Consciously Breaking the Habit of Avoidance

On Friday, I wrote that I’d had a bit of a revelation – I realised that I’d been choosing to worry about situations rather than taking action to change them.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot; about how time and time again, I’ve unconsciously (mostly) chosen to stay stuck in a worry loop; how I’ve felt that anxiety in the pit of my stomach for hours, days, weeks; how I’ve used food and booze to cope with the misery of my unwelcome house-guest. All of this misery transpired because I didn’t want to face the more visceral feelings that come with taking action – the vulnerability, trembling lips and panic of it all.

It just doesn’t make sense.

Who wouldn’t choose a minute or so of panic when the opposite is weeks of misery, distraction and un-living? Especially when the course of action is usually followed by feelings like relief, ease and pride.

The fact that this behaviour isn’t logical tells me that it’s a habit. It’s just something that I’ve repeated, again and again.

Therefore, I need to consciously break it.  Again and again and again.

And would you know, I’ve started?!

I had a phone call to make. I’d spent days avoiding it; zigzagging around it, making lots of extra work for myself, and yes, worrying about it. Realising though, that this was the comfortable thing for me to do – that I was just repeating an old pattern of behaviour that didn’t serve me anymore – I took a breath and called the number. 

Of course, there was nothing to worry about. There rarely is.

Once I’d hung up, I took a moment to appreciate the feelings of satisfaction and pride, in having chipped away a little more at that old habit of avoidance.

See it didn’t really matter how the phone call went – for me, it only mattered that I made it.

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