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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

How to Stop Running Away from Difficult Problems in Life

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How to Stop Running Away from Difficult Problems in Life

The world can certainly be a challenging place. Things are moving at a faster pace than ever before and problems seemingly arise from anywhere.

We fight a ton of battles every day, and it can be really easy to get overwhelmed. Those feelings can cause a person to run away from the problems they are facing.

Unfortunately, if you continually try to do this, you’ll waste your entire life running away from your problems. Eventually, they will catch up to you though.

So, how can we effectively confront our problems and move towards a life where we’re no longer scared of them? Here are ways on how to stop running away from your problems.

1. Embrace the Challenge

It might seem counter-intuitive, but embracing feelings like discomfort and suffering could be an important step to learning how to stop running away from problems.

The purpose of this is that most of the good things in life will inevitably cause us some suffering. We have to earn these things, and we need to push through the pain and suffering to achieve them.

Experiencing deep love and connection in relationships forces us to confront the problems and stresses that come before developing that connection.

Getting physically fit requires us to stick to a diet and exercise regularly.

Gaining a promotion forces us to work harder than the people we’re competing with to demonstrate that we are the right person for the position.

Most things gained come at the cost of some type of suffering. It’s going to take work. If we’re going to face the problems that confront us on our path to success, then we’re going to have to get comfortable with the discomfort and challenges that they cause us.

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Almost any type of change will be associated with some type of challenge that we are going to have to overcome.

2. Use Social Support

This is an underutilized resource – our social network.

Do you feel alone right now? Do you feel like nobody cares and that there’s nobody around who would be willing to help you?

If you do, you should look around a bit. I guarantee that there is somebody who would be more than happy to help you through this challenge.

Remember, we face a lot of problems every day. There is no reason that you should feel that you need to solve all of them on your own. That can lead you to feel overwhelmed, which can lead you to start running away from your problems.

So, seek out support from family, friends, community resources, such as therapy, support groups, or even anonymous support groups online. Do whatever feels right to you so that you can get the support you need to confront this problem.

3. Make a Plan

If you’re asking yourself how to stop running away from problems, one thing to think about is whether or not you have a plan. Have you thought about how you’ll tackle the issue?

Often, we run from our problems because we don’t know how to solve them. However, just because we don’t know how to confront the issue right now and it seems overwhelming, doesn’t mean that we can’t spend some time to process it and come up with a solution.

Taking some time to learn about the problem and how others have overcome it in the past is a great way to start. Wherever you go for information, make sure that your sources are accurate.

Based on these sessions you can begin creating goals and piecing together your plan. You can create a series of steps you can take to develop a course of action that will help you to overcome the problem and eventually reach the success you’re looking for.

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Don’t underestimate the role that goal setting can play here. It can keep you motivated and give you something to work towards at every stage of your journey.

If you would like to learn more about setting effective goals, check out this article.[1]

4. Audit Your Friend Circle and Those Closest to You

Believe it or not, your social circle is a big factor. Thus, it’s important to consider this when you’re trying to learn how to stop running away from problems.

There are a lot of negative and toxic people out there. They may undermine the efforts of others to become successful, potentially because they want to keep everyone at their level. Their intent is really hard to say, but they’re out there.

This is why it’s so important to audit your social circle regularly, especially the people that you spend the most time with. When you’re trying to overcome some type of problem, it’s important to make sure that you surround yourself with the people who are going to support you and help you through that problem.

When you do this, it’s unfortunate but you may notice that a lot of your close friends don’t always have your best interests in mind. They may prioritize their desires continually over yours.

Maybe instead of encouraging you to study, they encourage you to party with them the week before an exam.

Maybe instead of sticking to your diet and exercise routine when you’re trying to lose weight, they’re more worried about getting you to join them for a Friday night of video games and pizza.

We have to recognize that self-improvement and overcoming challenges is always going to be difficult. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. If it were easy, you wouldn’t be reading this article.

The reality is that not everyone will support you through this journey and when you begin to let go or distance yourself from these relationships, the people you’re letting go of may feel as though you’re unfairly kicking them out of your life. They may get upset at you for this. But remember, you’re doing what’s best for your personal growth.

