25 Lies Women Need To Stop Telling Themselves (If They Want To Get Ahead)

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Most people will agree that being lied to feels terrible, but when we're lying to ourselves, it's the worst kind of betrayal. 

A healthy, happy life is built on honesty, transparency, and authenticity, which is what makes self-deception so dangerous; in our self-soothing delusion, we close off our chances of the greatest life possible.

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Here are 25 lies women need to stop telling themselves (if they want to get ahead):

1. That you need a partner in your life to complete you, make you worthy of love, or even go on vacation

You're living your life, right now, in real time, and you'd better do everything you can to actually appreciate and live it, or your "what if's" will become "if only's."

2. That you should stay in the relationship because you've already stayed so long

You can try and make it make sense, but it's illogical; any self-respecting Orange is the New Black fan knows that doing time is just that. Free yourself and give yourself a second chance instead of suffering through what you feel is your only choice.

3. That "friendship" consists of happy hour and Facebook likes

If the only thing you're doing is toasting and taking selfies, you might want to reevaluate. True friendship is an ever-growing bond between two people who love, appreciate, respect and support one another.

4. That it's ever OK to hand over a chunk of self-esteem in order to be "nice" 

Then you're just being mean to yourself. How is that OK?

5. That someone else's life has anything at all to do with you

Her engagement, boyfriend, amazing bucket-list trip, kick-a** job, pretty baby ... it's all great for her and has zero to do with you. Know where their life ends and yours begins.

6. That Christian Grey was "sexy" 

Think of me as your best friend on a bar stool being honest with you after two drinks. I know you love him, but the truth is that Christian Gray is a narcissistic, controlling, wealthy, emotionally closed-off, psychologically abusive, boundary pusher with nice eyes and good ties. And he has nothing to do with real BDSM. I'm sorry. I love you.

7. That "good on paper" means he's the one

Dating someone with whom you can "check the boxes" is nice in theory, but when you don't feel the "thing," you don't feel it.

The idea that we should "settle" so we can have someone in time to procreate, or walk down the aisle close to the age we're expected to, is very dangerous. And it's deceptive; that great-on-paper guy deserves to be with someone who actually just thinks he's great.

8. That disrespect is OK as long as someone labels it a "joke"

If you're not laughing, speak up.

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9. That red flags are yellow

Your love cannot tone down the trouble that lies ahead.

10. That best friends are forever

People grow together and sometimes outgrow one another, and that's OK. Be grateful for the walk together and wish one another well when it's clear you're moving in different directions.

11. That she's not worth the compliment

If a woman looks good, did good, rocked a presentation, or inspires you with her amazing mama or multi-tasking skills, say so!

12. That one can successfully decipher reality through a social media account

Filtered information does not a fact make.

13. That you need to explain yourself

Follow your heart, use your head, trust your gut, and go for your goals. If people challenge you, you can decide whether or not it's worth offering up a back story or not.

14. That you ever need to apologize for your intelligence, success, beauty, or body

Haters gonna hate, people are going to project, and you don't need to care because frankly, their nasty opinions are minor in the big life you're building, and only showcase how unfulfilling their own lives are. Sad.

15. That your past defines you

You're a work-in-progress, and every move you make and action you take defines and redefines you.

16. That you need to put up with sexism to be "cool"

That creepy comment made by the contractor, that condescending remark by your coworker ... standing up for your (equal) rights doesn't make you a man-hater; it means you're a boss lady.

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17. That you won't have it, simply because you realized what you had wasn't it

Relationships/jobs/circumstances end (and it often hurts when they do). But allowing a loss to convince you that you'll always lose is a surefire way to become a loser. Keep smiling, keep going, keep dreaming, keep building, and keep moving forward.

18. That bad things only happen to bad people

If only.

19. That your ex deserves your power

Do you want to look at his Facebook and wonder if he's happier with her? Fine. Want that. Work through it. Find a way to reward yourself and enhance your own life in those moments so you can accept him for what he is: yesterday's news.

20. That you don't have options in your life, career, and love prospects

The more you expand your mind, explore the world, express yourself, and get excited about your existence, the wider your world will expand.  

21. That another woman having something means you can't have it

She's proof you can.

22. That life/sexuality is over at a certain age

Helen Mirren. 'Nuff said.

23. That those laugh lines, soft tummy, or loose skin make you any less beautiful

There's a soul inside of that body and when you laugh, dance, smile, sing, and share your passions, it comes close to the surface.

24. That all men are ______

All men are not any one thing any more than all blondes, brunettes, or women are.

25. Anything that contradicts your gut, baby

Follow your instincts.

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Brenda Della Casa is the author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The Managing Editor of Preston Bailey and Gotham Bandit, A Huffington Post Blogger, and the founder of BDC Life In Style.