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Methods to Tackle What’s Actually Inflicting Your Avoidance

Methods to Tackle What’s Actually Inflicting Your Avoidance


By Leo Babauta

Once we are procrastinating, avoiding train or another behavior we wish to create, or avoiding taking over a troublesome venture … the underlying trigger isn’t what we expect it’s.

We predict that every one we have to do is do the factor we’re avoiding, and cease procrastinating. Easy! However then once we fail, we marvel what’s improper with us.

The issue is that we aren’t actually addressing the true trigger. We’re addressing the symptom, and whereas there are strategies that may assist with the symptom, they hardly ever final for very lengthy.

So what causes our avoidance? An underlying emotional present. Some sort of inside state.

Let me stroll you thru it:

  • You’re feeling a sure manner — due to the best way your life goes, you is perhaps feeling overwhelmed, anxious, afraid, unhappy, lonely, emotionally exhausted, annoyed, battered by life.
  • You resist that emotional state — you don’t wish to really feel that manner, so that you resist letting your self really feel it. This resistance is often within the type of distraction, like on-line distraction, busywork, messaging, and many others.
  • Dealing with troublesome issues is more durable on this emotional state — turning towards a troublesome venture, or clearing muddle, or coping with a thousand emails … these are all overwhelming in the most effective of occasions. However being in a troublesome emotional state makes it even more durable. No marvel we’re avoiding!
  • We attempt to overcome our avoidance with techniques — we attempt to coerce ourselves to do the factor we’re avoiding, with techniques. “No distractions, solely work right this moment!” And it generally works, however as a result of the underlying emotional state hasn’t been addressed, it by no means lasts lengthy. We return to avoidance.
  • This makes us really feel dangerous, and worsens the underlying emotional state — we really feel dangerous about ourselves once we revert to avoidance. This solely provides to no matter emotional state was already there. Return to step one above, and repeat, with some added emotional stress!

Any of this sound acquainted? It’s what we’re all going by way of, day by day, often with out figuring out it. Even when we’re conscious, we’re hardly ever really dealing with it, as a result of we’re resisting the emotional state.

So the 2 issues to handle are:

  1. We’re unaware of the emotional state inflicting avoidance.
  2. We resist the emotion, whether or not we’re conscious of it or not.

Let’s discuss methods to deal with these points, so we will deal with the true reason for avoidance.

Bringing Consciousness to the Inside State

The hot button is to note whenever you’re avoiding one thing. Is there a venture, process, dialog, or private behavior you’re laying aside?

Alternatively, you can discover that you simply’re caught up in distraction — messaging, social media, e mail, busywork, Youtube, Netflix, information websites, boards, and many others. Doing just a little of that is all the time cool, however if you’re caught up doing it quite a bit, then this can be a signal you’re in all probability avoiding.

When you discover your avoiding or caught up in distraction … see when you can discover your underlying inside state. Are you feeling unhappy, grieving or lonely? Overwhelmed, afraid, anxious? Pissed off, offended, resentful, burdened? Damage, unloved, unseen?

At this level, you don’t must do something concerning the emotional state. Simply discover. The extra you convey consciousness, the extra you’ll be capable to deal with it in some unspecified time in the future.

Not Resisting the Emotion

If you happen to’re avoiding or caught in distraction, it’s guess that you simply’re resisting the emotion. That implies that you don’t wish to really feel it — you’re feeling there’s one thing improper with feeling unhappy, offended, anxious, and many others. In your head, you may suppose there’s nothing improper with these emotions … however there’s part of you that doesn’t wish to really feel them. Perhaps you suppose you possibly can’t deal with it, or it’s too exhausting.

There’s nothing improper with resisting the emotion. It’s human to withstand! However so long as we’re resisting it, it’s going to have an influence over us, and avoidance turns into unavoidable.

If you happen to’re up for letting go of your resistance, the follow is simply to let your self really feel the emotion. Simply really feel unhappy, lonely, anxious, annoyed. Sit in stillness for a couple of minutes, and simply let your self really feel it. The primary instruction is to calm down — let your physique and thoughts calm down, because the emotion comes up.

Give up to the emotion. It’s hardly ever that troublesome, and can often solely final for a minute or three. If it’s too intense, you possibly can cease — do one thing to take your thoughts off it.

Whether or not you’re in a position to give up to it or not, give your self a couple of minutes of self-care after. Give your self compassion, love, a pleasant heat cup of tea. Get a hug from somebody, or discuss to a good friend or therapist. And acknowledge your self for no matter you had been in a position to do.

How To not Keep away from

Placing this all collectively, right here’s methods to create a shift so that you aren’t avoiding as a lot … 

Discover whenever you’re avoiding or caught in distraction.

Discover the underlying inside emotional state.

Give up to the emotional state, letting your self really feel it. Chill out.

Give your self some love and self-care.

When you’ve completed that, you ought to be a lot clearer. Now see in case your coronary heart is extra open to taking over what you’re avoiding.

Simply do 5 minutes of what you’re avoiding, to begin with, to provide your self an emotional victory. It’ll open your coronary heart much more.

Dance in victory!



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