Denial is an early out. We look over the hill and decide whether we even want to make the journey.
In our planning, we see how much work needs to happen to make the change.
There are 3 potential responses when we hit this out:
1) I see the work that needs to happen and what I need to become – and I want no part of it.
2) I’m OK with what I see and will keep executing the plan.
3) I’m not sure what is going on. Maybe if I continue doing what I’ve been doing it will all be OK.
In the first response, you are seeing the work you need to do and the identity changes you need to make and realizing that it is not your path is a perfectly acceptable response.
You have a strong sense of identity and, after looking at the change, realize that the change is not in your best interest. This is a great reason to get off the change curve.
It’s an invitation to let go of the dream and focus on other activities that are more important to you and will move you closer to who you truly want to be.
You make this decision from a clear, stable center.
The second response is also consciously made. Your “why” is strong enough that you keep doing the work to make your change real.
The third response is NOT consciously made. In most circumstances, this happens when someone else is inflicting change on you. Maybe if you lie low, it will all go away.
A more insidious manifestation of this response is when you do all this planning, but you keep doing what you’ve been doing in hopes that you will reach your goal without having to behave differently, set new boundaries, or make different choices.
This looks like:
- Setting aside time to meditate in your calendar and never meditating.
- A week’s worth of meal planning and eating fast food.
- Purchasing a gym membership and never going.
- (name your favorite here)
Just because you have planned something doesn’t mean you are doing the work.
Remember the old adage – “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”
If you see yourself in “denial” as you make the change – try to identify what is making you uncomfortable.
Does it appear that the change would threaten a value you hold?
Are you not liking what you are being asked to do or who you need to become?
Is the reason why you are embarking on this change not strong enough to motivate you to do the work?
If you still want to pursue this change, consider recruiting a mentor or a guide. Someone who has been through this path before and can advise you as you work through the inevitable challenges and obstacles.
You want to make it through this first challenge mindfully.
Let me help you navigate the hazards of Denial, Disappointment, and Despair.
Join me for a free, live webinar where we will talk about how to navigate the challenges in the change journey and how you can improve your chances for success.
In this webinar, we will cover:
- The path all change attempts follow
- The 3 places where change derails and how to navigate those hazards
- How to set yourself up for long-term success