Here’s a question that doesn’t get asked nearly enough: what do you avoid the most?

Whether it’s a child, an adolescent, a Fortune 500 CEO or government leader, each of us avoids something.

Perhaps it’s a specific situation or a certain emotional state. Or a particular person or an imagined future.

Whatever it is, we avoid things because they touch something vulnerable inside of us. Deep down, they make us feel powerless, afraid, unwanted, alone or worthless.

Luckily, we have developed strategies that move us around those states (pop quiz: which is yours?). But they limit our freedom and growth, as well as that of others.

We are limited practically, in that we do not do the things that may bring us fortune, joy or love.

And we are limited spiritually, in that we do not become who we really are.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With a bit of courage and proper guidance, we can reclaim these parts of ourselves.

We can change how we feel about the things we avoid and develop healthier strategies. We can open space inside, become more whole and be more fully present.

So for now, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I avoid the most?
  • How would I feel if I met that person or situation head on?
  • What strategies do I use to avoid those states?
  • What do those strategies cost me?
  • What would my life look like if I no longer avoided?

To paraphrase President Roosevelt’s famous “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”: the only thing we should avoid is avoidance.

Ilja van Roon

P.S. If you want to stop avoiding whatever it is that you avoid, contact me. But perhaps that, too, is something you will avoid.

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