Like me, I’m sure you’ve known people who have blatant issues, yet are completely unwilling to work on them. Sometimes, it’s just annoying to be forced to put up with someone’s “stuff” when they won’t deal with it. A few co-workers I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of knowing come to mind! In more serious circumstances, it might be someone we’re close to and really care about. Maybe it’s an alcoholic spouse or a controlling mother. In such cases, not only can it be painful to watch that person perpetuate their own misery, it is also more likely to impact us negatively, sometimes making us miserable, too. How close we are emotionally or how much influence that person has on our lives is directly related to how hard it is keep their issues from spilling over onto us.
But let’s get a bit more personal for a minute. Do you have issues that you don’t want to address? Perhaps you have a temper or a habit of overeating. Maybe your perfectionism makes you impossible to please. Or your insecurities sabotage your success in love and work. Whatever it is, why do you refuse to change, despite how it negatively effects you? Simply because, in many ways, it actually makes sense not to deal with our issues. Let me explain why this is true.
- Healing is hard. Just like drug withdrawals are a necessary part of getting clean, healing usually involves a painful period where we are working through all that goes along with the issue. That can mean processing traumatic memories, learning to sit in uncomfortable emotions, having to own our mistakes and the consequences of those mistakes, and so on. The good news is that like drug withdrawals, it does get easier, but the only way through it is, well, just that—through it.
- Growth requires sacrifice. Whether we recognize it consciously or not, our issues serve us somehow. Maybe your anger lets you feel powerful and helps you control others, or maybe food helps you cope with stress and loneliness. Dealing with things means we have to give up some attitudes or behaviors that in some ways do benefit us. The catch is that they hurt us in other ways (e.g., anger damages relationships and overeating leads to weight gain). Realize that you can get what you need in ways that are more constructive.
- Change is scary. Anytime we are venturing into unknown territory, there is some fear. Oddly enough, we can be pretty comfortable in our discomfort because it’s familiar, and familiarity is a powerful force.
Honestly, I wish I could have written an article called, “3 Quick and Easy Ways to Deal with Your Issues,” instead of this one, but that wouldn’t have been realistic. I see it in the amazing clients I work with every day that growth is not quick or easy. I also know that personally because I worked hard to recover from an eating disorder, and healing was anything but either of those. It cost me deeply, and it was a choice I had to make every day for a long time… still do some days. But it was and always will be worth it.
So I leave you with this: Would it be worth it for you?
Cherie Miller, MA is owner of Dare 2 Hope Coaching and a virtual Health and Wellness Life Coach who helps clients all over the country improve their lives. Her specialty is helping people get free from their food, weight, and self-confidence struggles. Contact her here.