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Stop Being an Avoider

Why we avoid things and how to stop avoiding them

There are times we all want to avoid something. Difficult conversations, certain chores, that work project. Sometimes we tell ourselves there are good reasons for avoidance.

Difficult conversations is good one to breakdown. We can tell ourselves many reasons why having that conversation might not be a good thing.

You might hurt someone's feelings. No matter if it is a loved one, a friend, a co-worker or an employee, giving someone bad news is always hard. We can convince ourselves to let it go because we don't want to make someone else uncomfortable. Unfortunately, when we do this their bad behavior, or misunderstanding of the project, will continue, often making it more difficult as time goes on. The behavior that perhaps only we noticed, will eventually get noticed by more people. By denying the conflict we are holding them back and not allowing them to grow.

Another area of avoidance is chores. If you don't put the dish in the dishwasher the pile continues to grow. Having a child who won't put their dish in the dishwasher is annoying. We can offer consequences or take the easy way and do it ourselves, Or we can help them grow by encouraging good behavior and letting them know that when they don't put away their dishes the pile grows and they are responsible for it. Messy bedrooms is another area of avoidance. Ask yourself, what are they doing instead of cleaning their rooms? Watching TV? Playing video games? Doing homework? We all have to decide what level of cleanliness is clean enough, but by teaching our kids good behaviors we are helping them to become responsible adults. If we ignore the behavior we can hope that they will eventually learn by pushing this responsibility off on their roommates and/or partners.

This is similar to work projects - when we don't do the project, the amount of time we spend worrying about it and moving it around ends up being more time than it will actually take to get it done. Start with putting together a list of how you are going to tackle the project, what are the steps. Then start ticking away on the steps. You don't have to do it all at once, but once you take that first step you might be surprised that you actually have the energy to get it done. The longer we wait to get started, the more time and energy we will put into worrying about it instead of moving ahead. What is sitting in your inbox that you don't want to accomplish right now? What is one step you can take now to get started?

How to start -

  1. Write down a list of everything you are avoiding right now.

  2. Under each item, write down 2-3 things you need to do to move forward. Be sure to make some of these things easy as it feels so good check them off.

  3. What are you going to tackle first?

  4. Get started. Make sure to leave the list where you can see it and cross off items when they get done. Celebrate each item completed, even if it is just an attaboy to yourself. You did it!

If you have something that keeps nagging at you give me a call. I will do my best to help you put together a plan to get it done. This could be the first item on your list! Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

With Gratitude,



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