The Hilarious Irony of Avoiding Pain

December is my time to start planning and goal setting for the next year.  Yes, I’m one of “those” people, I make resolutions and set goals.  Do I accomplish them?  Many of them, yes.  Some of them, no.

This year, when looking back, I decided to make a list of the things in 2016 that I did not accomplish.  I specifically wanted to think about “why”.

Did I not have enough time?  Were those goals not priorities? Did I change my mind?

What I discovered was that in all cases, I didn’t accomplish my goal or fulfill a resolution because of how I make choices.

I make choices to avoid pain and fear.  Good things to avoid though, right?

Well, maybe not.

In the case of my unaccomplished professional goals, I realized that in every case, I chose to avoid “fear”.

Was it fear of failure?  That was certainly some of it.  But the fear of failing wasn’t my overriding fear.  It was the fear of not doing it perfectly.  If I couldn’t do it perfectly, my choice was not to do it at all.

In the case of my unaccomplished personal goals, it was my complete and utter dedication to avoiding pain – which is hilariously ironic because one of the main goals that I did not accomplish, was to rid myself of back pain.

I know that in order for me to transform something physical in myself, I must go through a whole lot of pain.  The pain of changing habits, the pain of giving up things that are flat out bad for me, and the pain of the physical work involved.  Ugh.

So here again, my choice was to simply not do the work and live with the pain that I’ve been living with now for many years.

So now what am I going to do with my revelations?

First of all, pain avoidance and fear are part of the human experience.  So if these two things are going to be factors in my decision making process no matter what,  I need to acknowledge them and rid them of their power to thwart my success.

From a professional standpoint, I know that absolute perfection is not realistic.  Striving for it is.  So I will strive for perfection and do the best work I can.

From a personal standpoint, instead of focusing on the short term struggles, I am going to focus on the long-term benefits, like being able to sleep in more than one position.

My resolution for 2017 is to refuse to give pain and fear a power they don’t deserve.

I would love to hear your goals and resolutions (if you’re one of “those” people), so please leave a comment.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in 2017!  Auntie V

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