Run towards, not away September 17, 2014 – Posted in: Personal Development, Uncategorized – Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was chatting with a friend the other day whose predicament reminded me of a situation I’d been in as a young woman in my early twenties. Having just split up with my long-term boyfriend I’d decided to take the opportunity of singleness to do some backpacking and see a bit of the world. As you can imagine, it was an amazing year packed to bursting with incredible experiences and wonderful people.

But, when I got home I entered a period of deep sadness and it was then that I realised that part of my decision to travel was in order to ‘escape’ the grief I was feeling over the severed relationship. And guess what? When I got home the grief was still there, unexplored and needing attention. I had made the error of trying to outrun my emotions but, because they are a part of me, they travelled with me waiting for me to attend to them. As someone once said, “You take yourself with you wherever you go.”

If you’re someone who seems to be repeating unhelpful patterns of behaviour, then this might be something to look at. If you keep ending up in unfulfilling jobs or the ‘wrong’ relationship then it could be that you have just been trying to escape the past with a quick fix rather than proactively shaping your future – running away from what you don’t want rather than running towards what you do. Those of us who are in ‘escape mode’ tend to lurch from one bad decision to another in search of that elusive state of happiness and fulfilment. But, ‘escape mode’ is based in the fight or flight response and doesn’t allow for considered thought or planning about what you really want.

As a coach, it’s my job to help you shape your future based on your authentic dreams and desires. The pain from the past can be your greatest teacher, if you let it. As a NLP Practitioner, I work on the presupposition that there is ‘no failure only feedback’. Therefore, the past is there to teach you how to do things better or differently in future. The feelings from the past need attention and self-care but then, having learnt from them, you can be in a powerful position to make proactive decisions to shape a future you run towards rather than accepting fate because of your inability to face the pain of the past.

So, that job you’ve applied for … is it what you really want or are you just running from the one you currently hate? That new relationship you’re in – have you healed from the last one?

Now with the benefit of some experience, I try to make decisions for the future based on goals I’d like to achieve rather than things I’d like to get rid of or run away from. And, sometimes, in order to reach a brighter future we have to mop up the past.

This blog post first appeared as an article in my Life Column in The Bath Magazine.

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