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And this isn’t about throwing away friends or other people in your life just because their actions and goals no longer align with yours. It’s about distancing yourself from the people that may undermine your progress towards this goal. You’re reducing their ability to influence your progress along this path.

This is why we often end up outgrowing old relationships.

5. Prepare Yourself to Confront the Problem

Whenever you make a meaningful life change, it’s important to recognize that if you want to overcome the problem, you need to prepare appropriately. They need to commit to overcoming the challenge.

You need to be the one who decides to make this change as well. This is why trying to convince a family member to make a change, such as quitting smoking, rarely works. Because significant life changes like this, to occur effectively, need to be desired by the individual making the change. If they don’t truly want to quit smoking, chances are they won’t.

If you aren’t willing to commit yourself to confront the problem and eventually overcome it, chances are you won’t. You need to want to make this change in your life more than you want to continue running from the problem.

When you make that decision, recognize that you have the strength and resilience to overcome the problem.

6. Running Away Isn’t a Long-Term Solution

This is probably the most important part of learning how to stop running away from problems.

It’s recognizing that running away isn’t a long-term solution. And no matter how fast or how far you run, eventually, they will catch up to you and you will be forced to face them, whether you like it or not.

Running from your problems is often something that we do to try to escape them, it’s a protection mechanism. But running doesn’t truly protect us from anything.

Avoidance doesn’t solve any of our problems. It never has in the past, nor will it ever do so in the future. Our problems won’t just disappear on their own.

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Running from our problems only provides temporary relief from the pressure that our problems provide. It doesn’t solve anything. It just allows you to back away from the issue, forcing you to confront it at a later date.

This is why it’s better to just learn how to develop the skills you need to confront your problems. You will feel a lot better about your life and your confidence will begin to sore when you begin doing this.

Until you gather the courage to face whatever it is you’re running from, your issues won’t just disappear. You’ll continually find yourself struggling through similar situations over and over again in a loop. Breaking free of this cycle requires conscious effort from you.

And it’s OK if you fail a few times throughout this process. You probably will. But with each attempt to address the problem, you will learn and grow stronger. Eventually, you’ll be bigger than your problems.

When you reach that point, you become truly free. You’re no longer forced to run and hide from your problems because you know you have the skills and abilities to overcome them.

If you would like to learn more about escapism and the negative impacts of running from your goals check this out.[2]

Final Thoughts

So we’ve talked about a lot of different things today. I hope you got some real value from this topic.

If I was to leave you with one takeaway, it would be this:

Running away from your problems is never going to help you grow into the person that you want to become. So, learn what you need to do to become the type of person who confronts their problems so that they can eventually achieve their goals!

More Tips For Overcoming Problems in Life

Featured photo credit: Kevin Quezada via unsplash.com

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Reference

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

20 All-Time Best Motivational Books to Inspire You How to Make Plans for Success (7 Pandemic-Proof Steps) 13 Essential Personal Qualities for a Successful Life How To Bounce Back From a Failure At Work 6 Keys to Achieving Great Success in Life

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Last Updated on September 8, 2021

7 Ways to Eliminate Your Excuses

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7 Ways to Eliminate Your Excuses

I have this friend. She uses excuses to get out of everything related to being a responsible adult (and I mean everything!). The worst part is, she’s been doing this for so long, excuses are now a deeply embedded part of her personality.

I used to gently nudge her toward ways to solve her excuses so she’d stop holding herself back, but she has the market cornered. Seriously, it’s an impenetrable force field. Her life isn’t at all how she wants it to be, and instead of taking responsibility for it, she pulls out her scroll of excuses and reads out the section called “Reasons Why Nothing Is My Fault.”

Truthfully, I’d have more respect for her if she were to just come out with it and say, “I’m not doing this or that because I’m too lazy.” Let’s face facts: if she wanted her picture-perfect lifestyle badly enough, she’d do anything to get it.

