In our weekly series, we offer a little inspiration to kick off your week.
Some simple wisdom, elegant and accessible. From one soul to another.
We hope it helps you ease into your Monday.
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Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Earlier this year I decided to press pause.
Specifically on consuming information, intentionally learning new things, purchasing books, e-courses, etc.
And what happened is nothing short of (in my book anyway), a miracle.
I’m a self-proclaimed information junkie. For those of you who don’t share this particular quirk, it’s when you absolutely LOVE consuming books, blogs, classes and in general, have a deep love of learning new things (whether or not you will ever “use” what you learn).
For as long as I’ve been able to read, you could most often find me in the library, at the bookstore, ordering books from scholastic or dreaming away in the book mobile (remember those?!?). As a kid I couldn’t get enough of books — the stories, the characters, the worlds, all felt so real to me. They still do.
As an adult, this grew into a love of learning in all shapes and forms. And while inherently there’s nothing wrong with learning (it’s quite a superpower in fact), there is a very fine line between consumption and over-consumption.
Knowing when you’re using learning as an excuse (for why you can’t move forward), and knowing when it’s time to take action (once you’ve learned what you need to learn) is an art and one we all need to practice.
Early in 2015 I recognized that I was stuck in over-consumption mode. I was buying courses that I wasn’t even completing (“…oh, but it’s so great and I can save it for later when I need it”). I was subscribed to countless newsletters that I never read (“…one day I’ll have time to read it though”). I had saved hundreds of blog posts in Bloglovin’ (“…oooh this is a great one, I’ll definitely refer back to this article on how to DIY the perfect body butter”). In short, I was procrastinating. And I was standing behind the best, most sophisticated guise ever — “learning”.
Who could fault me for wanting to learn more? Isn’t that what we as a culture value? To be educated? Knowledgeable and “in-the-know”?
After I recognized that learning new things and consuming information had become a crutch, I decided to do something about it. I ruthlessly unsubscribed from everything that I didn’t love. I filed away all of the courses (completed or not). I stopped opening up my blog reader each morning. I effectively took everything that wasn’t serving me and I dumped it in the backyard and locked the door.
What happened afterwards is nothing short of a miracle (as I define it at least). Since putting a pause on all-things informational . . .
- I’ve had more time to sharpen my writing skills
- Brought on a VA to the TGWK team
- Received some truly incredible clients
- Hosted the first ever Beyond Gathering
- Formed a Mastermind that has rocked my world
- I’ve gotten out of the house and connected with lots of amazing new people
- Moved out of my head and into action in all areas of my life
Last week, since it had been a few months since I’d indulged my itch to read a book or blog post, I decided to break my “info-fast” to see what would happen. I made it super casual and listened along to a webinar while I was cooking dinner. After the webinar was over I noticed how I was feeling, what I was thinking, etc. And it was WILD!
My body felt tense.
My mind was swirling with “should’s” and doubts
My heart felt uncertain
My emotions were all over the place
And I had more self-doubt, lack of clarity and confusion than I had in months.
Needless to say, I promptly pressed pause on all things information once again.
We all have a different threshold at which we become saturated with information. Knowing your own unique threshold is key to making sure that you don’t veer off into the land of procrastination, confusion, and self-doubt.
Pay attention to when you become tired, moody, super confused, like you have a million thoughts swimming in your mind. Notice when you begin to doubt yourself, when you’re isolating yourself from others. These are all signs that you might need to press the pause button.
Think about it this way: you need time to absorb all of that beautiful information. It needs to seep into your cells, it needs to become part of your DNA. It takes time to do that.
If you’re constantly throwing new information into the mix, you don’t have the chance to absorb it all. Your cup runneth over. And interestingly, you end up forgetting more of the information than you retain.
Let me know if this resonates with you. Do you think you might be hoarding information? Are you hiding behind the need to “learn more” so you don’t have to actually launch that new project? Share any insights or maybe even some resolutions of your own, in the conversation box below!
Photo by Aleksi Tappura