Monday, 4 July 2016

Stop Avoiding Life's Problems

I introduced my Accept Responsibility resolution at the weekend. I want to feel more responsible for and in control of my own destiny. Obviously there are certain events that we have no control over. Such as loss,

But I believe that by changing my mindset, I can start to take back some sense of control.

'Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life' by Steven Hayes and Spencer Smith deals with changing your mindset. The book is built upon the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model. It urges readers to change their perspective so that we can start dealing our personal experience. Written for people with a mental illness, Hayes and Smith ask us to get out of our old path of avoidance and into a new path of acceptance and commitment.
"Accepting your (psychological) pain is a step towards ridding yourself of your suffering." 
This book aims to empower those of us with a history or a current state of pain and suffering to create the road map for our own life.

Similar advice can be found in 'Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self Defeating Behaviour' by Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg. They advise self-help fanatics that self defeating behaviour, such as avoidance, is futile and we must work on our problems now, in the present and as they arise. Dismissing the old saying 'if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen', they warn that unless we want out life to be "half-baked", sometimes we need to face the heat.

In fact, the problems that avoidance cause comes up very frequently in the self-help literature. Brendon Burchard, author of 'The Motivation Manifesto', writes that "Avoidance is the best long-term strategy to ensure suffering."

Taking all of these tips on board I am learning that we can't put life's problems on hold in the hope of finding a quick solution down the line. Acceptance means dealing with your worries, issues and failings as they occur - in the present. But when we're so used to avoiding them, it takes an extra bit of effort to assume responsibility.

Adjusting how you see challenges is the key to solving them. I will be returning to the benefits of changing your mindset next month as part of Don't Feed the Negativity.

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