People like to convince themselves that they are fine even if they are not, and that’s dangerous. You end up with a series of lies which becomes so big that you get so far that you lose your identity – your core. I think it is easy for us to lie to ourselves. It’s the easy way out of not facing the fact that we have screwed up big time. We make excuses to ourselves and live in a false sense of reality. The way you view yourselves ends being the opposite of who you really are. The dangerous part is that you start to ‘believe’ it and even when truth hits you hard, you start to find ways to rationalize it.
So do you cheat yourself?
Of course you do! Who doesn’t right? People just seem to have some weird ways of defining ‘well-being’ and ‘harmony’ in life. They cheat themselves in many creative ways, by defining well-being in a way which suits their current condition. They choose the easier ‘acceptance-oriented’ approach to bringing a semblance of balance in their life. I’ve been guilty of cheating myself in the past by explaining away in different ways as to how my life is in complete harmony and I am doing fine. While this bullshit cut ice with others but not with myself. I knew as much as you do, each time you bullshit there is your inner-voice which immediately triggers an alarm telling you that you are cheating. I never was happy whenever I did and I could sense it very much. I am sure you do too?
Sad if you think about it. You are the source of your misery and you don’t get it. Well I assume most people don’t get this. It’s hard to accept but you will be a long way ahead if you learn to accept your problems.
For starters, you must know the ways in which we deny ourselves the chance to bring some harmony in our life.
Denial Whenever someone asks us the question “How are you?” the auto-response is “I am good” or “fine” or “great”. That’s good to impress others and start a conversation, however you might know internally if you are ‘really’ feeling all that good as you project yourself to be. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t be feeling good at times, but if you really reflect here what I am getting at you will realize that we have been living in denial most of the time. The problem is that we have also been taught to use these ‘positive’ phrases and project ourselves in great shape right from childhood. Add to that the pressure to apply lessons learnt from several self-help books and resources about ‘positive thinking’. They had only added to a false sense of well-being. It’s one thing to get up in the morning and say “you are feeling great” and “really” feeling so!
The problem is that people like to deny they have a problem as they do not want to be seen as vulnerable, weak, incapable and project a strong image of themselves. I think this is at the core of our pressure to ‘deny’. Make a list of your ‘denial’s’ every day and you know how to identify isn’t it? You can’t bullshit to yourself after all! You will quickly realize, what is coming in the way of bringing greater balance and harmony in your life. So stop denying! Stop cheating!
Externalize or blame is another behavior that comes in the way of bringing harmony in your life. Most people feel it convenient to externalize all their problems and blame someone or something else for their condition. They find ways and expend tremendous amount of their mental energy to fix blame on something outside of them. I wish they could put that energy in solving the problem. When you externalize, it’s an easy way of escaping responsibility for your own condition. It’s a trap which many fall into and never ever get out of. You can identify such people by looking at their responses to every problem. They will be quickly able to put the blame on others or the environment. Lack of wealth can be blamed on ‘being born to poor parents’; failure in a test can be blamed on ‘the bias of the teacher’; failure to get selected in an interview can be blamed on ‘incapable interviewer’ and the list is long. Have you ever found yourself tempted to blame or externalize immediately in the face of a problem. Then it’s time you stopped and got some control back. Ofcourse it’s important to assess how much of the problem is directly under your control or influence but you must not use ‘blame’ or ‘externalizing’ as the first available and easy option.
Excuse and explanations is another creative way of denying yourself with the opportunity to bring harmony. I find that people are the most creative in offering excuses for not being able to do certain things in their life. In fact they have an excuse and explanation to offer for every problem they encounter. ‘If only’, ‘I wish’, ‘but’ , ‘because’ is used freely and frequently in all their conversations. You can easily identify if you are doing so as well. In fact I would recommend you try spending atleast 3 hrs. every day, promising yourself that you will not use the words ‘If’, ‘But’, ‘Because’ and see the difference. Ask others to catch you doing so and you will see that you are on your way towards getting a semblance of control in your life.
Acknowledge So the next time someone asks you ‘how are you?’ and you are not good, learn to say ‘Not good’ and see how it activates the problem solving process. In fact it is a wonderful way to get stakeholder involvement. You are not living in complete isolation after all. Harmony in life needs all parts to work in tandem. It includes, your family, friends, colleagues, social networks and all such stakeholders who get impacted by your actions.
And you know that ‘acknowledging’ that a ‘problem’ exists is the first step towards ‘problem solving’. So don’t deny!
You definitely don’t want to reach a point where you get a ‘life-changing’ wake-up call!
Take control! Take charge! And work your way to greater harmony in your life.