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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

How to Stop Running Away from Difficult Problems in Life

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

Reference

More by this author

Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Last Updated on April 8, 2021

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

Take a moment and imagine what your life would be like if you had no fear. What would you do if you knew how to overcome fear? It’s not difficult to imagine that it would alter your life significantly.

I believe that fear is the single biggest obstacle that holds people back from fulfilling their potential and becoming the best version of themselves. Fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of success, fear of not being good enough

The question is, where does it come from?

Neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds. We scare ourselves by imagining the worst possible outcomes, assuming that we are protecting ourselves from imminent danger.

You make the choice to be a victim of your fear and anxiety or to push them aside and be courageous.

In this article, we’ll look into the root cause of fear and how to conquer fear to realize our potential.

What Is Fear, Really?

This acronym best reflects what fear is[1]:

Learn how to overcome fear with the fear acronym

    Fear is an emotion created by your mind based on real or imagined threats. Fear may be completely founded in reality, or not. It may also manifest as anxiety disorders in some cases, as anxiety is based on worries or fears about the future.

    These imagined scenarios of perceived threats end up feeding your fear to the point where it becomes all-consuming. Often, these scenarios never happen.

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    The real issue is not the fear itself, but rather how we hold it in our minds.

    How to Overcome Fear

    Overcoming fear may sound easier said than done. When you are in the thick of fear, it’s hard to see a way out. The good news is that, because you are the root cause of your fears, you are also the solution to them.

    1. Identify Your Fears Through Writing

    There are times when I’ve felt afraid but couldn’t identify why. If you keep your fears inside, you allow your mind to control how you feel.

    In order to prevent this confusion from happening in the first place, identify what your fears are before moving on to learning how to deal with fear.

    What makes you feel afraid?

    Instead of just thinking about these things, write them down. When you write down your fears on paper and actually question them, it forces you to analyze why you are afraid. Questions are designed to trigger your fears and bring them to the surface.

    This isn’t a comfortable process, but deep inner work never is. However, if you continue to keep your feelings in the dark, the scarier they will be, and the more disempowered you will become.

    Once you identify the type of fear and the experience that you associate with your fears, you become armed with the power to take action to change them. Eventually, your fears become smaller and smaller, and your strength gets bigger and bigger.

    As you’re identifying what your fears are, you can try Lifehack’s Free Life Assessment. It will help you identify which areas may be causing you more fear and which you can fall back on as strengths.

    2. Practice Gratitude

    If you want to learn how to overcome fear, gratitude is key. From personal experience, I have learned that it’s difficult to experience fear and gratitude at the same time. They are literally on opposite ends of the continuum of the human experience.

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    When you are experiencing difficult times in life, it’s easy to drop into fear and overwhelm. In that energetic space, it can be hard to stay grounded.

    Developing a gratitude practice allows you to not drown in fear. It doesn’t mean that you won’t still feel it, but the blow will be lessened, thereby allowing you to see the brighter side of struggle.

    In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their physical and mental health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships[2].

    Anyone who experiences fear knows that there is almost always a story attached to whatever it is that you’re fearful of.  Fear loves to hang out with your inner critic and come up with worst-case scenarios about what could happen.

    Gratitude helps keep these limiting stories at bay when you’re learning how to overcome fear. When you practice gratitude, your brain shifts to what is currently working instead of what isn’t working.

    The act of being fearful is a future-oriented process, while gratitude is a present-oriented one. The next time that fear tries to creep its way into your head, replace that disempowering thought with an empowering one.

    You can learn more about how to replace fear based practices with more positive ones in this video:

    3. Release Control

    Being a control freak is how a lot of people manage their fears, or so they think. Unfortunately, control has no place on the path to learning how to overcome fear.

    In actuality, all that they are doing is masking their fears by trying to control everything. If you can relate, it’s time to release control. Trust me when I say that this is a losing battle.

    Fear results in controlling behavior, and when this behavior doesn’t give us the results we’re seeking, it further intensifies our fears.

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    In your attempt to control fear, you actually become a victim of it. This fear and control cycle leaves a lot of people feeling defeated. The reality is that there will always be things that are far beyond your control.

    The only way that we can move past needing to be in control is to accept that it is not always up to us. While you may be in control of your decisions, you don’t always have control over situations that you are pushed into, nor can you control how others react.

    The only thing that you have control over is your inner world and how you choose to respond to your external environment. The next time you catch yourself trying to control everything, step back and ask yourself what you are afraid of.

    Start to get curious about what thoughts are generating your fear. Curiosity and fear don’t like to co-exist. Once you let go of one, you invite the other in, which will help as you learn how to get rid of fear.

    True freedom comes from fully releasing control. When you are able to do this, you begin the process of releasing your fears as well.

    4. Recite Positive Affirmations

    Positive affirmations can be used to combat almost any negative thought pattern, which can be very helpful when you want to learn how to overcome fear. Using them to help challenge your fears can help retrain your brain and have your fears reframed as powerful statements.

    Research shows that you can actually train your subconscious mind such that it will help you to attract exactly what you desire in life[3].

    Instead of saying “I am afraid of doing this because I might fail,” look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am prepared for this, I am ready, and I will not fail.”

    The more you use positive affirmations, the stronger they become. The best way to cancel a negative belief is to develop its positive counterpart.

    Commit to making positive affirmations a key component of your morning ritual. It literally takes one thought, repeated over and over again, to set you on the path to transforming your entire life.

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    Here are more positive affirmations you can try: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

    5. Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

    Living in your comfort zone will get you nowhere in life, and it certainly won’t help you learn how to overcome fear. In my experience, not doing the things that scare you will only increase the likelihood that your fears will grow and inevitably take over every decision that you make.

    I want to encourage you to do one thing every day that scares you. It can be something small. All that matters is that you take action. Make it a habit to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

    Putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations triggers a unique part of the brain that releases dopamine, nature’s make-you-happy chemical. Here’s the mind-blower: that unique region of the brain is only activated when you see or experience completely new things[4].

    When you condition yourself to do something every day that scares you, your fear fades away, and your courage grows. Think about it…when you face your fears, how can you fear them again? Soon enough, your confidence will skyrocket.

    Final Thoughts

    The next time that you feel threatened by fear, I encourage you to pull upon one or more of the above strategies. Change your relationship with fear. Instead of letting it knock you down, use it as motivation to grow and achieve more.

    Once you recognize that fear is not real, the obstacles that appear to stand in your way will be removed, and you will feel empowered to take action.

    Your potential in life is limited by only one factor: you. Are you ready to transform fear into action?

    More on How to Overcome Fear

    Featured photo credit: Jonathan Klok via unsplash.com

    Reference

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