What I Learned From My Digital Detox

shutterstock_220489903For years, I’ve been recommending that my clients take daily breaks from online activities– often for as long as three hours a day if they can swing it.

And indeed, daily breaks from the phone have been a practice of mine for as long as I can remember. I know and understand the benefits.

Until last week, however, I’d never done a full-on digital detox– meaning no social media whatsoever– of any serious and/or challenging length.

(And trust me, when you run a digital business (or two), it’s awfully hard to imagine unplugging from what often feels like your professional and financial lifeline by doing this. Fear is often a good justifier/excuse for not doing what you know needs to be done.)

Last week, however, I hit a breaking point.

A coach I’ve been working with– because even the best coaches need coaches themselves; this is the first one I’ve worked with for my own betterment in a while– saw that I was near a breaking point in terms of how hard I’d been pushing myself, the stress I was under, and the almost unbearable effects it was having on my physical and mental well-being.

(Not that my health care and personal wellness professionals hadn’t been pointing to the same thing for months. They had. I just didn’t listen).

By mid-last week, I was feeling truly awful in a number of very significant ways.

And so my coach ordered me, in no uncertain terms, on to a 48 hour digital detox.

“But what about x deadline, y newsletter, all this usual stuff I do¬†all by myself, every week, with no help? Those things have to fire to social media, and if I don’t do them, I’ll be letting everyone down.”

“Nothing that you are doing,” she said to me, “can’t wait a few days.”

And so, at the instruction of my coach, in addition to 48 hours of digital detox, I also offloaded anything work-related, digital or not, that didn’t feel easeful or like an invitation, for the next three plus days.

Perhaps if I hadn’t been feeling so terrible, I would have ignored these instructions, as I had ignored others so many times before. But this time, I did not.

And let me tell you, after 48 full-on hours off digital, and three-plus full days not working, the things I learned were profound.

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The Number One Question You Need to Ask Yourself, No Matter Where You Are in Your Career

shutterstock_248690821This week, I’ve spent a lot of time working at the absolute top of my game, and it’s felt great.

I’m in the middle of a major new endeavor that’s eaten up almost all of my attention.

As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time this week working in the zone– you know, that place where you lose all track of time because you’re so engrossed in, and loving, your work.

In the middle of this stint, I also took some time out to talk to two really amazing coaches: Jen Turrell, who is a personal finance coach, and Laura Gates, a Transformational Leadership Coach. Each of them offered me plenty of superb and tremendously insightgful advice and support as I move through this new phase.

In other words, things have been going pretty darn well.

And one of the things that happens when things are going pretty darn well generally, as you may know, is that is easy to get complacent.

And complacency is the death of creativity. (tweet this!)

What hit me this week, as I looked back at all the work I was really proud of over the last little while, was that there was still one question I needed to be asking myself despite how well things were going.

It’s a critical question designed to keep propelling you forward even when you think you’re already at the top of your game.

What is it?

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How to Make Big, Fat, Scary Decisions, Fearlessly

shutterstock_157129676In my private coaching work, I’m often confronted by clients who, when faced with a major decision like a job change, a relocation, or even a marriage proposal, freeze like a deer in the headlights.

I get this. I’ve been there myself.

Many of us worry that we will make the wrong decision, and that the consequences will then be too high.

Others of us have past experience with making choices that didn’t work out, and as a result now don’t trust ourselves to make the right one.

So how do you overcome the paralysis of a tough decision when the right answer isn’t immediately obvious? Here’s the advice I give to my clients all the time.

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Got Faith?

shutterstock_123836719For years, people have been telling me that a big part of generating abundance in life is having faith that the Universe is on your side, that all is happening as it should, and that all will arrive in its time.

Without a doubt, that’s true.

However, if you’re like me, you tend to worry a little– scratch that, a lot– that maybe things don’t actually work that way, and panic is a better option. (LOL.)

I’ve even been known to think that if I don’t worry, I won’t be prepared for what’s coming next.

A funny thing has happened to me over the last few months, however: I’ve stepped into a place of faith.

No, I don’t mean that in the religious sense.

I mean it in the sense of trusting that “all is working out for the best.”

I mean it in the sense of having patience that all I want is on its way to me.

I mean it in the sense that I can actually, to a really substantial degree, let go of worry.

So how did I get here?

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