I’m guilty of this. I know it.
Guilty of avoiding situations because I was scared, uncomfortable or worried about the outcome. I hesitated, I didn’t act. I didn’t do anything.
The sickness of avoidance affects us all.
So why do we avoid things? Because it seems like we do it daily. We purposefully go to the self check out, perhaps to avoid the awkward conversation with the cashier. We send emails instead of calling someone on the phone to arrange a meeting. We instinctively look at our phone and mindlessly tap our thumbs when we pass someone in a hallway. Regardless of how small and trivial the situation is, there’s always something that we’re try to avoid.
Anything that threatens to shake up our lives, disrupt the calm flow of our day to day schedule, even if it’s for the better, we’ll often do anything to avoid it. It could make our lives infinitely better in an instant…but if there’s even the slightest risk that it can mess up our lives, out it goes. We avoid it. Naturally.
We avoid what scares us, naturally.
It’s none of our faults, it’s merely human nature. Our instincts force us to survive, no matter what. We want to stay alive. Thus, by nature we avoid what threatens us, regardless of the implications.
Often, we’re afraid of failing. Therefor, we avoid situations where we are prone to failing. We avoid doing the things we want, because the fear of failure is always there, ever present in the back of our minds. Afterall, what happens when we fail? We think people look at us differently, judge us and talk behind our backs. We’re afraid of the problems that stem from the potential for our failure.
You want to know the truth though?
No one cares. Not one bit.
But still, we get stuck. Avoiding something is simply so much easier than going through a process, dealing with the problems and challenges, working with the change. Change is scary. There’s no lying about that. Change freaks me the f*ck out, but I accept it. It’s a part of life. We get way to comfortable with the predictability of our lives, of following the same patterns day in and day out. Why would we want to jeopardize something like that? There’s the adage; “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.” That’s just a fancy way of saying avoid what threatens you or scares you, you’re better off without it.
So, if we’re better off without these scary, challenging and difficult experiences, then why are they often the most influential in our lives? Why do these kinds of situations inform the better parts of our life? They teach us lessons we would never have learned and give us insights we wouldn’t have had before.
So forget it.
Stop avoiding things. Stop avoiding your life.
Do one thing each day that scares you.
Talk to a stranger. Put yourself out there. Make the jump.
Avoidance is like a numbing drug for life. It makes things work simply, problem free, so you can’t feel anything. And let’s be real, that’s no fun. That’s not what life is about.
You want to experience things, feel things, grow and change?
You can’t do that if you keep avoiding your life.
Get out there and start doing something.