You’ve heard it said that “Insanity is doing the same over and over but expecting different results.” Though the point is clear enough, I prefer a slightly less extreme diagnosis: “Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is denial in action.”
Sure, on some level it’s just human nature to want things to be easier or better without our having to work for the improved outcome.
On the one hand, you can (hopefully) acknowledge that you’re not doing certain things you know you should be doing to get different results. That’s not where the denial is. On the other hand, you still bemoan that you’re not where you tell yourself you really want to be. Well, either you should accept the results you’re getting or you need to actually DO things differently. Not coming to terms with this truth is, you guessed it, denial in action.
For example, do any of these conundrums ring true?
- Not spending uninterrupted time each morning planning your day yet hoping your day won’t be as fragmented and stressful as it usually is
- Not capturing your time on a daily basis but wishing that your client billing will somehow be less burdensome
- Not spending consistent time executing a well-designed marketing plan but telling yourself that new clients are just around the corner
- Not making sure your staff are properly trained yet expecting them to not disappoint you
These remind me of the classic question: If five frogs are sitting on a log and 3 decide to jump off, how many frogs remain on the log?
The answer is five, because deciding to jump off is not the same as actually jumping off.
Which in turn leads me to what I call the Wish-Achieve Continuum. Simply put, you have to move from left to right in order to get different – that is, improved – outcomes.
Whether it’s one of the bullet points above or another way in which you’d like your outcomes to be better, start by asking yourself where you’re in some degree of denial about the gap between what you’re doing and what you want to experience. With your answer in hand, you’ll be on your way toward the denial-free zones of action, perseverance, and achievement.