April 17, 2014

5 Reasons Denial Doesn’t Work. ~ Lauren Stahl

Jesus Solana - Flickr CC

How often have we each tried to deny something we knew was true?

Eating the last cookie in the cookie jar? Saying we called someone when we knew we didn’t? Continuing in a cycle of addiction because we didn’t want to deal with facing reality?

This was me for years. I denied, denied and denied some more—it became the easier way for me to live; the easier way for me to not have to deal with being present or showing up in life.

I rationalized that this way of living worked. I could so easily go into victim mode and justify my denial actions. Denial kept me living with an unwarranted sense of entitlement; it kept me distant from the world.

The more distant I was, the more alone I was. I was in denial about even this.

This denial can manifest for people in a number of ways. For me it left me feeling as though the tunnel vision I was living in was the only way to live.

Fortunately, these days, I know this to be quite the opposite. So here are my suggestions for when denial is a reality for us all:

1. Denial keeps us stuck.

It can be very easy to continue in a cycle of denial. It can suck us in and keep us there for weeks, months and even years. If there is a cycle you are in that is causing pain, frustration or discomfort, you are most likely denying some truth about yourself. Take a step back and figure out what it is. And then work from there to let go of the denial.

2. There are other options.

I know that we can forget this on a constant basis. We can get so blindsided that this way of living is the only way of living. That doing things this way is the only way to do things. Well guess what? We have options and can make a change and confront denial at any moment we choose!

3. A life beyond our wildest dreams is possible.

Yes, you heard me correctly. It can be so exhausting to live a life of denial. It is like we are juggling so many moving parts and creating unnecessary chaos. This takes us away from our purpose for being here. When we get rid of all the chaos, our true essence can shine through and connect with our most powerful life.

4. Denial hurts us the most.

We may think a life of denial is hurting another person more. We may be doing it for some type of revenge or because we are comfortable in a victim mindset. The reality is: denial hurts us the most. It takes the power away from us and puts it in the hands of something else.

That is counterproductive to a life of purpose, passion, hope and love.

5. Denial perpetuates a cycle of shame and guilt.

I didn’t want to believe this but it is the truth. At our core, we may know that we are not being as truthful as we know we can be. This can suppress a lot of emotions and feelings. It also leads to an overriding feeling of shame and guilt. Maybe we don’t recognize this immediately but over time these feelings can take over and make us lose sight of something very important—to love and be loved.


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Apprentice Editor: Bronwyn Petry/Editor: Travis May
Photo: Jesus Solana, Flickr Creative Commons

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Lauren Stahl