Do any of these statements resonate with you – is this something you say, feel, believe, or live?
- “I do my BEST work in crisis and chaos – No fire? no attention.”
- “If it’s not killing me or anybody else – what’s the big deal?”
- “I avoid conflict and confrontation like the plague – who needs all that drama?”
- “If I can halfway move, breathe, or function, there’s no need to go to the doctor – I’m fine.”
If you answered “Yes” to any of these statements, it’s time to…you guessed it – Quit it, for real! In each of these examples, issues and problems are being swept under the rug, and quite frankly, the rug is crying out, “Enough! Don’t sweep that stuff under me!” Is there a better way to handle issues than by grabbing the broom handle, and sweeping it all away? Is out of sight really out of mind?
For the context of this article, a “crisis” refers to a situation that has reached its boiling point or its highest point of tension, where decisions must be made, and change must be realized in order to diffuse imminent danger.
The situation or issue does not appear on the scene in “crisis” form. At first, it’s just: a small, nagging ache… The check engine light comes on… The account is only overdrawn by 4 measly bucks… The disagreement was only a little spat… It’s just the first report card of the year… S/he just had a slip in judgment… The spot on the ceiling is only quarter-sized. This is the beginning of a gradual building, stirring, or “be-coming” of the state of crisis.
The signs are there. Alarms are going off. They may start low and subtle, which makes it easy to press life’s “snooze” button…I’ll deal with it later, under the rug you go! Life is busy, you don’t have time to deal.
But soon, the alarms are glaring, screeching for your attention; panic and stress escalate to extremely uncomfortable levels – not to mention the effect on your physical, mental, and emotional health. As your rug cries out from the tension of all your stuff, a crisis will MAKE you make time to deal.
The good news is: More often than not, situations, problems, and issues in life don’t have to reach the point of crisis, if we’d take early action!
So, what’s holding us back?
Simple: The stuff we need to quit! In order to prevent a crisis, we must remove the blockage, get out of the quick sand that keeps us frozen until the final moments before all hell breaks loose. Here are some positive quitting actions we can all take to do better before a crisis ensues:
1. Quit denying the warning signs.
Signs don’t lie; it’s usually the lies we tell ourselves in a state of denial that keeps us from early action. When you see black, don’t call it white. When the dog barks at you, don’t go over and pet it, saying, “Nice kitty.” Believe the signs as they are presented, no ego-filter! Challenged in this area? Ask God for wisdom and discernment. Once you open your heart to the truth, trust that still small voice on how to deal with the situation.
2. Quit rationalizing inaction with excuses.
Excuses are the dust bunnies our lives CHOKE on – and oh how they collect under our rugs. But just because you’re choking on life, the situation won’t give you a pass, won’t let up on the pressure, or make any other “merciful” gestures because you have reasons for not addressing the issue. The work spent creating and justifying inaction is better spent preparing your game plan to act towards resolution. Better now than later – when things are worse and BIGGER action is needed.
3. Quit being lazy.
We want peace, health, joy, happiness, abundance…right? Right. But we don’t want the work and process it takes to achieve those goodies. Success cannot be separated from its process – it’s all in the package. So, don’t ignore or discard that last nut, bolt, instruction – the work is needed! Do your work on YOUR terms, in relative calm, before you have to jump through the hoops of a crisis – when your terms no longer matter!
4. Quit fear.
It’s ok. I know all too well this one is easier said than done – but it can be done! Get honest with yourself: have you overshot the fear or perceived danger? Is it really pride disguised as fear, because you don’t want to ask for help, or look weak? Think about it…if the situation builds into a crisis, how will you look then? Fear can paralyze you from acting to prevent a crisis – when the crisis would be scarier than any perceived benefit of not acting.
The stress and energy it takes to manage a full-blown crisis is tremendous, Quitters. Add up the lost time, frustration, health issues, sleepless nights – doesn’t it make you want to be nicer to your rugs :)? The next time you feel the urge to sweep dirt away, remember: What’s out of sight will always come back into focus. Deal with it.