financial denialDenial can be one of the worst obstacles to overcome when it comes to achieving your personal happiness and ability to live a full honest life.

When you are not honest with yourself, you are living in a state of denial.

Here is one simple example to evaluate your level of denial:


There can be a lot of reasons why we don’t want to check our mail.   Whether you’re late on paying your bills, or are expecting a letter to see if you were admitted to your select graduate school, avoiding your mail is one form of denial. Here are three levels to consider.

Level 1

Let’s take finances as an example.  Due to our economy, some of us struggle with paying our bills. You don’t just not open your mail, you don’t even check your mailbox.  You let it sit there and pile up till your box is so full that you have to grab that stack and shuffle through it.  Ignoring your mailbox is Level 1 of denial.

Level 2

Ok, you managed to get your mail out of the box but now you are faced with the bills you have to pay and the amount that is due.  How much did I spend on my credit card this month, what is my electricity bill this month?  You let it sit there unopened which is a level of denial.  But at least you gathered your mail which is one step out of denial but now you have it sitting on your kitchen table staring you down.  It becomes a constant reminder that it’s there and you remain in Level 2 of denial when you can’t get yourself to open it.

Level 3

You open those bills that you dreaded, read them, and shove them in a drawer.  You know the amount you owe but can’t get yourself to pay it. That is Level 3 of denial.   

By now, take a look at the mental torture you’ve inflicted on yourself for living in financial denial.  Only once you pay your bill, and mail it in, can you wipe your hands clean of denial and gain mental freedom. Was it worth going through all those levels of denial?  Probably not.  So stop torturing yourself and take a moment to acknowledge where you are in your levels of denial and break your pattern.

Denial stifles our ability to face ourselves head on with honesty and reality.  Next time you walk by your mailbox, or ignore opening up an email from your inbox, take a step out of denial and ask yourself:

Is it worth going through all those levels of denial?  Don’t you want to be mentally free from denial and enter a state of peace, well being and truth?

Let’s hope so.

Mailbox photo available from Shutterstock



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    Last reviewed: 31 Oct 2012

APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2012). Are you in denial? Living in financial denial and dreading your mailbox. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 27, 2015, from


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