February 13, 2011

Protection or Sabotage

Many times we unconsciously do things that we don’t want to do. Now that’s a sentence you may want to say “duh” to. We are made to flee, freeze or fight if we sense that we are in danger. This comes in many forms. If we come across a bear on a hike, it’s pretty obvious that we would sense danger. However, there are everyday things that to some may seem safe and good. For example: going to a party, making a new friend, or building a closer friendship with someone we already know. However for some with social anxiety there may be a strong desire to do these things but if fear is elicited, avoidance may occur providing safety, but sabotaging what is really wanted.

Try to step back and think about the things in your life that you may be avoiding. Is there a secondary gain that you are getting from that avoidance? Does that secondary gain outweigh what you are missing out on? If it doesn’t, it may be time to start taking the small steps needed to face the fear. When I say small, I mean small. Too much too soon can set you up for failure and damage further progress. Put your toe in the water so to speak and try something a little outside your comfort zone. Go to a coffee shop and read a book. You’ll be around people but you don’t necessarily have to have a conversation.

If it’s a relationship you’re avoiding because the last one broke your heart, it may be time to risk loving again. Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved? Only you can decide that one.

Have you avoided career advancement because you don’t know if you can live up to the expectations? I’ve found that for many, it’s the expectations they have of themselves that are the block, not their employers. Remember that for everyone in a new job or job role there is a learning curve so please be kind to you!

Good luck!

Nyla Lengacher