Are you racing through your life to the next 'thing'?
Many of us use goals and targets as focuses to get through life, to validate ourselves. We move through life and we go from target to target. As a way of measuring our progress. Chasing or running from something are often coming from deeply routed beliefs of value and worth.
As a coach, people often come to me in the hope they can bypass the process, the feelings and just get the end result they want by chasing it and running after it with tunnel vision.
Often people want me to enable a focus on a goal which they hope to have a "high" from when they get there and everything will be improved. It reminds me of how often teenagers can get preoccupied with a certain pair of runners and believe once they have them everything will be right. Which can lead to teenagers becoming fixated on things, relationships and certain outcomes in a hope to finally feel ok.
I get it, we all can resist the work required or commitment to the process because we are so focused on the thing we are chasing.
We are all exactly where we are based on how we have currently handled our life to date. If someone comes to me trying to bypass aspects of the process by chasing an outcome they perceive will fix everything, its a pretty good sign that they are stuck in a cycle of chase and repeat. It also shows they are still attempting to apply the same logic that has them stuck in this chasing cycle; to the solution.
This rarely works, if we want a different result we need to do things differently. Its just the way it is. Chasing something is less about the thing and more about what you from the thing ... a certain sense or feeling or safety your hoping to achieve.
Often when we race to a certain goal and can’t rest until we achieve it, we are more likely running from something. If we avoid being in the process of change and distract ourselves with the chase then there is likely more going on in relation to this goal than just getting the goal.
We can dress it up in loads of ways and justify it but as the saying goes “how we do one thing, we do everything”.
When we spend our time racing past the moment, chasing something and not being present we are bypassing life, we are seeking guarantees and not really showing up in our life as it is. We have usually attached some additional benefits to the thing we are chasing. Which on occasion can be coming from our inner child’s unmet needs.
"If I lose weight I will be attractive" or "If I get that qualification I will be good enough" or "if he/she dates me people will think I am good enough" (I really could go on here but I want .. you get the drift!)
The anxiety, the need to rush, the need to have it now are big indicators this is happening. Often for a short time this chasing can distract us from the conscious acknowledgement of the feelings underlying the goal your chasing.
Which leaves us chasing another goal every time we meet one.. You see sadly, even when we achieve that goal, this feeling may not shift for long , if at all and so the cycle continues.
We can become so use to making this feeling of lack and anxiety fit a situation that we don’t stop to look if it is something that is deeper than the goal that we have been carrying.
At times the goal is the scape goat for the feeling … if only I was skinner / heavier / buffer, had a partner/someone who loved me, the perfect job/career and so on and so on.
All these things can add to your life but can not be responsible for your whole life’s worth and contentment! Yes pursue them, you deserve them, you deserve them all, however don’t give them the sort of responsibility they can never meet!
Check if your motivation and speed to achieve them is a deeper wanting you have been bypassing. A deeper need for you to be present? See if it is really about avoiding a certain experience or feeling rather than getting somewhere!
Common avoidance’s and wants I see in my coaching practice that present under the goals clients present with:
- Avoiding feeling inadequacy
- Being looked down on
- Feeling dumb
- Avoiding intimate relationships
- Avoiding feeling unimportant
- Wanting to feel important
- Wanting to matter
- Feeling unlovable
- Avoiding feeling inadequacy
- Avoiding being different
- Avoiding being unseen or overlooked
- Wanting to feel loved
- Wanting to be seen and noticed
- Wanting to be accepted
Partner/Someone to love:
- Avoiding being alone
- Fearful of future
- Avoiding being judged
- Looked on as broken
- Wanting to finally feel good enough
Obviously these goals are great, its the underlying motivation that we need to asses!
Often the very very core piece is am I good enough and do I measure up .. basically can I be loved as I am … ?
One of the biggest things I see coming from mindfulness is people practicing being in their lives rather than racing through them! This could be a handy practice to bring into your life if coaching isn’t the right fit for you right now.
Sile Walsh x