Promoting Passion Week 27: Lies We Tell Ourselves

Promoting Passion Week 27: Lies We Tell Ourselves

Humans are master manipulators, that has been tried and true over the years. But what we fail to recognize is just how good we are at manipulating ourselves. We make ourselves believe the worst to hold expectations back and to preserve the comfort of what we know. But what if we stopped lying to ourselves? What if we were blunt and honest and took life by the horns?


These are 5 lies we so often tell ourselves:

1. Other people know best.

How often are you quick to believe what other people have to say about you, but even faster to dismiss your own opinions? We have a tendency to hear something negative about ourselves and believe it to be true, when our own feelings play a small part in how we perceive ourselves. Stop telling yourself the lie that someone else’s vision of you is the right one. You should be the first to form an opinion about yourself, and all else is for you to take or leave.

2. The future will be better.

I love telling this to myself. I love feeling like the future is going to be better. And this isn’t really a lie, as much as it is an instigator to a bad situation. If you always tell yourself the future will be better, chances are you aren’t doing a lot to fix the situation you are in now. Instead of saying “the future will be better”, do something about your life as it is, in this moment, right now. Make changes and live those changes. Tell yourself that your life is always changing because you make it so, and that you are in control of your situation.

3. Its out of my control.

Here’s the thing. Sometimes what happens to us does feel like it is out of our control. But what isn’t out of our control is how we react to the things that happen to us. We have the power to change any situation with how we react to it, so next time you’re feeling like you’ve been dealt a bad hand – handle it differently. See the positive side of all things, no matter how difficult, heartbreaking, or irritating it might be. There is a silver lining if you create one.

4. There’s a right way, and there’s a wrong way.

Stop lying to yourself about why things aren’t going your way. In other words, if one idea doesn’t work, try again, or try another. There is no right way of doing things. Never glorify another person for their success, create your own in your own way.

5. I’m not good enough.

When I was in high school I tried harder than anyone I knew. I studied for hours a day and cared a lot about how well I did or didn’t do. Turns out, I didn’t do so well. When I’m about to tell people what my GPA was they pat me on the shoulder and say it couldn’t have been that bad…but then they always give me that face…that one that says: Oh, wow, didn’t see that coming. I went through those years of my life and some after believing that I simply wasn’t smart. That I didn’t have it in me. What I’ve learned since is that I couldn’t have been any more wrong if I tried. Certainly I have no memory whatsoever, and that hindered me greatly in school, but there is more than one way to be smart.

We are all good enough. We are all beautiful people. We all possess something unique and individual, and the sooner you stop lying to yourself about that the sooner you can blossom into the person you want to be and the person that others want you to be. If I had continued believing that I wasn’t good enough, I may never have pursued my passions in life. You never know how you are going to excel. You may surprise yourself.

So take a leap today. Stop lying to yourself about the things you can’t do. Become the person you were meant to be, and as always, promote your passion.

What lies do you tell yourself?
What lies will you stop telling yourself?


42 thoughts on “Promoting Passion Week 27: Lies We Tell Ourselves

  1. #5 is my nemesis and recently I have been working to overcome that. Instead of thinking I am not good enough I am shifting my mindset to instead be “I am evolving and a work in progress and evolution is good”.

    Thanks for always opening my mind and my heart with each of your heartfelt posts. ❤️

    1. I love that mindset so much. The lie can always creep in, no matter how far away we try to get, so being able to become centered and see the truth is an amazing thing.

  2. Oh my, the list goes on and on…!! I think rather than listing the ones I tell myself I will just resolve to take the George Costanza approach and just do the opposite of what my initial reaction tells me and see if i don’t do better! LOL

  3. i’d like to think i spend 2 weeks living in this dream world…that i get to experience…only it is the reality of my dreams that i get to live….now, what people don’t talk about are the “lies” and things that you come home to when you are exhausted and happy and satisfied…and weak….and these are the times when the lies shine best….i found myself responding so much differently this time…and even NOW as i’m waking up today and reading…i have so many temptations to fall into the traps of “i’m not good enough”…and yet, what does that really matter….i am who i am…big and small, flawed and beautiful…me and only me. them and only them. And now…to RESPOND to life when it throws me curves….today’s agenda : tell my body, it will do kickboxing even though itz tired…and tell my spirit, release the video for the retreat..and share your heart to the world!!!!!! bam.

  4. Thank you so much for doing these videos. Every time I watch one I can’t help but smile. It always gives me that shot in the arm whenever things are going crazy and self doubt creeps in. Beyond the obvious message your enthusiasm is so contagious and always makes me feel like I can go another round. Your always somehow poignant to whatever my current struggle is.
    If I never met you this series alone would still make me a better person but having you in my life makes me feel like I can accomplish anything.
    Now if I can just get used to this new wacom tablet……haha. Baby steps.
    Have a great day.

