What are you avoiding?
Whatever you are avoiding offers a clue to what you are trying to control.
Here are some examples:
(1) You Avoid: Taking Actions to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams
I know what I should do, or could do, but I’m not doing it.
On the surface this gives you less control: by not taking action you’re leaving yourself subject to the whims of life’s circumstances. This is true.
You Control: The Narrative in Your Head
And, it’s also true that avoiding action gives you control over something. One way you retain control is over the narrative you tell about what will happen when you do take action.
You control the narrative in your head and avoid the cognitive dissonance that may occur if you take action and the outcome doesn’t align with your vision.
Your fantasy life is always in your control.
(2) You Avoid: Uncomfortable Emotions or States of Being
Anger. Fear. Grief. Sadness.
Unfortunately our culture doesn’t do well with strong “negative” emotions. Most of us don’t learn how to process our anger and grief in healthy ways.
So we tend to avoid these emotions.
You might suppress your anger.
To be sure: there are times when we need to avoid certain situations in order to focus on the task at hand.
That said, when we do selectively avoid something for a while in order to stay focused, we must have a plan for when we will stop avoiding it.
You Control: Your Emotional State
By avoiding these “negative” emotions you get to control how you feel — at least for a while.
You can pretend everything by is fine.
That is, until your shadow emerges to sabotage you.
(3) You Avoid: Trying New Things or Taking Risks
Have you ever stayed away from something that looks like fun, or that might feel too risky?
Maybe you’ve afraid to leave your job for a new one, or to start your own business.
You Control: Your Identity
By avoiding trying new things you control the story you tell about yourself and your capabilities — which is your identity.
For example. If you avoid taking big risks, you can avoid failure. You preserve and control your identity as a successful person.
Human beings thrive on certainty. It’s one of the fundamental needs for safety.
In an ever-changing world, the greatest comfort is the certainty of knowing who you are.
Why Avoidance Doesn’t Work
Under the surface, what you avoid is still there, eating away at your maids.
Whatever you avoid will eventually rise to the surface, and often in ways that sabotage you.
When that happens, you’re rarely in a position to choose how you want to work with it.
Your avoidance strategies might work for the short term but they aren’t good long term strategies.
What you avoid ends up controlling you.