Avoid-Dance

“I don’t want to go there; I don’t want to talk about that…”

I hear this quite a bit within the different aspects of my work. The frequency of this isn’t surprising, but the high price we pay for this choice often is. There’s a large, collective cost attached to avoidance and denial. It’s often not immediately apparent, but it’s definitely there. It’s called “avoid-dance” for a reason. Because that’s exactly what it is: a fucking dance… a death dance that slowly kills you from the inside out.

Anywhere you don’t want go (emotionally) is exactly where you need to be… (immediately). – @tomleu

It’s normal to want to avoid problems because problems = pain. Nobody wants more pain, we’ve got enough of that shit already right? Many psychologists suggest that the human drive to avoid pain is higher and tends to be more prevalent than our drive to seek pleasure. Read that again. It’s called “avoidance coping” or “escape coping” for a reason. But here’s the thing: side-stepping isn’t a solution; it’s a band-aid, and a weak one at that. The longer anyone avoids their own crap and refuses “to go there,” the bigger the problem becomes, and the less effective the band-aid becomes over time. Have the stones to rip that shit off.

We all have to “go there” sometimes because “there” is where the real solutions to the problems live. Believe it or not, the pain of dealing with the here and now is far less than enduring the pain accumulated by avoiding shit week-after-month-after-year-after-year. It’s called recovery (from whatever is ailing you). Going there is good. Go there so you don’t have to live there.

Face it, fix it, and move on. It’s a risk worth taking. Easier said than done, but no less possible…

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Eighty-Five (85)

Majoring in the minors; Minoring in the majors. It happens everywhere, much of the time. This is when people spend inordinate amounts of time focusing on stuff that matters least, at the expense of the stuff that matters most. This happens because it’s easier to avoid the bigger, harder issues at hand, and instead manage the smaller, softer things.

It’s faster. It’s common. And it’s the path of least resistance.

But it’s counter-intuitive because the easy way is actually the hard way. And it’s very destructive long-term. It’s destructive to the health of individuals and organizations. The solution? Become hyper-aware of it. Notice, sooner, when it’s happening. Especially if it’s coming from you. Begin talking about it with your trusted crew. Choose to shiFt your focus, time, and energy to the hard work at hand. Go inward. Take an inventory, and then take new and outward action, despite any apprehension.

By doing the tough stuff first, much of the soft stuff begins to take care of itself. Efficiencies are improved. Time is saved. Sanity is preserved. Win-win-win.

Stay tuned-in…

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Fifty-Three

53

It’s been said: “All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy.” People who do little else but work all the time have issues. They’re running from something. They’re doing the avoid-dance. Being ambitious and driven are good qualities to possess. Success requires hard work of course, and this often requires choosing a course that few others are willing and/or able to choose.

But as impressive as dedication and commitment to one’s endeavors are, workaholism is no joke. Any “ism” is serious stuff that matters. People need to be able to disconnect and have down time, even if they don’t think they do. People need time to reflect, to recharge, and to remind themselves of who the hell they are. This is impossible if you’re either fostering or fielding incessant amounts of “work” without the necessary and requisite spaces between the to-do’s. Choose to shield yourself from this shit at all costs. Even if that means the cost is paying the price that comes with choosing a different career path. Life’s too short…

Stay tuned-in…