Do you like wasting your time?
Of course not. You like to get stuff done. You want to make your Dent in the Universe.
And yet, by avoiding conflict, you are wasting huge amounts of time. When conflicts arise, at home or at work, you avoid them. Why? Partly, because you think that conflict itself is the real waste of time.
Which, sometimes it is. But often, it isn’t.
The time you waste when you avoid valid conflict is actually time you want more of: more time for yourself. Huh? How’s that?
That’s right. When you avoid conflict, you’re wasting your own valuable time, for these two reasons:
- You’re avoiding your own inner conflict.
- You’re just going to stew over the conflict you’re avoiding, anyway. (A common error, and a huge waste of time). Why not just face the problem so you can move on?
Let’s take a look at these two time-wasters, one at a time, and then look at what you can do today to stop wasting your own valuable time.
First: Avoiding conflict is avoiding yourself.
Where do you think conflict lives? You may think that the conflict lives in the other person or situation; that these outside influences are inflicting something upon you. When really, the conflict is inside of you.
Conflict lives in you. The real conflict arises within you as you react to situations and people. Let’s say someone says something to you which is hurtful. Or you’re disrespected at work. You take what was said or unsaid personally, and your guts begin to stir.
When you avoid this inner conflict, you avoid yourself. When you avoid your own response to such outside forces, the real problem is that you are ignoring yourself. You are not validating your own inner core which says:
“Hey! Wait just a minute here! I’ve got something to say about this!”
And: You’re just going to stew on it anyway.
There is tension almost every day.
You could avoid the conflict: He’s demanding and unreasonable and unclear about expectations. I hate working with him. So I’m just going to ignore him.
Or, you could face the conflict. Wait a minute, you might say to yourself. I’m a decient guy. I’m not perfect, but I do have something to say! And you find a way to speak up about the tension you feel.
But where do I start?
Plan now to make some time for yourself. Regular time, even a short a amount of time, with yourself, is the best preparation for facing conflict. When you carve out time for yourself, you can get perspective about what you do and do not want in your life: perspective you can’t get anywhere else.
And when you really stop and think about it, most of the conflict you are avoiding right now has to do with someone else wasting your time and your freedom, anyway.
The conflicts you face often involve someone taking your valuable time. Face this squarely by making more time for yourself, and then speak up.