I got caught exaggerating!

Daily Dose of Integrity

One of my favorite clients called me out today in a way that I like.

Whenever he asks me how I’m doing, I nearly always complain about how I don’t get enough sleep because my kid’s not a great sleeper.

He pointed out that quite often in my content – especially shorter videos and posts – I’ll say something like, “I haven’t slept well in 3 years”. And he said, “Well technically, if you haven’t slept for 10 days, you’re dead. So you must be sleeping OK, at least enough to survive for 3 years.”

Of course he’s right, and I’m aware of this. I know I exaggerate in shorter content for brevity’s sake.

But the fact is I do get 4 or 5 hours on average every night. It’s not ideal, but it does happen. It’s rare for me to go an entire night without even one minute of sleep, despite how much I want to believe that happens. Fact is, I’m not dying from sleep deprivation.

And the way I narrate it can actually create a kind of victim-hero identity that I become attached to: The Guy Who Can’t Sleep!

It’s amazing how we become attached to these identities. We’ll actually start to fight to make them true and keep them true once we’ve established them. I might soon start resisting opportunities to sleep well!

So you’ve got to be careful with how you word things. Are you being accurate?

I sure wasn’t!

For more on this topic, check out my video “5 principles of powerful honesty”:

One Response

  1. I often accidentally exaggerate – a habit left over from my people pleasing days (to make stories more interesting). I recover by admitting it when it happens.

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