    1. I hope you know how much this means to me, and how much your kind words give me the energy to move forward. Miss you xoxo

  5. Hi Brooke. When you said about getting bad grades at school you reminded me about an awesome indian movie ‘taare zameen par’.
    This movie is one of the most inspiring i’ve ever watched. All the people who failed at studying got to watch it 🙂

  6. Brooke!!! Love this <3 . I totally thought of you when I saw Maleficent! The scene where she is leading Aurora through the forest in her slumber is strikingly similar to some of your work. 🙂 Maybe Disney is a Brooke Shaden fan ?!?! 🙂 <3 much love!

    1. Ahhh yes I kept getting really excited, especially at that scene, because I thought, “I could create something like this!” – super amazing, visually inspiring movie!

  7. These are all spot on! I often tell myself that I’m not good enough. But now I am trying to also ask myself ‘not good for whom?’ And I am also trying to quiet the thoughts about others…. we often give other people way too much power and that often affects our actions or prevents us from acting altogether. No one is guaranteed a ‘tomorrow’. Our life is happening right now, right at this second, so I am trying to focus on that. Focus on making my life happy, doing my best now, instead of constantly focusing on ‘next week’, ‘next month’ and ‘next year’. Goals are always great to have but not when you procrastinate and think ahead so much that you are missing what is happening in the moment. Thanks for this 😀

    1. Giving other people power is something that I have tried to stop – by doing things like eliminating my Facebook feed and not looking at twitter, I’ve shut out the negativity and have been able to focus on the positive affirmations.

  8. Thank you for this video, so much truth and wisdom in it. It is specially timely for me since I am feeling completely defeated today. Number #5 is my nemesis too and I am struggling so hard with it right now. Last week I got rejected from a couple of places I applied to sell my art at and I did not make it into an art show I finally had the guts to enter. I am kind of dreading going to pick up my rejected photo today. I worked so hard on it, believed in it and it still was not good enough. Quitting sounds really appealing right now but I have a 12 year old daughter who is watching me intently and well, I just can’t quit. As usual, your words and videos are so wonderful and this one really helps.

    1. I got rejected from 100 galleries before one accepted me….it doesn’t feel good, but it makes small successes feel even better in the future. The opinions of a few do not reflect the opinions of the masses, and the opinions of the masses do not necessarily reflect your own. Love what you do and someone will follow. Never give up – you are far too amazing for that <3

    2. Thank you for your kind words Brooke. I actually always think about how you got rejected so much at first, it helps me keep going! I also I always tell my daughter about how much JK Rowling got rejected, I guess I need to give the speech to myself today hehe. Thanks again, you are so wonderful and inspiring!

  9. i keep making excuses for not creating, for some reason, i talk myself out of challenging my self- like you said because i prefer to stay in my comfort zone, and its a shame, last week i created 0 photos, and I’ve used the excuse that i was ‘busy’ i started work and had an induction day at collage and prom, (2 of those were on the same day!) but i decided to just not do anything and to be happy just sitting on the sofa watching tv in between those events. But I think only being busy this weekend, i am going to challenge my self to try new things and techniques in my photography! 🙂

    1. We all needs weeks like that to be honest, but it is good to know when a break is necessary vs. when you are holding yourself back. You are on to amazing things!

  10. That doggone #5…I have a sister who is 13 months younger than I. In high school, we had several classes together. I studied and studied, she’d review. If I got a 98%, she’d get 100%. No matter how hard I tried, she always do better (with significantly less effort).

    The same can be said for college. All of my friends were book smarter than I. I remembering graduating with a respectable GPA and yet feeling like a failure.

    Having a boyfriend later tell me how fat I was, how stupid I was didn’t help matters (of course I did get smart enough to dump him).

    What I AM, however, is tenacious and hard working. I’m not the smartest, nor the dumbest, the most talented or the least. I can be the best version of me and keep working to be better. And learning how to accept and BELIEVE compliments is something I strive to do on a daily basis.

    Thanks for the reminder! 😀

    1. It can be so hard when negative people in your life bring you down, but I am so glad to hear that you are lifting yourself up!!

  11. oh brooke i love your posts and wisdom soo much! this all rings soo true! 4 and 5 i am always working on. especially 5. but i want to thank you, from your blog, and your classes, meeting you personally, you helped me find the confidence to get out there and make my own future and that means being a photographer. going out and shooting. i love my life even more know that i am doing my passi again. thank you! also this image is utterly gorgeous!

