the truth. How fascinating, how disconcerting, how shocking it would all be!

Most of all, though, I would use my super power to listen to the voices that I hear in my own head, from the loud inner critic, the large ego full of opinions, and the years of social conditioning and upbringing; and I would be able to tell, without a shadow of a doubt, the lies from the truths. Oh yes!

I grew up in Tehran, and witnessed not only the horrible 1979 Iranian revolution but also the terrible war that ensued between Iran and Iraq. Even though I was very small, I remember the horror, the bombings, the sirens, and the oppression.

Mostly, I remember the way our teachers would brainwash our small little minds and fill it with the new regime’s lies. I remember that our families needed to play it safe while still helping us draw some faint distinction between those lies and the truth.

I moved to America when I was 15 years old, and today, even though I know the difference between a lie and the beautiful truth, some days the inner critic returns and insists on the lie.

But I don’t think I am alone. We tell ourselves lies, half-truths, and anything but the pure truth every day.

We are paying for them, you know? They create new doubts in our mind and new fears out of thin air.

They make us a little blind to our own amazing opportunities. Most of all, they bruise our self-esteem, crush our self-confidence, and leave us looking for it everywhere except the very place that we will find it: within ourselves.

Your confidence lives inside you. It does not deplete itself or run away and desert you. It is a permanent part of who you are. But with enough lies, you can silence even the greatest force of confidence.

The solution: Stop lying to yourself and stop believing the lies that you hear.

The simplest and most powerful thing you can do to make that happen is believe in yourself.

Here are 7 lies you need to stop telling yourself:

Lie #1: You are not worthy of love.

Everyone in this world is worthy of love, and that includes you. The great thing about love is its abundance—it does not run out—and you can start with the first rule of confidence, which is to love thyself.

Self-love is totally in your control. It is a choice that you can make every day, as well as a shift in how you view love. If you can love yourself deeply and truly, you will generate plenty of love for the world around you, and you will start to see yourself as entirely worthy of love in return.

Lie #2: You are not enough.

Says who (other than you)? Maybe there were people who told you this lie at some point in your life. Maybe you started fabricating it on your own. Either way: it’s not true.

There is a difference between improving the person you are to be the best that you can be—a lifetime journey that we all share—and not being enough as a human being.

You are more than enough! You are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and then some. It starts with believing it before you can live it.

Lie #3: You do not deserve happiness.

This is the silliest lie of all. What have you done not to deserve this happiness that is your birthright? Who has dared implant such a falsehood in your head?

Yes, you deserve happiness in abundance, and the funny thing is you cannot have happiness while you hold on to the lie. Happiness flows to you when you fully expect it, not when you resist it. Stop resisting it. Start inviting it.

Lie #4: You are not unique or special.

This one still shocks me. Every human being—all seven billion of us—is born with unique fingerprints and unique voices. Does this gift form Mother Nature alone not shock you? It is the best perspective to instantly remember that you are oh so unique. There is not another one like you. There never will be. Know this. Exploit it. Enjoy it. Remember it.

Lie #5: Your dreams are too unrealistic or impractical.

It takes reading one inspirational biography or life story to switch you out of this mindset, so pick your favorite hero and go.

People achieve the impossible. They do it every day and in every age, every demographic, and every social condition. They rise up to the occasion and defy the norms. Nobody has to give them permission so they can live out their dreams and make waves in their own life and many around them. Why are you waiting for permission then?

Decide if your dream is practical or not, achievable or not. Then go make it happen.

Lie #6: Your circumstances dictate your success.

So many of us go through life carrying the shadows of our past and tainting our future. If we had great failure in the past, we let it define our identity and severely limit our potential for any future success.

Then we hear success stories of those who did not let any disadvantage dictate their success, those who blatantly ignored their shadows, shunned their current circumstances and defined their new future with brilliant colors!

How did they do it, we wonder? Can we too let go of these dark shadows? Can we walk into a new light, no matter what our past may have been and what our current circumstances suggest? I believe we can.

