7 Reasons Most Professionals Should Work for Themselves
Another Way to Stay Stuck--Compromise Your Vision

Want to Stay Stuck? Deny Reality

Reality

I've observed that when it comes to change of any kind--personal or professional--the impetus for action only comes when we are finally able to observe and accept the reality of our current situation. In fact, one of the ways we most consistently try to maintain the status quo is by denying reality, saying that things are better than we know they are. 

I've watched this dynamic at work in many situations. I've done it myself. Denying reality is one of my favorite ways to keep myself stuck. I will convince myself that work situations or relationships are "not that bad," which keeps me mired in a netherworld where I'm clearly unhappy, but feeling powerless to do much to change it. Sometimes I will allow myself a glimpse of reality, but then quickly I can talk myself out of it.

When you deny reality, though--when you refuse to accept a situation as it REALLY is--then you deprive yourself of the necessary creative energy to make changes. You will keep telling yourself that things are "good enough" or "not that bad" and then you will continue to stay stuck. 

One of the most important things you can do when you want to make a change is to take a scrupulous and honest inventory of your situation and of yourself in the situation. Paint a picture of reality that doesn't try to gloss over the painful or difficult parts. Be clear about what is and isn't working. The more honest you can be, the more you can clearly see reality, the more energy you will have to start making changes. 

Denying reality is one of the easiest and most reliable ways we use to stay stuck. When we're really ready for change, we need to give up this reliance on fairy tales and start taking a cold, hard look at what we're dealing with. 

 

Comments

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I love how this post has just popped into my feed, stating just what I need to hear at the very moment I needed to hear (see) it. I've just become unstuck today from an unpleasant and uncomfortable work situation and was about to head down the road of "maybe I should have tried harder", "is this all my fault" etc. After reading I'm taking away that those questions are not as important as these sentences you wrote: "Paint a picture of reality that does't try to gloss over the painful parts. Be clear about what is and isn't working."
Time for me to make some room in my life for things that do work. Thank you, Michele!

Rachel, you made my day! So glad that this popped up just when you needed to see it. Love that kind of serendipity!

I know from experience that accepting reality can be hard, but it can also be the path to creating new ways to deal with it. I had a personal situation where I refused to accept reality for a long time. When I finally did, I was able to say to myself, "OK--so given that this is reality, how do I make this work for me? How do I get the most out of this? How do I see it as an opportunity for me to grow, etc.?" The situation has completely turned around as a result. I would never have been able to open myself up to new ways of dealing with it, though, if I hadn't accepted the full truth.

Good luck on your journey--I know it will be rewarding!

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