The isle of denial
This week I want to try to address the hardest place for any person to access: it’s that dark musty closet under the stairs, in the most inaccessible corner of your mind, where you store all the stuff that you don’t want to admit that you own or just can’t be bothered to deal with.
“Thank goodness I don’t have a place like that,” you scoff.
If you just thought anything similar to the above, not only do you absolutely have a place like this, you have done such a fantastic job of hiding it from yourself that you don’t even realise that it exists.
Furthermore, this murky bunker is presided over by a wily little gremlin with a hoarding problem and the more adamant you are that you don’t have a place like this, the larger and more crowded your bunker probably is.
Ok Miss Smarty Pants, what is this so-called closet gremlin thing hiding?
Absolutely anything he can get his paws on.
Did I mention that this closet gremlin is bit of a grudge holder and very protective of his ill-gotten gains?
In fact he is so determined to hang onto all his treasures that he will do just about anything to help you continue to blissfully deny to yourself that anything is amiss, and is the king of sneaky ideas and excuses.
Need an excuse to charge yet another pair of shoes on your credit card?
“Just hide the bill when it comes in the mail,” he giggles.
Need a reason to continue having three candy bars for lunch every day?
“We can eat them in the truck when no one’s looking,” he whispers.
Need a reason to avoid cleaning the house?
“There’s no point in getting rid of perfectly good things you might need someday,” he cautions.
Need a justification for staying angry with your cousin?
“He doesn’t deserve another chance,” he scoffs.
Well, you get the idea …
The real question here is – if you have been completely oblivious to what you are doing, how do you begin to realise that you are paddling in circles in the isle of denial and start to regain control of your life?
The answer is simply to start holding yourself accountable for your actions by pausing to ask yourself why you are doing some of the things you are doing before you do them – and require yourself to come up with an answer.
If you are OK with the answer that you receive (whatever it is), then by all means proceed.
If, however, you are not comfortable with the answer that comes to you, stop where you are and consider whether it is wise to proceed and what you can do instead.
And, whatever you do, do not allow yourself to shrug your shoulders and say you do not know why you are doing what you are doing.
That is not a true answer – it’s a cop out and proof that your gremlin is playing games with you!
Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at www.linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or firstname.lastname@example.org