There are at least five big lies we have been hearing throughout our lives over and over that somehow evolved into being accepted as axiomatic truisms, when they are anything but the truth. The sooner we abandon them, the more authentic we will become with others and with ourselves. Here is that short yet evil list of lies you should abandon, and the sooner the better:

1. “You Should Just Be Yourself”

This is a typical lazy excuse for the laziest among the lazy to remain where they are today and not bother to get out of their comfort zone in order to grow and become better in any direction. As soon as you suggest change to their behavior and lifestyle, they become extremely defensive, turning the guns on you and telling you all about how much work you could do to become better. The common excuse for rejecting your advice is that they want to remain true to themselves, and they don’t want to be something they are not. Apparently becoming stronger, better and smarter is somehow equivalent to betraying your values and principles in their book.

2. “You Should Not Be Judging Anyone”

Why not? Weren’t we given brains precisely for that reason – to form opinions, judge, criticize and admire with equal passion? Judgment is the source of much, if not all, progress. If we weren’t unhappy with something and didn’t do anything about it, we would see no progress of any kind.

Lets also admit it – judging is fun. Going out to a place where there is no one to look at and no one to talk shit about would not be all that much fun either. The reason that all the ridiculous reality television has such a mass appeal is because we all love judging and talking shit about others. I don’t know if the true reason for this is that observing others’ embarrassing behavior makes us feel better about who we are, or there is more to the story, but the bottom line is that it’s such a huge industry for a reason. It draws massive attention.

3. “If You Are Lacking Confidence, Fake it Till You Make It”

This is more BS. Any person with the most basic intuition will recognize the attempts at trying to fake confidence as awkward, lame and kind of Napoleon Dynamite-ish. Having real confidence requires real reasons to be proud of who you are. You don’t have to be a millionaire or the best looking person in your city to be confident, but you need to have some kind of accomplishments to be proud of and have that pride translate into a more confident posture, body language and overall demeanor in order to exude real confidence.

4. “Appearances Don’t Matter; It’s the Inside that Counts”

Appearance does matter. It always did, and it always will. From people’s bodies and faces, to cars, shoes, furniture, and architecture – how things look matters a lot, and there is no way around it. I assure you that the reason that Nespresso machines sell is not because they make such an incredible coffee (they really don’t), but because they look slick and they make the kitchen look prettier and more hip.

It doesn’t mean that substance is not important or that it is less important than what’s on the surface, but discounting the value of how something or someone looks is both false and hypocritical. We all care about looks. Find me a girl who accuses men of being superficial, and I will remind her about how she said once that she wasn’t interested in a guy because his belt didn’t match his shoes. Find me a guy who accuses women of being superficial, and I will remind him how he rushed to upgrade his I-phone for no good reason whatsoever.

5. “Normal is Boring”

No, it’s not. What makes someone or something boring is not that it’s normal or that it’s not shocking, but that it does not stimulate or provoke any thoughts or ideas. It is boring because it is simply not interesting. On the other hand, there are plenty of people out there who lead a “normal” lifestyle, who don’t try to stand out by dressing up like clowns, or covering their body with tattoos and piercings, and yet they are fascinating on so many levels. You don’t have to look like Nicky Minaj or Lil Wayne to be an interesting person. You don’t have to become vegan or join some weird club or a clan to be exceptional. And you don’t have to run away from your parents’ home to assert your one-of-a-kind individuality. You can look and act normal, just like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Roger Federer and Barack Obama, to name a few, and be anything but boring.

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