Being extremely honest with ourselves is one of the most difficult challenges that we will ever face in life. The reason denial is so real is because we are usually one of the last ones to see and face our own issues. It is amazing how much more quickly other people see things in us than we see in ourselves. Denial is a built-in mechanism that buffers pain until we are prepared to take the next right step and grow in a specific area of our lives. Someone once wisely noted that denial was the “shock absorber” of the soul. Perhaps an illustration will help clarify what I am talking about.
I know that I am a great starter but I am a poor finisher. It took me years to come to that realization. I was much better at “talking” about finishing things than actually finishing them. Seeing pile upon pile mount up and one project after another remain unfinished, I began to wonder why I had so many “loose ends” in my life. When I studied about personality types, I woke up to the fact that the “Inspiring” type personality loves to start things but, they quickly lose interest when all of the “pizzazz” is gone. Then the only thing that is left is commitment, hard work and dedication in finishing a task. After I finally got honest with myself and admitted my weakness in finishing things, I began to be a better “finisher.” When I named it, I began to tame it!
You cannot fix what you will not acknowledge! That principle is true in every area of life. As long as we will not acknowledge a specific blind spot or weakness in ourselves, there is not much hope for us to ever overcome it.
Years ago I started attending AA meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous) with a dear friend. He encouraged me to go with him to see if I could learn anything and I have been attending ever since. It has been one of the best experiences of my life!
One thing I have come to believe is that although I cannot say that I am an alcoholic, I do share many of the same compulsions, tendencies, drives and character defects that most of my friends in AA demonstrate.
Every meeting starts with someone saying, “Hi, my name is ‘John’, and I am an alcoholic.” I asked my friend if it would not be better to say, “Hi, my name is ‘John’ and I used to be an alcoholic but now I have faced that issue and have overcome it.” He looked at me and laughed. He said, “The reason AA works so well is because people are willing to acknowledge the problems in their life. When a person admits to having a weakness for alcohol, that is the first step to overcoming a drinking problem.” In other words, if you can name it, you can tame it!
I am so grateful to understand the information in this Tip. Unfortunately there are areas in my life and yours as well, to which I am sure we are still blind. I am grateful that all of our weaknesses are not revealed to us all at once because we would be overwhelmed with sadness and grief. There is no way that we can change and modify all of our behaviors instantly. It is a life-long process, project and goal.
Although it is painful at times, when I get brutally honest concerning an issue in my life, it is not long before it turns around and real progress is made. If you think you have no areas for growth, perhaps you should ask a friend or family member. Maybe they can help to get you started!
This is a dangerous Tip; not for the fainthearted! I hope you will “step up to the plate” and receive it in a way that will help you to accomplish things that you never could have done otherwise. It may be painful in the beginning but it is well worth the effort at the end of the day!
Tip: If you can name it, you can tame it!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm