In Life Coaching there are many topics that arise, but cheating is a fairly consistent theme. From cheating on partners or diets to cheating for financial gain or recognition, this act of dishonesty leaves most wondering why it happens at all – including many of those who do it.
I have observed a fairly consistent pattern in those who cheat and this is what I would like to discuss in this post. I’m not claiming it to be anything other than my observation and I am posting as something for those who are interested to consider.
But, before we get to the pattern, let’s make certain we have a common definition for the word. Cheating is defined as:
1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage.
2. avoid something undesirable by luck or skill.
Now that we have a common definition from which to base this discussion, what is this pattern that seems to be present in those who do it?
It’s quite simple really, the ego is out of balance (either too high or too low), often leading to a desire to control, avoid or seek validation from external sources.
Let’s begin with those who have an ego that shifts from balanced to high. These individuals tend to cross the line from confidence to conceit and begin to desire power and control. Those who hold this desire begin to feel justified in doing whatever is necessary to generate an outcome in their favor. If this includes acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, then that is what they will do. The drive to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events far outweighs the desire to be honorable in principles, intentions and actions. These individuals often evaluate their self-worth by their external power and control.
Now, what happens when ego goes the other way? Individuals who have a low ego (low self-esteem) tend to seek balance by obtaining the approval of others. When they don’t feel worthy enough, they may also attempt to avoid the feeling with alternate sources (food, drugs, alcohol, etc.).
Why is this important to know?
When your sense of self-worth is centered and balanced, there is no need for control, external validation or avoidance. The desire to cheat in any fashion is gone. There is a realization that there is simply no need for it. You feel whole and complete as you are. You are in this state of self-love and self-confidence that is neither low nor high. It is a beautiful state of being and completely achievable.
How do you achieve it? The first step is to understand where you fall in your own self-esteem and self-worth in this current moment. Once you have the strength to look at where you are, you can begin to understand what it will take to navigate through any tendencies that are preventing you from being balanced.
It isn’t easy to face ourselves and realize that we may have growth to do in the area of balancing our ego. But, not admitting it is cheating ourselves out of a truly blissful state of being.
Remember: Only when we are completely, totally and fully honest with ourselves can we begin to transform into what we truly desire.