How to Overcome “Head in the Sand Syndrome”
I’m so grateful for the loving emails, DMs, comments, and text messages you sent about my Dad.
I love this community we’ve created and it warms my heart that people like YOU are part of it.
Right now, I’m on a flight with Rain headed to see him.
I’m experiencing all the emotions – excitement, fear, trepidation, hope, you name it.
I don’t know what to expect. And I do not like the unexpected.
I mean, does anyone?
Does anyone wake up and think, “Man, I hope something random that I never thought of smacks me upside the head today!” Yeah… no.
When I first got the news, all I could think was, “I don’t want this to be happening. How do I stop this from happening? I do not want to do this.”
And of course, there is no way to stop what is happening.
But it’s natural for us to want to avoid big changes, conversations, feedback, bills, or other events in our lives.
We’d rather numb ourselves with screens, drinks, food, shopping, gambling, or any other distraction rather than face the unknown.
In psychology, this is known as “avoidance coping”.
I call it “Head in the Sand Syndrome”.
Head in the Sand Syndrome is when you avoid stressors instead of dealing with them.
Avoiding things in our life that are painful, complicated, or problematic is not the solution. Denial will not protect you.
Keep reading and I’ll share some ways you can get rid of Head in the Sand Syndrome and finally feel in control of your life and your choices!
THE SHORT STORY COACHING METHOD
Do you ever put off doing something that you KNOW you need to do because you aren’t sure of the outcome? Or what will happen when you do take action?
Maybe you DO know what will happen and you want to avoid dealing with that.
The reason you are experiencing Head in the Sand Syndrome is because the stories you’re telling yourSELF about what will happen when you do.
But only YOU are telling these stories. 🤯 And life is so much easier (and better) when you can rewrite them.
If you’ve been in any of my trainings or you’re certified as a Life Coach through The Modern Life Coach School, you know that I teach and use something called The Short Story Coaching Method.
“Short” is an acronym (because you know I love ‘em).
Here’s how it works:
S – Story: What is the story you’re telling yourSELF?
H – Happened: What happened to cause you to tell that story?
O – Other Explanation: What other explanation/story can you tell instead that serves you?
R – Really True: If you can create another explanation or story for what happened, then is your original Story really true? (This answer is always no)
T – Truth: If not, then what is the truth here? (Focus on facts, not fiction/stories)
You can use this anytime you’re triggered, feeling strong emotions, or even procrastinating. It’s simple but powerful. And, it works!
I’ll go first…
S – What is the story I’m telling?
If I admit that I’m struggling with navigating my dad’s condition, people will think I’m a fraud as a coach. I should know how to deal with difficult situations like a pro.
H – What happened to cause me to tell that story?
When I told my friend that I was sharing what I was dealing with with my community, she said to me, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
O – What other explanation could I give?
My friend cares deeply about me. She doesn’t want me to be upset and she knows I value my privacy.
R – So, is it REALLY true that people will see you as a fraud?
No, it isn’t.
T – So, what is the truth?
The truth is I’m human. I’m navigating the unnavigable. It would be hard for anyone. I do have lots of tools I will use to move through this but at the end of the day, my people will understand and support me.
Do you see how this works? (And thank you for letting me get that off my chest.)
So, what story are you telling yourSELF that’s causing you to have Head in the Sand Syndrome and not do the damn thing?
Your first step toward taking action is rewriting that story using the SHORT Story Coaching Method.
Take that step now. Or not! I trust you to make the right choice for you.
PS – If you’d like other tools to help you take action, I like the book, Stop Avoiding Stuff: 25 Microskills to Face Your Fears and Do It Anyway.
DOING THE HARD WORK PAYS OFF
One of the reasons people have Head in the Sand Syndrome is because they want to avoid feeling their emotions and dealing with stress and anxiety.
- When you stay home, you don’t have to worry about what folks will think of you at that party.
- When you feel anxious or stressed, you have a drink and feel less anxious.
- When you feel insecure about reaching out to potential clients for your business, you tweak your website (or offer or brand or copy) so you don’t have to worry about being rejected.
- When you’re feeling upset, you eat and feel comforted.
- When you don’t speak up in a meeting, you don’t have to worry about what your colleagues thought of your ideas.
- When you feel sad, you start scrolling on your phone, and sadness fades into the background.
- When you feel hurt, you yell at your partner and feel a release of the anger.
But this avoidance is all temporary. It doesn’t solve anything.
And in the end, it creates MORE stress and anxiety.
And that’s not healthy for you or anyone around you.
So… take a deep breath, remember who the fuck you are, and use the Short Story Coaching Method to get back into the action of your life! 😊 You got this!
CREATE YOUR IDENTITY STATEMENTS
To be any kind of successful, you MUST be willing to feel your feelings, confront uncertainty, and take action.
Even when it’s hard. ESPECIALLY when it’s hard.
In addition to using the Short Story Coaching Method, build this “taking action even when it’s hard” trait into your Identity to make shifting your habits easier!
Craft an Identity Statement that looks something like this…
“I’m the type of person who takes action even when I don’t want to.”
Write it down. Read your Identity Statements daily (I do this every morning). And then live according to them.
Remember, Identity is the #1 thing you can do to change your life without willpower, planners, or any other outdated tool.
It’s so much easier to change who you BE than it is to change what you DO. ✨
When you change who you are (your Identity) then the things you do just come naturally.
Craft every Identity Statement starting with… “I’m the kind of person who…” and again, act accordingly.