There will always be things in our lives that we don’t want to do. Whether it’s laundry, cleaning, getting out of bed, or work, it can be like pulling teeth to get motivated to do something you don’t want to do. It would be nice if everything we wanted in life just came to us, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, to wear clothes you have to wash them, to have a fresh space you have to clean it, and to strive for your best self you have to get out of bed and get to work. Maybe it’s not your day-to-day work that irks you, perhaps it’s going the extra mile to get your side hustle up and running. This might be late nights and early mornings, writing uncomfortable emails, meeting a stranger, and putting yourself out there. Avoiding the tough stuff in life can be easy, but without it, can you really get what you want?
In both my “9 to 5” and my side hustle (this blog) I’ve come face to face with avoidance – times when I’ve delayed a tough conversation, expressing my true feelings, or putting in the actual work that needed to be done. But more often than not, when I avoid something, it looms in the background noise of my brain, taking up more and more space until I just go ahead and deal with it. Then there are the times where avoidance leads to acceptance that you’re not going to follow through, which creates missed opportunities and regret.
It took me feeling the regret of missed opportunities over several years for me to realize that avoidance isn’t going to do me any good. For example, it took a few years and job roles for me to realize my professional worth. I missed opportunities to ask for the raise I deserved because it was easier to avoid the hard conversation, but when I finally overcame my avoidance, I was able to have that tough conversation more than once to get what I deserved. What’s great about overcoming avoidance once is it shows you that you can do it again, which makes it easier in the long run.
This is also true when it comes to connecting with the people around you. It can be scary and easy to avoid meeting new people, even if they can help you grow professionally and personally. You have to step outside your box to reach out and hope that they respond the way you hope. Then, you have to actually go and meet them, tell your story, listen, and make the first step towards a new relationship. Say you’re given a contact that could help you grow your side hustle, but you can’t seem to make the time to write an email to say hello. Is it the fear of rejection that’s stopping you? It’s easier to just avoid it altogether even if this person could help you and you could be missing a great opportunity to meet someone new. Guess what, the worst that can happen is they don’t respond at all or they say they’re not interested, but isn’t that better than not trying at all?
Avoidance is easy. It’s easier to Netflix binge instead of cleaning or doing laundry. It’s easier to sleep the day away instead of getting to work. But once you’ve binged and slept to your heart’s content, you end up with a dirty house, no clothes, and missed opportunities. When you overcome your avoidance and take the chance, do the work, you find opportunities that leave you feeling happier and more fulfilled than you were before. So the next time something hard comes along, take a second to realize that avoiding the tough stuff doesn’t get you anywhere but staying exactly where you are. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather keep moving forward!
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