The Face Everything Technique: Why Avoiding Difficulties Doesn’t Work


By Leo Babauta

We are, all of us, amazing at avoiding things.

Our minds are less “thinking machines” than they are “avoiding machines.” And the incredible thing is that we aren’t even usually aware that we’re avoiding thinking about something.

I’ll give you a few examples:

Right now you’re reading this article but probably avoiding the difficult thing you don’t want to think about.
We are constantly checking messages, news, feeds, notifications … to avoid doing something we don’t want to face.
When we’re facing difficulties in life, we try to tell ourselves that’s it’s OK because (fill in the blank), or get busy with some activity or numbing agent (like alcohol) so we don’t have to face the difficulties.
When a problem comes up, our reaction is to want to go do something else, put it off.
We put off paying bills, doing taxes, dealing with long emails, dealing with clutter, because we don’t want to face these difficulties.
We put off exercise because it’s uncomfortable.

In fact, there are thousands more examples, every day, that come up and that we don’t even notice, because our minds switch to thinking about something else.

Try this right now: pause for a minute and think about what difficulty you’re avoiding thinking about right now.

You will either notice a difficulty you don’t like, or your mind will quickly turn to…

What do you think?