Do you, for instance, avoid going to the doctor, handling your finances, or telling someone how you feel about them? I get it. I don’t like confronting the tough stuff either.
For instance, I should have gotten a colonoscopy several years ago. That test has been on my to-do list for a long time. I don’t want to drink that stuff, get the procedure done, ask my husband to take off work to take me and pick me up…or get the results (unless they are good). It just feels hard and yucky.
My husband and I needed to see our financial adviser. We had to make some decisions about where and how our finances would be handled going forward, but we put off the meeting for two months. The choices felt complicated, confusing, and stressful.
You Can’t Avoid the Tough Stuff Forever
You can’t avoid the tough stuff forever. For a while…maybe. Eventually, either a decision will be made for you, or you’ll find yourself so deep in the situation you will wish you had acted sooner.
Think about cancer. I know someone who had some symptoms, and he ignored them. He avoided going to the doctor. When the symptoms got so bad, he went to the doctor and was told he had less than a year to live. What if he hadn’t avoided going to the doctor?
Consider your job. I know someone who hated his grueling job. He avoided looking for another. He wouldn’t talk to his boss about his desire to be moved into another position. When the company downsized, he was one of the first to be let go. What if he hadn’t avoided taking action or speaking up?
Make the Hard Decisions
Often decisions are the toughest, aren’t they? It’s easy to worry that you will make the wrong one, and so you don’t decide. Or you’re afraid your decision will negatively impact others, and so you wait it out.
It’s easy to hope the situation will work itself out…that something will happen that makes it unnecessary to decide.
I get it.
There is a decision I’ve been trying to make for years. Yes, years. (I hate to admit it.) I keep trying to get clarity. I keep trying to deal with it. But it feels scary, and it hurts. It’s emotionally tough, so I continue to avoid making the decision.
Can you relate?
But eventually, I’ll have to decide so I can move forward with my life and stop carrying around the negative energy of indecision.
Indecision is so tiring. It drains you of energy.
Avoidance does the same. Do you realize how much energy you exert skirting around an issue or person rather than taking the direct path?
The hard things you avoid never leave your mind. Even when you’re not conscious of the thoughts, they are there. And they cause you to experience a low level of stress or depression. Aviodance drains your emotional, mental, and physical energy…fast.
Life is All About the Tough (and Not-So-Tough) Stuff
Think about it… Life is a series of decisions. Every day you make tons of them.
You deal with the difficult stuff; you just don’t realize it.
Maybe you want to lose weight. You crave a donut, for example. Someone brought the tasty breakfast to work. And you want one so badly. Will you have it…or not? (For me, it’s the ice cream. After dinner: “Should I have ice cream or not?)
You’re going to decide…have it or not. In such a situation, there is no indecision.
Possibly you work for yourself and can sit and read a book, watch the news, play on Facebook, or accomplish the work-related items on your to-do list. You must decide…
Every day you make decisions. You decide what to wear, when to walk the dog, whether or not you will go to the gym, if you will work on your book, if you will answer the phone, if you’ll call your mother, what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, when you will fork out the money for a new car, and if it’s time to leave your marriage or ditch that negative friend.
Some of these decisions are easy, and some are tough.
Decide to Act
What are you avoiding? And what would you stop avoiding if you felt confident dealing with it would move you forward…fast?
Every time you make a decision, you move forward. Even if you leave something behind, you still move towards something new.
Change happens the moment you decide. Then it’s up to you to act on that decision.
“Do I eat the ice cream? Yes. Awesome. I’m going to the kitchen to get that ice cream.”
“Do I call the doctor? Yes. I’m going to get up right now and call the doctor and make an appointment.”
Discover Why You Avoid
To stop avoiding, make a list of what you’re avoiding. Then, answer these two questions about each item on the list:
- Why am I avoiding it?
- Why should I stop avoiding it?
Your answer to question #1 explains your avoidance. You might reply, “I’m afraid,” “I’ll feel sad,” or “It feels hard,” for instance.
Your answer to question #2 gives you the reason to take action. You might respond, “Because I can find out what I need to do to get or stay healthy (or save my marriage or retain my job).” Your answer to this question helps you move out of avoidance and into action.
Stop running away from the difficult things. Run at them instead.
When you stop avoiding and deal with whatever tough situations you encounter, you’ll release all the negative energy—emotional, mental and physical—tied up with it. You’ll then feel free and unburdened. You’ll feel alive again. You’ll have more energy, enthusiasm, passion, and joy.
The difficult things in life tend to be the most rewarding. Once you take action—even if it’s hard, you’re going to feel better. And you’ll have the ability to move forward by leaps and bounds.
Remember that when you find yourself avoiding. I’ll be doing the same…
What tough stuff do you need to confront?
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