In the eight plus years that I have been coaching, I notice people spend a lot of time talking about what they want, but they invest a LOT more time and energy avoiding what they don’t want. Are you one of these people? Do you run away from pain far more than you run toward pleasure? Consider that you may be using the majority of your mental, physical and emotional resources on preventing what you don’t want, rather than creating what you do. If so, you have fallen into what I call the avoidance trap.
You may not even be aware that you are in the avoidance trap so here are a few dead giveaways:
You don’t have what you want.
You feel blocked or stuck.
You have high levels of faith and low levels of fear.
You feel like the Uni-verse isn’t getting any of your memos.
Now I agree with the Rolling Stones that you can’t always get what you want; however, you can co-create more of what you want when you get out the avoidance trap.
Here’s how in five easy steps:
- DETERMINE what your particular avoidance trap is. Mine has been rejection. Because of years of being bullied and unrequited crushes, rejection was the particular brand of pain I avoided the most. What is yours? What feeling or situation do you not want experience and will do almost anything to avoid it? Some common examples of avoidance traps are: feeling out of control, uncertainty, disappointing others, being judged, and abandonment.
- IDENTIFY what you are missing out on when you’re trapped in avoidance. In other words, what is your avoidance trap preventing you from doing? In my case, the desire to avoid rejection prevented me from going after things I really wanted for fear of being shot down. What is the cost of your trap? Is it preventing you from taking risks, doing what you truly want (rather than what someone else wants), being vulnerable, engaging in intimate relationships or going after your dreams?
- REASON with yourself. Now it’s time to get in your rational mind and have a logical, practical conversation with yourself. Evaluate whether the payoff of avoidance (what you determined in step 1) is worth more than the cost of what is preventing (what you identified in step 2). Is avoiding disappointing someone else a better investment than speaking your truth? Is avoiding uncertainty worth not pursuing your greatest dreams? The answer should be a crystal clear NO! Realize the absurdity of your avoidance trap so you are inspired to get out.
- SHIFT your focus from what you want to move away from to what you want to move toward. I got out of my avoidance trap of rejection by focusing on love, creativity, faith and self-expression. What do you really want to experience in life? What can you spend MORE of your time and energy focusing that supports you in creating what you want?
- TAKE A BABY STEP. Awareness is not enough to create change. Once you realize what your avoidance trap is and what it is costing you, you gotta take action. Don’t just think of what you want; take an action step toward it. Commit to taking one small step that you would not have taken in the past because you were too busy trying to avoid something. For example, apply for a job you want. Ask your crush out on a date. And remember, this does not have to be a big, dramatic step – just one baby step at a time will eventually lead to larger leaps of faith.
Think of this five-step process as a ladder out of your avoidance trap. Stop wasting your time and energy! Trust me, going for what you want and not getting it is wiser than never going for it at all. If you never go for it, you’ll never know if you could have gotten it.
Chase your pleasure.
# # #
p.s. I’m hosting a special evening Feb. 19th on love and relationships that ANYONE can attend either online or live in L.A. I LOVE teaching about relationships and since I’ve pretty much checked every relationship status box in my life, I have lots of insight to share! Details here
Christine Hassler is an author, speaker, life coach and spiritual counselor dedicated to helping people answer the questions who am I, what do I want and how do I get it? You can check out her website here: http://www.christinehassler.com/