Welcome to the end of this unique and beautiful year! The time where everyone is concentrated to reflect on what is left behind and plan another 365 days of adventure. Many of us are busy with the setting of new goals and new year’s resolutions: change job, get a pay raise, to lose weight and so on. Some of these goals are destined to be completed but others will fade away and will vanish into unknown.
If you think about it, we all are runners just while some people run towards things they really want to do/achieve others run from something they want to avoid and escape. This difference of direction is the key to success.
Let’s say you are unhappy with your boss/team/job and you will seek to change it. You will put a lot of effort in updating your CV, reviewing job postings, contacting recruiter even going to the interviews in order to find a new job. All sounds good and logical, but let me ask you this: which motivator is stronger in this case: the willingness to escape the unpleasant boss/team/job or the true desire to find something different?
Very often (sometimes too often) our main motivator is willingness to get rid of something and that something is usually negative. We are afraid that if we do not run away it will haunt us forever. That’s why we change jobs/partners/neighborhoods or even countries we live in. Sometimes it is not so straight forward, we tell ourselves that we’ve explored all possibilities and there is no other option but to leave. However, it is for a reason people say that you can run but you cannot hide. Have you noticed that sometimes people who were trying to escape rude boss get even worse one? That someone who tried to avoid disrespectful relationship ends up in abusive ones? The grass is always greener on the other side, but it won’t last too long if you treat it the same way as previous one.
When we run from something, we do not properly assess the situation and reflect on it. We are so focused on the “run” that often we forget to clearly identify the “from”. We are so scared and/or agitated that we cannot think straight. It feels like trap with only 2 options – run and survive or stay and die (figuratively of course). It is extremely challenging to be fully rational in these situations because while doing our pros and cons list or weighting pluses and minuses the only thing we will be looking for is a survival. Remember, if your main motive is to run away you will succeed for sure. The question is for how long? And – how sustainable will that be?
Completely contrasting situation is when we run towards something. Our starting point might be the same – bad boss/team/job – but the motive is different – to achieve or create something. And that something is usually positive. There is no desperate urge to flee. Yes, there is a need for a change but instead of being perceived as the only way to survive it is seen as opportunity to get into a better state. There’s no scary urgency or time limit, there is clear willingness and determination to prepare for your next step. We run towards a purpose, a better position, growth, excitement and other positive things.
Do yourself a favor and think about these things before your next run:
1. What is your current situation?
Quite often while being high on emotions we do not realize our real circumstances. Take your time to calm down and identify what is the main thing(s) that you want to change. If it’s too challenging to be impartial – ask your friend, colleague or mentor (if you have one) to support you and help to rationalize the situation.
2. How does your ideal situation look like?
If your ideal situation sounds something along the lines “I have a good boss” please think again. And don’t be shy – it’s not something you will have to post on social media. Honestly think how would your ideal boss/job/partnership/you name it look like? What features will it have, how will you feel with him/her, etc. Allow yourself to imagine your ideal state however unbelievable or even scary it might look to you.
3. What is one step you can do to get closer to your ideal state?
Yes, you read it right only one step. Quite often people run away from their own goals because they seem too scary when thinking about the chain of steps involved. Imagine that you are a starting runner who wants to do a marathon in 12 months’ time. You decide to start with 3 km/day and build it up to 42 km within next 365 days. The plan looks good, you feel self-confident and ready to start. Looks easy, right? Now imagine that someone told you that you need to start with 42 km straight away. Every day you have to do your best maximum knowing until you easily get to 42 km. Would you still feel confident and excited or would the though of it will smash your motivation? I guess you feel the difference.
Every time you’re ready for change check out your direction whether it is from or towards? Remember, that fear is not the best advisor for long lasting solutions and uplifting aspirations. Be brave to set the goals that excite and inspire you.