3 Warning Signs that You are in Denial

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent

and not enough time on what is important.”

    Stephen R. Covey

Almost Too Late

The first time I saw her, she cried for almost the whole hour. She was a successful woman, going places in the Financial Sector. She worked 12 – 14 hours a day and thrived on the stresses of her environment. She thought she had it all until she came home one day to find a note from her husband.

He had moved out.

For years she had been telling him, and herself, that he was the most important thing in her life. She claimed she was so grateful that she had met him. But she never made any time for him.

Work was her life. Work inspired her and stimulated her and took up all her time.

He got tired of playing second fiddle and one day, he had enough.

Fortunately for her, he agreed to give her one more chance as long as she found a way to change. That’s how she arrived in my coaching room.

Don’t Let Your Priorities Be Taken Away

Sometimes we only realize what our priorities are when they are about to be taken away from us. Sometimes it’s too late to do anything about it.

Picture the man whose spouse find someone else to love her. Or the Mom, who realizes she didn’t spend the time with her kids that she could have, and now they’re leaving home. Or the ‘party-animal’ whose facing severe health problems.

You’ve seen it happen. To others. Too often.

How do you know it won’t happen to you?

3 Warning Signs that You are in Denial About where Your Priorities Lie

1. You keep insisting that something/ someone is important to you, but you can’t find the time for it/them.

There are two possibilities here. Either you are lying to yourself about your priorities OR you are not living according to your priorities.

Remember that actions speak way louder than words. When the people around you look at your behaviours, what do they assume about your priorities? Does it tie into what you are saying?

2. You spend the whole time thinking about something else when you do spend time honouring that which you say is a priority. You can’t wait for this to finish so that you can be doing something else. In other words you are not present with your ‘priority’.

You may think that this activity or person  is a priority – but your way of being is showing you that this is not true.

3. You use excuses to explain why you cannot spend time on your priority. The one I hear most often is “I can’t work less hours because we need the money” or “I can’t work less hours because the work has to be done”.

One of the most difficult tasks for me when I am coaching, is getting people to see that when they work less hours, the work still gets done. I know this is true because when you have a good rest from work, you are able to work harder and focus more the next time you work – you end up working smarter.

The excuses are just that – excuses.

The Way you Live your Life doesn’t Lie.

You may be wondering what happened to my client. She made some drastic changes.

Once a week she and her husband went out for breakfast and she got to the office at 9.00. Twice a week she left the office at 6.00 and cooked dinner at home. Her laptop and phone were off on Saturdays and Sundays except for half an hour on Sunday morning.

She committed totally to the process and her life seemed on track again when the coaching was competed. I was not that surprised when I bump into her a the other day and discovered that she and her husband were looking forward to their first child. What did surprise me was that she planned to stop working when the baby arrived! To top it all, she looked relaxed and happy….

Can you be like my client and commit to your priorities?

If you are not living according to your priorities, either you must change your life, or your life will be changed for you.



Kirsten Long
Your Coach 4 Life

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About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
This entry was posted in Choices, Life Mastery, Time management, Way of Being. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 3 Warning Signs that You are in Denial

  1. Pingback: How to Give Your Family Your Best | Kirsten Long, Coach 4 Life

  2. Pingback: I challenge you in honour of Stephen R. Covey | Kirsten Long, Coach 4 Life

  3. Adele says:

    Not just a story – I had a serious wake-up call a few years ago. I was like the woman in your story – all work, no play, letting life pass me by. I am very happy to state that it is not the case anymore. I work, within my rules, and make sure that the boundaries are known by all.

  4. Clare says:

    A brave lady to be able to make the change – with your help of course! The trick to change and look objectively at your life from time to time!

  5. Graham says:

    Excellent, Kirsten. Applies to both men and women.

  6. ouma chiloane says:

    For me it was the ada way around. My husband was always busy with his work n friends until last year May I said m done with him. Now every1 is on my neck saying I must think abt de kids. What about my happines?M enjoying my single life with my kids n not stressing anymore,its just dat my parents don’t knw as yet bt his knws. M happy for de lady,she realised early.

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