I have really struggled this week with one of my goals. I told you last week despite lots of activity, I have made no forward progress on my get my life uncomplicated goal. With great optimism, I announced it was time to back up and try a new approach. I’m here to report this week that optimism is over-rated. I did try a new approach and again I hit a brick wall. So, I did what I always do next for this particular problem. I spent a great deal of energy convincing myself that it really isn’t worth it. I assured myself that the probable result of any continued effort would be to make things worse. I decided to just leave it alone.
Have you ever done this? You decide what you want and then six steps into the walk you wimp out. Not only do you wimp out, you have 54 great reasons why quitting is the only smart thing to do.
Fortunately, as I was constructing my list of great reasons for quitting, I went back to the beginning of our workbook. Remember how we carefully explored why we wanted to achieve this goal? When I first chose this goal, I told you, It has often stood between who I am and who I want to be. And yet, here I am ready to give it up. On further reflection, I will turn back around and try again.
So what made me want to run? The same thing that makes you run: fear. Fear of confrontation, fear of the unknown, fear of being misunderstood, and finally fear of rejection.
Many of us have been taught to avoid confrontation at all costs. We refuse to confront the people, problems or situations that are holding us back. Like Phineas J. Whoopee, from the cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo, we keep stuffing our problems into our already overflowing closet and slamming the door.
A confrontation doesn’t have to mean a fight; it should not be something you categorically avoid and it is often necessary in order to step forward.
Many people work very hard to avoid listing their debts or accounting for their spending. We know we have a problem but we are afraid to measure it. So, we stuff it in the closet and slam the door shut.
The unknown scares us. We can see the ship is going down, but at least it’s familiar. Jumping into that little lifeboat scares us. So we turn our backs and ignore the situation.
Sometimes what scares us is our own possible reaction. I like to think that I am very slow to real anger, but once I get there, I have a hard time reeling it back in. Like the time some slimy guy tried to jerk my newly widowed mother around in a real estate deal. Had my sister not been there to pull me off, that guy’s head might have ended up skewered on the For Sale sign.
It’s OK to be scared, but it’s not OK to run. If you continue to flat out ignore the problem, you’re running. If you acknowledge the problems in your life, but blame them on circumstance or others, you’re running. Turn around, throw open the closet door and let all that stuff spill out. Confront the problem now, today or run live in the desert for 40 years; it’s OK the problem will wait for you.
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