The Attention-Seeking 8 Year-Old

I think it’s really easy to slip into lying when you’re in sales. When I say lying, it probably causes you a visceral reaction as it does with me so please allow me to expand. I used to say, “fib” or “embellish” but at the end of the day, it’s lying (though they say embellishing is grounded in truth but you get the point). 

For me, I first realized I was doing it when we were trying to land clients just to have revenue. I was never lying in a malicious manner, but I was stretching the truth only to end up having to make up for it later. Call it a “white lie” if you will. Most of the time it was about how long we’d been in business, how many clients we had, or how good we were at a certain service at that time. Stretching the truth to make us look better. It’s lying. 

Over time, we got more clients and I found myself doing it less and less and eventually it was gone… But, of course that type of lying was grounded much deeper than I thought. 

I found myself stretching the truth (lying) trying to sell myself to other people. Trying to elevate my status. It’s the same thing as I mentioned earlier, just in a different costume. It was never too big of a lie so I allowed myself to do it and then when I got to that status level, I subconsciously went to the next level. 

Recently I addressed the issue by having a conversation with someone… My 8 year-old self. My 8 year-old self was striving for attention it didn’t get. It was coming out in my 34 year-old self. 

I was elevating myself to prove that inadequacy (lack of attention) feeling wrong. But, I was actually doing the opposite. I was proving it right. I’d engineered a false narrative in hopes of representing something I am not.  

Let’s close this up… 

My 34 year-old self had a little chat with 8 year-old Stephen. That chat went very well. 

Stop lying. It’s not helping you or the person you’re speaking to. You don’t need to do it. Even if it’s the smallest one, don’t shrug it off. It’s still lying. 

Keep working and looking at your real self in the mirror. If you find yourself stretching the truth, ask yourself why you LIED. 

Clean that shit up.