Lie #7: You are not worthy of wealth.

Wealth is personal. Some define it in the strength of their finances and some with the depth of their inner peace, and for some, one leads to the other.

How you define wealth is your business, just know that how you feel about it will affect your confidence. If you do not feel worthy of achieving your own state of wealth, ask yourself why? What self-limiting beliefs are you telling yourself that creates this condition? What better story can you believe so that you attract the wealth that you seek?

Telling yourself the truth can be the best habit you can develop, and asking questions and talking things through with yourself can be the easiest and quickest way to establish this habit.

You can kick start this habit by eradicating these seven lies first. Your reward is a renewed, strong and solid sense of confidence in yourself and your amazing abilities!

Photo by Sadie Hernandez

About Farnoosh Brock

Farnoosh Brock is a published author, speaker and coach. After her corporate career, she started Prolific Living which she now runs with her husband. She loves traveling, green juicing, Ashtanga yoga and fantasy fiction. Grab her FREE affirmation morning audio.

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  • Great list Farnoosh.

    The great realization that I am not my emotions and that me ego is the creator and instigator of lies has been truly transformational. But it all started with a simple step towards acceptance of self out of desperation.

    Meditation and mindfulness has helped me a lot with this (identifying the lies). But of course I had to do some real uncomfortable work before I was able to meditate or even love myself enough to sit quietly in a room.

    On #6, Circumstances are just excuses we tell ourselves
    why we’re not getting something we think we deserve. It’s about perspective.
    Where bad circumstances used to exist, today I see challenges and motivation. It’s difficult sometimes though trying to help others transform into that perspective. Most often it takes them being in deep emotional pain to be motivated enough.

    Great post and thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Ltningstrike

    I cried when I read this, It almost felt like I was given permission,….even if I have had it all along, someone else saying it is different. Thankyou

  • Matt

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. My only suggestion would have been to flip this around, instead of writing 7 “lies” stated negatively, offer 7 truths stated positively.

  •  Hi dear Matt….great suggestion…. I know it starts with the “negative” but sometimes the positive doesn’t catch as much attention. 🙂 so I was going for a bit of shock effect… 🙂

  •  Oh no! I didn’t mean to make you cry but if it was with a breakthrough, I am So happy to hear it! So happy! You are most welcome!!

  •  Jared, fantastic insights! Meditation is a blessing, and even if it takes some discipline to put into practice, like you see and believe, it’s worth every bit of that effort.
    Circumstances are indeed excuses. Part of why we blame this is just force of culture and habit – so we just have to learn to break the patterns.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to add such insights to the post!

  • hopeful1

    It’s beautiful that you take the time to respond to comments. That’s very special, and greatly appreciated. And your article reflects your love for the world.

  • LisaDawn69

    Hi, Matt and Farnoosh!

    Matt, I understand your perspective that stating this in the positive might inspire more positivity, but as someone who fights a heavy and heady battle with the lying, condemning, discouraging, and demoralizing bi*ch in my head, I grasp at the word LIES…I have to fend off the enemy by recognizing that she is a LIAR, echoing the lies that I was told by “loved ones” most of my life. If I see her as a liar and her words as LIES, I can more easily push her words aside…then I am ready for truth. =)  Just another perspective. =)  And I agree with you, Matt- it was indeed a thoughtful post!!

    Farnoosh, I shared your article on FB and pinned it on Pinterest and printed it for myself! If I could frame it in gold I would! <3

    Thank you!!


  • Jennifer

    I. LOVE. THIS. So wonderfully written and full of wisdom.
    These are all things I’ve been working on a lot lately, and just when I think I’ve got one down, I notice myself feeling small, limited and unworthy again, and I realize it’s because I’m believing one of my many lies. It takes a lot of vigilance and self-awareness to notice the lies and to have the presence of mind to challenge them. Sometimes it just seems so much easier to accept them…But what a sad, lonely and confined life that would be. Some are harder to stop believing than others — I’ve done a pretty good job of brainwashing myself in some respects — but I keep trying.
    Thanks for such a timely and encouraging piece of writing. I’m going to bookmark it and keep reading it every week until I’ve firmly established some new truths for myself.

