The past several months we’ve broken down Chapter 6 of Louise Hay’s bestseller, “You Can Heal Your Life.” We’ve reviewed how procrastination stands in the way of getting what we truly want from life. We’ve also reviewed how our self-talk and the image that we hold about ourselves affects our resistance to change. This month we’re looking at the crippling effects of denial and how to address those areas in our lives where we might use denial as a form of escape from our problems.
Louise Hay identifies denial as:
This form of resistance shows up in denial of the need to do any changing. Things like:
- There’s nothing wrong with me
- I can’t do anything about this problem
- I was alright last time
- What good will it do to change?
- If I ignore it, maybe the problem will go away.”
As humans, part of our experience is self-identity which is made possible via the Ego. The Ego is that part of ourselves which protects our individuality. When out of balance, the Ego can be defensive. One of the many self-defense mechanisms used is denial. The Ego’s job is to protect the self from outside harm. Often when we’re going through change, the newness of that change can trigger the Ego. The Ego experiences something new that is unfamiliar and becomes defensive.
We’ve all heard denial is a normal stage when dealing with grief. This is just one way in which the Ego tries to protect the self from harm, by trying to convince the self that something which is so powerfully threatening as a loss didn’t actually happen. Divorce and separation are forms of loss – loss of the relationship, loss of perceived control over a situation, loss over what is familiar. While denial is normal and essential in some ways, getting too comfortable in our denial can be self-destructive.
So if denial is a normal part of our human experience, but unhealthy if we linger too long, how do we approach denial in a positive way which allows us to honor all of our feelings and still pass through to the other side relatively unaffected?
First, create a safe space for yourself. When the mind has been triggered, many of the higher functions are not possible and reason is replaced by fight-or-flight. Meditation, exercise, a nap, or a technique I recommend to all my clients called EFT (Tapping) are all effective means to calm the mind to create a safe space.
Second, look at the list above and ask yourself from a place of non-judgement if you may be making excuses which are standing in the way of growth. Are you convincing yourself to stay stuck in a place that is not for your highest and best? Is your focus scattered? Are you being accountable to yourself with your vision in focus?
If not, try this affirmation:
“It is now safe for me to step forward on the path of my choosing. I release the need to remain in denial and make excuses as I focus powerfully on my dreams and goals.”
By simply reminding yourself of your focus and being easy about it, you’ll notice the excuses starting to drift away as you move through denial and into positive action.
Please feel free to share your own stories and experiences on my Facebook page. I look forward to hearing from you. Remember that I offer a 30-minute consultation at no cost to explore how a coach may help when you’re feeling stuck. Contact me here.