Never mind stepping up, step back!

You hear it all the time in development tips, strategies and motivation – STEP UP!

And with responsibilities you have to step up too.

But what about simply ….stepping back?  Just one or maybe two steps.  Slow down.  Take a look from a distance – then you can make appropriate choices, see the wood (big picture) for the trees (details).

This is part of any development or learning – to take a step back from where you are up to, and look at where you are going.   Maybe even how far you’ve come.

This step back’ approach is self reflection, on who you are, where your heading, are you on track or even the right track?  And much more!

It gives you head space, breathing space, physical space perhaps.   And this is always good.

Not too often like every hour, unless you are snowed under and it takes that frequency!

But managing any project someone oversees the big picture and ensure the tasks are done in a timely manner, everyone is on schedule and meeting their deadlines and synchronising the plan to achieve the goal.

Why should we, as individuals, be any different?  Project planning your life is what coaching can be like – although not step by rigid step, or task deadlines without flexibility – but it certainly gives you the point to aim for, the objectives of the achievement and the focus to move on step by step, day by day.

Exercise in stepping back

A Taoist saying states we should “Be still like a mountain, and flow like a great river” – meaning if we sit quietly, still (not necessarily meditating but relaxing anyway), and let your mind drift to whatever thoughts come and go. 

 Just let them go, don’t hold on to any, but if you do have to concentrate a little on any make them happy, pleasant positive ones before you let them pass on by.

 Sit for a while – no time limit, usually 3-5 minutes, or 10-30 minutes if you like or can.   See what comes up – you might be surprised at the solutions that appear to problems, ideas you hadn’t thought of developments to ideas just forming in your mind.

 Sleep does this and hence we dream (every night apparently, but only some we recall).   The stillness outside allows the busy brain inside to process things – experiences, beliefs, events, situations and with that it works hard unconsciously for you in finding answers to problems!

 You know that point when you’re talking and forget a name, or a number, or event?  When you let it go and ‘come back to it’ your brain has found it amongst the millions of neuron pathways to it’s storage place and brought it to your conscious thoughts for you!  Why?  Because you asked it to!  It’s helpful like that!

 Time out, stop and smell the roses, think and grow rich are some well-known phrases around this so it is encouraged and common to need to do this.   Are you doing it regularly in your life?  Around work or home and family, around your personal development or retirement planning?

 If not, start now, today!   Preferably not right before bed until you can relax and let thoughts come and go.  Practice at lunch time, just sitting quietly if you have your own office, and if not the car before going home!

What can you focus on?

Take stock of what you have and need; think about where you’ve come from and going to; wonder about the options and opportunities you might have; feel your feelings, identify the emotions, see the picture and vision you have, listen you’re the voice in your mind (it’s only you after all!) and the messages you are getting from inside.

But remember the idea is NOT to focus, just let it ride, let things flow inside to out, and find your way.  It’s just another tool in your box of tricks to get to your goal, meet your personal an professional objectives and for the company too maybe!

Just try it.  What have you got to lose?  But hey, what have you got to gain?!