When we were little, we loved to pretend. In fact, we really enjoyed playing “let’s pretend” with our friends. We associate having fun with those memories, and often still daydream and take pleasure in fantasizing about our lives, our future, and our circumstances.

The good news is that pretending is fun; it allows us to dream, fantasize, and believe in the magic. The bad news is, sometimes we hide in pretending as a method to avoid dealing with reality.

REMEMBER, there is always a gap between how life should be and how life is. That gap can be small or huge. When we pretend to excess, we imagine how life is supposed to be… and we often get lost in those imaginations.

We frequently get lost in the fantasy of being loved, rich, successful, popular, appreciated, important, admired, talented, fit, thin, young, and good looking.

For example, some of us like to read romance novels or watch romantic movies in an effort to pretend that we could have a life similar. We will then sometimes attach unrealistic expectations to our love life and say, “I won’t settle for anything or anyone less than what I have dreamed about.  I deserve to have my perfect ‘dream lover’ come to my door; all I have to do is wait.  ‘I like to believe’ that he/she will simply show up.  ‘I like to think’ there is a perfect soulmate for me.  Anything less is unacceptable.”

While those fantasies seem delicious, they are often unrealistic, given the circumstances you are in. However, it sometimes seems like a colossal letdown to accept reality.  It feels like an unfair loss or surrender to something far less juicy. Your pride is often very expensive.

Too many of us have trouble accepting reality and playing the cards that are dealt. When we continue in the rejection of reality, we frequently use familiar phrases to insure we remain in the safe and comfortable womb of pretending —

  • “I like to think that I will be fine financially, and that there will be always plenty of money available.  Something always turns up.”
  • “I like to pretend that I can quit smoking whenever I want.  I just don’t want to quit right now.”
  • “I like to believe that someday my prince will come, and I will live happily ever after with my soulmate.”
  • “I like to pretend that I will lose weight, get in good shape, and stay that way.”
  • “I like to believe that my weight shouldn’t matter and people should love me as I am.”
  • “I like to believe that people will look out for me and take care of me.”
  • “I like to believe that if I continue to be patient, try to stay out of the line of fire, and remain long-suffering, my spouse will change and treat me well.”
  • “The world can be a nasty place… so I like to think it’s a wonderful place where everyone is happy and loving.  This is my world and this is where I like to live.”
  • “I like to believe that I was born under a lucky star and good things will just happen to me.”
  • “I like to believe that if I remain patient and keep helping my children financially, they will grow up and behave like responsible adults.”

Do these sound familiar? I am quite confident that you have heard people in your network talk this way.

Do you notice that you use the phrases “I like to think,” or “I like to believe”?

Once again, remember that there is a gap between how life is supposed to be and how life is. When you reject reality and remain in the “I like to believe” state of mind, you are hanging around in make believe, and sometimes you can be accused of being “delusional,” in “arrested development,” or living in a “fantasy world.”

The reality is that some of life is terrific, some stinks, and a whole lot of it is vanilla, beige, and underwhelming. It all depends on how YOU decide to navigate your life’s trajectory.

When you use remarks like “I like to think,” you are rejecting reality, your hand is off the steering wheel, and you are likely passing your life with time while waiting for something to happen.

What is your solution?  Instead of continuing your habit of “I like to think, I like to to pretend, I like to believe,” decide to say… 

I think

I believe 

I will start

When you use these words, you will notice a greater need to drop fantasies and replace them with realities.  

When you embrace reality and take responsibility for your life, your health, your wealth, your future, and the cards that are dealt, then your hand is on the steering wheel and you are passing your time with life, and therefore making things happen!

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