Running away is basically a desire to escape an uncomfortable circumstance or feeling. When we’re coming from this place of avoidance, self sabotage and trauma response, we usually want to run away because we have now gotten to our limit of feeling stressed out. We’re burned out or we’re just generally discontented with our current situation. When we want to run away, we are usually running away because we don’t want to deal with a problem because we’ve made a mess.
We don’t want to deal with other people, as in we don’t want to deal with letting people down, saying no, we don’t want to take responsibility because taking responsibility oftentimes means like owning your shit, saying that you’re wrong, apologizing. Maybe your ego is getting in the way or to simplify it all, a lot of times it’s also shame.
Why Do You Run Away?
Ultimately fear is the primary driving force. It is at the foundation of every reason why you want to run away. And why is that? Well, that’s because we are literally hardwired to survive and stay safe, so any perceived threat can make us want to run away.
This is our fight or flight system. I’m not talking about actual real threats here. It’s a perceived threat. Perceived threats can range from fear of rejection by your boss, to fear of rejection from people in the community and then to take that a step deeper, perceived threats cause a trigger. That trigger causes an internal ripple effect, and then it’s over. Projection, transference, narrative, and shitty stories, you’re spiraling and the assumptions flood the system. You want to run. That’s what happens.
Why Is Running Away So Harmful?
When we run away, we are leading with fear, versus leading with love. When we operate from this place, we’re looking at the world through fear colored glasses. That now ripples into your behaviors, which affects your decisions. Then you end up making fear based decisions, and when we make decisions from fear, the outcome will reflect that. When you’re operating from a place of fear, you’re just going to create more nightmares for yourself. All we’re doing is projecting our own unresolved fears, baggage, shadows and pain onto others and the situation when it isn’t true, and this is why we have to work on our shit now, because it’s none of the external factors you think it is. It’s you. At the end of the day, running away is just self sabotage and it keeps you from growing into the best version of yourself.
Running Away Is Self Sabotage
Running away keeps you from growing. You’re letting the unconscious run the show, because you haven’t been addressing your unresolved issues. So then you keep repeating the same pattern and then create the narrative: “This is just my life, this is just what it is. This is what’s going to be like. Wow, like, I’m never gonna find someone. Oh my god, I’m gonna be broke forever. Oh my god, no one’s ever gonna love me. I’m never going to be in a job where i belong. I’m never going to find real friends.” Running away will only perpetuate and reinforce those negative narratives about yourself.
When you keep running away, you hold yourself back from growing and it can lead to even more self deprecating thoughts, which lead to anxiety, low self worth, shame and inaction. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: you run away, so you don’t grow, then you talk negatively about yourself, which leads to anxiety, which makes you feel like shit about yourself. Then you keep hiding, stay stuck, and that then leads to depression and other low vibrational manifestations.
How Does Running Away Play Out?
Here are some examples of running away. Pay close attention because I’m sure this is about to be a trigger fest.
- Not showing up and /or ghosting
- Avoidance and shutting down
- Insisting on doing it on your own, alone or refusing help
- Lack of trust in others or the process of doing the work
- Staying in an unfulfilling job to avoid failure
- Wanting to quit your job without going inward first
- Skepticism, cynicism and easily getting rubbed the wrong way
- Jumping into a relationship or letting things “play out,”
- Focusing almost exclusively on work, titles, or accomplishments
- Addictions: emotional, eating, drinking, scrolling, working, dating, sex
- Picking fights with people to “prove” whatever narrative you’re holding
- Looking for reasons to break up with another person or a group or a community or an organization
These are all examples of running away.
How To Stop Running Away
The opposite of running away is showing up. Slow down and stay. Make the first move. Share your story. You’ve got to step out of the triangle. When you are running away, you are in the triangle. If you are in this running away mode, you are perceiving that there is something to run away from.
Take radical responsibility. Radical responsibility is the opposite of blaming and shaming and you have to surround yourself with support. You have to take ownership of your own shadows and stop assuming the worst of others. The thing for you to look at now is your fears, because, remember, fear is the reason why you’re running away.
What is it that you’re most afraid of and how is it holding you back? And once you recognize that, it will bring you back to yourself and bring you into this present moment, and it will help you to stay, when you can realize how you are potentially sabotaging yourself.