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The Pause Principle: Step Back To Move Forward

In this age of disruption, for many of us, the reason we are not moving forward as fast as we’d like is, ironically, our fear of going backward.

The kind of dramatic professional advancement we’d all like to see – big promotions, the opportunity to work on high-profile projects, or access to interesting opportunities – only come when we’ve made an investment in our careers. And that investment almost always involves foregoing short – term gratification and, indeed, appearing to take a step backward.

Positive psychology coaching can help you bust the myth that the only way to move forward is by….moving forward or up. The best career moves for you are not always through advancement or ‘moving up the ladder’. Often, we do this without thinking and find out it isn’t what we wanted at all.

Positive Psychology Coaching can help you realign your values at work and make the best of your talents and strengths. This may involve becoming open to lateral moves and the moves backwards. This may give you a chance to re-tool and refresh your career, moving you in a direction you hadn’t considered before.

It takes courage to take a step back. Such a move is not a positively perceived direction with most folk. There can be an unconscious bias about selecting this particular move as a next step in a career. It’s usually the old ‘what will others think?’ and that notion can be very persistent..

Taking a pause or a step back may mean entering a period of your life where your self-confidence and morale may fluctuate. You may experience a lot of resistance from colleagues, family and friends.

Taking a step back can mean a reduction in salary, influence and prestige and when you talk about what you do with others you want to feel a sense of validation and self–worth.

Positive Psychology Coaching can help you manage a step back and the pressure of perceiving what others may think. By identifying some key positive psychology strategies such as ‘flow’ and a more authentic way of being, realising what you do and how much you earn can just partially contribute to ‘who you really are’.

We need to think long-term, if our status takes a hit in order to move towards a growth-oriented area and Positive Psychology Coaching can help you identify what that may look like. As the author and blogger Seth Godin suggests:

‘Dreams fade away because we can’t tolerate the short-term pain necessary to get to our long-term goal.’


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Huw Richards Coaching, 14 The Tything, Worcester WR1 1HD


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