Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Addressing The One Thing We Are Avoiding

Life is not perfect. There is always some hussle and bustle and life never goes on for too long without something happening having undertones bordering on stressful, or possibly even annoying. Even if you are having the most spectacular day ever, its not common to bump into someone who is not sharing your happy mood, and ends up ruining your day too. This is all part of the rich tapestry of our life, and this post isn't about reaching some imagined ideal.

However, sometimes we make things harder for ourselves. Especially if we end up avoiding dealing with something that is bothering us. It is usually easier to not think about these things, but unfortunately your brain is not able to deny the existence of something simply by pushing it out of your brain. It is also not even possible to completely forget about something you are avoiding - the subsconsious has this habit of bringing it up to at various intervals.

So you have a choice of living each day with a small worrying feeling at the back of your mind or to address it and sort it out forever. If you take the first route, the typical outcome is that you end up doing things too late and the worry escalates and escalates until you are forced into action. Not a pleasant outcome to always leave things to the last minute. Since, like I started off in the beginning, it would be impossible to address all worries at one go, since we are usually busy enough already, one should go about this practically. It is for this reason that I suggest focussing on the single biggest thing we are avoiding.

Take one minute, to look inward and ask yourself: 'If there is one thing that I am avoiding unecessarily and that I can do something about, what would it be? How would I feel once I took the first steps in solving this issue?'

Now to take some advice from David Allan, you do not need to plan out each and every step of this project. I say 'Project' because it may help you to think about it this way, even if it is a personal issue and not work related. Trying to think about each step in the plan can often become so complex, that this may be the very reason you hit a roadblock. So I encourage you to avoid thinking about the entire situation, but to ask yourself only what the next step is. Compared to the end goal, the next step is often incredibly simple and may be something like 'Post a letter' or 'Write an email' in order to find out more information.

It is important not to put off this simple step with the excuse that you are too busy. Often the next step is tiny enough that one can easily slot it into a busy work schedule.

Another common roadblock is imagining a possible negative outcome at some point in the plan. This one often holds me back. Often this type of roadblock is so hidden by the mind that you have to force yourself to ask yourself: 'What is holding me back from doing the next step'?
Solving this is something that will need more attention than this blog post, but you can try by playing out the imagined negative outcome in your mind to it's utmost final conclusion and asking yourself if it is really as bad as you imagined.

So, to end off, I encourage you to make your life better by tackling that thing that is holding you back, head on.

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