How You Can Learn From The German Airforce

Self-Deception

July 1940 Nazi Germany was attempting to invade Britain after successfully overwhelming France and other European countries.

Once Germany had control of the skies they would launch Operation Sea Lion, whereby they would deploy amphibious and airborne assaults on Britain.

This would not come to fruition, as a result of The Battle of Britain which would see what was considers Germany’s first major defeat in World War 2.

The Latest Score

As the battle developed in the skies over Britain, the ‘score’ would be posted to the world. Much like a football match today, people would be awaiting the result in anticipation. If Britain were losing, the date of the invasion could be sooner than they thought.

Unlike football, the scores were being reported by each side, the viewer couldn’t see that Britain had gone 1-0 up. They would await the score to be published but the score was coming from either side. Churchill would hear back from the RAF and would believe what he was being told. Why wouldn’t he? No one was deliberately deceiving him.

The Luftwaffe (The German Airforce) would report back on their ‘scores’ too. Their scores were vastly different from what the RAF would report, they were not trying to deceive either. The Luftwaffe believed their days were the most glorious in their short history.

Both sides believed they were enjoying superiority and gaining the upper hand in the skies above. Both were reporting different figures on the number of planes they had damaged or destroyed. They would also report on their casualties. However, this was where the figures altered.

The RAF would report on the number they believed to have hit and the numbers could vary. However, the report on their losses was always correct. This would not be true of Luftwaffe reports. They would announce that they had not lost many, but that there were severe British casualties. This would lead to Germany concluding they were winning the battle.

This deception may have increased morale, however, this was just papering over the facts of what was actually happening. Whilst they were increasing moral they were only deceiving themselves.

Sir Whinston Churchill would later announce in Parliament that the Germans had become a victim of their own lies.

You’re Only Kidding Yourself

You could lie to yourself, however, the only person you will be affecting is yourself, and not in a positive way.

Lots of people will tell stories and attempt to make themselves feel superior, but what is the gain in this, apart from a few minutes of false satisfaction? Even during these few minutes, once it has passed no one really cares that much anyway. In all honesty, each individual has plenty going on in their own lives that if you were to just be honest it wouldn’t really matter.

So much thought goes into what someone else is thinking, when in fact, they’ll have plenty more going on. Anyway, if they were to judge you then you can do without that in your life.

Deceiving ourselves doesn’t lead to anyway productive. It just allows us to stay exactly where we are. No progress, no growth, no success. You will stay the same in a year than you are now if you continually feed yourself crap.

I have been there. I have got on the scales in the morning seen the weight and body fat go up, and pretend it didn’t happen and not record the results. What good did that do? NONE!

If you cannot be honest with yourself, then who can you be honest with?

Honesty, for me, is a HUGE driver! I looked at myself, and thought do I want to be someone who ‘pretends’ it didn’t happen, turn a blind eye? Or do I want to make progress, accept setbacks, but find a way to move forward!

If It Doesn’t Matter Why Both Lying?

In the case of the Luftwaffe, there was plenty riding on this battle. They wanted morale to remain high, so they would not disclose of casualties to ensure morale remained high. If you are deceiving yourself, then what is the underlying reason for doing so?

If it doesn’t matter and you’re not willing to change it, then that is OK. That is YOUR choice. No one can take that choice away from you, own it! Don’t pretend to be someone or something that you are not. Who are you really trying to impress? Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable, it is the position you are in through the choices you have made.

If you are not happy then again, don’t lie about it. Be totally honest with yourself.

I wasn’t fit, so I would say I don’t do cardio because I don’t enjoy it. That is partially true, but the reason I didn’t do it, was because I was so unfit that it was bloody hard! It was only when I faced up to this and was honest with myself, that I decided to start doing cardio. It was only small steps, but once you start walking, the more you get used to it the faster you can get!

Win Your Battles

The Luftwaffe lost their battle. Ok, it may not have been all down to deceiving themselves, but this self-deception would not have helped their cause. Could the battle have been any different had they been honest about their own casualties? Possibly.

You can still decide whether you win your battles though. First, though, you must be honest with yourself. Don’t pretend it’s going to be OK, or pretend you’re feeling good.

If you are feeling crap there will be a reason why. Continue to feel crap and pretend all is good, or identify the problem and deal with it?

What is the one area of your life you want to improve?

What lies are you currently telling yourself to get you through it? Are you putting up with something just because….?

Stop worrying about what others think. Deceiving others only leads you to deceive yourself. Ultimately, what good does this do? Will it take you further towards your goals? No. If anything, it will take you further away.

Once we are honest with ourselves, we open ourselves up to the possibility of change.

It may not start out easy, and there will be tough times. During these times remember the battle you are in and the outcome you desire. Keep being honest, and keep improving.

Next time you’re in front of others, how good would it be that you wouldn’t need to deceive anyone, but just be honest and being you!

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