“I dread facing this problem.”
“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
Once in while you will luck out and a problem will resolve itself on its own. Usually, however, running from a problem causes it to mutiply into a large number of troubles.
Why run from problems?
Why do people dread handling problems? They may want to avoid disappointing others; they may shudder at the idea of changing their lives; they may recoil from admitting that past choices have not turned out as expected. Ultimately, it is anxiety and fear that prevent us from confronting our problems.
It is not easy to face problems head on. Yet, the longer we wait, the greater the anxiety and fear of confronting the problem becomes. It is astonishing how the angst of avoiding difficulties will intensify with inaction, becoming worse than the original anxiety itself.
How we confront difficulties defines us
Heartache, hurt, and hurdles are part of life. No one handles all challenges with ease and grace. Yet, it is our struggle with those very challenges that chisels our character. In grappling with dilemmas, we discover what is meaningful to us. Through difficult discussions and decisions, we fashion our own identity.
Facing our problem does not equal making snap decisions
Facing problems does not always require rushing to action or making quick decisions. Some dilemmas need time to resolve appropriately. There is a key difference between black-and-white problem solving — either making a snap decision or avoiding the problem — and making a wise decision. When we avoid black-and-white thinking, we learn to view the world in its many shades and colors. Sometimes we need to take time to consider the various complexities of a particular circumstance to figure out what to do.
When we face problems with seriousness, openness and courage, we are no longer a slave to the dread that debilitates us. By acknowledging the past but not dwelling on it, we become capable of changing ourselves and our lives. By facing difficulties, we open up the realm of new possibilities. By completing unfinished business, accepting and forgiving ourselves and others, we experience great relief and freedom to move on.
“No man is free who is not master of himself.”
by Alison Poulsen, PhD