The Danger of Denial (and how to escape it)

Nicky Cullen
4 min readJun 23, 2022
Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash

enial certainly has its place. In the short term, it can be beneficial to ignore a problem because the implications of facing said problem or conflict are too overwhelming.

But, as Professor Robert Sipolsky says, there’s a price to be paid down the road when denial becomes habitual — one that often comes with significant interest.

One of the strategies we use to combat denial in the FYM program is progressive desensitization, i.e., pushing yourself, but not so far beyond your comfort zone that you cannot cope…

This way, you build mental strength and resilience while allowing your wins to compound for truly profound results down the road.

Now, back to denial.

When I wrote the 7 Deadly Sins of The Anxious Mind; I listed:

  1. Selflessness
  2. Worry

3. Perfectionism

4. Addiction (social media)

5. Misery

6. Endeavour, and

7. Recall

While the book is short and sweet, with many valuable lessons learned the hard way to help anyone battling anxiety, it likely needs a revision. One such revision would be to give one Sin the boot and replace it with “denial.”

Denial shows up in many ways

It is the polar opposite of acceptance which is essential for not only anxiety recovery but, I would argue, all life’s problems. That is if you want a relatively peaceful life?

A classic sign of denial for anyone struggling with anxiety or panic attacks is the words, “I just want to be normal again.”

Have you ever found yourself thinking or saying this? I sure as shit was guilty…

For years, I was searching for a time machine — anything to take me back to the day before that one panic attack pickled my brain, convinced me I had lost my mind, and changed my life forever.

Basically, before I knew what hell on earth was. Obviously, it’s normal to wish for normality in circumstances where life in prison or poverty becomes more appealing than the life you somehow found yourself…

Nicky Cullen

Stress Coach | Helping legend overcome anxiety and stress. 👉