The Cost of Self-Denial: Whose Loss?

What causes Self-Denial?

When a person refuses to accept reality, he/she is in a state of denial. It is a defense mechanism that is used to avoid uncomfortable realities such as grief, anxiety, trauma, any distressing situations or unpleasant feelings! 

This defence mechanism can be useful in the short term as it allows the affected person some time to adjust to a sudden unpleasant change in reality but eventually accept, adapt and move on. Such people will experience feelings of isolation, anxiety, and sadness. In some cases, such as the loss of a life partner or a child, just an empathetic talk and patience are sufficient.  

However, if a person continues to remain in that state and refuses to address the problem or adapt to the change, it can cause serious issues such as paranoia or delusions. This makes the person behave like an ostrich who buries its head in the sand hoping that the problems will disappear! 

When this happens, he/she refuses to take timely help and the issue manifests itself in different ways, often destructive behaviour follows. 

Some red flags of this state:

  • Being fatalistic 
  • Blaming the world around and not taking ownership of the issues at hand
  • Displaying maladaptive behaviour
  • Unwilling to talk about the problem
  • Justifying habits and behaviour
  • Constant passing the buck to others for one’s suffering 
  • Stalling to address the problem to some vague later date 
  • Persisting with unacceptable behaviour despite negative consequences
  • Assuring well-wishers to address the problem in the future

 The efficacy of mind coaching hinges entirely on one crucial factor: absolute honesty and willingness to discuss the issue without any fear of a judgement being formed. No Mind Coach would form a judgement or an opinion about the client!  If one refuses to acknowledge one’s flaws, limiting beliefs or the keenness to change, a Mind Coach’s, efforts would be wasted. 

The Consequences: 

  1. *Impaired Personal Growth*

One of the primary goals of mind coaching is facilitating the personal growth of the client. If the client refuses to come out of the prison of denial, he/she misses out on opportunities to learn, adapt, and evolve as a happy and content person, thereby stifling true potential.

  1. Strained Interpersonal Relationships

Self-denial most certainly impacts one’s interpersonal relationships. When a person lives in an illusionary world and refuses to work on the limiting beliefs, he/she will continue to live in a cocoon which interferes with meaningful relationships with family, friends and colleagues who, in turn, will gradually drift away from such people. Relationships gradually get strained as others start becoming frustrated due to the feeling that their concerns or feelings are dismissed or invalidated. Over time, this can lead to damaged relationships or social isolation.

  1. Negative impact on Mental Health 

Suppressing negative emotions or refusing to address underlying issues leads to increase in the levels of stress, anxiety, despair and even depression. In order to achieve a reasonable amount of peace, one must face the issues and not brush them under the carpet! Even the best Mind Coach will fail if the client refuses to honestly address the issues that steal away the joy of life! 

  1. Missed Opportunities

Those who choose to remain in a state of self-denial, are mostly oblivious to their own potential. They tend to dismiss opportunities for personal or professional growth, fearing failure or rejection. Consequently, they miss out on experiences and chances for success.

  1. Wasted Resources

People might agree to take the help of a Mind Coach or a therapist due to family pressure but continue to remain in their cloistered world of self-denial, will waste the investment of time, money and energy. All efforts get hampered if the client refuses to be honest and straightforward. 

Whose Loss?

A Mind Coach derives immense satisfaction when the clients show positive changes. It may, therefore be disheartening and disappointing for the Mind Coach while working on such clients. 

However, the biggest loser is the one who continues to believe that the suffering is due to his/her destiny and refuses to accept that a change in perspective is needed!  

If they choose to remain in a perpetual state of self-denial during mind coaching sessions, they miss out on the opportunity for personal growth, strong relationships, mental well-being, and authentic self-expression. 

Additionally, the family, friends and even colleagues of such a person experience frustration and disappointment but the person stuck in self-denial bears the maximum brunt of the consequences, missing out on the transformative potential of mind coaching.

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