Avoiding Responsibilities and Over Doing it

We all need a little rest and relaxation from time to time, but issues arise when it becomes procrastination.

I’m a Star Wars nut and at least once a day I go online to see what the latest news is about the upcoming movie this December.  I use entertainment and many other forms of distraction for various reasons. Entertainment can be a great way to relax and it helps us take our mind off things, but it becomes a problem when we use it as a form of distraction from our real issues. More likely than not, whatever we’re trying to avoid catches up with us. It’s inevitable and whatever it was that needed to be dealt with, is usually much worse than it started out as. So this begs the question, “Why do we do this to ourselves?” This is a hard one to answer. I think each person has his or her own unique reasons for procrastinating.

We all have to look within ourselves and search for what it is that prevent us from doing what we need to. It could really be any number of things depending on what we’re trying to avoid. I would venture to say that one of the biggest culprits when it comes to procrastination is fear: fear of failure, fear of what others might think, or even a fear of success. We have to ask ourselves, “Where is this fear getting me?” The answer is nowhere. Fear often keeps us frozen in place, so it does nothing to serve us.

Now it’s true that sometimes when we’ve been working hard on something, we just need a break. I certainly don’t produce these posts in one sitting and I often need to step away and clear my mind. Taking a break can be healthy, and it allows for new perspectives to arise. It’s when we hide from our responsibilities that they tend to haunt us. Not only that, it’s how we choose to escape that really gets us. As a kid I would escape by taking a bike ride, doing art or listening to music, but as an adult some of my methods of escape became extreme. It seems that over doing it is what we do in this world. We either over eat, over drink, over exercise, over sleep and often all at once. The problem is that none of this deals with the underlying issue and it often just brings up new issues. I’ve had three surgeries just because I went over did it with my exercise. How crazy is that? The original reason to exercise was to get in better shape, not worse.

Avoiding Responsibilities and Over Doing itIf we find ourselves overdoing something, it often links us back to something we’re avoiding. In the case of my extreme exercising, there was a plethora of different reasons why I did this and they all lead down various rabbit holes. When I look at the surface of my reason for exercising, I find the desire to get in shape. I want to be healthy and have a nice body. Next I have to look at why I want this and why I feel I’m not already there. I have to look at the external and see what I’ve been physically doing or not doing to make me feel I’m out of shape. I could be eating unhealthy, or not exercising at all, or drinking too much, or watching too much TV, etc. I must also look at the internal process to see why I want to get in shape. Is it because I want to feel healthy, because of vanity, because of low self-esteem or any number of ego-driven reasons?

Often if we explore these questions about ourselves, we find many different reasons and they all lead to more reasons and on and on, until finally we reach the core of why it is that we are doing what we are doing. Only then, when we trace everything back to the original cause, can we truly know what lies at the heart of our issues. Then we can answer the question as to why we are avoiding our responsibilities. This is a process that must be taken one step at a time and is not one to be solved overnight.

For anyone concerned about the procrastination in their lives or the extreme nature in the way they do things, I would like to suggest some self-exploration with the following questions based off the information in this challenge. I also suggest reading this post again to explore the questions within it.

  1. Why do I feel the need to escape?Avoiding Responsibilities and Over Doing it
  2. What am I avoiding by putting things off?
  3. In what ways do I avoid my responsibilities?
  4. Are my distractions healthy or unhealthy?
  5. Am I getting carried away and over indulging in my distractions?
  6. What has been the result of my procrastination?
  7. What are the habits I’m developing by procrastinating?
  8. Will the original issue solve itself or has it become worse?
  9. What are the underlying issues that may be causing me to put something off that I need to do?
  10. Am I allowing a fear to stop me from doing what I need to?
  11. Is the fear more important than what I need to do?
  12. What is the first step I can realistically take to make a positive change?

It’s important that when we start to correct course, that we don’t fall into the same trap of over correcting. We don’t want to do what I did with the exercise and end up hurting ourselves. Remember, all great changes come from small deliberate actions. Please keep us informed of your process and how it’s going for you.

For more on this subject, please read Entertainment Addiction and Distraction.

For another Challenge, please read Entertainment Addiction and How to Unplug.

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