Avoidance can be a sneaky one...

Of many of our reactions to stress, avoidance can be a sneaky one. Anger and the need to control can be felt pretty tangibly, in raised blood pressure or a clenched jaw. The need to outdo someone else, through competition, is relatively easy to hear as internal commentary about the other person. But avoidance? You may not even realise you're doing it. You may be doing it right now by reading this.

Avoidance comes in many guises, from the simple to the more complex. It's in clicking on Facebook rather than settling down to write an important report. It's in the urge to walk in the other direction when you spot someone you dislike. It's in the excuses we construct to avoid saying "no" to our bosses, our children or our friends. It's in the years we spend in relationships, unable to put words on the hard facts of unhappiness or incompatibility. It exists especially in the desire to bury the difficulties or traumas of childhood which hamper our ability to speak honestly about our feelings.

Can you think of a time, even today, that you've avoided a task, a person, a phonecall or an uncomfortable thought? It's time to lean in. 

The surprising feature of avoidance is that it sucks energy. It's draining to forever be ducking and weaving. On the other hand, the empowerment that comes from tuning in to what you're avoiding, leaning in to the discomfort and then shifting into a goal-setting mindset actually re-energises you.

In Compass, our women's self-development and leadership program, we use a powerful tool called the Life Styles Inventory to help you see clearly how much you're relying on avoidance to cope with stress in your everyday life; to gain clarity on when and why it happens, and to find the courage to do more of the energy-bringing stuff: clean conversations, self-care, shifting of priorities and processing the past to live a more meaningful present and future. And to learn to say, openly and proudly, "This is what I want". 

Our next Compass program launches in Sydney. We see avoidance all the time in women who know they want to make changes or take courageous steps, but find a hundred excuses to put themselves last. Perhaps your first step out of avoidance and into self-actualisation is to register - or to champion someone you know or love?


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Modified on 13/04/2017 4:43:25 PM.