  • Liz

    Everything happens for a reason and… wow, your post has nurtured my spirit! The timing could not have been any better. Thank you for sharing your insight with us all Farnoosh. Sending you much light and joy 🙂

  • I love this, thank you for putting it out in such a positive, optimistic way!  I sense that you have journeyed, like we all have, to this realization.  Sometimes I believe that our inner critic builds up a protective layer around us by telling us negative things BEFORE the inevitable outsiders will. 

    I am in recovery from a narcissistic father (and subsequently a long term narcissistic marriage) and learning all of the things you wrote.  I could never figure out why only they deserved and got love (from themselves and everyone else) – and now I know that it is the emotional weaponry of those personality disorders to disarm us.

    Be happy, love yourself, know that you deserve the best of everything, and treat yourself well!  These are the lessons I’ve learned.

    Thank you!

  • Emurr


    Thank you for your beautiful words.  Very true. 

    I was worship associate at my church January 1st (Unitarian Universalist of the Cumberland Valley, Boiling Springs, PA) and I spoke on a subject near and dear to me as a manager, trainer, salesperson, evaluator, and human being…. Broken Promises… but not the kind made and then broken to others…..  But the ones you make to yourself, but don’t keep with yourself.   In my opinion these are crucial to a human being’s self-concept of worth.

    You are right in all you say about the lies we tell ourselves.   But sadly, I believe that the lies we tell ourselves are often, and unavoidably, built around the reality we construct and believe based on how we treat ourselves and follow through on being who we say we are. 

    If we don’t do what we say we’re going to do, or be who we say we’re going to be then we destroy the belief system necessary for real peace, happiness, and acceptance.   In my opinion, that belief system can’t survive when we are a fraud to our very selves.  If so, we can’t help but not believe certain things about who we are.

    One will never believe (s)he is lovable, or worthy, or all that you speak of in your article until something gives on the reality side… either in terms of true deep acceptance of self as-is, or following through in being the self we want to be.   

    We definitely need to understand both who we are and who we want to be.  For Buddhists, this very is challenging, because the effort towards detachment is in some ways at complete odds with the very notion of self, especially since our our daily lives re-enforce the illusion of self all the time.     

    But either way, if we’re honest, and acknowledge that we consider ourselves a person, then our individual personhood’s happiness can only come, and equilibrium will only be found, when all is balanced.  Our beliefs =our Actions.  Then we can work on unmasking our illusions of self.

  • smerk ;)

    Sat Nam & Namaste`, y’all 🙂

  •  Thank you so much – of course I respond! The best part is interacting with the readers :))!

  •  Sat Nam, Sat Nam. Kundalini yoga? 🙂

  • Angela Marchesani

    This is absolutely beautiful; Completely inspiring and wonderfully well-written. Thank you for your frank and empowering words!

  • Rev. P. Alan Haynes, NTS

    Your honesty and opennes are inspiring; yes, desperation is often the whip that drives us to see ourselves in the Divine Light, and the work of coming to acceptance of ourselves, “warts and all,” is usually uncomfortable, at first…. Like any practice, though, it gets easier, once we start! <3

  •  Hello Emurr, thank you so much. I’ve read this thoughtful comment twice and am still at a a loss for words on how to add to it. You know, for me, it has been really challenging to come face-to-face with what you explain here because my belief system was so flawed, so harsh, so unkind to the self.
    I’ve been fascinated by Buddhism and hope to study it someday. The art of detachment is not an easy one …. I practice a lot of yoga and letting go in every yoga pose ironically brings us close to where we want to be … so perhaps at their base, there are parallels among all things that are good for us. 🙂
    Thank you for articulating so nicely here. Your comment could be the foundation of a  blog post in itself ;)!

