I can be happier by avoiding life's difficulties, unpleasantness, and responsibilities.
Do you think that you can be happier just drifting through life with only superficial commitments; or that you could not stand losing anything important to you, so you must avoid becoming committed to anything? Your avoidance is probably based on discomfort-intolerance. You see that taking responsibility and confronting unpleasant situations is uncomfortable (which it usually is), but irrationally regard that discomfort as 'awful', 'unbearable', and tell yourself that you must avoid it at all costs.
The problems of avoidance
Avoidance is only easier in the short term - it usually creates greater problems later on:
Taking responsibility for your emotions and behaviours lays the basis for taking control over your life and committing yourself to action and involvement.
There are two elements to commitment:
If carried too far, commitment can become obsession. Dont get so involved with one or a few things that other areas of your life suffer. Avoid, for example, allowing work to stop you from any recreational activity, or recreation to leave no time for relationships.
Developing a committed approach to life
Increase your commitment by making a decision now to develop one new interest in your life in which you will get absorbed. Commit yourself to taking some steps toward it over the next week or so. Feel uncomfortable? Use rational self-analysis and imagery to cope with the feelings involved.
Start confronting the things you have been avoiding. Make the appointment with your doctor or dentist, sign up for that exercise programme, give up smoking or whatever it is you have been putting off. Again, use rational self-analysis and imagery to cope with any discomfort involved.
Begin by making a list of avoided situations. Decide which to work on first. Next, carry out a rational self-analysis. This will prepare you, by reducing your anxiety and giving you new, rational beliefs to use when you are in the situation. When writing down your beliefs, use What if questions to identify the worst possible outcomes you can foresee and how you would deal with them. For example, What if I enter the situation? What will happen, what will I feel, and what will be the result? Get rid of any ideas that you must cope perfectly or avoid looking foolish.
Other helpful resources
Links within this programme
From avoidance to involvement
Confronting life's problems becomes easier when you change your thinking about them. Here is a new belief to help you do this:
Avoiding problems is only easier in the short term putting things off can make them worse later on. It also gives me more time to worry about them!