Avoidance—What Keeps You from Success?

Published on June 7, 2017


What are you avoiding today?  Avoidance played a big part in my failure to write last week’s blog. You see, I was busy with client work, and there was the holiday weekend, and I had writer’s block… and yes, I am making excuses.

Usually, I get motivated by the big idea, and when I don’t have a big idea, I avoid sitting down in front of a blank computer screen. I avoid it even though I know that when I get started writing, the ideas will flow. So I had to force myself to make an appointment on my calendar to write this blog this morning. As I drove to my office, I dealt with all the excuses in my head about why I cannot write and realized I was trying to avoid the task of writing. That’s when I finally came up with the big idea for today’s blog: Avoidance!

We all struggle with the desire to avoid certain tasks. We avoid calling the customer after we have missed a deadline because we don’t want to have a tough conversation. We avoid making cold calls for fear of rejection. We avoid having tough conversations with employees when they don’t do what they are supposed to do. We avoid calling on a customer for a referral because we don’t know how to ask for one.  We avoid having tough conversations with our kids and/or significant other because we have already convinced ourselves of the negative outcome that is sure to result from that conversation.

What are you avoiding doing today and how does it Impact! your ability to succeed in growing your business, resolving disputes, and moving on?

As a Sales and Leadership expert, I want to help you avoid avoidance. Here are three tips to help you out of the trap:

1. Implement Nike’s registered slogan “Just Do It.” If you make an appointment with yourself to sit down and start tackling the issue, ideas and answers will come to you. Getting into action will often lead to results and, most importantly, eliminate the wasted time you will spend on an internal conversation about why you cannot do it, or entertaining fears of failure.  The time you spend avoiding is time you will never get back. Move on and live your life forward.

2. Switch your thinking. Instead of thinking about why you can’t do certain things, or entertaining thoughts of what you are afraid will happen, think about the results you want to achieve.  Visualize the person on the other end of the cold call having a great conversation with you and asking you to come in to meet with them. Remove the negativity to make room for action and creativity.

3. Allow yourself to fail. Many of us suffer from a perfectionist syndrome: we need to get it right the first time and we cannot fail. But avoiding failure is the guaranteed pathway to failure.  All successful people you can think of have failed more often they have succeeded, and they will tell you their failures led to their successes.  Take the stress off of yourself and go ahead and fail. Fail often and fail hard. The trick is not to fail to do the same things over and over again. Learn from your failures, which will ultimately lead to success.

What are you avoiding today? What do you know needs to get done to improve your life and business?  Get out a pen and paper, write it down and admit it to yourself. Then answer this question: What are you going to do about it?

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