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There can be many barriers in a person’s life—physical barriers in the road that make it difficult to get place to place while driving, emotional barriers that make it difficult to form loving relationships, or mental barriers that make it hard to achieve a goal. Breaking down these barriers can be challenging for anyone, from any background, age and life situation.

The biggest barrier to fixing a problem is the denial that there is one. You must recognize the problem and admit that it exists before you can begin working to solve it. This is what makes denial so toxic in our lives—we can’t solve what our mind never allows us to see.

Once you acknowledge the problem: that you work too much, spend unhealthy amounts of time on the computer, have a doomed relationship, feel addicted to your cell phone, spend too much time watching TV or not enough time engaged in worthwhile activities, you can accept these behaviors as a problem. Once you realize what is hurting your life, true recovery can begin.

It is self-awareness that starts you on the path to getting the appropriate help. It is also important to recognize that there are certain life problems that require professional help before they can be resolved. Don’t be afraid to seek professional counseling.

If you are concerned that you may be in denial about a problem, ask yourself the questions below. Your answer may help guide your next decision.

  1. Do you often feel depressed, angry, or anxious for no reason?
  2. Have any of your friends, family members, co-workers, or anyone else close to you shown any concern about you recently?
  3. Do you spend too much of your time judging other people?
  4. Are you falling behind in any important areas of your life?
  5. Do you find yourself avoiding some situations because certain people will be there?
  6. Do you find yourself wanting and needing to be the center of attention?
  7. Do you feel that your life will get better if a specific thing happens?
  8. Do you tend to agonize over “the small stuff”?

If the answer to one or more of these questions reveals a problem, think carefully about why it is difficult to face.  Make a commitment to no longer being in denial and start work on solving the issues. It’s never too late to start.

Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten