When you deny that something exists, you take a risk. Consciously or unconsciously, you may feel safer in denial, but that does not change the reality of a situation.
It is tempting to stay in denial. Sometimes you do not even realize that you are there. Certain situations are hard to face, such as when you have a conflict with someone who has influence over your future, you have something difficult to tell a colleague or there is something you are doing that you know is not good for you, but will be hard to change.
When you are in denial, part of you is asleep. You are blocking out reality. This cannot help you and you risk suffering consequences that you are not ready for. Sometimes, it can take a while before you realize you are in denial. However, once you do, it is in your best interest to face what is there and to move on.
photo: geralt, pixabay.com
Before I became a coach one of the key lessons I learned, as manager, was that actions speak louder than words. The organization I worked for had promised, when I was hired, that I would see two title promotions in two years. As I waited for the first one (over a year into my employment) I received an excellent performance appraisal and a raise in salary, but only promises of a title.
I was perplexed for a while. If they were happy with my performance, why wasn’t I seeing the title? There was an assumption there: that hard work and quality were always rewarded. At a certain point, I decided that I would no longer judge my employers by their words, but would judge them by their actions. What a positive shift this was for me! My approach changed. I communicated directly with my employers and I had a much more accurate view of what was going on.
Try this out for yourself. Judge people and situations by actions taken, rather than words. Actions are your best measure – they are real, hold weight and cannot be denied.
photo: geralt, pixabay.com
Hope and reality: there is a difference between the two. Aligning them serves you. Let’s say you are hoping for a promotion and bonus at the end of this year. Sure, you are hopeful; have you focused on the reality of it happening? Conversely, reality may discourage you about your chances of getting them; have you kept hope alive?
The key is to let hope and reality work side-by-side. You have a goal or dream and allow yourself to be hopeful. Then, you look at the reality of the situation, not as the final determinant, but as a check on what you will have to do to realize your goal or dream. Or, your reality is currently not living up to your expectations so you generate some hope of changing your reality.
Do you currently have an expectation, goal or dream that can benefit by aligning your hope and reality?
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to find the Wizard. Sometimes, when you think there is a yellow brick road before you, you encounter a yellow brick wall.
A yellow brick wall asks you to change direction. Yellow brick walls can be subtle or they can be unmistakable. The hard part is acknowledging the yellow brick wall is there, especially when you’ve set your path and you want to continue in the same direction. It behooves you to acclimate your senses to be able to see a yellow brick wall, when it appears. Doing so will allow you to change to a more productive course, to avoid hitting your head against it, to no avail and to see reality as it truly is.
Reality: the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
Are your life and actions aligned with reality? You may say reality is a downer. It can be, but it is the best place to start from. Reality does not limit you or dictate your next steps. It just needs to be factored in, so that your choices come both from truth and the present moment.
Say that you are in what looks like a lose-lose situation at work. Do you pretend what is happening isn’t there? Or do you look carefully at the reality of what exists and find your way through it? I think the latter. When you align with reality, no matter how bad things are, you actually are in a very powerful place. Truth sets you free.
photo: Danilo Rizzuti, FreeDigitalPhotos.net