Sensing my denial and what I learned to do about it

Are you feeling oversensitive to your views being challenged? The chances are that you’re in denial and the chances of you allowing yourself to discover what you’re in denial about are next to none. Perhaps we can change that.

Denial for me is one of the most destructive states to be in. When we’re at our most insecure and egotistical, we can’t afford to be wrong. We are so emotionally invested in being right, that our brain through the Reticular Activating System (RAS) will automatically only notice all things that validate our position. 

I have had long phases where I thought I was right about most things. It slowed my growth down and I lost many opportunities to further my career and personal goals. I found myself feeling invincible and whatever was going on in my life at the time was interpreted as a sign I was right and on the right track.

For example, I would want to make big money and someone mentions an investment opportunity and I think I have attracted that. I have lost in excess of 100K of my personal money being in denial of why and what I was investing in.

Recently I recall being upset at our puppy Charlotte for doing pees and poo in the house after I had just taken her outside. I was so caught up in the idea that she was being deliberately disrespectful that I remained in denial of the fact she was a puppy still learning about her surroundings and needing time to learn and form good habits. I was also in denial about being too eager to find an excuse to feel disrespected, even by an innocent puppy! Ouch!

The moment I sought to understand what I was doing wrong and watched a YouTube video on puppy training, I realised I was the problem eventhough her poo was rather smelly. I changed my behaviour instantly and noticed Charlotte began to improve. Now I’m patient whenever she regresses because I’m aware that my behaviour is going to be the primary contributor to her learning.

The hardest thing is to know when you’re in denial. It takes courage to even want to contemplate the possibility, especially if we have attached our worthiness to having all the answers. Humility is reduced to nothing and the only events that can restore our humility is when we have breakdowns in relationships or disasters in our career or business.

You eventually realise that denial is an ongoing challenge that we easily slip into when we least expect it. Once you embrace the reality that every one is routinely cycling through denial, you ease the judgment and embarrassment from being in denial yourself.

Part II of this blog article is released here and shares pointers to help you discover if you’re in denial in the areas of your life where you are struggling and also share things you can do to get out of it.

In the meantime, can you share any frustrations with people in denial around you and the challenges with confronting such a sensitive topic?


 George Helou is the founder of EP7 – Empowered for Purpose in 7 Steps. Life Coach, Work Culture Consultant, Author and Motivational Speaker, George has 15 years personal development experience and is based in his Life Coach Perth Office in Subiaco. 08 9380 8350.

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