“Problems” exist all around us, but when noticed, it is our duty to find solutions rather than wallow in the atrocities of said problem.
There are many people who enjoy challenges and have the courage to tackle personal problems like a bull. However, there is also the risk of impulsive and aggressive behaviour as one feels “attacked” by an issue. Often is the case where people run “head-first into the lion’s den” because they overestimated their own strength, or underestimated the danger of the situation.
Contrarily, there are those who live in fear and avoidance for a large part of their lives, acting as if there is no “problem” whatsoever. They do not want the responsibility of addressing issues. Psychologists would call this denial. Although some fears are necessary — the kinds of “fears” that make us cautious and sensible; there are many fears that are irrational and in fact, hold us back from reaching our actual potential.
In both incidents, whether or not the person confronts their problems or avoids their problems, there is a solution that works best for both, and that is called the rational approach. It involves a series of understanding the problem(s) as an objective equation by isolating the emotions as “symptoms”. It is not to ignore the emotions but rather to factor them in as variables.
For people who tackle problems, it seems easy to take on more than can be handled and exert too much mental or emotional energy thereby exhausting oneself. It is important to know what situations arouse which emotions so as to address the issues in accordance with the consequences. Rather than taking on ten things at a time, it is possible to work through issues independently or in parts.
A common example is that of university graduates who have just finished studying and emerge into the world to establish a career, at the same time are trying to secure a relationship through marriage, acquiring responsibilities such as kids or pets, all in one go. By the time they hit thirty, they have exhausted their emotional and mental energy as they took on more than could be handled, thus spending the next decade shaping their lives based on these decisions or fixing whatever “mistakes” were made in their twenties.
Then there is the converse clutter, the people who live in irrational fear of reality: fear of success or failure, fear of change or stagnation, fear of growth or regression, fear of sex or abstinence, and a common one — fear of emotions. It is common for people experiencing this to become socially recluse, slow in progression, lacking in motivation, and hindered by the “perceived reality” rather than embracing the “actualised” one.
This is often the case for victims of trauma and abuse, especially if experienced in early years and remain unaddressed throughout life. It is also natural for people living in fear to avoid reaching out to get the necessary help as they do not want to “burden” others. The solution to this mentality is not to avoid the problem and get comfortable living in pain or fear; it is the rational way of seeking help from the right people. It is important to have a community that makes you feel safe and therefore encourages the courage to face these fears.
You might be someone who enjoys more challenge than can be handled, or you might be someone who is comfortable with phobias. Regardless of which you are, if you feel that you’re not reaching the potential you’d like to, then it is possible there is unresolved turmoil that has become your “excuse” to remain a victim. It might be time to start listening to those who care about you instead of living in defensive denial. It might be time to reach out for help from the right people — the ones who dedicate their lives to helping people like you.
Figure out where you are in life, and do what it takes to be the authentic YOU that you so desperately want to be. You can do it!
Peace and blessings,
1 McLeod, Defense Mechanisms
2 Grohol, Primitive Defense Mechanisms
3 Psychology Today, Fear, Paranoia, and Phobia