Occasionally, I have moments when I want to run away. It’s not that I want to pack everything up and go off the grid. When the urge to run comes up, I now realize that it is a feeling I get when I want to avoid something or someone. In my head, I feel like running away will make the uncomfortable feeling go away. Avoidance shows up in a few ways. For example, some people say that they feel like they want to simply sleep through it. I know the feeling well.
Running away is about control
For me, when the urge strikes to run away, it is usually about something that I cannot control. Learning that I cannot control everything has been a big chunk of my personal development journey. Accepting “what is” takes conscious effort. I admit that I sometimes feel weak when I step into acceptance. I used to feel like I was giving up or giving in. It felt natural to challenge everything.
Acceptance does not equal weak
Acceptance does not mean that I am weak. It only means that when the urge to run away or avoid a situation comes up, I now understand that when I face a situation for what it is, the faster I can move on. Looking back, I see where I wasted a lot of energy struggling to control situations that I could have let go. A lot of my self-worth was wrapped up in my need for control. When you really think about it, fighting something that is out of your control is a waste of precious energy. Focusing my energy on things that move me towards my goals is more empowering than wasting energy on that which is out of my control.
Self-awareness and practice
It takes self-awareness to identify the moments when I want to run away. When that feeling hits me, I take a deep breath, and I allow myself to feel what is coming up for me and why. If the situation is really out of my control, I let it go. It’s not like it magically disappears. I have learned to think about things in my life that make me happy or people that bring me joy. I remind myself that running towards something I want is a much better choice than running away from something I don’t want. Trust me, this takes practice. Lots and lots of practice, and I get to practice it a lot!
It’s your turn – I’m always interested in how others handle stressful, or shall I say, challenging situations. What tips are you willing to share in the comments below?