Sometimes You Need to Hit Pause …

What have you paused on that you need to start again?

Sometimes You Need to Hit Pause

I took a pause. In a world where life seems too busy … in a career where I wear many hats … in a life where I serve many roles … I took a pause. I stepped forward toward some things, and away from others. That’s just life, isn’t it? Or is it?

Have you ever noticed that the longer you stay away from something, the easier it becomes to stay away from? Think about after a breakup. You go through the stages of grief, and you continue to miss the person (or I’ve seen some people be elated! LOL). However, not seeing the person helps you process through everything, and it continues to get easier. As time goes on, the pain becomes less and less. One day, the thought of that person finally takes a back seat in your mind, and you continue to move forward. It’s that way with relationships, but also with habits, responsibilities and hobbies as well.

So much of my work that I do involves writing in one capacity or another. I had always been one who needed to feel “inspired” to write. I needed a story to tell, or an anecdote to share, based on something I’d seen or experienced.

I neglected to look at writing – something I actually enjoy – as a discipline; not only as a discipline, but as an act of love performed in support of myself and others. Suddenly, when I look at it that way, it changes things for me. Writing is something that brings me release, peace, inspiration, comfort, understanding and joy. So why haven’t I been doing it?!?!

“Life,” I told myself.

“I’ll do it tomorrow,” myself told me.

Well, today is finally my tomorrow, and I’ve chosen to create a daily practice of writing for myself, so that I will have contributions for more regular articles. I have a desire to contribute to others. By not exploring things I’m curious about, I cheat myself out of my innate nature as a thought magnet and a purveyor of positivity; as a learner and a guide for others. So today I commit to sharing something here on at least a monthly basis … more often if the good stuff really keeps rising to the surface, which undoubtedly it will once I have that discipline of self-love and writing established. Ten minutes a day is all I’m asking of myself. It’s not much. What are you willing to give to yourself?

Taking a pause can be a healthy choice from an emotional perspective. Sometimes it may not even be a conscious choice. I don’t think it was for me. Rather, it may be something that just happens, and you start to notice its absence. Yet the more I noticed its absence, the more I resisted starting again, despite my love for it. I didn’t understand that.

What have you paused on recently? Do you know why you hit that pause button? Did the pause benefit you? What did you gain? What did you lose? What was missing for you once it was gone?

I think I hit pause on my writing for a variety of reasons – with so many other responsibilities, it seemed like an easy thing to give up or step away from … I think the divisiveness of these times have had us in an interesting energetic space, and somehow I’ve felt less motivated to write. Yet I know that, in the words of my beloved Foo Fighters, “It’s times like these you learn to live again. It’s times like these you give and give again. It’s times like these you learn to love again. It’s times like these time and time again.”

Now I realize that stepping away benefitted me by creating additional time, yet I also lost an outlet that sparks my creativity. I know that I am what I create myself to be, and I choose to bring more of myself to the world, not less.

We are all gifts. What gift of yourself are you keeping from the world? How would life look different for you if you were experiencing it more fully and sharing yourself with those around you?

Don’t think yourself into a corner. Just take some action … baby steps, if you must. Maybe it’s a new workout plan that you’ll pick up, or a new skill to try, or a new friendship to develop, or a conversation that’s long overdue that you’re finally ready to have. Find that something you paused on, and hit “play” again. See what happens.

Chances are the pause was worthwhile, but life isn’t meant to be on pause forever.

Valerie M. Sargent is a dynamic speaker, trainer, consultant and executive coach. A natural and engaging motivator, Valerie is a Level I and Level II TalentSmart Emotional Intelligence Certified Trainer and President of Yvette Poole & Associates. She helps individuals and organizations increase their EQ, managing emotions and relationships better on the job for maximum performance. Her signature message, “It’s in the Pause”® focuses on the need for Self-Management skills to preserve positive relationships in the workplace and beyond – follow her blog: For more information:  or