Often with the fear of accepting our mistakes and failures, we end up being in denial. But being in denial is caused by our experiences and expectations, too.
With our values and backgrounds in life, we know that some things are valuable, some things are not. Some things are acceptable, some things are not. The fact is, we won’t deny the things that we value and accept most. We won’t deny our love, our hobbies, and our good habits.
But when it comes to things that we don’t value and accept, denial slips in. We don’t normally value or accept a defeat more than a victory. We don’t value or accept others’ mistakes, failures, and bad habits. More than just not valuing and accepting them, we often end up ignoring them as well.
Some of this is normal, because we seek better things in life, nobody is ever planning to keep the bad garbage throughout their lives. However, this mechanism often traps us into thinking that the garbage don’t exist in the first place because we don’t acknowledge their existence. We then forget that these mistakes, failures, and bad habits can also be found within us, right beneath our own selves.
Detecting Our Denials
Accepting defeats, mistakes, and failures, is a whole lot different from ignoring them. And this is a skill that most of us still lack from time to time. It takes lots of reflections to build the mindset, and even much more humility to practice it.
Accepting these mistakes means that we are willing to take them into account, and truly calculate our future plans while keeping our mistakes in mind. Not as obstacles, but as lessons and reminders so that we don’t fall into the same mistakes in the future.
Thus, the most dangerous effect of being in denial is: to repeatedly do something and believing the result will be positive, even if it is a mistake. To believe that we’re victorious even if we’re losing, to believe that we’re right even if we’re wrong. To ignore the fact that we are at fault, because we’ve been too used to ignoring our own faults.
There’s no doubt that denial is a path to destruction. But how do we find out that we are in denial? Often the very people who care a lot about us will support us and ignore our mistakes. So in this perspective, talking to our family members will not be a good way to find out what we’re in denial about. The best way is to go out there and ask a relevant professional about it. Are we doing this right? If it’s about healthy living, ask nutritionists and doctors. If it’s about writing, ask writers and publishers. If it’s about career, look for a suitable mentor of the same field. The second best way is to look for brutally honest feedback from strangers and listen to them. What do unbiased people think about this?
But even with all the information that you get, you’re the one in charge of what you will do with it. It is most important that you listen to everyone, and plan your future from it. Do not ignore the critiques and feedback because they are hurting you. In fact, use them to help you see the mistakes that you overlooked.
Dealing With Denials
Now, how do we deal with being in denial? How do we decide that some things that we do are mistakes and accept this fact? This isn’t an easy puzzle to solve, but first we have to promise ourselves to strive for goodwill. To do our best, no matter what.
When you promise to do your best, remember that you are not doing this for yourself. You are doing this to repair yourself.
Doing things for our own selves, will only inflate our ego and cause us to be less humble. Being less humble, will only stop us from correcting our own mistakes, because we will think that we’re already correct even when the mistakes are still there.
Therefore, do not deal with denials for the sake of our ego. Instead, do it for the sake of repairing ourselves, so that we could bring goodness in our lives. With this in mind, we will keep noticing our mistakes until they are completely gone. The perspective of continuously correcting, repairing ourselves is exactly what we’re looking for.
In the end, repairing ourselves is indeed beneficial for our selves, it really is good for us. But if we put our egoistic selves first then we will soon forget about repairing it. That is quite a big problem to hold on to.
Be humble, so that we can learn from our weaknesses. Listen to your enemies, they may know something that you don’t. And focus on repairing the self, do not focus on the ego itself.
“Even the donkey doesn’t fall into the same hole twice.”
– Armenian Proverb
Animals are learners in terms of survival. But humans, who are capable of thought processing, is prone to being in denial. We fall into the same hole more than twice, not because we want to, but because we trick ourselves into thinking that falling into the same hole is not a problem.
So what’s the mistake you keep falling into, and how do you want to fix it?