I’ve lived long enough to understand that life is a high-stakes game of truth or consequences…and that the truth that makes us free is for the most part the truth which we prefer not to hear.
Let’s start this uncomfortable topic with a few uncomfortable questions…
What are you pretending not to know?
What truth are you hiding from?
What false perception are you perpetuating?
What part of your reality do you find undesirable?
Denial makes us hide. Denial makes us cowards.
As to why that is, it’s very simple…lies reinforced through denial is an intense form of behavioral rot which destroys forward progress, compromises character, undermines reputations and ruin relationships with others and ourselves.
Here’s the truth…the acceptance of truth (facts, not perceptions) is a moral obligation, not an option.
Facts are facts…perceptions are perceptions. Each is powerful…each serves a purpose. But you MUST know the difference. Integrity, honesty, self-respect, trust, and character are built upon a foundation of truth…not on perceptions.
Your health, wealth, relationships, and peace of mind are what they are. Therefore, stick with the facts…the truth. Every decision about your life must be based on truth.
Unfortunately the truth often becomes a piñata for those unwilling to accept reality.
This is true for someone unwilling to admit to an addiction, a bad marriage, a competitive liability, a criminal act, or an ethical injustice. Resist the truth long enough and the backlash will be inevitable.
The truth is often viewed as a blunt instrument, it’s the thing that many people resist at all costs, and often wait until all options are exhausted before accepting or acknowledging. While progress is desirable, the truth is often the first casualty being thrown overboard without a life preserver.
Everyone must understand that the truth is out there, it consists of facts, not perceptions and most likely it will really make you uncomfortable especially if you do not like it.
Everyone has the right to believe and accept what he or she wants, but truth doesn’t discriminate. Truth is not different for different people. Not once has truth excused anyone for good intentions, ignorance, or stubbornness.
Truth shows no mercy, accepts no excuses, issues no pardons. Truth does not “turn the other cheek.” This does not mean that truth is cruel, it just means that truth is.
Confront truth and reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be. You have no choice but to see the world in the purest, most transparent way possible, or you can’t make decisions on a rational basis.
You must embrace this profound virtue, as you simply cannot make legitimate progress by evading facts. Accept the true facts of reality as an absolute.
Truth nibbles, scratches, rubs some the wrong way, and yes sometimes it bites, but accept it for what it is, because in the end that’s all that matters.
Accept, confront and embrace truth, as it is the foundation of reality. Once truth is accepted, then you must act decisively.
Most problems in life and self-engineered fiascos arise from not being willing to face the true reality of a situation and then acting on it.
Accepting truth sounds simple – but it isn’t. It requires that you remove filters that screen out the things that you might not want to see, acknowledge shortcomings and accept the need for change.
Also, acting with truth often means saying and doing things that are not popular, but only by coming to grips with reality will performance improve.
In order to lead, to make well-informed decisions true and accurate information is essential.
Whether or not you like that information is irrelevant, the quality and integrity of information is what counts. What you need is integrity of data and the willingness to operate with it.
It’s essential to understand that reality isn’t necessarily going to be the way you wish things to be or the way they seem to be; reality is the way things actually are.
Life will occasionally be reduced to the lowest level in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – survival.
You have both strengths and weaknesses; there is no escaping who you are. Your personality, disposition, and reputation follow you around and you don’t reinvent your self by changing location. You will deal with the same issues no matter where you wind up.
Get this and you’ve got it: Truth moves you toward your goals; denial moves you away. Denial is self-imposed deception, convenient cover, yet a poor alibi.
Self-delusion can grip an entire organization and lead the people in it to ridiculous conclusions. Denying truth or reality, for any reason, leads only to stress and frustration and takes you away from your goals. Period!
Don’t deny the truth in any way, just because you changed the label on a bottle of arsenic does not make it any less dangerous. In fact, it amplifies it, making it worse.
Truth can be inconvenient, especially for those that deny it. We tend to reject that which is not easy to digest, and truth can be a bitter pill. For the most part, people don’t want to hear painful truths. It seems easier to ignore the facts, even if we succeed only in delaying the inevitable.
Make your bed with blankets of denial and you are guaranteed a lousy night’s sleep. By protecting a lie or false perception, you succeed only in dishonoring the truth and undermining your own credibility.
Any person or organization serious about achieving excellence and personal mastery must develop the habit of examining premises and beliefs; otherwise, one risks dining on delusions. When truth is harsh, the exit ramp of denial looks appealing. But don’t go there. Take the high road of truth.
Denial is addictive and perhaps that’s why so many indulge in its fruits. Denial is propaganda, a blindfold, a retreat from truth. If you are going to avoid anything, avoid the always present, ever-tempting world of denial.
Honoring truth pays enormous dividends and the tighter your grasp on both truth and reality, the better the results and the better your quality of life.
Gary Ryan Blair