What are you avoiding?
Avoidance, at least for me, is even more sinister than procrastination and can lead to loss of self-esteem and confidence. There is only a subtle difference between the two but the effects on our thinking and behaviour can be enormous.
Why is avoidance so much worse than procrastination? What it boils down to is that avoidance undermines us when we decide to do it. For example, when we decide to procrastinate about something (and yes it is a decision) we might say to ourselves 'I will just do this (less important but more satisfying thing) before I do what needs to be done'. What this implies is that I can do it, I just choose not to at this time. Whereas, when we decide to avoid something (again it is a decision) we might say to ourselves 'I will get my (partner, friend, parent or even dog) to do this as they are better at it than me'. What this implies is that I am not good enough and that I can only succeed with help from others. Avoidance also tends to come from of fear, whether that fear is real or perceived doesn't matter the fact that we are fearful is enough to pass it on to 'someone more competent' and if that person is successful then this will lower our
Avoidance also tends to come from of fear, whether that fear is real or perceived it doesn't matter, the fact that we are fearful is enough to pass it on to 'someone more competent' and if that person is successful then this will lower our self-esteem further because 'I would never have got that result' or 'they made it look so easy'.
Avoidance is also about not doing something at all. The consequences of not doing something somehow feel less than the ramifications of doing it. This is not true in most cases, it is worse not to open the bill that you cannot pay as you will not be able to understand exactly what needs to be done.
What can you do to avoid things less?
This is a really difficult one to answer as everyone will need to find their own methods that suit their own circumstances.
In a general sense, it's first about making small steps to begin with. Make small decisions that feel slightly uncomfortable which push you out of your comfort zone. It could be anything from where you will have lunch to the route you take to a party. When you have done this celebrate it, see all the good things about the decision you made, confirm to yourself that it was the right decision.
It's also about setting goals and completing them. You could write down three things every morning that you are in control of that need to be done today and make sure that they get done. Once again ensure that you celebrate your success.
The whole point is to start training your brain to see that you can do things and you can succeed without others help.
I hope this article has been of some help.
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About Edward Barrett
I work with people who want to develop their confidence. Lack of confidence can insinuate itself in to every area of our lives; relationships, career, & family, causing us to doubt ourselves & any decision we make. I work with my clients to understand what is driving the lack of confidence & we develop strategies and techniques to overcome this.