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Recognizing Avoidant Behaviour

Do you participate in Avoidant Behaviour?


We can all relate to the feelings of nerves or anxiety that accompany a new opportunity - especially when it’s completely out of our comfort zones. But, it’s what we do, and how we handle those feelings that dictate our next course of action and beyond.


Oftentimes the opportunities we’re most nervous about are the ones that will allow us to grow and move beyond our current state in both our professional and personal lives. So, when our feelings get in the way of us being able to engage in those opportunities and ultimately halt any ability to progress - is when those feelings become a real problem.


This is what we call Avoidant Behaviour. Avoidant Behaviour is when we walk away from a situation or opportunity because our nervousness and anxiety have triggered our flight response.


How do you know you’re engaging in Avoidant Behaviour?


Here are just a few examples to help you recognize if you’ve fallen into an Avoidant Behaviour cycle:

  • declining to present at the next team meeting

  • failing to speak up on a conference call

  • avoid interacting with senior management

  • not asking any questions after a client presentation

  • declining the opportunity to participate on a discussion panel

  • failing to assert your opinion when challenged



If this sounds familiar, don’t panic, we’ve all been there. So how do we overcome these thoughts when it pertains to Public Speaking anxiety? The important thing is that now that you’ve recognized it, you’ll be able to work to amend it.


Registered Psychologist, Dr. Melanie Bedali, puts it perfectly, "Figure out what is important to you and then go for it. Avoid avoidance. Running away from something truly dangerous is helpful. Running away from something attainable is not helpful. Committed action does not mean easy or comfortable. It means moving toward your goals even when it is hard."

This is what we work to do in our Public Speaking Workshops - get you practicing so you can be as confident and comfortable as possible when these amazing opportunities arise.


Cheers to future growth!