Ever question your current position in life?
Have you stopped, assessed your life exactly as it is right now and made any necessary changes to keep you growing as a person?
My advice would be that if you truly want to progress in life and to make sure that you’re in alignment with this life force – whatever we want to label it – then taking some time to do an honest reflection is imperative.
You see, if we don’t, we end up living in denial and rolling on our back submitting to what is going on in our lives at the time, accepting it.
I imagine you know some people who are living life that isn’t really living life – more, existing? We all do. Hell, some of us have been there personally!
What happens in the main is that we enhance our sense of self, yet be in denial with our flaws and chalk them down as bad luck or some other excuse.
What we chalk down as bad luck or as an excuse, we over-enhance in confidence in other areas that we are good at, to make up for not taking responsibility for our actions.
Or we can blame. That’s always a good one.
Another coping mechanism linked to not facing the truth of our reality is to guard ourselves using self-deception in numerous ways.
And this isn’t finger pointing; this is reality. We have all been there. I could write a book on it. The very fact I write these blog posts is to share my own personal experiences with others.
So what I write is what I have found out about myself. I’m not preaching – I’m sharing experiences.
Back to self-deception…
We kid ourselves when it suits. We protect our ego as it’s quite a fragile thing.
The ego loathes truth. It knows truth, but it loathes it. So it becomes bigger, stronger and louder to be heard and protected.
Being in denial actually helps reduce stress at times. Sounds backwards, right? But, stop and think about it.
Being in denial will reduce stress because we’re lying so we’re not facing the truth. We’re not feeling what our body and soul wants to feel. So we become comfortable being in denial.
Self-deception benefits relationships lasting longer. We can convince ourselves things are good, when we know deep down they’re not, so being in denial can reduce this feeling.
I’m not completely against all self-denial, as I think a little bit of it is fine, and actually good for you given the circumstances.
But, when we become adults and are faced with the more important aspects of life, being in denial can lead to devastating consequences.
When we’re faced with something tricky or uncomfortable, what do we normally do?
Run away from it in the opposite direction.
And when we run away from something, we lend ourselves to self-denial and convince ourselves the decision to run away is perfectly fine and actually the right thing to do.
We’re all susceptible to this, by the way. We’re all human beings.
The thing is, a little – but dangerous – loop starts. It’s anxiety followed by self-deception, followed by anxiety, followed by…
You get the drift.
The two are married and will never get divorced. They have the strongest relationship that’s ever lived.
So what stories are you telling yourself – truthfully?
‘I’m successful because I own lots of things’.
I worked with a guy around 5 years ago who was constantly buying new things. He was wanting to earn so much money that all he did was spend it on new materialistic items.
First was a motorbike. Man, he banged on about getting that motorbike so bad. And when he finally did, I was more pleased for him getting it than he was, because it meant he didn’t have to bang on about it anymore!
So he played with his new toy for a couple of weeks, riding into work on it, buying new equipment to go along with it – then it suddenly stopped.
‘Where’s the bike?’ I asked.
‘Ahh, I’m not too bothered about riding it at the moment. I was doing x,y and z instead, so I didn’t have the time’.
The bike was never seen again and it was collecting dust in his garage.
Then it was buying a house with his fiance.
He kept telling everyone that this house will be the very thing they need. And once they get it, they will be complete. Job done. Nothing else needed.
Man, he worked hard to buy this house. He got it, and it was beautiful. He was proud and everyone around him was telling him how incredible it was.
For the first few weeks he had house parties, had people round to see it, and was buying new things to compliment the interior design.
It was the topic of conversation for him. 6 weeks later it stopped.
He was bored of the house now and was telling me he’s not sure on the area anymore and that in 6 months they may look to put it to the market.
This is two examples of many that I heard over the two years working with him.
Never happy, always seeking more.
But, he was living a lie. He was unhappy. He was living a life that he thought by having more – obtaining and achieving more – meant that everyone else would accept him. He was trying to buy his self-worth from other people via materialistic possessions.
He thought he’d made it, but he hadn’t. Others thought he’d made it, but he hadn’t. He thought he’d achieved self-confidence, but he hadn’t.
He was completely unhappy in all aspects. He wasn’t in a happy relationship, he hated his job and he didn’t really like himself. He was living a lie and in complete denial about all of this.
