Denial – How it Affects Your Happiness


Denial is More Than Just a River in Africa

What comes to mind when you think of denial?

Perhaps it has to do with setting limitations on what you know is bad for you. For instance, you might choose a thin slice of cake rather than a large one with ice cream. You might deny yourself other pleasures except for special moments or on certain days.

The problem with this kind of denial is that it requires discipline. Self-imposed limitations are easy to change.

Other forms of denial have to do with dishonesty. They can be denials of the truth or of responsibility. (Oh, the lies I told myself and the responsibilities I once shirked!) Most people deny painful areas of dysfunction in their lives.

Denial of Abilities and Gifts

Where denial hurts us the most is when we fail to honour ourselves, to accept our unique path in life. I lived with low self-esteem and poor communication skills for many years, always keeping my head down and avoiding recognition. All I accomplished through these tactics was to demonstrate my unworthiness and my inabilities. At every step I limited my potential and hindered my relationship with life itself.

That was certainly not the way to find happiness.

Think about your limiting thoughts that deny or impede your self-realization. In what ways do you deny yourself the right to be happy, to express yourself freely, and to become the person you would really like to be?

Your viewpoints of life are the lenses through which you perceive reality. For many people, they are shaped and distorted by painful memories, frustrated dreams and expectations of never achieving much. I used to live that way. No, I shouldn’t even call it living. It was just getting by, spinning my wheels and trying to avoid more disappointments.

Life is an incredibly rewarding experience if we allow it to happen. Most never do. Instead, they get caught up in the drama of our modern world. This is when the focus is on self-gratification rather than on discovering who they really are and their opportunities to truly develop.

Limiting thoughts deny our self-expression of who we truly are. They are based on fears created by our pain-filled past. This form of denial is never about what is happening right now.

Digest that for a moment. Fears are not what is happening now, they are what you surmise is going to happen based on your past manner of thinking. It follows then to avoid living a life based on fear, you must change your manner of thinking.

When you stop denying what a wonderful person you are and the importance of your role in life, you open yourself up to a love-based world. This is the only place where you can truly be happy.

Tips for Dealing with Denial

Choosing to be a happy, purpose-filled person doesn’t happen overnight but there are steps you can take right now to set you on that path:

  1. Monitor the ways in which your self-denial limits your potential. Write them down. You have created them, fed them and allowed them to hurt you. It is time to let them go.
  2. Wear an elastic band on your wrist and give yourself a little snap whenever you use negative self-talk.
  3. Practice frequently how it feels to be happy. Give yourself a few moments to feel happiness in your face, your hands, your body, your arms and legs.
  4. Regularly bathe yourself in the feelings of happy moments from your past.

It took me many years for me to learn how to be a “Happy” Haddy but learn it I did. It is my desire to help you achieve the same.

“I protect myself by refusing to know myself.”
Floriano Martins



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