I know a guy, who will remain nameless for the purposes of this post, that always has a story about when he was in high school or college. I’m not talking about one of those funny stories that stirs up a sense of nostalgia. I’m talking about a very specific story about some athletic or academic achievement that he was recognized or remembered for. To hear him reminisce he was the perfect blend of a Rhodes Scholar and 1st Round Draft Pick. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about he can pivot the story with a line like, “that reminds me of that time in high school when I…”
It’s super annoying!
I’m not sure the level of truth in his stories. I only know that he didn’t play sports professionally, and I’m pretty sure I could beat him at a game of Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit.
I don’t have a lot of friends like him, but I know a lot of people who do the same kind of thing. Truth be told, I do it too sometimes.
We look back in our past and the size of our accomplishments grow.
It’s like that little phrase on the mirrors in our cars: “Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.”
Well I’m afraid that sometimes we live by the adage: “Accomplishments in our past must be exaggerated by at least 20%.”
I realize it may not seem like a big deal, but exaggeration is a character flaw. It’s birthed out of some place of insecurity in your life.
It may seem like stretching the truth about your GPA back in high school isn’t a big deal, except when it masks your insecurities about not getting into the college that you wanted to.
It may seem like exaggerating your role on the state championship team isn’t a big deal, except when it is actually used to make you feel equal to the accomplishments of your co-worker who actually makes you feel inadequate.
It may not seem like a big deal to put on your resume that your last church or youth group ran 75 when you actually averaged 37, but you had 75 at that one event when you gave away free money…except when you realize that you are actually LYING to potential future employers.
Don’t fix the exaggeration without dealing with the heart issue. Why do you do that? Answer that question and deal with that first. The rest will start to take care of itself.
I’m not perfect and I used to struggle with this issue a lot, because of some of my performance-based acceptance issues and personal insecurities. But I’m telling you, it’s not worth it.
Tell the truth. About everything. It really is worth it!