There is a book on my desk at the moment called ‘Dare to Lead’ by Brene Brown. I’ve read it a few times; it’s excellent and there are many good reasons her work is highly respected in the personal and professional growth arena.
That word ‘dare’ though conjures up many things for me. It’s an invitation, a challenge, something that requires a little bit of courage, something that’s maybe a little, or a lot, outside of our comfort zones. It’s the thing that someone thinks you won’t do, but you do it anyway – perhaps even just to prove them wrong.
As we approach the end of a busy and fruitful year, I’m setting a different challenge to my team: Dare to Rest.
I know, it’s not quite your normal dare! I mean, resting shouldn’t be a challenge or something that requires courage, or stepping outside of our comfort zones, should it?
For many people, however, resting is one of the most difficult things to do. When we’re in work mode, concentrating on meeting deadlines and satisfying client requests or needs, our minds are busy. We have important things to concentrate on all the while delivering valuable work that makes an impact.
Rest is the opposite: our minds have the chance to quieten, our thoughts can wander a little, allowing us to imagine and dream.
Rest is the opposite of meeting objectives, the opposite of managing projects; it allows us to break our routine, to spend time doing things purely for joy, rather than the impact they have.
But what makes this so hard? Well, that time of rest also means that we may think or feel things that are not comfortable for us, that are buried under the busy-ness. We might, for a moment, have ‘nothing’ to do and believe that we’re not adding value to the world because we’re not doing something we believe to be important. The courage, the dare, in fact, is to rest anyway and just see what happens.
Unwinding for many of us is a real struggle so it is important to be mindful of this and ensure you are taking the time to rest properly. Here are some ideas to get started:
- Digital detox: Start by switching off your app notifications, for emails, social media and news sites. This will immediately reduce your screen time. Commit to a few hours a day when either you switch off your internet access or your phone entirely. And delete those time-sucking games.
- Quality time with loved ones: Play board games together, plan a movie night or get outside and throw the Frisbee around. Take a tour of your home town and visit some local attractions – anything that is all-encompassing and gives you quality connection time with your family and friends.
- Put YOU first: Spend time by yourself, in nature or at home. Try reading, journaling or colouring-in. Try mediation which allows you to focus on your breathing and being still. Insist on afternoon naps.
So this year if you’re taking time off over this festive season, dare to take time out from being a title, from adding value to a business; dare to take time out from doing, from ticking off the to-do list, from actively conceptualising that next innovation.
Take a break, have a rest – go on, I dare you!