A Coaching Power Tool created by Anja Unkel
(Life Coaching, GERMANY)
There is nothing that creates a future better than a dream: Today it is only utopia, tomorrow it will be reality A personal translation of a quote of Viktor Hugo from German into English
Have you ever been in a situation where you exactly knew what you are striving for? Clearly picturing what you want and what you are striving for? – How did that feel?
Or do you usually rather know, what you don’t want to have in place or in life anymore, taking that as a starting point for change and development?
So, what is the difference between the desire to get away from something and the wish to achieve something? And with whom of these persons described above can you empathy more easily? – While writing these words the second question brings a lot of answers in my mind whereas the first question makes me kind of quiet, reflect and think. As human beings we usually have plenty ideas of what we don’t want. But do we know with the same preciseness what we want to have in place instead? And which of these two perspectives empowers us most?
Let’s look into both before we embrace the beauty and power of having both in place:
The “Getting Away from”-s
The things we want to „Get Away From“ clearly show us, which doors we would like to close in our lifes. They tell us:
- what we don’t want
- what we want to leave behind
- what we want less in our life’s
What we therefore would like to keep in safe distance to us, our thoughts & our feelings.
The “Going Towards To” – s
The things we want to „Go towards to“ picture the life, we want to have instead. These things tell us
- what we desire
- what we would like to achieve
- what we want to have more in our lifes
What we want to have present, what we want to explore, see, feel and make happen. These are the things that make our hearts singing.
the beauty of Both
So what might be the beauty of having both of these in place? – In contrast to most powertools working with clear contradictions as e.g. „trust vs. doubt“ , „Getting away from“ and „Going towards to“ go into the same direction: Both clearly indicate the need of and the motivation for change and both might bring us into action for some reason.
But, based on our “Get-Away-From”-s this motivation arises out of a place of desperation and pain. It makes us realize, what we want to escape from. Rather pushing us away from a something (may it be a person, emotion, thought, feeling, attitude, an inner critical voice …) than showing us where to go towards to. And based on our “Going-towards-to”-s this motivation arises out of the vision of a desirable future. It clarifies which doors we want to open and makes us move towards a destiny. It provides us an idea of where to go towards to and how to explicitly change by developing alternative ways of thinking, behaving, acting, and living.
To know what we want to get away from is often the first step into change. It triggers the desire to change. But finding out, where we want to go towards to from there is the step, that brings us into the control of the change.
What would happen if we’d “just“ try to get away from something, we don’t want? Nothing bad would happen! It is e.g. a very healthy habit to get away from a potentially dangerous situation. And it would be a nice space, a first step into the right direction. – But would it show us a path? A destiny? Would it inspire to move forward into a certain direction and against opposite winds? No, as we wouldn’t know where to go from there. It would give us clarity about what we do not want. And it might bring us into action to a certain level. But as soon as we would have reached that level we would find ourselves in a “safe” place: Far enough away from what we don’t want – but still having our thoughts by what we don’t want as well (something I like to call the being-away-from comfort zone)