Hitting the Pause Button
Hey, hey Bold Leaders. Welcome to The Bold Leadership Revolution Podcast, my weekly podcast to help you embrace your ambition and leave the grind behind.
In this episode, we’re talking about the ONE thing a leader must have so they can do meaningful work in the world, leave a legacy and fulfill their potential. Whether you’re a small business owner, an entrepreneur, a CEO, or any other professional -- heck, if you’re a parent -- You all need this ONE thing.
The ability to wake up every morning put one foot in front of the other and focus on your greatest mission and purpose in LIFE. And I will add, happily. This isn’t about slogging along in a foggy state of stress-induced burnout. Trust me, I’ve been there. Death marching your way to success is anything but successful or fulfilling.
At the end of 2014, I started this business to HEAL from burnout which I find ironic since most business owners, founders, and CEO’s are burning out at alarming rates costing themselves and their businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more in lost opportunity, illness, medical bills, and an overall failure to thrive.
In my quest, and it’s truly been a quest for greater health, sanity, more margin, and how to thrive in an oversubscribed, cognitively overloaded world.
I work with leaders every day who believe the answer to more or better is to do more, charge ahead faster, and that the fatigue and exhaustion they feel is NORMAL or the price they are willing to pay. Leaders are keyed up, revving on overdrive, overwhelmed with decisions, and literally can’t turn their brains off.
In the early days of my business, I remember being at war with my need for rest, sleep, quiet and space and my ambition to grow my business. Believe it or not, learning to rest was my first foray into getting BOLDLY outside my comfort zone.
Which begs the question, why is slowing down and resting so UNCOMFORTABLE?
Why does this simple idea cause us to lean into our edge? At what point do we want to end the cycle of self-abuse and live better? And what does living better look like for each of us?
Here are some hard truths that you need to hear if you are a leader who falls into any of these categories:
- Type A
- Overly driven
- A person who is juggling multiple relationships -- spouse, parent, child, friend, business owner
- A person who has deep and meaningful work they want to do in the world.
These are some truths that I want you to hear.
1. You are more tired than you think you are and you need more rest than you’re willing to give yourself.
2. If you have had the thought to slow down, you are too late. You probably needed to slow down a while ago.
3. If you think you have slowed down, you need to slow down even more.
The personal and business development space can be confusing. It’s rife with tactics and strategies. It’s often hard to know which ones to implement.
Some of the most educated, willing, high performing leaders come to me and simply shrug -- We don’t know what to try next, they say. All these strategies. So much NOISE, everyone telling us what they think we SHOULD do.
I totally get this and from my experience...there is a lot of myths out there. Stuff that’s just handed down, regurgitated, and taken as fact through the personal development space. When the only fact is that we are all a giant experiment where N=1. We need to try these ideas and strategies on for ourselves. We need to test them for ourselves and give them some time to really sink in and see results. Then we can make tweaks and changes.
That is what we are, that is what our performance is and our business is. That's what our development looks like. A giant experiment.
However, there are some truths that really are self-evident and can be proven over and over again…
Here’s one of them…
You have to slow down to speed up. Truth. This is even true on a physical level. If I slow down at the right time in a workout, it gives me the juice I need to complete it feeling strong. It’s our job as high performers to stave off the proverbial WALL. The wall stops us in our tracks. The wall has a high likelihood of causing us to quit.
When I was a runner and working with a running coach, we worked on recovering on the run. This allowed me to slow down to lower my heart rate, gain some breath back without stopping so I could continue moving forward.
However, if we slow down and recover on the run or recover while still moving forward, we can progress farther and faster.
That which keeps us going in incremental steps keeps us growing in incremental steps.
It’s called endurance.
As leaders, our ability to keep going and feel good along the way is the ONE thing that ensures our success in a way that is both healthy and sustainable.
One way to create greater endurance is to hit the pause button, imagine it like the big red "It's Easy" button. Just hit the imaginary pause button in your life or your button.
Here’s what happens when you don’t slow down or hit the pause button:
- You become reactionary
- You feel out of control so you dive head first in controlling all the things which are most likely NOT what’s in your control. This is a HUGE waste of time and effort.
- Decisions start piling up and you experience fatigue and fog.
- Procrastination kicks in because either you really need to take a break but you’re pushing through or you're overwhelmed with what needs to get done.
- You’re not present to what you’re actually feeling and numbing behaviors start to kick in -- overwork, overeating, overdrinking, shiny objects.
Whenever the idea of hitting the pause button comes up in client sessions it causes a tremendous amount of resistance. Most of us have equated slowing down to quitting when in fact, it’s the one thing we can do to ensure we DON’T quit.
Slowing down feels like admitting a weakness when in fact it’s the ONE thing we can do to gain greater strength.
What I think is actually happening is we are attached to our work in a way that is unhealthy and prevents us from making the impact we truly want to make.
We use our work as a way to define ourselves. To determine our worthiness. To judge our enoughness. To numb out our feelings and issues in other parts of our lives.
I’m speaking from experience here. I had a shitty workout in the gym the other week and my first thought was I’ll shake it off and check my email. What? Instead, I opted to hit pause and pull out my journal to explore what was really happening here.
So, I want to wrap up with some thoughts on how you can PRACTICE hitting the pause button in life:
Embrace the word PRACTICE. This isn’t something that happens overnight. On an everyday basis, how can you build in hitting the pause button? What does hitting the pause button look like to you? You get to decide how, when and what this looks like for you.
For me, this could be sitting down for 30 minutes to collect my thoughts or taking 15 minutes to go through my calendar and CANCEL any non-essential activities for the week so I can catch my breath. This doesn't make me flakey. It makes me discerning, intentional, and this makes me essential.
Identify what triggers you to go into overdrive, push through stress, and do more when you need to do less. Hit the pause button even for a few minutes before heading into you routine of REACTING. We control our reactions . Take your control back!
Hitting the pause button is a REQUIREMENT for both being a resilient and endurable leader. Which is why I’ve created The BRAVE Society.
The BRAVE Society is A virtual society for business owners like you who want to connect with bold, resilient, abundant, value-driven and endurable leaders.
It’s filled with business owners across a variety of industries who knows that the person who helps the most people wins.
We are here for three reasons:
- To build meaningful relationships with an army of people who have real, credible, and valuable business acumen. This isn’t tit for tat networking where it’s a referral pitch fest.
- To help you continually develop yourself as a leaders through high quality educational resources to help us become better CEO’s
- To become leaders who develop more leaders in the world -- your family, friends, community, team.
The BRAVE Society is a place where you can plug into the relationships you need to hire the most qualified people, find meaningful collaborations, and offer your services to those who would benefit the most.
The BRAVE Society hosts
- Quarterly Book Clubs
- Robust Panel Discussions on relevant topics to help you grow yourself and your business.
- Bi Weekly CEO Debriefs where I take you behind the scenes in my life + business where you can see what’s working, what’s not working, key decisions I’m making.
If you’re curious to know if you’re a fit for this community, learn more and apply today.
If you have found this podcast valuable, please share it with your friends, colleagues and other bold leaders.
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Special thanks goes to The Stacey Harris who is the producer and editor of this podcast. Go check them out for all your digital marketing and content creation needs.
Be sure to tune into our next episode to help you embrace your ambition and leave the grind behind.
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