  •  Carol, I have totally journeyed to here, on rough seas no less. The inner critic or even the ego does all of that to perhaps give us the illusion of control in this world. I am very sorry about your experience, what has it taught you though? Maybe it was meant to shape you into a strong and self-aware person?
    Love the closing words. Love’em, Carol! Live by them!

  •  You are so sweet, thank you Liz for taking the time to tell me. So sweet!! I am spoiled by these reactions of Lori’s beautiful readers. Thank you!

  •  Dear Jennifer, one step at a time, my dear. I even work at these some days. Or rather, my hubby notices me saying something rubbish to myself and reminds me of what I know – the gap between what we know and what we do, right? Sometimes it’s just too wide…. but believe in the tiny little steps and the daily progress and let it carry you forward. I am SO happy you enjoyed this piece!!

  •  Lisa, THANK YOU so much for saying it better than I did. Matt had a fantastic point and being a huge fan of Louise Hay, I totally believe in going in with the positive but just like you said, sometimes, we need to hear the “bad” words, we need to hear the word “lies” because it grabs our attention…. you are much too kind. Frame it in gold in your heart and carry it with you, Lisa. That oughta do beautifully :)!

  •  Well-said Alan. It gets easier with any practice!

  •  Angela, you are so welcome! It makes my day that this resonated with you…..

  • Emurr

    Perhaps I will blog about it!  🙂 is mine/our companies in case you want to follow..  🙂  But I’d rather teach it I think…..  I’m reminded of the Successories parody I saw once:  “Blogging:  Never before have so many wrote so much to so few”  haha..  that’s my blog….29 followers, baby!  haha.

    Yoga is in so many ways the perfect human practice and activity.   Breathe and be mindful.  Stretch your heart, mind, and body, yet accept and find balance in the space between who you want to be and where you have left….the quintessentially overused expression: “live in the moment” goal we’re tired of hearing about and yet still haven’t found, and yet desperately need.  Yoga puts us there. 

  • LisaDawn69

     Thank you, Farnoosh; I will indeed keep it framed in my heart! <3

  • This is a wonderful, a really welcome piece of inspiration at the end of a weary day. Sometimes I just need reminding that I really do deserve to be happy. Thank you!

  • Char_vict

    Thank you for this article…this may in fact save me and be one step closer to making my dreams come true ( and sharing it with everyone). THANK YOU!

  • Naomiava79

    This is fablous I always let my past stop me doing things in my furture let it take over my life and think I carnt do it I won’t be able to do it I couldn’t in my past so I won’t do it now ! But once you can forget your past and say yes I can do it and I will and start working on yourself loveing your self been honest you see the difference and the light when you love yourself you will be able to accept love ! Judge nothing u be happy forgive everything you will be happier love Eveuthing you will be happiest – Sri chimney

  • Mayank Kishore

    Thankyou Farnoosh.
    I don’t want to die being average. This seriously helped.

    Mayank (@thepotenza)

  • missinggirl

    If ever there were a day for me to find this blog in my mailbox, this would be it! I’ve been conflicted all day with an ongoing issue in my life and this article really connected with me. I know deep down that I am blocking my happiness because I seem to reach a peak during the week and by weekend, I’ve completely talked myself out of it. In fact, I will try to rip apart every bit of happiness bit my bit. Your article reminded me that there is still a part of myself that is saying that I don’t deserve to be happy and I don’t deserve love. Although I’ve done a lot of work on myself in recent months, sometimes it’s the oldest messages that are the hardest to shake. I love the fact that you talk about your childhood in Tehran. I think that story really made this blog click for me because your situation as a child was a little more intense than my own childhood, but it made me realize that regardless of where you live or what you are told as a child, you’re innocent and words stick with you in a profound way. Thank you again! 

