Deb Sofield

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Running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win

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As I’ve gotten older I’ve really tried to keep myself out of trouble and I’m doing pretty well, thank goodness! It’s not that I go looking for trouble but sometimes it just seemed to find me – usually because of something I said OR it was something someone said I said. So I have had to be more careful because I don’t want to hurt anyone and I don’t want to cause harm. I want to be thought of as kind person.

But often I look around and see that some of my peers, friends and colleagues seem to look for trouble, find trouble and then jump in with both feet. Then they wonder why they are stymied in finding success in their life. My thought for today is the idea that running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win.

Why? Because your problems will follow you, catch you and drag you down again just when you start to make positive progress. You’ve seen it in your own life and in the lives of others I’m sure. Isn’t it amazing to watch someone begin to embark on a great adventure or job or opportunity and then seem to fizzle out or have to re-start or stop completely.

Now it would seem to make sense to just ignore or forget or act as if the problem isn’t real or true or as bad as it may seem. I’m sure that occasionally that might work and that time does erase many issues. But I think for your long-term success – you might need to consider the old saying, “…running from a problem is a sure way of running into a problem…” or into more problems.

We see this everyday with politicians, sports figures, and media celebrities. And it’s not just the big issues like drugs or alcohol, stealing, or lying to a grand jury. No, it’s the little things that get you tangled up. The words you said or didn’t say, promises made and broken, commitments you agreed to and then backed out of or walked away from. It might have been a financial deal you struck that went bad, or a lie you told that was found out, or you took something and didn’t return it or you’ve not been true to your values or your word.

Friend, if you’ve ever wondered why you haven’t progressed to where you should be in your amazing life – may I suggest that you’re wasting valuable time running away from your problems. If you could settle the matter, you could leave it behind and keep going without the weight of the burden dragging you along.

I know for many the hope is that time will heal or at least reduce the bigness of the problem but for many it never goes away until you do something about it.

So, for your success I want to you to consider how to face the issues or problems that are weighing you down or haunting you or causing you harm as you’ve tried to move forward.

Friend you don’t need that extra weight pulling you down when you are a path for flight.

This is not an issue of blame – and at this point in your life that who knows who’s to blame anymore…but the problem still exists, feelings are hurt, issues have not been resolved. And it is holding you back and maybe causing you harm.

Please remember I am about you living your best life ever and being successful and that is hard to do when you always have to look over your shoulder and watch your back.

I don’t know your situation, but I do know if it is taking up space in your head – rent free – as my friends like to say – you need to find a way to settle the matter.

Because running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win. You’re going to deal with the issue sooner or later so would you consider making the choice to handle it on your terms with kindness and true humility towards others.

Friend, that is key – kindness in the midst of your anger is the tough place to be. Getting mad and demanding a fix to get this problem off your plate isn’t going to solve anything – its’ only going to make matter worse for you. And neither is false humility to get what you want…everyone can see through that.

No, you might need to take some time to think about the best way to solve the issue, talk with others who may know of the problem and offer sound or Godly advice, maybe you need a witness to go with you to address the situation, maybe you need to simply write a check to cover the damage or maybe you just need to respectfully ask to have a meeting to settle the issue once and for all. (I still encourage you to always take a witness – if you were to ask me…because a friend can help keep you calm and add a level head to the discussion)

I can’t begin to tell you all the stories I have about people coming back later in life to solve an issue, ask forgiveness, and try to make right things that should have never started in the first place – but due to pride and arrogance they got themselves wrapped up so tightly – convincing themselves they were right or they were too important or the person they cheated, offended, stole from – didn’t matter) and they had to suffer for years under that delusion and still had to come clean so they could get on with their lives.

It would have been so much easier (and wiser) to fix the problem years earlier, but they didn’t, and they have now come to realize that running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win.

When I was working on today’s program I was reminded of a story I had heard years ago…about two Buddhist monks.

The story is told about a senior monk and a junior monk who were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her.

The senior monk carried this woman on his shoulder, forded the river and let her down on the other side.

The junior monk was very upset but said nothing.

As they both were walking and senior monk noticed that his junior was very silent and enquired “Is something the matter, you seem very upset?”

The junior monk replied, “As monks, we are not permitted to touch a woman, how could you carry that woman on your shoulders to the other side of the river bank?”

The older monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the river bank, however, you seem to still be carrying her”

I like that story because that is what happens when you think you’ve run away from your problems and actually you’re still carrying them with you. You think your mind is clear, but it isn’t – and you know it.

Now what is interesting is that many times the person you offended has to a large part forgiven the situation since they could not do anything about your actions – for some they have moved past the hurt and pain because they didn’t cause the harm. Oh, they still remember but like the oyster that find a grain of sand in its shell over time they have put layer upon layer to cover the pain and get on with their lives. So only you are still carrying the load…

Friend for your sake and your success – please make it right, do the right thing – that’s all you can do and if they don’t forgive or they don’t react as you would hope for – at least you’ll know that you have finally left it at the river bank

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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