There are two ways to do anything.
You can do it as a way to get to know yourself at a deeper level.
Or you can do it as a way to escape from that, even as you tell yourself that you are doing the opposite.
When I was starting my coaching business, I starting having coaching conversations before I got my official certification. I found I learned more from those conversations than I did from the training (even though the training was incredibly helpful).
Yet I had many classmates who, years later, were still not coaching, thinking they needed more training. Just one more area of expertise, just one more certification, and then they would be ready.
I have seen people go on spiritual retreats to AVOID looking more deeply at themselves, to create themselves as victims of their circumstances, their trauma, rather than actors in continuing to accept their lives or choosing to create themselves differently. They go on another retreat rather than integrate the most recent one into their lives.
I have business owner clients who hide at work so they don’t have to look at dysfunctional relationships at home. Saying “I have to work,” which is in fact the exact opposite of what is happening for them.
I find a helpful question for me is “What am I choosing to avoid right now?”
In writing this post, I was avoiding working on my taxes. I was avoiding reaching out to potential clients.
I might also do work to avoid exercise, or exercise to avoid work.
Am I running toward challenges or away from them? Am I increasing my capacity for discomfort or decreasing it?
There are no easy answers to these questions, but even to ask them is to move toward doing the necessary work.
What are you running toward, and what are you running away from?
And when do you simply need a break?