young-woman-looking-in-hand-mirrorWhen my experiences line up with what I believe to be true, those beliefs are reinforced. But what if they don’t? What if my circumstances or general observations about life challenge the very foundations I’ve built my life upon? Then I am forced to take a closer look at those beliefs.

For instance, there is a young woman who feels self-conscious about a physical feature she inherited from her father’s side of the family. A popular girl at school made a derogatory comment and the cute guy she had a crush on asked out her best friend instead. Based on what she already believes, her self-image becomes entrenched in the cellar. She believes she is ugly. (This is the lie that will shape her future.)

Later in life, she is a finalist for a job … but the job is given to someone else, namely a woman with better qualifications and a stunning figure. How will she respond? Probably blame it on her self-perceived lack of beauty.

But suppose she gets a promotion over an attractive co-worker? What if the new guy in the Singles group at church ignores the flirtations of others and seeks out her company instead? What if she overhears a conversations between two women who wish they had her hair … or eyes … or another feature she has discounted?

This hypothetical character now has a choice to make. What will she believe? Is she willing to concede that perhaps she’s believed a lie and begin the change the way she acts as a result? Or will she brush off these new events as mere oddities … or even worse see them as thinly veiled forms of manipulation or deception?

The challenges of life can expose the lies we believe. Overcoming the lies starts by recognizing the truth and then acting on it. As our hypothetical character overcomes her distorted self-image, she may begin to act with confidence instead of trying to blend into the background … and end up with the guy, the job, and the happily-ever-after (at least until life confronts the next lie!)

As I write, I give my characters goals to pursue, good reasons to do so, and obstacles in the path. As they encounter conflict, their internal lies will be exposed and they will change as a result. That’s what makes a story that readers can relate to and learn from.

What about you? What lies have you believed? How did you identify them to be lies? What made you change your mind?

Overcoming The Lies
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