Give yourself permission to stop

Author:   |   Date: 20/01/2015   |   Categories: Balancing work and life,

So, it’s been a while

It’s been a few weeks now since I sat down to write some “Inspiration” for your inbox.

Call it end of year, call it post-holiday blues – whatever it was I found it difficult to come up with something to write about. Or at least something I would publish.

Having been away for a few weeks in November and then hitting the December silly season, I had broken my weekly habit of writing something, anything, around the themes of living and working authentically. My head was full of plans for the new year, that I lost track of what I needed to be doing now.

Like exercise and meditation, I had “fallen off the wagon” of something that made me feel good and supported me in my life and work. I kept making excuses that it was just this week, I would catch up soon, I would do it this week for sure.

When I realised what was happening I had a few choices:

I could continue to deny what was happening, saying each day that I would be back in the habit next week for sure.

I could indulge in negative self-talk, get into a cycle of blame and self-criticism – running an internal monologue about how I was hopeless and letting myself down.

I could ask myself why I was doing this, and drive myself crazy searching for reasons and justifications.

And finally I could just acknowledge that I was not doing something…and if it was something that was meant to be doing, at some point I would start again.

Once I realised that I let myself really stop. That is to stop worrying about what I was not doing and give myself the permission to not do something.

I also gave myself a deadline to start again – which was about three weeks. 

Because over the years I have found this three week break to have something magic about it. It is long enough to really feel like you are stepping away from a problem, giving yourself time to recover or recharge. But not so long that you feel you will lose contact with your goals and ambitions.

In giving myself permission to stop, I was able to regather the energy I needed to start the work again. It took a couple of times to really start again, and I am still finding my voice again.

So if you are feeling guilty, frustrated, sad or anxious about something in your life: about your work, relationships or yourself – give yourself just three weeks (21 days) to put the issue on hold and let the magic of space and time give you the insight, the energy, or simply the desire to go to work again.

And look out for The Change Fast – a new online program that will support you to make the most of your hiatus and gain insight into what you want most. Register now for a sneak preview. 


If you would like to discuss coaching options with Albany Lane, please send an enquiry.

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