Day 190: What I’m avoiding

I may want to avoid writing this post.

But I’m going to “just do it.”

Here are some random thoughts about avoidance, to get me started:

If I’m avoiding something,  there is some fear involved.

It might be fear about an outcome.

It might be fear about hurting somebody else.

Or fear about being hurt, myself.

I might be sullen or angry about something — “I don’t want to do this!”

Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m avoiding.

Avoidance feels a certain way, though.

It feels like this:

My mouth is flat, or turned down.

My brow is furrowed.

My eyes don’t focus.

My thoughts flit around, unwilling to light on anything, like a butterfly trapped in a room filled with lobster sauce.*

(That was, I believe, the first occurrence in this blog of A Deliberate Simile. The first simile after a full six months! And the simile itself was not random; it was well-researched. See here.)

What else do I feel when I’m avoiding?

I feel a pit in my belly.

I think it’s fear, all right.

So I guess I need to ask myself the question, What Am I Afraid Of?


That question isn’t working so well, this morning. (Although sometimes a question like that is really helpful: see here.)

Here’s how I know that’s not the best question, right now. The answer to “What am I afraid of?” is a general one:

Lots of things.

So I’ll try a different question.

What am I avoiding?

Aha!  Better question.

I’m avoiding saying goodbye to a co-worker.

I’m avoiding talking to my son about how scared I am, regarding his recent and sudden illness. (He’s okay, by the way.)


Sometimes I think I should re-name this blog “The Year of Naming Things, So I Can Then Figure Out What To Do.”

I’m not sure, at this point, what I’m going to do about either of these things.

But I’ll quote something I heard yesterday, at work:

It helps to know I have options and choices.  It’s funny how I often forget that.

And, for me, the first step of figuring out my options is this:

To figure out where I am.

Thanks for joining me today, as I figure things out.


* No good pictures of this (“butterfly lobster sauce”) on Google Images.  Oh, well.

Categories: personal growth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Day 190: What I’m avoiding

  1. You’ve certainly nailed the feelings associated with avoidance. I see myself soooo clearly here. And I agree that sometimes we need to ask a different question in order to find our way to the answer. Glad your son is okay btw. 🙂

  2. Years ago a friend said to me — Avoidance strengthens fear.

    And it does — there’s a chemical switch in our brains that gets activated that says — after we avoid something — see, that felt good.

    and then, the next time we go to do it, that voice says — remember avoiding it felt good. And so, we avoid it again for that momentary ‘feel good’ feeling. And then, ….

    I like the idea of ‘naming things so I can then figure out what to do’!

  3. Pingback: In the drift I find my answer. | A Year of Rejoicing -- Welcome!

  4. findingmyinnercourage

    You certainly captured the feelings associated with avoidance. Clearly this is me.

  5. Such a great post. To me, avoidance/procrastination is always the fear that [the thing I’m avoiding] is going to be too difficult, or I don’t understand it, or I’ll make a mistake. To counter the fear, I have to make myself say: so what if it’s hard? so what if you mess it up? Just do it! 🙂

  6. For a long time i was practicing ‘living in the moment’ by walking, writing, watching the sunrise, being grateful for life’s wonders etc etc. Then I realised that I was avoiding the reality of my situation that I had to face it in order to move forward. Avoidance can sometimes come disguised in many shapes and forms, including a positive ‘resilience’ attitude. .
    Thanks for this post on avoidance, it is another reminder to me to stop avoiding and get started 🙂

  7. Pingback: Day 191: Compliments | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

  8. Gene Phillips

    As a life-long avoider/procrastinator, I appreciated this post and the comments.

  9. Pingback: Day 203: Will | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

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  12. Pingback: Day 1855: What Not to Do Today | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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