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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

3 Ways Denial Can Sabotage Your Continued Success

If you want to reach a level of elite performance or you want to maintain your position of elite results, you have to deal with things head-on as they occur, or you risk getting into a place of denial. As living human beings, we are very critical of ourselves, and this is one important trait that has propelled you into elite performance in the first place. The problem is, we and our environment are not static, things and situations occur that we must process and deal with. If we seldom or never take the opportunity to do that and make appropriate changes that stick, our life and performance can continue to be damaged and suffer.

It could be something around our health or it could be a substance abuse problem. It could be not dealing with a high amount of success in a healthy way, perhaps our spending and our ego are totally out of bounds on a sustainable level. Whatever it is, we have a compounded problem because we are actually functioning in a denial of denial perspective. We have denial that we are in denial. Whew! Hopefully this post today helps you or someone you are coaching get into a place where they can recognize that everything in their life is suffering until they make the decision to get out of denial. Here are just 3 ways it could be affecting your performance.

1. Denial of yourself and your capabilities

If you are using this as a way to build on your self-discipline in a healthy way, fine. What I am talking about is in a more negative fashion. There may be things that are powerful needs that you are denying yourself of which could actually enhance your performance. How many times have you heard people say, “I don’t need time off” or “I don’t need additional rewards”? Sometimes, we put on tough exteriors as a front for other people that serves some kind of “macho” purpose but are actually tearing us down from the inside out. This kind of “other people may need that stuff, but I don’t” isn’t proving anything to anyone because as a human being we all have needs that must be attended to.

2. Denial of a loss

The first stage of any loss is usually denial. In extreme cases, we isolate ourselves as a tactic to avoid having to process and deal with what we used to have that we no longer have. It could be a loved one, such as a spouse, a parent or even a child. In business, it could be a key customer or a key relationship. There is no actual length of time that we can reference for how long a stage of denial after a loss can take, but if not properly dealt with, it can be very lengthy. Like most things, the longer you ignore it, the more difficult it can be to work on it. Just remember, as long as you have life, you have hope. As long as you have hope, you have life.

3. Denial of a pattern or habit

Have you ever heard someone say “I don’t do that” or “I’ve never done that” when they don’t want to acknowledge a pattern of behavior or a habit they possess? It certainly could be that this pattern is in their blind spot and they truly don’t realize that it is there. Chances are better that they are simply choosing to deny its existence, that way they won’t have to face up to it or deal with its reality. You are just going along with life, as usual, not focused on change and possibly not thinking about the ramifications of your patterns and habits. Acknowledgment of the pattern or habit has to be the first step because you cannot modify or change something you are not willing to admit is present.

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