Let’s talk avoidance and how it holds you back. The personal development path is paved with potholes and landmines that derail even the most committed.

In this post, I want to talk with you about three of the most common red flags:

#1 – “I’ve already dealt with that”
#2 – “I prefer to focus on the positives”
#3 – “I need a break” or “I’ll do X when Y happens”

The journey into the Shadow Self is tough and not for the faint of heart. It takes persistence and a good support network that’s free from judgement to pull it off.

To help, here’s how to deal with the ‘big three’ that try and take you off your path, and how to deal with each one.

First, let’s be clear about the role our ego plays in all of this. It’s the ego’s job to keep you and itself safe. To this end, it ALWAYS finds ways to avoid pain, delay the scary, and seek comfort. Hence it will always try and push you and itself back into the darkness where it’s easy to hide. So let’s have a look at how to deal with the red flags.

“I’ve already dealt with that”: It’s vital to understand how layered we are, like onions. If you think you’ve “dealt with” X but months later hear yourself say these magic words, it’s not you talking, it’s the ego wanting to keep you safe, so you don’t peel another layer off and go through pain again. When you originally dealt with X, it may have only been surface-level practice and healing. It’s ok to look at it again and love that part of you that’s triggering you now.

“I prefer to focus on the positives”: This is avoidance pure and simple because the negatives are too painful. Sure, positive thinking and all that, but to deny negatives is to deny part of yourself. It’s like hoping your way to prosperity without doing the work. Feel from your heart, get the egoic mind out of the way and bring whatever “positives” into balance by loving the negatives.

“I need a break” or “I’ll do X when Y happens”: this is placing conditions on your healing journey and again, it’s ego talking, helping avoid what it doesn’t want to look at. By all means take a short break. However, the challenge here is it’s easy to get spiritually lazy, and a short break can quickly turn into months and then before you know it you’ve slipped back into old habits.

A valuable tool to help with your Shadow work is my book Finding You. In it I take you through exercises to help you dive into your Shadow Self and love all of you. When you do it in a structured way via the reflection exercises in the book, there’s less room for these “big 3” to strike.

And remember, you’re worth the effort!