Too often, I find myself working around problems that I should be working out. Today I got tired of it, and decided to actually solve a problem.
I hate cold weather, and I hate having to wear socks because of it. Although I buy socks that I actually like in hopes that it will encourage me to wear them, often those socks fail to be washed on a regular basis. Eventually laundry collects, I am without clean socks, and instead of doing what is the logical action– clean some clothes– I end up just improvising by wearing the same socks over again. Embarrassing, but true.
I think a lot of us may choose to just put up with problems rather than fix them. We may even complain about it, yet still do nothing to remedy the issue. In order to solve this conundrum, we need to figure out why we are so prone to ignoring and avoiding the implementation of obvious solutions.
I think that there are three reasons that we choose to allow problems to exist that could easily be fixed:
- Laziness— I hate laundry, and in particular, I hate cleaning and folding smaller clothing items, like socks. I dislike matching them up. Therefore, instead of bothering with it, I choose to avoid the task out of laziness. Even when I am in need of clean clothes, my own laziness often prevents me from fixing what is a very simple problem.
- Fear— Sometimes we deal with a sub-par situation, because we fear change and the uncertainty that may come with it. I may choose to deal with a job that I hate because at least I know what it involves. I may decide to continue living at a place that is too small or is run-down, because I cannot imagine making the move, and the uncertainty makes me give into inaction. I may want to lose weight, but I put it off, because I fear what is involved with the process. Fear can cause us to deal with a less-than-ideal situation, even though it may be illogical to continue doing so.
- Perfectionism— In my most popular blog post entitled The Psychology Behind Procrastination and Clutter, I spoke at depth about how my tendency towards perfectionism actually drives me to procrastination. The concept sounds contradictory, but there is a method behind the madness. Because I want to do everything so perfectly, I often put tasks aside until a “better time”– when I have more energy, when I have more time available, when I have more focus, when I have a better house, etc. Basically, the excuses never end. Well, what eventually happens is that you never find the “perfect time,” and instead everything gets out of control, because you have managed to do a whole bunch of procrastinating while you have been waiting for that “perfect time.” Sometimes things have to be done, and you cannot wait, but rather, you just have to get it accomplished to the best of your ability. I recently posted the following quote on the blog Facebook page that sums up this concept: “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” ― Harriet Braiker
Sometimes things don’t get resolved because of one of these listed factors, or sometimes it is a combination of all of these factors. The sooner that you diagnose the cause, the sooner that you can combat it.
I have always been of the mindset that “God helps those who help themselves.” Some may disagree, but if you are displeased with some aspect of your life, I think that God would expect you to do something positive and proactive about it. Nobody is going to go to your house and offer you a job, or clean your house, or make difficult life choices for you– you must do it. And recognizing that you can do it is empowering, encouraging, and motivating.
For me, as silly as it is, realizing that the hampers full of laundry do not hold me hostage, but rather that I have the power and ability to clean them all, and be done with looking at them is an empowering feeling. We have the power and capability to clear our house of clutter, to look for a new job, or to stop being a victim to others. Now, we may have to fight laziness, fear, or our own skewed sense of perfectionism in order to accomplish it, but just recognizing that it is indeed possible is a major step in the right direction.
So that is where I am at– in the process of cleaning my long overdue laundry, and guess what, I have some clean socks on my feet. My husband also asked where I got the shirt that I am wearing from, and I had to sheepishly tell him that I had it, but I had just cleaned it after it was stuck in the laundry pile for a while.
Instead of working around problems that we have the power in our hands to resolve, we need to work them out once and for all. Though there are many things in life that we cannot change, it is foolish to avoid changing things that we have the power over. We need to stop being a victim of our circumstances, especially those of which are easily modified.
If you would be embarrassed to have to explain to someone else as to why you have not fixed something that is easily resolved, you know that it is time to take action. Stop being a victim, and start claiming victory, because you are your own best solution.
And, with that, I am going to get off of my soapbox and get back to my laundry. 😉