Theresa Byrne wants to remove all the blocks that are holding you back from enjoying life. Let her have at it.
Here’s a crazy thought …. What if what we stop doing is more important than what we start doing?
Crazy, right? Or maybe, just maybe … not so crazy at all.
Maybe we don’t need to add any more to our already full plates. Maybe what we’re doing is enough–even too much. Maybe we’re enough–more than enough. And maybe we just need to stop the madness of excess busyness and striving for overachievement.
Many of us are coached and trained and taught and pushed and rewarded for all we accomplish. We are told about all the things we need to pick up, to start, to learn, to begin, to take on, to change, to research, to incorporate. And though few of us will admit it, that list itself is almost overwhelming. Just pick up the latest top-selling books or magazines on success, and you’ll find tips on all the things you need to start doing. I’ve been an entrepreneur and a “do-er” since 2001. Even my bio has a bio. And after a while, I found myself exhausted.
So I’m asking you to consider this … maybe we just need to stop.
When things went wonky with my head injury, I didn’t have enough time, energy, or brain power to do all the things I used to do. It just wasn’t possible. Not only did I lack the memory, focus, and attention, but I was also tired out just trying to create new neural pathways (it’s like a brain marathon). My brain used to be My Thing: the asset I could always fall back on no matter what. After it was damaged, I didn’t know what to do. I was used to intensely pushing through things; putting in all my effort to achieve a goal and now there was nothing I could do except go at the pace my brain could handle. In fact, my efforting was hurting my recovery.
So in a way, I was forced to slow down, even stop. And that’s when I realized: I needed to stop. And beyond that, stopping was not a bad thing. Stopping was a gift.
Has that ever happened to you? Where what looked like a difficulty was actually a blessing in disguise? This was my blessing. I was stopped from my constant need to do stuff; even the good stuff like teach, help others, coach, lead workshops, create programs, etc. I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere fast.
It made me start thinking about all the things it would make sense to stop doing. Judging. Comparing. Complaining. Worrying about what could happen. Or what others might think. Stop having to explain myself. Stop creating endless lists of things I needed to accomplish. Ultimately, I was forced to create stronger boundaries with myself. This is why I love boundaries: they help me stay me by keeping me sane.
The sense of freedom I got from these new boundaries was intense, and soon my “not-to-do” list started growing by leaps and bounds. What else could I stop doing that would add ease to my life? I only had so much energy, what else could I add to my list?
What would you put on your Stop Doing List?
- I could stop chasing shiny objects in my business (which for me were webinars in Internet Marketing).
- Stop looking for the next big thing (again, in Internet Marketing).
- I’d have to let go and stop living in the past of what I used to be able to do.
- Stop letting anything come in front of my healing/self-care.
- Stop “constant striving and pushing to get to a future and just relax into now,” as success coach Chris Natzke would say.
- Stop over-analyzing or ‘cogitating’ on things.
- Stop worrying about what I didn’t get done.
- Stop getting stuck in Advice Paradise.
- Stop sabotaging myself with overload and confusion. Take things one step at a time.
- Stop patterns that I don’t like or that didn’t work. Get clear on what they are.
- Stop getting involved in dramas, either self-created or someone else’s even as a coach. (Ahem, BOUNDARIES).
- Stop spending precious time on silly things. I get to decide which things are “silly”and which are important.
- Stop subscribing to email lists because I’m “going to read them someday” for research. I’ll keep the ones I really like.
- Stop doing things that just keep me busy instead of things that actually help my business.
- Stop feeling obligated to ever say “yes” and guilty for ever saying “no.”
- Stop doing things that don’t work (distractions or time sucks).
To reach the highest and best for our souls, it’s not about doing more. It’s not about learning more. It’s not about what we’re doing. It’s about what we can stop doing.
Maybe, just maybe it’s about what we are doing with the energy we have, and where we’re directing it. And when we stop wasting it, we can have more energy. More peace. More satisfaction.
Think about it. What are you willing to STOP doing?
(I asked this question on a Facebook post and got some pretty amazing responses! Since I believe we all learn from each other, I asked if I could share them here.)
Alison Tedford, who is a fellow writer: “(I stopped) being afraid to pitch bigger interviews. I pitched Mrs. Universe and I pitched an Olympic fencing team member today.”
Gina Losasso: “I make a “NOT-To-Do” in addition to my “To-Do” list.”
Mark Hoover quoted Jeff Foster: “True healing
is not the fixing of the broken,
but the rediscovery
of the Unbroken.”
What are you going to stop doing today?
Photo—The U.S. Army/Flickr