Avoidance…. And How to Avoid It
For many, life’s challenges present themselves with additional clauses… typically an avoidance clause. It’s not really a ‘clause” more like an excuse. A justification. A reason. Ultimately, what is happening is we create avoidance measures.
Oftentimes challenges do not show up with an easy answer. Or the answer is easy, but the application is where we get held up. Regardless, there are avoidance measures that we institute to keep us (we think) in control, at peace, or inside our comfort zone.
If anything threatens our control, peace, or comfort our natural inclination is to stop it, thwart it, remove it, or avoid it… At. Any. Measure.
We avoid because are fearful.
We are fearful because of the unknown.
We don’t like the unknown.
That annoying unknown is what fuels our desire for comfort, peace, or control.
That annoying unknown stays with us until we deal with it. However, until we deal with it, our first step is to avoid it.
Every one of us strives for comfort. We settle into our couches with a comfortable blanket and ice cream to watch our favorite show or a movie. We sleep in a little on the weekend because “we can.” We have comfort food. We wear comfortable clothes. People get too close for comfort. We tell people to ‘get comfortable” if we believe whatever is happening is going to bother or inconvenience another person.
Comfort is important.
When we fall out of our comfort zone…watch out. We will stop at nothing to keep us in our comfort zone.
Can we be serious and real for a moment? Let’s be honest. No one likes conflict. Conflict brings out the worst in us time after time. Some are better at navigating it.
Those who will say things like “I welcome conflict” but really what they are saying is I’ve learned how not to avoid it.
Conflict (the opposite of peace) creates discomfort. It also induces emotions and feelings that we not typically have. Anger, frustration, irritation. Those are the emotions that disrupt peace and can easily force us to be out of control.
Control is a huge part of why we avoid things. If we can’t control it, we will avoid it, until we can’t anymore. The problem with this is that when we finally must confront it, there is always more damage done than is we simply approached it when it happened.
Control doesn’t always equal power or arrogance, it is about being able to justify and manage emotions, events, or encounters knowing the outcome or at least being able to present the outcome.
What Do We Do Now?
The first step is always awareness. Nothing changes if we don not know that something needs to change.
When we feel like we need to avoid something, we should take a moment and ask ourselves:
Does this take me out of my comfort zone?
Is this going to disrupt the peace?
How much control will I have?
This is a great start to overcoming avoidance.
The faster we can address events, circumstances, situations and the more we can stop avoiding them, our lives become filled with deeper meaning, stronger relationships, and less stress.