He was working a job that he hated but kept doing because the money was good. He was in a relationship that was dead, but wanted to keep it alive by obtaining and achieving new things in the hope it would create a spark in his ‘connection’ with his fiance.
And to top it off, he thought achieving these new things and earning lots of money in his job would make his fiance like him more.
‘If I leave this relationship then I am considered a failure by myself and others’
Two 18 year olds meet and fall in love. For him, this is his first girlfriend and intimate partner. For her, she is experienced and not new to dating.
Both are from emotionally damaging backgrounds as children.
Both experienced more family drama, and both were supporting each other as much as they could, but it was taking its toll on their relationship.
She found out some shocking news about her fathers actions that happened a few years ago that came to the surface. Her partner was on the receiving end of her pain and anger, so he was taking the brunt.
Not only that, he was always emotionally manipulated by his parents as a child, and this pattern still took place in his adulthood and he felt this, which also impacted his relationship.
Together, they didn’t really address their pain, but instead buried it by treating each other very often by going out for expensive meals, weekends away and buying materialistic items they could claim as impressive.
She coped with her stress by drinking alcohol each night. She developed a problem. He started taking opioids to make him feel warm and fluffy, taking him away from not only his girlfriends drinking problem, but also his own reality and the pain he was experiencing.
They were falling apart at the seams, both individually, and as a couple. They convinced themselves that marriage would help them – give them a new focus, so they tied the knot.
5 years of the same pattern continued and misery grew. He was more self-aware and knew things weren’t right. She started having an affair with a co-worker as he too was also in a broken marriage.
She was hellbent on not ending her own marriage as she loved her husband and didn’t want to be alone.
She didn’t cover her tracks properly and her husband found messages on her social media that she hadn’t closed down properly on their shared laptop attesting to her amazing sex with her co-worker.
He also found various lingerie items shoved away in the closet when he was tidying their bedroom. He knew he hadn’t bought these because their sex life was dead, and had been for nearly a year.
He collared his wife about the messages and lingerie, but she threw him some lame excuse and he accepted it. He was damaged and didn’t have the energy or self-worth to leave her.
His wife was now always working late, and he picked up on this, but continued to be in denial about it and buried his head in the sand.
6 months passed and nothing had changed, but only gotten worse. He was constantly thinking what his parents and friends may think of him if he was to walk out of the family home.
He was walking his dog down by the riverside one day and he stopped and sat down on a bench.
Two men walked past the bench having a conversation about a relationship ending. One of the men was explaining how he had been treated like a doormat by his ex wife for two years; she was having affairs, spending all their cash and enough was enough.
He heard the man say ‘It took me a while, but it hit me that I was deceiving myself and preventing myself from living a life worth having. I was living a lie’.
This made our unhappy husband with the dog break down in tears. This was it. He was broken. It hit him all at once.
He understood that he was lonely and in a state of self-deception. He hadn’t respected himself and he finally felt it come to the surface. He knew he was worth more and was no longer going to be part of this.
Within two weeks he left his wife and moved forward.
It’s time to assess where we’re at right now.
Even if you think things are going good in life, it’s always good to do a little assessment on where you’re at – and truthfully.
You might be amazingly well, and if so, there is nothing that needs to change.
But you also might be telling and convincing yourself you’re doing amazingly well, and as soon as you put pen to paper and start assessing where you’re at right now – honestly – it can put things into perspective and big changes can be on the way.
So how is your life right now? How do you feel? Not your children, husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. How do you feel?
How does your body feel? What is it telling you?
How is your relationship – honestly? Do you feel loved and cared for? Does your body react well when you ask yourself that question?
How is your job? Do you truly enjoy it? What do you enjoy about it? Or are you doing it to make ends meet?
What are your friends like? Do they have your back when times are tough? Are they genuine friends and not acquaintances? Do you need to go separate ways from any that are limiting your potential?
And where are you heading? Which direction are you heading towards?
Is the future looking bright, or is it looking bleak? Why do you think this is? What changes can be made, if any?
The only way to grow is through discomfort – and it can be lots of it. Making the decisions you do not want to do, even though you know they feel right, are the ones that sky rocket your growth.
We need to live for our well being, our happiness and our truth. Not our parents, families and friends. Not what other people think of us.
If it’s not so obvious, it will be as you dig deeper.
Do the right thing. You owe it to yourself and your life ahead.