Are you running toward your goals or away from your fears?

If you are successful, you have mastered the art of movement.

You broke out of a default existence and began to impact your life. This is evidenced in many different forms, but all are characterized by movement.

You progress. You advance. You enrich. You experience. You explore. You specialize. You master. You fail (while trying). You change. You move. You evolve. They are all Movement.

What this article addresses is the force responsible for your movement. In my experience – “movers” can be divided into those who move toward a desired state and those who move away from fear.

If you are moving toward – by definition you have a target, goal, objective or vision.

If you are moving away from – there is something behind you much more intimidating than anything in front of you. It is a “Run Forrest Run” type of life.

So what about you – which drives your movement?

I work with many ambitious people who run away from fear. Not an overt, cover-your-mouth-Macaulay Culkin-Home-Alone kind of fear. Their fear is deeper, often hidden and longer-lasting.

You know the kind – you have probably experienced it yourself.

  • “Someone is going to figure out I’m not as good as they think.”
  • “If I can’t figure out this job – how can I ever get promoted?”
  • “I’m afraid this is as good as it gets.”
  • “I don’t think I can do what they want me to do.”
  • “We will lose everything if I blow it now.”
  • “I’m barely keeping up with all the bills – I can’t afford to screw up my job.”

So what’s the matter with fear? Movement is movement – if it’s fear that drives you – so what?

The problem is this – Fear is like kindling wood. It burns hot and quick. However, it dies quickly, leaves lots of ashes and the intensity can exhaust you.

As such, running from Fear works for a quick boost (a shot of adrenaline), but as a primary source of fuel, it isn’t sustainable. In addition, Fear has an amazing way of reinventing itself. There is always something to scare or intimidate you.

Conversely, running toward a desired future is often self-sustaining. It is like a huge log – it burns on and on with a consistent glow. You are pursuing something you desire – it can be fun.

Lighting an internal flame is the best way to achieve eternal movement.

If this resonates, you need to manage your movement. I want you to keep progressing, but to run toward a compelling vision. As you know from reading my blog, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes deliberate effort.

Try these and see what a difference it makes:

  1. Dreams: Dreams are enticing. They have a natural appeal. Take time to dust off a dream you once held or draft new ones. Don’t make them all long term dreams. Have some in the near term. Get something on your agenda that excites you and move toward it. Be sure you have tangible elements that you control and influence. Put your future in your hands and regularly move toward it.
  2. Altitude: When you get sucked into day-to-day fire fighting, fear and adrenaline are at their strongest. Gain altitude and perspective and the fear drifts away. Spend equal time designing the next great fire-truck as you do fighting fires. Use people, processes and systems to climb above the fray.
  3. Control/Influence: In the classic book, 7 Habits of highly Successful People, Steven Covey articulates that time and energy spent where you have no control or influence is a waste. When you don’t feel enough influence or control in your life it is extremely stressful. Work hard to let these go and spend time where you have direct impact. It’s energizing.
  4. Joy: Joy is the antithesis of fear. It is impossible to experience fear and joy at the same time. As such, the more joy and happiness you can regularly experience, the less fear is a factor. Find a way to regularly experience Joy.

I am thrilled you are a “mover.” That is great. Now, set your sights on consistently moving toward your compelling vision. Don’t let fear run your life.

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