Mind the gap...

So, you’re wandering along the road and you see a massive pothole full of water- do you walk right through it or swerve the hazard? Stupid question really because only the wellie-clad Peter Pan-esque amongst us have the time for that (although now I think about it I quite fancy a little childish fun)

Anyway, my point was that when there are real hazards we avoid them, to protect ourselves and that makes sense. However, when the hazards are imagined we have a tendency to do the same and that can cause issues.

I was reading the other day about the psychology of avoidance and it made me think about how we all avoid things. There could be numerous reasons- such as the thought it will cause stress; be too difficult or too complicated; take too long; or just not be any fun.

That can be especially true when we’re self employed because there’s not always someone to hold us accountable and that freedom allows us to prevaricate- either consciously or unconsciously.

The fear we create in our heads leads us to avoid things and that in turn creates a pile up of things that don’t get done, that you’re afraid to face and as a consequence we get stressed about all these things.

It’s classic ostrich burying your head in the sand. We all do it, it’s a natural flight instinct (as opposed to fight) when we know we can’t actually run away. In psychology terms it’s called avoidance coping - which sounds kind of scary.

The trick is to focus yourself on stress coping rather that stress avoidance techniques. I’ve mentioned quite a few before as time management and planning techniques are some of my favourite topics.

It might be worth you thinking about whether you try to avoid things- and why and how you do that. It might also be worth thinking about what you need to do to face into stress causing situations rather than avoiding them and see what that does for you.

Now, if you don’t mind, this ostrich is off to find her wellies and jump in some puddles!