Full Episode (right-click to download)
Back in October 2020, I chose to take a month-long break from podcasting. After six years of producing weekly episodes, I was tired, uninspired, and disconnected.
Those feelings were nobody’s fault—I was running really hard and doing a lot of different things. A friend suggested taking an extended break from producing new weekly podcast episodes, and at first, I was scared. My fear kicked in with a lot of “what ifs,” even though deep down, I knew that the answer was “yes.”
In October, I welcomed new members into the Inner Circle, which took up a lot of hours. So I extended the podcast break another month and felt so much expansion during that time.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking during my break. I have realized that to have the business, life, and days that I want, I have to redesign and reconfigure the way I approach things.
As I was chatting with one of my Inner Circlers, she said that she envisioned having a life that felt both bold and slow. It stuck out to me because hand-raisers, yes-sayers, go-getters, and ambitious dreamers are capable of doing whatever they put their minds to.
So often, though, that same ambition can steamroll us. We end up living lives that look great on paper but don’t feel very good as we’re living them. Instead, we end up frazzled, frantic, and resentful.
This idea of “bold and slow” climbed up on my shoulder and latched on with its claws, in the best way. So I’ve adopted it as my phrase for 2021.
I know some of you will read this and say, “Tiffany, I don’t want to slow down. I don’t have time to slow down!”
And why would you? Why would you want to be intentionally slow? For me, my impulse is to overcommit and call it the normal baseline of what I can get done in any given day.
I know that my impulse is to say yes to way too many things. I know that my impulse is to completely underestimate the amount of time that something takes and the margins that I need in my day and life. If I’m not careful, I will let the actual deliverables overtake everything to the point that I have no space for the thinking needed to bring those deliverables to life.
Whenever the impulse overtakes my life, I feel really empty, depleted, and dried out. And when that happens, nobody wins. Everything comes grinding to a halt.
This is why I am deliberately embracing the word slow. This means that, for me, the thing that feels like a slow down, the thing that feels like I am moving at a snail’s pace, is how things need to feel for now. As I recalibrate my capacity and redesign my approach, I know that embracing the slowness will lead to more getting done that I even recognize.
Even if you don’t want to choose “bold and slow” for your word or phrase of the year, there is an invitation here for you. It might just be permission to live for a little bit at a pace that feels uncomfortably slow. A pace that you can keep up, and that leaves space for delight, joy, levity, and fun. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take things seriously, and that doesn’t mean that you can’t care deeply about things. Both can be true at the same time.
I invite you to live in a way where they both are true at the same time. There is holding things gently and tenderly and lightly and also, knowing what matters and what’s non-negotiable. By making these choices, we can sink our teeth into the things that matter most instead of just cramming more and more and more into our lives.
When I decided to go back to life coaching from business coaching, one of the things that I let go of was this phrase: “I am a business coach for the highly creative woman who is ready to take bold, inspired action.” And I still love that phrase, “bold, inspired.”
But if we’re not careful, we let the boldness overtake us. Or we think that inspired means that we can’t possibly not raise our hands and say yes to every opportunity. We forget what it means to be inspired and deeply connected to something that won’t leave us alone. These things are almost channeled, and we can show up to them without toiling.
Even though I’ve given up “bold and inspired” as I’ve moved back into life coaching, I still am drawn to and in love with the people who want the bold—people who want to keep on being able to raise their hand and say yes. I want the hand-raisers and yes-sayers to know that you can slow down, find more ease, and find more agency, all while making big, bold, and beautiful things happen.
Without the foundation of who we want to be, everything we do is just like throwing spaghetti at the wall. We can be so good at taking that bold, inspired action that we hardly ever have a moment to pause and ask ourselves, “Am I happy here? Not just happy enough—am I truly happy? Is this what joy looks like in my life? Is this what joy feels like? Is this how I want to spend my time?”
We don’t pause because we are just too busy. Sometimes we have to be busy! But I also know that those of us who raise our hands and say yes also convince ourselves that we don’t have the time to consider any of that fluffy stuff. We throw out the idea of self-care in favor of busyness.
I have gotten to spend the last two years exploring that and trying to figure out what problems I want to help people solve. And not only what issues do I want to help people solve, but how we talk about those problems.
When you are so good at the doing and the going, how do I talk to you about self-care as an invitation and not a condemnation? So much of traditional self-health is about all of the ways you’re doing things wrong. Personal development is just seen as self-improvement. But what if there’s nothing to improve upon?
This is why I’m inviting in the bold and slow as my theme for the year.
My impulse is to plan out the year and tell my
self precisely what bold and slow should look like. But that doesn’t leave room for me waking up one day and deciding that I need to spend the entire day reading a book because it’s calling to me.
So often, we try to schedule in the fun rather than following our intuition. But is that the loosening that you’re hungry for? Maybe what you want to practice instead is just being extremely present—just being here today in this room, wherever you are right now. And let that be enough.
I would love to know if you have a phrase or a word for 2021. If you do, shoot me a DM over on Instagram and let me know what yours is. If you want to borrow bold and slow, feel free—I borrowed that from Jessica. I’m certain that she does not mind if you want to borrow that as well.
Sign up for the brand new How to Be (So That You Can Do) Training (happening live on January 12, 2021, with a replay available afterward)
[01:36] About the brand new How to Be (So That You Can Do) Training
[09:37] My phrase for 2021: bold and slow
[13:04] How I’m planning to live a life that is both bold and slow
[15:01] Live at a pace that leaves room for joy
[19:47] Find your balance between bold and slow
[22:28] Allow yourself to pause and reevaluate
[25:30] How bold and slow allows us to be radically present
Sign up here to get weekly-ish insights on keeping your life Technicolor, podcast episode releases (so you don’t miss a beat!), and early access details on opportunities to work with me!