What is something that starts from the moment we are born and continues till we die? Yes! Problems! Who does not have one?! They are something that we just cannot avoid. It could be related to work, finance, relationships, physical or mental health, etc. What sets each of us apart is how do we deal with them. Based on how people deal with problems, we can categorize them as
Realists: They are hopeful. They take the problem as a challenge, strive hard and solve their problems.
Temporary Escapist: They take a step back to avoid the problematic situation temporarily. They take a break for a while, come back, and solve their problems. This is called Escapism, and it is harmless. This is something we all have done as children, by complaining of a stomach-ache just to avoid school or a class test.
Permanent Escapist: But what turns harmful and destructive is, when people tend to give up and push the problems under the carpet after little effort. By running away, they assume that the problems will be solved by not paying attention to them. They never find closure, and blame people post-breakup, find excuses for not achieving the desired weight goal, blame the circumstances or people for a career or financial slump.
Though none of us consciously want to run away from our problems, we tend to do it. Why? What could possibly be the reason for this? The most appropriate answer is Stress. The stress of facing the consequences or just facing that problem without any solution could lead us to run away from the problem. We often see people not having closure after a bitter divorce or breakup. They find solace temporarily, but when they start having problems in a new relationship, they carry the stress of the previous problems and it does not let them move on. The vicious cycle of escaping continues. In few cases, these problems can accumulate and lead to Anxiety, High blood pressure, and Depression too.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), if these feelings begin to take over your life, then the person may have crossed over into Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which is the most common anxiety disorder among older adults.
So, what can you do to avoid being called an “Escapist”? Let me share a few pointers that can be helpful.
1.Own your problems!
Firstly, do not run away when things do not go your way. Take responsibility and accept the situation as it is. The readiness to face the problem is “half battle won “, hence, paves the way to the solution.
2. Assess and analyze
Once you have owned your problems, sit back, and analyze the questions like what went wrong, why it went wrong, is there anything you could have done differently to avoid this problem. Try to assess if there is a pattern in the problems that have faced. It will help in finding a solution and help you to see the red flags early if the problem arises again in the future.
3. Divide and conquer!
Looking at the problem can be too overwhelming. So, divide the problem into smaller problems points, so that you can probably improve the situation.
4. Just do It!
Now that you have a plan which is divided into smaller problems points, start executing your plan. Always have a Plan B ready.
5. Be positive.
Even after you plan thoroughly, there is a possibility of hiccups. There will be times when you think of giving up or feel anxious about unexpected issues. Always maintain a positive mindset and be hopeful that you will finally overcome all your problems. All you must do is hang in there!
6. Remember your lessons!
It is okay to forget your success but never forget your failures. Always remember how weak the problems made you feel, the struggles you had to face, the lessons it taught you. Doing this will help you identify the red flags early if you face similar problems in the future.
7. Seek help, if required
If you feel you are trying to escape again, talk to a family member, friend, or anyone whom you trust can keep you motivated to keep going. In case of severe problems, do not hesitate to seek medical help.
My two cents in closing…
Remember that no problem is bigger than your will to overcome it.
I am not a medical expert, but I have solved my problems, both personal and professional, by following the above-mentioned measures and I hope these help you too!
If I were to give one takeaway from my article, I would sum it up with a quote.
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one — Bruce Lee.