Here’s a question for you. Are you moving toward things in your life, or are you moving away from things more often? This could be a hard question to answer. And even those closest to you may not be much help in sorting it out.

That’s because from the outside there may not be much observable difference. Even on the inside there may be little discernible variance unless you take a deeper, closer look.

This one is about mindset and motivators. It’s about what is driving one to act (or not act). It’s a question of avoiding something or embracing something.

Avoiding means moving away from something uncomfortable or fear inducing or some other unsavory thing. And while this can lead to some good – even great – parts to life, the push is always to get away. It is the stick motivation. The escape from pain at any cost. So while it can lead to some amazing things it’s also got a better than fair chance to lead to worse circumstances. Think overspending, binge behavior, burning bridges, using people, or CYA behaviors. 

Embracing is being moving toward something. It is seeking the carrot (or carat if that’s more your thing). Lining up behavior with values and principles is embracing. So is taking risks to be your true, authentic self. It leads to satisfaction and fulfillment. It is living life on purpose and more times than not leads to success (measured in happiness, connection to others, fun, influence, creativity, health and …).

Yes it may end in some unpleasant experiences as well, but even if it does there is a resilience factor of embracing rather than avoiding. It is easier pick yourself back up. It lets us keep moving forward. There is no shame because we have followed or ethics.

Like I said before, the difference between avoiding and embracing can seem subtle, but give it a few thinks and it becomes clearer.

A large part of my live has been avoidance and not embracing. School, career, parenting, relationships, you name it. I am working hard to let principles rather than fear be my guiding energy. I would say I’m an avoidance junkie choosing to embrace a better self.

It’s a hard challenge. It’s so easy to say, “I don’t want to go back there so I best move” and there I’m caught back up in avoiding rather than embracing. So subtle.

So I try to pay attention more now. Do I do or say or act a certain way to avoid a negative or do I act or say or do so I can embrace my better me.

How about you? Do you try to avoid or try to embrace?

Thanks as always,

With civility ~ Brian

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