  •  Hi dear missinggirl, I know what you mean about “oldest message that are the hardest to shake.” – Sometimes, it’s the way we hear that message that just clicks. How many times have you read about goal setting? Me too! Hundreds! But I think the way Tony Robbins said it in a recent audio tape I was listening to made perfect sense to me….. it was all in the timing and delivery. So so true!! I am glad that I talked about my childhood piece too – in fact, that was Lori’s wonderful suggestion, and I was happy to comply. Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts for us!

  • Sorry but that went to a broken link…. now I do have to steal that quote from you though: “”Blogging:  Never before have so many wrote so much to so few” ” So true!!!
    And having just come back from yoga, where at the beginning of class I am always tired and at the end I am on top of the world, I can’t agree more on that front with you :)!

  •  Tor, you are SO welcome! I am happy to be a little reminder of what you already know 🙂

  •  So so welcome ….. Lori here at Tiny Buddha has the most amazing community – I am blessed to share the piece with you. 🙂

  •  Mayank, don’t think about dying. Think about LIVING and you are not average. Nobody is – they just tell themselves that lie – another one I oughta add to the list. 🙂 You are very welcome too!

  •  Naomi, so glad …..I reflect on the past too much too….So well put …. thank you for sharing the quotation from Sri!

  • Lupesaltos

    I really enjoyed this article, I am trying to practice everything that you covered in the article, this year has been a year of great change in my life, a life that was very dark and sad for a while, and I am still working on telling myself that I do deserve happiness that it is ok to feel happy and not to be scared of having this happy feeling, everyday I am trying to accept myself, my body for what it is , letting go of that feeling of what do people think of me if I look a certain way.. I decided to let go of all those negative thoughts

  • Mary

    Was totally blown away ,all my doubts are in this list.Now I know I’m just as good as every one else,has given me positive thoughts.And made me cry!!!!!

  • Sundancebleu

    Thanks you so much for this!  I’m going to save this away to help me as I work on these things!

  • Rob_Leonardo

    I can say a curse because I am madly struck by this post honestly! Shut up! This is getting into me like some angel whispering to my ears!  Sorry, don’t get me wrong but I just want to tell you how much this gave me a dose of hope. I know about those self-limiting beliefs and how it becomes self-destructing- yeah right but here I am losing myself because of my own self-pity and thinking.  Thanks for the beautiful post.  I am renewed to face the challenges of today.

  • ggn

    So I’m not the only one who has those voices tearing her apart? All those doubts made my last relationship fail. It’s scary to shut those voices up though because once they do, you don’t know what to do with your life! There’s so much amazing things you could do! 

  • joe

    This gave me the boost that I needed so badly.
    Thank you so much Farnoosh 🙂
    you made my day.

  • friend forever

    Great article Farnoosh.
    I recognize it in my head too- the lies and the truths. Not everything that we think and perceive is correct and sometimes…. most of the times actually, believing in ourselves is the first small big step that can lead to change in every sphere of our life.

  • trishafx3

    What if you feel like your ugly, useless and like no one likes you? I feel this way everyday it’s horrible.

  • penguin

    “There is not another one like you.”
    So what? Really… so what? How does that connect to anything? Other points on the list make sense, but that “you’re unique” ranting is something i never see any real content in.

  • gk

    So you believe personal wealth can be anything?

  • kate rose

    thank you for the post! I was told and treated to believe all those lies growing up. I’m learning that they are lies and not true about me.

  • Hugo

    From time to time i read this page. It’s worthfull for me, eyeopeners. Thank you for taking the time to write and think about this and to give this to your worldcitizens.

  • Jdleffler

    The masters told us the truth and people who were not masters created the superstition around the truth. The truth does not need us to believe in it, it just is. Only lies need us to believe in them.

  • WasHopingForActualAdvice

    This is all nice but you did not tell us HOW so it’s not very helpful.

  • Manoj Sethi

    I had to get rid of Lie #4 You are not unique or special. I will remember the points mentioned

  • That one guy

    Can’t say I get it. What evidence does this article show that any of these are lies?

