The Truth Behind Denial
Do you tell yourself the truth about what’s really going on?
Within the field of resilience, we know that enabling people to see for real the ‘resilience data’ of any situation they find themselves in – under the cosh, in crisis, or with complex opportunities to navigate – is the basis of making a positive change. Resilience goes up and down. It’s not about emotions or an inability to manage, or a failure. Resilience goes up and down for everyone; fact. Seeing the truth of what contributes to the ups, and to the downs, is part of living in the Resilient Way.
Resilience is your capacity for change. So it is with someone’s resilience that the following, similar to Timothy Gallwey insights from his Inner Game Series,
Resilience today (ie capacity for change today) = Resilience Potential – Resilience Demand
To therefore see what your actual capacity for change is today, you need to be able to see what is really going on all sides of the equation.
- What is the actual resilience potential that you have? Is it lower than you would wish but you don’t want to admit that? Or is it higher than you thought – you’ve almost forgotten that indeed you can stretch to that kind of level?!
- What about the drains? Are there long-term drains that really render you so tired that in fact, you are just about coping but even that is now under threat? Are you prepared to see this truth?
But you may find yourself in denial. That means you might be ignoring or just decide that you will play complete blind-eye to the facts of what is happening.
- If you are someone that always gets through stuff, you may just assume that despite things being really bad, and you being aware in the back of your mind that you really aren’t sure of yourself any more and indeed that your confidence is being drained, another part of your mind decides to ignore all that and you continue to battle through. Confirmation bias – when you act on what you believe to be true, despite the blaring facts that it’s not.
- You might have made a bit of a mistake about something, or brought someone into your team that isn’t any good, but you don’t change anything. The sunk-cost fallacy is upon you – the denial that a past decision was not good, and instead, you keep with the same solution, denying that it’s not working.
For anyone who is witnessing denial in others, confronting them with the facts of the matter can in fact backfire! The person may dig in their heels because they just don’t want to feel bad about themselves, and indeed in some cases, the person can develop a stronger attachment to the incorrect beliefs! You can end up as the shot messenger.
To change the situation or outcome, you need to address the emotions that lie behind facing the truth. That is simple to write, but not necessarily simple to do. Yet once you make the step towards truth, life gets a lot simpler. That is definitely the Resilient Way. And that brings wellness, higher performance and a feeling of ease in work and life.
How can you help yourself get honest about your ‘resilience data’?
To discover more about how you can invest in your resilience, click here.
Author: Jenny Campbell, CEO of The Resilience Engine