Moving Towards vs. Moving Away

Xperience Growthblogposts

You’ve probably heard of and likely experienced the concept of moving away from pain. When the pain is enough, we’ll do something about it. It’s a tactic taught by sales professionals and it shows up in marketing.

It works because we commonly use pain, or more accurately, default to the pain causing us to do something different. It’s also said that the pain of not changing must be greater than the pain of changing to do something different.

What happens when we experience pain? In short… stress. Granted, stress can be a good thing if it’s the stress that stretches us and we are excited to get better at a certain skill. Yet, pain typically falls into the spectrum of stress that usually makes us feel angry or sad and think less of ourselves.

So, the program we typically run is this… pain about a situation builds and builds until it’s greater than the pain of change. We push through pain using our stress responses to get us into action. We force ourselves to do something different and get a different (sometimes better) result.

Can you think of a previous time where you ran this program? I’ll bet so! While you might have experienced success, the process took a toll. And, you probably noticed when you achieved the goal and the pain was gone, you didn’t have to push any longer and the stress disappeared.

You might be saying, “yes, but that worked for me…” and also “you’re right, the pain did go away.” The process had an end and the discomfort went away.

What would happen if we were always running away from something? You can see how constant “move away from” energy would create some real problems… such as not hitting goals or being in constant stress while going after our goals.

Let’s turn to what you value – say in business. If you think about the values you have in business you might say things like: integrity, excitement, connection, learning, fun, money… the list can go on. For many clients that I work with, money in career is a value for them, which means they want to go after it and make it.

The question to ask about any of the values is this: “Why is that a value?” or “What is the purpose of that value?” Let’s stick with money. You might say that you value money because of the good that it can do for your family, the business and your community. You can also say that you value money because you don’t want to be poor.

Going further down this rabbit hole… let’s say that when you think about money in career, 50% of you value it because of the good it can do and 50% of you value it because you don’t want to be poor. In this real life example, half of you is moving towards something – the good it can do – and the other half is moving away from something – not being poor.

When you go out into the world to live the value of money in your business, eg: attracting new clients, converting prospects into clients, closing business, etc., half of you is feeling excitement about making money and the other half is experiencing stress over making money. Therefore, you’ll feel a constant internal tug-of-war when you go to make more money. That can diminish your ability to achieve your goals and/or could make achieving your goals less than satisfying. This can be true for any of your values.

Here’s what we can do. Gain awareness. Spend time reflecting on your values and then further reflection on the amount of “towards energy” and “away from energy” you have. Then, shift perspective on the away from. What belief do you need to let go so that you can move to 100% “towards energy” in your value? Lean into the “towards energy” and consider how your world would look, feel and actually be different if you went 100% toward that energy.

When your values are 100% “towards energy”, the resistance you feel is gone. You’re able to move forward in hitting goals AND even stretching further because the weight of the pain & stress is not there. Ultimately, you can hit bigger goals and experience more fulfillment… which is what we all want to move towards.