Question of the Day: How Does Taking a Break Help You Succeed?

Or, are you allowing enough space between your “being” and your “doing?”

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

I’m planning to provide a daily thought to spur reflection and provide a moment for you, dear reader, to get present with yourself. I will follow it with an example from my own life or an experience shared with me. You may want to contemplate the question or journal on it before reading on — the question may mean something different to you than the way it’s intended, which is perfectly okay!

Take as many breaths as you need to create some space between yourself and the demands of the day. Here’s the question again: How does taking a break help you succeed? Or put another way, are you allowing enough space between your “being” and your “doing?”

I remember having a daily battle with myself over taking breaks… “I don’t have time. I’ve got to get this done. As soon as I get this done, then I can take a break…” I never had time. Not enough things ever seemed to get done. I was too important, my contribution too critical, to slack off in any way. But if you looked at actual productivity, I was constantly slacking. My anxiety and fear of being “found out” as a wannabe or fraud were pervasive, so it took me longer to get things done. I’d get so hung up trying to be perfect or over perform that I would practically shut down.

Hell, that still happens — the getting stifled by all the “shoulds” or worried that I haven’t thought of the one most important thing yet. “I can’t finalize this logo. What if it’s not the right font? Not the right symbol? Not the best color combination?” I stewed over my logo and created more and more pages/versions of it to ponder and worry over… spent hours and hours over days and weeks on it. Until I finally took a break. A real break.

I started over completely — blank canvas — with my favorite colors, my preferred fonts, what I wanted the logo and symbol to portray/reflect. I got simple. I breathed into it. Within a couple hours, a couple designs, I was completely satisfied with my creation. (Also thanks to suggestions by my dear friends, Renée and Emily.)

I’m not saying I now have the most perfect logo ever created, but rather, I have a good enough logo that does reflect me and what I want to convey. I AM perfectly happy with it and was able to move on to other things. The confidence boost I got for completing that task was enough to move me more quickly in other areas. Website. Outreach. Clients. Walking groups. Medium.

What helped most: the breath. The space. The getting really present with myself, before continuing. Taking a real break from the daunting thing that weighed heavily — where I thought, “I can’t do the next thing until this thing is solved” — meant I could finally stop spinning my wheels. I could, in fact, solve the thing.

Whether you feel “too busy,” “too important,” “too consumed,” or any other thing that keeps you from finding some space between your “being” and your “doing,” try to just stop. Take a breath. Do something now to take care of your being — movement, a piece of fruit and some nuts, scream into the void. Then get back to whatever needs doing. Begin again.

The resources and information shared on this site are solely for informational purposes and aren’t intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition or disease or provide any professional advice.

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