Action Avoidance and How to Get Around It
I was on a conference call with Artist Accountability group that my sister moderates and I noticed many people, including myself, avoiding action. Truthfully, in all my years of training, I have seen this quite a bit, but it was so interesting seeing it show up in many different ways. All of the people in our group were in completely different fields and pursuing completely different goals and yet, there was a similarity. Action avoidance kept showing up.
In some instances, it showed up from an anxiety of dong the task. At other times, it showed up of a fear of imperfection. Still at other times, it showed up when the particular task wasn't enjoyable even though it was a necessary task to achieving the goal. In all three instances, I found I related so much; I have seen all of these instances show up in some area or another of my life.
Here are some examples in the fitness world.
Back before the Corona Virus/Quarantine, maybe getting to the gym or working out around other people gives me anxiety and *checks watch* look at that, it's prime time so I'll just skip this workout and "start on Monday".
Or if I'm having a bad day, and I just don't feel like my workout is going to be a good one so I'll skip it instead and wait until I have a better day.
And finally, I want to lose weight, but I really don't want to change what I eat or work out.
All of these things are completely understandable, and common! Many people go through many of these feelings! Now, how do we combat it?
Well first you can reach out to your Better Fit Training Coach and they will help motivate you. *unplug* Just kidding! But of course we're always happy to help.
The best way to combat action avoidance is your PREPARATION.
- If you don't like to workout in front of other people, then go to the gym and walk on the treadmill. It's maybe not ideal but it's a step in the right direction. Or make a new plan to not workout at a gym.
- Even if you had a bad day, prepare to not have the best workout. Maybe you surprise yourself. But if you prepare yourself that it won't be the greatest of workouts and it might be a little extra difficult today, you can help give yourself some expectation... and sometimes, lack thereof. If you tell yourself that it's ok to not have the best workout, just simply to show up. Lay on the mat and do some stretching, is enough because you showed up. Allowing yourself the space to not have the greatest of all workouts is what can get you through it.
- If you're trying to achieve a larger goal that takes many tasks, some or all of which you don't want to do, it's imperative that you prepare yourself for the undertaking. Do you want the ultimate goal more than you DON'T want to do those tasks? Example, Sometimes, I'd rather just jump into bed after a long day, but I want clean teeth and a clean face and body, so I picture myself clean... or getting into the bed dirty... and roll my eyes and go do it!
Here are some steps to help you PREPARE
First, keep in mind the ultimate goal. Visualize yourself in the place of success. What does it look like and how does it feel?
Give yourself some positive self talk. Understand where you're at and know that any effort you put in is better than none, and it is all in a push to a better version of yourself.
Give yourself the time and space. Not every time is going to be your best effort but sticking to it will ultimately help you feel better and take (at least) a small step in the direction of the goal. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself.
It may sound cheesy, but these things really work. Taking time to prepare yourself for the task that either gives you anxiety or you don't want to do, or you are afraid the outcome won't be as good as you know you are capable of, makes the task not seem so grueling. And then practice this. It won't always work but it can definitely help- in so many areas.
Give it a try and let me know how you feel with it! Prepare for achieving your goals. Prepare for the things that give you anxiety or that you don't want to do. Take time to prepare. Make headspace by preparing, not by avoiding action.
Let's finish out the week strong. Go team!
<3 Coach Kwo