Do You Ever Know Something Is a Lie, But Simultaneously Act Like It’s True?

What do you believe and simultaneously know to be a lie?

This question has occupied my thoughts ever since I heard it on a podcast recently.

It turns out, so many things fit that description.

One example?

As I prepared for a photo shoot recently, I became obsessed with the need to buy a new outfit (or two) — even though my busy schedule didn’t allow time to shop.

And the negative thoughts started to spiral…

  • It’s been years since I’ve shopped for clothes in person —unless scanning the tables at Costco for a shirt in my size counts? (Thanks a lot, COVID!)
  • I’m not sure which is worse: The absolute horror of how I must look in the clothes I already own or my fear of standing in front of a public mirror looking like a sausage.
  • I don’t even know what looks good together! How can I possibly trust myself to pick an outfit that “works” — let alone something that doesn’t clash with my website?

And the thoughts just kept spiraling:

  • Which store should I even go to?
  • What if I can’t find something to hide my pudgy tummy?
  • Should I schedule an appointment with a store’s personal stylist
  • Seriously? Who do I think I am— a Kardashian?!

I spiraled so far down that I almost canceled the whole photo session.

But I caught myself.

Implicit in all this fussing and fretting was a belief I didn’t realize I held:

There exists an outfit somewhere in the universe that will make me into a more lovable version of me, a slimmer version, a more stylish version, a more acceptable version of me—and it will make ALL the difference for ALL the things.

I know this isn’t true. But I was acting as if I believed it.

When I realized what I was believing—even though I knew it was a lie—I changed tacks.

I reasoned my way through the situation:

  • Wait a minute. I dress myself to leave the house Every Single Day.
  • I teach in front of a classroom of students who would surely gasp in horror if I looked hideous, or laugh uncontrollably if I looked silly.
  • My current clothes are good enough to wear for teaching and for adventuring with my husband.
  • I can likely find one outfit in my closet that I feel comfortable enough to take a few photos in.

More importantly, recognizing the Belief That I Know Is A Lie allowed me to realize I don’t want to be a fake version of me. Not even for the internet.

Especially not for the internet.

So I chose an outfit from my closet, pulled my hair back into my ever-present ponytail, and went to that photo session.

And you know what? It was sooo much fun!

Partly because the photographer is amazing. But mostly because I showed up as me.

As soon as I quit believing a lie that I don’t really believe, I was free to be myself. And that made all the difference.

So here’s my question for you: what do you believe and simultaneously know to be a lie?

So many statements, large and small, fit that description. Things like:

  • Someone else’s reaction tells me something important about myself.
  • If I do all the right things, I can protect my child from experiencing hardship.
  • This project will only take me 20 minutes.

I don’t have a big take-home message for you today. No grand solution to the problem.

Except to say that we lie to ourselves more than we think we do. And when we do, our brain believes what we say.

So I’ll leave you with the question that’s been on my mind since I first heard it—and I hope it sparks insights in you as it has in me:

What do YOU believe and simultaneously know to be a lie?

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And if you’re wondering, “How else do I lie to myself?”, check out these additional resources:


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Hi, I’m Kendra

I help bright, successful over-thinkers change their negative thoughts using Scripture and the science of how God made you.

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