Make Peace With The Pause

Luke & Bandit PatientI heard one of my favorite phrases today, “I love the resume you did for me!”  It is right after “I love you, Mom” and before “half price martinis”.  And it was exactly what I needed today.


It has been a slow week for me.  Yes, I know it is only Tuesday; however you have to realize that I work in a constant state of motion so a slow Monday and Tuesday is like an unexpected switch to decaf to a hard core caffeinated 10+ cup of coffee drinker.   It is not pretty.


Because I am used to a busy hour, day, week etc I begin to have those annoying little nagging thoughts like why isn’t my phone ringing, why am I not receiving emails, why are my prospects not responding, who is going to pay the mortgage, how am I going to keep the lights on and for goodness sakes who is going to break it to the dogs that we can’t afford the chewy treats?


Oh yeah, and I am the Queen of Leaping to Preposterous and Unrelated Conclusions in a Single Bound.


I start defining myself based on my activity – not my value.  I started doing that today.


But then I talked to my client to review her first draft.  One of the first things she said was she loved it and it perfectly captured who she is, what she does and how she can bring it to the next level.  That, my friends, is what I do.


I forgot that.


I was too busy making sure I had emergency candles and back up hard doggie treats in case of financial collapse and emergency.


This is another reason why I am very good at working with my clients in coaching through the process of job searching – I get it.  We get derailed, depressed and go off on crazy tangents because we get scared in not seeing results.  It is not just that we do not see results – we are not seeing results right now!


Oh yeah, and another thing – I have no patience.  None.  Period.  Ever.  I’m the one that burns my tongue on a microwave burrito because I will be darned if I can wait two more minutes for the stupid thing to cool down after I had to wait a whole four minutes for it to “cook”.


So in job searching and business building a perfect storm sometime hits: uncertainty and inactivity.  That’s when things can get ugly really quick and we spiral out of control – even if in our own mind.  We get tunnel vision coupled with short-sightedness.  We no longer see the past or the future only the void of right now.


We can redefine ourselves by the present moment rather than the culmination of what we have done in the past that has lead us to this pause and prepared us for the future where we can have the opportunity to offer great value.


Do not define yourself in a pause.


It is inaccurate, it is temporary and it is life taking a breath.  It is not a period and it is not the beginning.  It is merely a chance to regroup.  I heard something once that I absolutely loved, it was something like never put a period where God put a comma.


Even with a busy schedule I have learned that if I do not force myself to pause then life will do it for me.  It is my little sign that I need to recharge – there is a lot more coming my way and I need to be prepared for it mentally, emotionally and physically.


I can’t possibly help more clients if I am not charged to my fullest.  You cannot take on that new job running on empty.


Don’t curse the pause – be thankful for it.


This is a hard one to do; I struggle with it all the time.  I get frustrated because I want to do more.  I don’t like being idle, I don’t like not having new projects, not talking to people, not writing, not being active, not doing.  I want more.  Maybe this is why I have four dogs…


Anyway, there are often times I curse the pause.


Don’t do that.


It makes it last longer.  It is like my dogs – when they are hyper and bouncing (literally bouncing, which is not pretty for 70+ pound Lab and Pit) around frantically getting upset and yelling at them to stop does not work.  In their little doggie minds they think that “stop” means “ramp it up”.  And they do.


But when I take a step back out of bouncing range and put it in perspective everything changes.  The big goofy puppies are bouncing because they are happy to see me – not as a test of my last nerve.  When I laugh at them and in a soothing, calm voice tell them I love them too they seems to immediately calm down then come over and lean against me.  They just wanted to be noticed.  Soothing “good boys” and a gentle scratch on the back of the ears calms them right down.


You might be at a pause right now and be frustrated.  Stop, take a deep breath and say out loud with full conviction: “Thank you!  I needed that!”  Take a few deep breaths, enjoy the peace, and recharge your batteries.


Once you are at peace with the pause then you are truly ready.  Now you can fling your arms open and yell out to the world: “I’m ready – bring it on!”  Just don’t do that around 70+ puppies as they might think you mean them, in which case you better have those good chewy treats to distract them.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.




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