Are You Running Towards or Are You Running Away From?
One of the best leaders I’ve ever worked for told me her greatest lesson about hiring good people –
I only hire people who are running towards something, not those who are running away.
Her words settled into my brain throughout that afternoon and evening. The more I considered them, the more profound and wide-reaching they became.
I thought back to my early attempts at dating after the divorce. I was looking for men to distract me, to heal me. To save me. I ended up in their arms as I was running away from my pain and my present situation. I wanted an escape and I was looking for it in dating profiles and arms that looked as though they could protect me from the world.
It didn’t work for long.
Some of the men were also running away. And so we ran into each other. Splat. Soon realizing that we were never a match. Others had fantasies of being the white knight swooping up the distressed damsel and so they stationed themselves to catch ladies running away from their captors. Only they wanted to hold me captive as well.
I eventually found the courage to stop running away from my pain. To instead invite it in, curious as to what it had to teach me. I began to find peace with where I was, no longer so impatient to be somewhere else. I knew something was different when I no longer had the same driving compulsion to find a man, to be partnered. I was okay alone.
I slowed, no longer gripped by the anxious energy telling me that I needed to flee.
The whole time, I kept dating. (Even though I was learning how to be with the pain, it was still nice to be distracted!) And a shift started to occur. I stopped focusing so much on my past, on what happened to me and I started taking steps to the future. I began to picture the type of man and the kind of relationship I wanted.
And my momentum began to pick up.
I started to run towards my future.
This felt different than the earlier flight. It wasn’t motivated by fear; it was fueled by excitement.
I was seeking rather than avoiding.
Looking forward instead of backward.
Building the new not escaping the old.
What’s your motivation? Are you running away from what you want to avoid or are you running towards what you want to create?