This morning I listened to a podcast on quitting. It caught my eye (well actually my ear!) as I grapple with the prospect as to whether taking a business break is a smart, hip, self-care type of thing to do of just a cop out and a diversion tactic. I genuinely worry that somewhere deep in my subconscious I’m secretly hoping that my business ambitions will fade into the background and consequently I can too! It’s all that social conditioning and value that we have put on hustling that I’m really fighting here.
You see I feel like we are in an odd transition. On one side of the pendulum is the old paradigm of “doing it all costs”, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, “if it’s not hard and if it’s taking you out of your comfort zone it’s not worth doing”. On the other side sits the idea that “creativity lies in the voids between doing”, that “reflection and contemplation is the precursor to innovation” and my current favourite that “rest is the most effective business strategy”.
In the podcast that I listened to today the host explained that the Latin origin of the word quitting is quietus; to be set free coupled with the connotations of calmness and rest. And that, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, quitting came to mean resting from work. Taking a break in the workplace.
However it is through this very era that busyness and productivity have become the bedrock of how we define of success and worthiness. As time has marched on and our worth has become tied to productivity – the more we do the better we are, you snooze you lose – you get the drift – the more we began to value those who were busy. And perhaps more perversely, the more we started to see those who rest as lazy and a sign of not being committed or contributing to the collective effort.
This pervasive mindset is still prevalent in workplaces today.
So, I want to be on the far side of the pendulum. The one that allows for rest AND success. The one that gives us permission to work less AND achieve more. I know this is possible. I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it sporadically and now I want to embody it as a life and work style. I want to create a business where women use their imagination, mindset, belief, and intuition to revel in the meaning and purpose of what they actively choose to do rather than busily do first and retrofit meaning later.
I know that all change starts on the inside. That the answer to my burnout and the secret sauce of my lifestyle and leadership programs lies in this truth. As I spend time away from my normal life, disrupting old behavioural patterns and habits I’m opening up to new finding possibilities.
And so no, I haven’t quit. I’m simply resting.