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Is It OK to Step Back from Striving?

A wonderful woman and mentor I know told me that she is taking a pause in her goal setting. It was an announcement and a pronouncement that meant she is giving herself what I call "grace space." That's the room you need, the time you need, the distance you need, the kind of supportive energy you need to just be. To get off the "hustle" of pushing and setting goals and clarifying obstacles and resolving to do better.

Even for someone in my role, who coaches accountability, positivity, healthy mindset, etc., the PAUSE that gives you the space you need to be yourself is a key. Most of the time life is flying by. We are so distracted in our minds as we try to make sense of the abundance of information. We are on overload. It is not helpful, and it creates more stress. NO thank you.

As I write this blog, I am thinking of two Olympic athletes, Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin. Both young female athletes dedicated their entire lives to being the best. Pushing, striving, goal setting, overcoming injuries and doubts all in the name of being the best and competing. It was at the summer Olympics that Simone Biles couldn't get her body and her head together to perform--to the point that it was too dangerous to even try, and despite all the hoopla and press and expectation that she was going to be the "IT" athlete, she backed out of competing. With all the pressure of the world on her shoulders, she said NO. She took the PAUSE because she realized she wasn't where she could be safe or even ok.

Just this week, Mikaela Shiffrin, a speed skier, found herself making two beginner errors at her fifteenth year in competition that left her sitting on the ski slope in utter disbelief and questioning what she is even doing? Her mom had to go out and talk her off the ledge and get her down from the course. Her body would not perform the way it was trained to, coached to, and what worked before (FULL GAS is what she called it) didn't work this time. I can't even imagine the disappointment? She too found herself at a very public time in her life needing to go private--needing to STOP.

So, what I recommend for you is to take a long deep breath and really think about where you are in your life with the things that matter to you. Maybe you start by listing the things that matter--the people, your health, your faith, your pets, your hobbies... whatever those things are--now--in 2022, what are the things that matter to you the most at this moment? Be honest. No one is checking your work. You might find out that some things that you thought mattered are not important to you. Let that go. You might have other things on your list that you want to redirect your attention to. WHEN YOU ARE READY.

Is it ok to make this list and not act on it now? YES. It's ok. Our lives don't always move along the straight and narrow path even if we do all the things that might make us think they will. Cue the Olympians I referenced.

You are the driver of your life. You are the pauser of your life. You are the giver of grace space in your life. You decide what's right for you and when. Period.

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