How To Cope With A Dreaded Task

Ashley Noel
3 min readOct 30, 2020


Photo by Whoislimos on Upsplash

Who of you has ever found themselves having to do something they don’t want? All of you, is my guess. Sadly, that’s life, but don’t fret for I am here to help. Below I have shared a personal story that highlights the do’s and don’ts of coping with unpleasant events.

The Toothach:

Some years ago, I developed a toothache. It wasn’t bad at first, so I ignored it. As the weeks went by it became steadily worse. I began avoiding hot drinks and ate only on one side of my mouth. Then the headaches started…

My Tip — Don’t Ignore Issues: Ignoring problems only makes them worse.

A negative reaction:

Finally, my toothache reached a stage where it could no longer go ignored. Instead of visiting a dentist, I began overthinking what lay ahead. How many needles would the dentist need to numb my mouth? Would I need gas? Perhaps, my aching tooth was a root canal job. Or could the tooth have already deteriorated to the point where I needed a crown; both painful and super expensive. Meanwhile, another week slipped passed.

My Tip Don’t Overthinking: Overthinking is a useless waist of time. It only increases stress.

Photo by Geo Days on Unsplash

The Solution:

Unable to continue with the toothache, I decided to visit my dentist. To make the task as easy as possible I broke it down into small steps.

  • Ring Dentist, book an appointment
  • Drive to Dentist Practice
  • Sit in waiting room
  • Go to operators room
  • First the numbing gel, then the needle
  • Dental procedure on tooth
  • Rinse
  • Pay bill
  • Drive home
  • Relax

My Tip Blocking It Down: Blocking down a task makes it less overwhelming.

Problem Solved:

It was that easy. Why then, all the fuss and bother? Basically, I was just putting off an unpleasant task because I thought it was going to hurt. Ridiculous. I’ll never do that again.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

A Quick Note About Blocking:

I have used my block down concept many times, and in all types of situations. It really does work. If you ever wake up one morning feeling slightly ill, but not so sick you can’t go to work, try it. Once many years ago, I woke with a queasy tummy. I went to work regardless. Instead of thinking I have to be here feeling unwell for the next eight hours I just said to myself, ‘Okay, you can last till 10:00 am. Then when when 10:00 am came, I said, ‘Okay, you can last till 12:00 pm. And I kept that up until it was knock off time. Yay, I made it.

Word of warning:

If using the block down method be careful not to be caught glancing at your watch. People may accuse you of time watching and that never goes down well, especially at work.

That concludes my post. Feel free to contact me for further advice or morale support.



Ashley Noel

Writer searching for my big break