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EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s contributor is Tamea Burd of Shine and Rise Life Coaching. Tamea is a certified Life Coach, based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. With a personal, kind, practical approach, she specializes in motivational, relationship, communication and career coaching.

Although it sounds counterproductive, often the best way to move forward in your life is to take a step back. When plans, goals, and dreams all seem to be a jumble of uncertainty, and we feel stressed, disappointed or fear that we “do not enough time” – that’s exactly when we need to take one solid step backwards. Backing up is what gives us the momentum we need to take a big leap forward. When we’re feeling paralyzed by doubt or overwhelmed, we don’t have that momentum. Finding a way to give ourselves some room to move forward is crucial.

How do we do that?

First, by taking several deep breaths. Deep breathing releases endorphins, removes toxins from the bloodstream and provides us with more energy by increasing oxygen to our brains and our entire system. It is also calming and helps to clear our minds, allowing for better observation and decision making.

Second, be still. Physically and mentally. Take a few moments, a few hours, a few days (whatever you can) to hold yourself in a calm, quiet state. Physically, find a place where you can be alone, silent and uninterrupted, even for just a few minutes. Mentally, focus your mind on one simple thing. Picture trees in the wind, or a slow moving river, or the sunrise over the ocean. Allow that picture to override any other thoughts. It’s quite amazing how much clarity we find when we stop thinking too hard or too much. Our minds are marvelous things, and sometimes they need to be given the room to work on their own, without all of the “buts,” “hows,” and “whys” we muddle them up with. Giving your deeper consciousness some space, brings out the truth of how you really feel and what you really want.

Third, once you’ve cleared your mind and calmed your body – assess your situation, past, present, and future. Use your perspective and your common sense,rather than your emotions. Emotions are an important part of how we function, but when we need to operate with clarity, thinking instead of feeling can be an effective, powerful tool. It allows us to act, rather than react.

Taking a step (or three) back, brings us to a calm, clear, relaxed and logical place. From there, we can move forward with much more surety and purpose.

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