Why do I bother with her? Because at one time, I was her: ambitious, motivated, determined, but when things weren’t going how I wanted them to I was suddenly a victim of my environment. This led to years of spinning my tires. My excuses were always there to break my fall… until they weren’t. Like my friend, I was participating in a blind game of self-sabotage that led to my life turning out exactly how I swore it never would.

Like all bad habits, excuses are easy. They allow you to box yourself into your comfort zone and be “okay” with your life. After a while, you’ll find this way of living isn’t enough for you. You can either accept where your life is (which is the excuse-coated version of “give up”), or you can eliminate your excuses by taking responsibility for where you are now and more importantly, why you created the excuses in the first place.

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So what’ll it be? Yeah, I thought so. To help you get started, here are 7 ways to eliminate your excuses:

1. Read Between the Lines

Usually, the excuse you’re using is masking the real reason why you “can’t” accomplish something. For some, it’s a fear of failure. For others, it’s a self-esteem issue. For others still, it’s a fear of success or having something to lose.

If you’re unsure of where the excuses are coming from, simply ask yourself: if you were to succeed and accomplish what you want, what’s the worst thing that could happen? List off every worst case scenario, and you’ll likely recognize a theme. This is the issue to tackle.

2. Stop Ending Your Statements with a “But…”

This is a little trick I use that works every time: instead of saying “I’d really like to, but…”, cut yourself off and say “I’d really like to.” This triggers your mind to focus on the plans you need to make to reach your goals, instead of the roadblocks currently in your way. Instant motivation!

3. Avoid Other “Excusers”

One of the big things I noticed once I began stepping out of my comfort zone was the number of people in my life who were also making excuses. So many excuses, in fact, that looking back on our conversations together, we were always complaining and excusing! Imagine if we instead put all of that time into doing!

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Like you, those you spend time with might not realize they’re making excuses, and trust me you can point it out all you want – it’s a realization everyone has to come to on their own before they can change. Jump start a new conversation; be the one who changes the tune. If you eliminate your excuses, you’ll likely encourage those you care about to do the same.

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4. Trick Yourself

Depending on your goals, sometimes just thinking about them is overwhelming. This is especially the case with enormous goals, such as succeeding in a challenging career or building a business from the ground up. It’s too easy to become so overwhelmed you don’t get started at all.

Eliminate your excuses by creating the mother of all to-do lists as it relates to that specific goal. Break it down into itty bitty baby steps. Only work on one tiny step at a time, and hide the rest of the steps in a drawer. When you’re done the step, it doesn’t feel like it was such a big deal. Then move onto the next, and the next. This worked wonders for me when I started working on my first screenplay while simultaneously recovering from adrenal fatigue. Now, I’m able to work on it regularly—and comfortably—without a list at all.

Soon, you’ll look back on all of your tiny steps and will be amazed at your progress!

5. Build Excuse-Free Habits

As they say, “Feel the fear, but do it anyway.” Recognize the excuses you’re making, own up to them, and do what you want to do regardless of what you think is holding you back. Yes, it’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s one thing to say you have control of your life and another to take control.

Building these habits is difficult, and sometimes painful in the moment, but afterward you feel refreshed and indescribably proud of yourself. So much so, you’ll want to set your next challenge right away. It’s an addictive practice once you get started! Make testing your limits fun and enjoy the process on your own terms.

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6. Use Your Excuses As Signals

Once you recognize your excuses for what they are, you can begin using them to your advantage. Consider your excuses a signal to a deeper underlying problem. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with what makes you tick. Each time you find yourself making an excuse, look into it further, find the true cause and work toward moving past it. The more you practice this, the less you’ll hold yourself back from your full potential.

7. Trust the Process

There are times when you sincerely want to do something, but there are aspects of your schedule/lifestyle/workload that hugely conflict with what you want. In these instances, you’re not in denial or making excuses, you’re simply examining the roadblocks that are in your way. It’s when you allow these roadblocks to stay in place that they become excuses.

Oddly enough, it’s when something’s really important to us that we start layering on the excuses. If you immediately turn to a proactive attitude when these situations arise, and trust yourself to think of a solution, you won’t have to eliminate your excuses – you won’t be able to find one.

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