Life is full of problems of different types. And, solving problems, at least the more technical ones, is one of humankind’s greatest skills. Sometimes, though, you might jump too quickly to look for solutions. And, this can become part of a self-created avoidance game, especially with important life questions. An avoidance game born out of fear.

Inside the problem

The desire to jump ahead to the solution might miss a very important prerequisite. That of taking the time to really understand the problem. Often, it is out of a deep investigation of the problem itself that the possible solution arises. Look into it, ask what, how, when, why, who? Really spend time getting to know the problem and a path forward is much more likely to appear.  Of course, some situations require immediate attention. If something is on fire, grab the fire extinguisher! But, that’s not what we are talking about here.

Really getting inside the problem is also a fertile space for unlocking creative solutions. To deeply investigate something requires both will and curiosity. And, it is curiosity that is the birthplace of creativity.

Avoidance game

People often talk about being stuck in life. Perhaps, it is disillusionment with work or something more personal. And, while you might feel the presence of a problem — a stuckness, you may not have investigated it deeply. You might not have really attempted to understand what is actually going on for you. And, two things usually stop us from doing this: impatience and fear.

avoidance gameImpatience is linked to the above discussed tendency to jump ahead too quickly and look for solutions. An awareness of this can certainly allow you to pause and take your time. Fear, however, is a bit more of a tricky customer. Fear might cause you to not want to look deeply at the problem, or to not look at all, because it feels too confronting. Because it feels too overwhelming. And, often we are not aware that this is going on for us.

Fear can then work together with impatience to create a sort of avoidance game. You feel stuck and are constantly desiring change, but at the same time you feel unable to take action and nothing changes.

The first step

Acknowledging the very existence of fear and becoming aware of its presence is the first step. It is the beginning of understanding what keeps you stuck. The rest is about finding the courage to look within and see what-is. And, from such seeing, more clarity and thus a way forward might begin to emerge.

If we are trapped in fear, we can never hope to be free. And, it is only by seeing fear and acknowledging fear the we can liberate ourselves from it.

Find out more about Harsha’s work