We all need to take a break from the daily grind. Evenings, weekends, holidays and vacations provide us with an opportunity to rest, recharge and recoup. Without these recovery periods, there is a greatly increased risk of burnout. Proper balance is important.
However, there is a big difference between healthy regeneration time and escaping reality to avoid dealing with issues that require some type of action. A normal break gives you the chance to reenergize in order to better handle life. The person who escapes is attempting to avoid dealing with reality altogether.
At some point, the escapist has to face those situations they tried to run away from. Given a choice, no one wants to have problems. The desire to run away from them is a normal emotion. Although escape may be appealing, there will come a time when you have to stop hiding and deal with life.
Some people escape through drug and alcohol abuse. This approach is particularly insidious as it is self-destructive, creating another whole set of problems on top of the original situation. This is one of the worst forms of escape there is.
Others escape by spending all of their time lost in their work. They become so consumed with a career or business that they neglect home and family issues. Then there are those who devote all of their free time to hobbies, sports, socializing, or other activities.
Another type of escape is moving frequently in search of a place free from problems. There is a catch with this strategy also: unresolved problems follow a person wherever they go.
Escapists make excuses justifying their behavior. They always have a reason why they aren’t addressing important issues in their life. They may even deny any problems exist at all. Escapists hide from reality by doing anything that keeps them from facing problems requiring action.
How can you tell if you are trying to escape? Start by taking an honest look at your life. What are the important unresolved issues with work and family? If you are too busy to deal with them, you may be trying to escape.
Although escaping may seem the easier route, all it does is prolong the inevitable reckoning you will face in the future. Remember, ignored problems tend to grow in severity.
So if you deceive yourself by escaping, your obstacles will increasing in intensity. Once you reach the point at which escape is no longer possible, you can have a monster that is out of control.
Escapists may seem happy. In reality they are building a house of cards whose collapse is inevitable. Escapists may even attempt to avoid responsibility for their problems by blaming other people or circumstances.
Keep your life in balance. Take breaks to recharge. Allow yourself time to identify and evaluate problems. Formulate a plan of attack before situations mushroom out of control. Abusing drugs and alcohol is never a solution. They will only exacerbate your problems with blinding speed.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper.
© Bryan Golden