Avoidance: Acting As If It’s Not There

When we as humans deflect, our natural instinct is to avoid. It’s better to act like it’s not there or never existed than to face the fear and move forward. Why admit that we have a problem? Better to blame, push away, deflect- do anything else but own up to the fact that if we got ourselves in a mess, it’s our mess to deal with.

My problem is I hate change. I grew up in the same house my whole life. I tended to go to the same restaurants on a weekly basis- and the bowling center off of downtown was my second home away from home growing up- as one of us in the family would have to be down there either for bowling or related activities. Those of you who knew me when I tried to get into the dating world also know I wanted to date the same woman for 3 years- and couldn’t accept the 50 + rejections- until my freshman year of high school.

To say that living in a dorm room 35 miles away my freshman year of college would be scary is an understatement. Within a month I realized that this particular dorm had a reputation as party central and that I readjusted where my studies and homework rituals would be done (i.e. the libraries on both campuses) to maintain a high grade point average while the others were losing their security deposits due to drunken debuachery.

Avoidance can almost be as addictive as procrastination. Putting things off can be one thing- but pushing an issue to the side to act like it doesn’t exist can be entirely bigger problem. It’s everyone else’s problem if they don’t like me. I can’t understand why no one likes to talk or be around me. Maybe someone else will be kind enough to extend a hand and take care of that for me. Wishful thinking but I guarantee no one will be owning your problem or there to help if you aren’t able to help yourself first.

My children would love nothing more than to be in control and have everyone in their lives do everything they don’t want to do at their command. Understandable in utopia- far from realistic in my household. My youngest will be in for a rude awakening in middle school when the teachers won’t let assignments slide for weeks on end. As much as we’ve tried to prepare her for personal responsibility, she keeps avoiding and acting as if she never heard of such a concept.

My favorite quote when discussing responsibility lately from her is, “Why do you have to be so mean to me?”. If being proactive in preparing her for expectations and consequences is cruel and unusual punishment in the parenting world, then I guess I’m guilty. She needs to know that self-reliance and confidence when attempting new areas of her academic world aren’t negatives. I don’t want any sort of label from the past to dictate who she is and what she can become in the future.

Even in my 30’s, I’m consistently learning it’s better to tackle issues you struggle with one at a time and head on, rather than avoiding or acting as if the issue doesn’t exist. We aren’t getting any younger- and the tension build up results in more health problems that are unnecessary. Whether you go at it for a small bit of time each day or try to get things accomplished in one fell swoop, you’ll feel much better about it when the task is complete.

Author Joe Vitale in the book Zero Limits talks about a process of letting go of negativity through four phrases repeated as often as you’d like. They are, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” Think of something you’ve been avoiding in your life, write it down and take some action steps to clear yourself mentally and physically of this block. Maybe it’s someone you’ve lost touch with. Maybe it’s a family member you haven’t talked to in years. Repairing the relationship will be a multi-fold benefit to the world.

Thank you for your continual support of this blog- I really appreciate the warmth, the commentary and I hope it continues to be as benefical to you as it is for myself.


One Response to Avoidance: Acting As If It’s Not There

  1. Frank Burgoyne says:

    Matt, great stuff. Great to see you’re doing well. I don’t think I’ve seen you since 8th grade!
    BTW, if you haven’t read the book, QBQ (Question behind the Question) by John Miller, it’s a good, quick read. Talk about personal accountability…A few years ago I called his company to order a bunch of books for some insurance agents I was managing, and the author answered the phone himself! very impressive. http://qbq.com/about-qbq.php

    Take care and be well…


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