  • David cz

    A strong clever beautyfull woman,outside and of course inside.Unfortunately my intelect is weak,and in Buddhism is called ignorance.
    But as a master Chah say nobody is stupid

  • sherrell

    speak life thing that will bring blessing and hope

  • spreadyourwings

    Wow thanks for the amazing and inspiring article. I find myself lacking confidence and I find that I tell myself these lies constantly, as if I don’t deserve to be happy and confident. Thanks for this Farnoosh it was very insightful and helpful to me and I’m sure many others.

  • Attention Slut

    This post makes me angry.

  • Serviced Apartments Lady

    I completely and utterly agree with the ‘you are not unique or special’ one. Our life is completed shaped and comes as a consequence of uniqueness! What a brilliant post.

  • Josh Buday

    I love how you have made so many people feel better, this is a great list and I also cried when I read it because I tick every box, its lovely what you did to make people feel better but unfortunately I think I’m almost beyond anyone’s help and don’t have the strength or courage to stop telling myself these lies. at least it’s made me feel a little better knowing you’ve made others happy.

  • Aimless

    i cried! i literally cried reading this! This is amazing mam! i still cant stop says all about myself! i want to read your more journals.where could i find them?

  • Avatar

    I don’t get it . Most people are not going to be truly loved . Most marriages now are fake . People just settle now . Its pathetic way of living . No dignity .

  • kavin paker

    Today, I’m going to give myself permission to slow down.
    Lubeck Altstadt

  • Hann

    Thank you so much for this.. It really helped me love what I see in the mirror.

  • JS

    Thank you for the thoughtful article. Something I need to tell myself everyday, that I am worthy – to dream, to achieve, be happy and much more. Thank you for reminding all this.

  • maxwell ivey

    hi farnoosh; what a wonderful post. i really have to thank ballroop for sharing it on twitter. yes as a blind business owner blogger sometimes podcaster self published author etc i find myself in agreement with all of your points especially the ones about following your dreams and overcoming your situation to become a success. one of the main reasons i decided to write my book a motivational one was to share my methods and hopefully to inspire others to take actions. thanks so much for sharing because these are the kinds of posts that people cannot hear often enough. blessings my friend, max

  • Nordlys

    You lie too. All your point are white lies, and that’s pathetic.
    The truth is that people are unable to bear the truth, so we all became compulsive liars, with no exception.

  • Swapnadip Sinha

    Hello , I am a 22 and half years student and have been in depression from my senior years in schools cause people including some teachers constanly tried to make me feel like a dumb and hated person cause I was preety shy and never had the guts to fight back. And that time has been preety demoralising and the formed attitude has been with till date. Now wben I read this, it made feel better and am trying and well something is happening other than the anxiety.

  • DF

    Oh, how beautiful. … and what if the truth were all that is… all the lies, the honesties, the violence, the love … all of it. The whole thing?

  • Christine Walker

    Well, Thanks For Help. But I Actually Tried To Help My Friend… She Said “Stop Telling Me To Have Hope Or Be Happy, Nothing Is Going To Be Alright”. As Her Brother Died And Her Mom Has Cancer, I Can’t Help Her With Her Depression. She Have Been Bullied All The Time When She Tried To Be Confident And Forget About It, But Now She’s More Sad. Can Anyone Give A Tip For Helping Her? I Really Want To Help My Friend.

  • I also feel like sometimes I’m not good enough. That no matter how
    nice, womanly, smart, pretty, etc that I may be I’m still not good
    enough for a man to love.

  • Tim Reed

    Loving yourself is just an excuse to be “happy”. It’s extremely narcissistic and it’s pathetic how people actually believe in this shit, heh.

  • John Smith

    I doubt mine can ever be undone. It’s too severe. The idea of ‘love’ is not there. I don’t feel love for anything, or even understand actual love in any form.

  • John, you will manifest precisely what you believe. If that’s what you believe, then it will make it impossible for another outcome. It’s ok to not feel love or be in a poor place emotionally but to not believe it can change, now that’s a very powerful decision. Are you sure you want to believe that?