top of page

Three Steps You Can Take To Confidently Face Issues With Love And Grace

Written by: Catherine Eliot, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


As we approach the end of the year, now is the time to reflect on what we want to release and let go and think about what we want to cultivate and bring into our lives in the new year.

This time of the year can often bring up difficult emotions and challenges.

And often, we want to bury our heads in the sand and distract ourselves from the emotions or challenges in our lives. But I can tell you that from my years of working with clients as a Therapist and from personal experience, this does not serve us in the long run.

There have been a few times in my life where burying my head in the sand was not an option any longer, and I needed to take action to change it.

When my first child was born, I struggled with postnatal anxiety. I had a long and traumatic birth experience with him. But, I just kept plodding on, not wanting to accept that I struggled. I wanted people to think that I was doing a good job and that I could cope. I went back to work part-time when my son was eight months old. I believed that I was struggling with being a stay-at-home Mum. My husband had noticed that I was not myself and suggested that I go and speak to a Psychologist through work. So I made an appointment.

And, finally acknowledging what I had been through and how it had impacted me finally all made sense, and I felt validated.

If I had kept just sweeping my feelings under the rug, nothing would have changed. I probably would have become more unwell.

Our mind’s job is to move us away from pain. So it makes sense that when we are experiencing something painful, we seek to avoid it. This avoidance can show up as social withdrawal, self-medication, drinking too much, smoking, exercising, watching Netflix, sleeping, taking drugs, emotional eating (or not eating) or taking days off work, amongst other things.

It takes courage to accept what is going on in our lives, such as our mental health, relationships or work. But this is the essential first step in changing it.

The problem is that burying our heads in the sand is unsustainable. If we keep avoiding and pretending everything is ok, nothing will change. We will keep going around in circles, and our mental well-being and relationships will continue to suffer.

We often have a false assumption that if we avoid something painful, we will feel better. And, whilst we might feel better temporarily, the opposite is true.

Research suggests that coping with difficult situations using avoidance is linked to more acute life stressors and increased depression. And that it generates more stress.

One study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology followed a group of middle-aged people over ten years. Results showed that people who use avoidance coping as a strategy were more likely to have future chronic and acute life stressors and more likely to develop depressive symptoms, even after controlling for pre-existing depressive symptoms (Holahan, et al 2005).

So, if avoiding our issues is likely to cause us harm, how can we begin to accept rather than deny our emotions?

Here are three proven steps you can take to conquer avoidance and confront your issues with confidence, ease and grace.

STEP ONE: Take a good honest look at your life. Take a journal (or the electronic equivalent) and reflect on each aspect of your life as it is now. Consider each sphere of your life (health, career, relationships, love, family, mental health and spirituality) and think about points of distress and contentment within each sphere and think about how you would like it to be instead. Notice the emotions that are showing up as well.

STEP TWO: Take Inspired Action. Based on your insights from the previous step, start by creating one or two realistic, achievable goals, to improve those aspects of your life, starting with the one you felt most discontent with or where you are experiencing some distress. Start with some short-term and then some longer-term goals. You can repeat this for each sphere of your life to get crystal clear on what you want to cultivate.

Goals help us visualise and develop the steps we need to take to move towards or create something. They provide motivation and a plan and align us with the energy of moving forward rather than stagnating. Perfect for this time of the year.

STEP THREE: Listen to the Stories. When we are experiencing something challenging, our minds like to come up with stories to help us make sense of it. Except the stories are not factual and do not serve us.

So, pay attention to the stories you tell yourself that keep you stuck in a particular mindset, preventing you from changing. Write down the key stories your mind is coming up with when you experience a challenging situation, then evaluate the story against the following criteria a). Is it factual? b). What other possible interpretations are there? And c). Is it aligned with what you want to create in your life? Does it serve you to continue to buy into this narrative?

When you increase your awareness and acceptance of your emotions, you will no longer need to turn to avoidance to cope. You will feel more confident in your ability to cope with whatever comes your way.

You will now generate some renewed energy and momentum to take with you into 2022.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and visit my website for more info!


Catherine Eliot, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Catherine Eliot is a leader in women's empowerment, mindset, and self-love. After healing her own childhood wounds, and transforming her own limiting beliefs, Catherine decided that she wanted to create a signature online coaching program that had the capacity to transform the lives of women around the world. She is the CEO of a successful coaching business, Catherine Eliot Coaching and offers transformational online group coaching programs and 1:1 coaching for women globally, focusing on their spiritual and self development and cultivating self-love. She stands for the empowerment, healing and ascension of all women, so that they can truly thrive in life and in business.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page