The reality is emotions largely determine our actions. When I am happy, I feel better about me, my choices, and my life. When I am angry, I am doubtful, critical, and sometimes demanding of others. The emotions at the core of our moods significantly direct our next steps.
So, how does a strategic pause lead you closer to your desired outcomes? Well, I like to think of the pause as providing myself enough time and mental space to think about things. If it is a simple thing like what’s for dinner, I don’t need a long pause. I might pick boring dinners, or repetitive dinners if I quickly make a decision, but overall my dinner planning is a very small percentage of my overall joy. However, when it came to leaving a career, I had for 20 years, that took several strategic pauses. I allowed enough time to flow to emotional reactions in the moments I felt unheard, unappreciated, or downright disrespected. I paused because making a rash decision when it came to my financial livelihood would not have been beneficial for me or my family. I also allowed myself space to enjoy and be grateful for the job. To have days where I deeply appreciated the personalities for the growth opportunities they provided on any given day. I appreciated the consistency of the routine, the medical benefits, and most of all the paycheck. After several strategic pauses over a span of about 4 years, I knew it was time to leave after they gave me an offer I had to resist. If I had not provided adequate reflection time, I might have jumped sooner and ended up climbing a lot longer to get to my desired income.
There is no right or wrong way to have an emotion, they are what they are. Uncovering the root of our unfulfilling emotions can be a strenuous process, but worth it because once you have felt the downside, you become more grateful for when you feel the upside emotions such as enthusiasm, confidence, joy, and peace.
For today, is there an area of your day or life that you could use the blessing of a strategic pause?
Enjoy the journey, you are worth it!