The emotional benefits of accepting reality

The price of rejecting reality is high.

I have a course I teach called “Reality based decision making for effective strategy development (see  for details).  Failure to accept reality means your plans, whatever they are – are likely to fail. Sure, you could get lucky, but I’d rather be smart and strategic than lucky. Smart and Strategic tends to yield better results.

The problem with reality is that it can be scary.  Accepting reality means not always knowing how things are going to turn out. It means confronting uncertainty and the unknown. It means accepting that despite all your good intentions and strategic approach and smarts, you still may not succeed.  That’s reality.  And it sucks. I’m not going to lie to you about that.

But this post is about the emotional benefits of accepting reality. Why on earth am I telling you how scary accepting reality is?  Because – despite how scary it can be, accepting reality is emotionally satisfying. It really does help your mental health to remain grounded in reality – even when reality sucks.

Here is my rule. You cannot solve your problems until you acknowledge you have a problem. And as long as you aren’t solving your problem, you will continue to have a problem. And having problems sucks. I would much rather confront my fears so I can confront my problems that stick my head in the sand and hope for the best.  Again, I could get lucky, but sticking my head in the sands means I don’t see the dangers coming and I can’t protect myself from those dangers.

I am a Humanist. I refuse to leave my fate up to fate. I am a proactive doer. I can get things done. I can change the odds in my favor. I refuse to hope for the best. Not when I can be doing something constructive to create positive change for myself.

One of my favorite quotes is “If you are going through hell, keep going.” From Winston Churchill.  Accepting reality is scary. But staying stuck in a living hell is even scarier.  Accepting my present reality is an act of courage. It puts me in a position to change my current reality and make a new one. Accepting reality, however bad it may be is empowering. And being empowered is good for your emotional health.

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