  12. This is along the lines of “I am not good enough” but feeling like I am not enough to make the images that I want. That I need another piece of gear, a workshop/class, or more free time. I put off starting until I acquired that “missing piece” only to discover that it wasnt actually that necessary. So I am learning to start before I am ready and I will figure it out along the way.

    1. We can always grow and change, and there are endless avenues to help us do just that…but remember that in the moment you are creating for yourself and by yourself, and it is always good enough.

  13. I struggle with #1 and #5. This video comes at the perfect time for me, Brooke! Thank you for the reminders and for sharing your wisdom!

  14. I find myself being tied down by fear. I’m afraid to make the “wrong” choice, so I essentially make NO choice (which, I clearly realize IS the wrong choice) and stay, stagnant, in my own self-sabatoge.

    1. You, my dear, are brave beyond words and I can’t wait to see what you do with moving forward!

  15. I had so many things happening today in so many directions that were totally out of my control. But after listening to your promoting passion video today, I had a moment where I just relaxed and realized that I needed to stop and take action in a calm way. Life is cyclical and you are right there will be up, downs, failures & successes. I am sure you hear thank you all the time, but seriously, thank you for your videos. I don’t think you realize that sometimes they are so impactful that they help in crucial chaotic moments as well as just everyday event moments.

    1. Diana, this is very meaningful to me – thank you for sharing. I am so glad that you could take things in a new direction. Thank you for being so kind <3

  16. This reminds me of a part of my upbringing. While NO ONE in my family ever said anything to give me this idea, I grew up in a family of very classically smart, left-brained people. My brother and dad both majored and minored in physics and engineering, my mother in linguistics and British Lit. I felt like such the odd duck being the only right-brained person, the only one who had trouble with math, etc. My saving grace was that I was highly praised for my creativity, so that became something I leaned on… “I may not be smart, but at least I’m creative!”

    I was literally in my early 20’s before I realized that I wasn’t stupid, I just learned things in different ways. I’m also mildly dislexic, which didn’t help. It makes me sad to think about how many, many years I spent honestly thinking I was dumb when I wasn’t. And again, no one in my family ever gave me this idea, I just imposed it upon myself when everyone else excelled in areas I failed in.

    I’m glad we have both come to realize that these were lies. It is a much healthier, happier place to be to understand your strengths, yes, but to not let your weaknesses define you. Thank you for this post 🙂

    1. I am the same Sarah! No one told me I was dumb and yet I thought I was. I definitely hear you there. I am so glad creativity exists….proves that those of us who aren’t traditionally smart can still shine and blossom and grow.

  17. I think at this time my worst lie is that I missed it. Time has passed me by and I missed the opportunity to do something great. I was busy raising kids and working and life has passed me by. However, I refuse to listen to that lie anymore. At the age of 57 I went back to school to get my BA in Fine Arts. I loved it so much that I decided to get a Master’s degree too and will graduate in 2016. This year I turn 60 (the age my father was when he passed away) but I refuse to listen to the lie that it’s all over. I have so much more to do, and say, and create, and inspire people with. Thank you for your motivation. I can’t get enough of your videos, watching some 4 and 5 times (well, and counting….).

    1. Denise, thank you so much for sharing this. You have inspired me beyond words. It is never too late to start anything, and that reminder comes at a very apt time for me. Thank you, thank you, for everything.

  18. NUMBER 4.

    Im so glad you posted this. Number four is what has held me down for so long. When I was younger I was an explorer and was okay to be the first to succeed or to fail. Once I started wanting to drive my passion for photography as my career path is when I started warping my “photography eye” is what I like to refer to it as. I always felt like what I need to produce needs to fit a certain rules of that style. I forgot the excitement of failure. Ive done so much to try to sharpen my talent that Ive almost lost what made me interested in photography in the first place. Making beautiful worlds and showing the creatures, animals or people I seem fit for the story line. Thank you for helping some of us find our walking paths again and to know where not the only one who wonders away sometimes.

    Thank you so much, beautiful brooke.
    -Ashley Howe

  19. awww This is so great! I’ve been super busy so Im just catching up on these right now! I really needed this right now, Ive been in a ‘creative block’ and not creating anything, I want to use excuses like how busy Ive been planning Lillians homeschool year but honestly I do have downtime and I can create, I just haven’t. I am going to pull out some stock I took from the seminary and so many of my old ideas that I never worked on, see what I have and what I need to shoot! thank you Brooke!
    p.s. Im guilty of believing what others say about me! Or I used to be anyways, after finding you I learned that the only person I need to compare myself to is myself 🙂 thank you!

  20. I sometimes lie to myself by telling myself that everything will be alright. If everything were to be alright, then perfection will be met, and that is an impossible goal.

    Your art and photography inspire me to create my own original and emotional works of art, and you have taught me to be happier with what I have and that I am a good enough person for me.

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