According to Elizabeth Scott, PHD, in an article found at VeryWellMind, "Procrastination, passive-aggressiveness, and rumination are examples of unhelpful coping mechanisms that we may consciously or unconsciously use to avoid tackling a tough issue or facing thoughts and feelings that are uncomfortable."
The world is a difficult place. But we know the world has always been a difficult place. The difference today is that things are moving faster than ever before, and issues appear to erupt from out of blue. Our social media and newscasts are filled with negative vibes causing us to come to the brink of exhaustion.
The turmoil we face might drive us to run from our troubles. Regrettably, if we habitually flee, we will be constantly running and hiding from our problems.
Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps you are one of those who run away from your problems rather than facing them head on.
Unfortunately, problems just don’t disappear when you run away from them. They do have a tendency to come back and sneak up on you. So, how can you successfully tackle them and move toward a future where you are no longer afraid of them? Here are some ideas to help you quit evading your troubles.
Chunk Your Problems Down Into Small Steps
Greenberg, author of the book The Stress-Proof Brain, advises working through the easiest phases first after splitting the problem into manageable sections.
The idea here is to make sure you are clear about what your problem is and then break them down into smaller steps. Looking at the problem as a whole could freeze you or cause you to flee. An old Chinese Proverb states, “It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” Wise words for us to follow.
Chunking your problems into small steps may go something like this: you are faced with writing a memo about a problem you are having, rather than stewing about it state the problem clearly, what you want to achieve in solving it, the steps you want to take to solve it, how it will make your life or organization better, how its resolution will affect your overall goals or the goals of the organization, and end with a concluding statement.
Use Your Support System
Our support network is often an underappreciated asset. Sometimes we feel alone and overwhelmed by our problems and cannot find an anchor.
Are you someone who has the impression that no one cares about you and that no one is eager to assist you?
If you do, you should have a look around. There is always someone who would be delighted to assist you in overcoming a problem you might be facing. Remember that we encounter a slew of issues on a daily basis. Many of the issues we face are often similar to those of others. They can give you a hands up regarding your problem. It won’t be exactly the same but a good listening ear with someone can help you sort through your issue. There is no need for you to believe that you must solve all of your problems on your own.
If your support system is wanting then it’s time to buckle down and get to work! Don’t be afraid to reach out and create one that works for you. You can look for them within your faith community, workplace, circle of real friends, and even within your family.
As well if it’s a deep personal problem there is always professional help to support you as you work towards resolving it. Check you counselling services in your area or go to someone you trust in your community, perhaps someone who leads your faith community could be a resource for you.
Develop a Plan
Planning is nothing other than looking ahead and determining how to proceed in the present. So if you are procrastinating or running away from your problems then stop and think about how you can overcome it. Think about how you can approach your issue. Just because you don’t have a solution at the moment doesn’t mean that one doesn’t exist. What you need to do is spend some quiet time in coming up with a solution.
For instance, create a quiet space for yourself, identify the issue you are facing, make two columns one for identifying what is bothering you in specific terms and the other for possible solutions. Don’t stop until you have drained your brain. Then take a hard look at your solutions and prioritize them giving the best one the top priority.
As you sort out the problem you can also do some research about it and find out how others have come to grips with it in the past, but make sure the information you find is accurate
Once you have sorted out what you are going to do about your problem it is now time to hold yourself accountable. This is one of the great ways to overcome problems in the long term. For example, if you're attempting to better manage your spending and food intake, you should keep track of how much you eat or you're spending habits. Better yet make a budget for all your sources of income and expenses. Then hold yourself accountable to following it.
Ask others to help you be accountable. Share your goals with others and the steps you are taking to work through your problems. Ask these people to keep an eye out and ask you about your progress. And make sure that you update them about your progress on your own.
One final note on accountability. When you succeed in overcoming your problem give yourself a small reward. Others will probably not give you a reward but you have mastered the issue and found a solution so why not rewarding yourself for a job well done.
Running Away Is Not A Viable Long-Term Solution
This is most likely the most crucial aspect of learning how to quit running away from issues. It's admitting that fleeing isn't a long-term solution. And no matter what time or far you flee, you can never really run from your problems.
Running away from problems is a common way for us to try to avoid them; it's a protective strategy. Running, however, does not completely shield us from anything. Avoidance solves none of our problems. It has never done so in the past, and it will never do so in the future.
Facing our problems is the only way to solve them. This may take time, courage, effort and commitment, but in the end, they are solved and no longer pose a burden on our emotional and mental health. And, as an added bonus, overcoming those problems helps us build inner strength and resilience.
Thank you for reading and as always keep safe, stay well and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
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