We all are in denial in different areas of our life and the consequences once confronted, are frightening. If someone accuses you of being in denial, what is your immediate reaction?
Notice we feel insulted and feel the need to defend before we have even understood the context? This is denial in action. Why don’t we ask more questions? “Why do you think I am in denial?” is a great question to ask. It is empowering when we become curious, when we begin contemplating how we might be in the wrong.
Often, we are not up to being open-minded because we are feeling vulnerable and insecure. We often hear the truth and experience a brain freeze. We are not ready to fathom the full repercussions of that truth. It’s called denial. And humanity uses denial as a coping mechanism to protect itself from believing things that are assumed to be coincidental and misinterpreted.
Psychologists call it ‘cognitive dissonance’. We end up having so much emotional investment in maintaining predictability, any truth that is inconvenient is not further investigated. You know this is the case when you hear, read or watch something confronting and you find yourself tempted to ignore it and become easily distracted by something else.
Finding the places where you are in denial is easy. Where are you stuck in your life? Where are things going wrong repeatedly? That is exactly the place you are being in denial.
So what do you do about it?
1. Centre and get grounded. You need to go for a walk and just connect with the beauty around you. Let nature relax and help you feel grounded. Take deep breaths and breathe out the tension as you walk or meditate. Surrender to your humility and to the part of you that is wise and has the answers. This will set the foundation to embrace the truth. Reframe how you view being in the wrong and accept that your worth is not defined by being perfect.
2. Meticulously ask the questions. Secondly; question ‘why’ on any issue and the answer that comes to you must be questioned with ‘why’ until you do this at least 5 times to get to the root cause. You will know it is a root cause because it will either be shocking or highly inconvenient. If we are not shocked, we are managing to remain in denial.
3. Courageously fathom the consequences. Once you face the ‘root cause’ contemplate how this has trapped you and what impact this will have if you continue relating to life this way. Feel the reality of that way of thinking and being. Look at how it affects your health, confidence, goals, opportunities, relationships and your finances.
4. Imagining beyond denial to inspire action. Start thinking about what you stand for, what principles are dear to you and how you are going to be different. Visualize the actions that will set you free until your emotions intensify to a point where you burst into action on a new path, shaping a new destiny, that denial denied you for too long.
George Helou is a life coach, author, educator, motivational speaker and founder of EP7 – Empowered for Purpose in 7 Steps. He is based at the Life Coach Perth Centre in Subiaco, Perth Australia and offers life coaching, seminars, webinars, workshops and overseas retreats for individuals, business owners and work cultures. Ph: 08 9380 8350 www.lifecoachperth.com