Last Friday I spoke to two classes of 8th graders about technology careers. It started with some statistics on most popular jobs and a definition of information technology. Then I went into my story – my journey through high school, my belief that I was destined for a medical career but changed my mind to technology, and my moves up and around a company I worked at for 15 years. I talked about what I do every day at my new job. I talked about Tech Biz Gurl. I even showed a video about learning how to code.

But you want to know something that I didn’t do?

Pause.

I found myself running out of breath more times than I could count and then I had to stop and suck in what felt like gallons of air before I could continue. And I wondered what was happening and afterwards, I started asking for advice. My friends said, “You need to learn to be okay with pausing.” And that pauses are good for me and the audience. It gives things a chance to sink in. It gives me room to breathe. And it gives everyone permission to stop and consider.

As we start businesses and go after dreams, we need to remember to breathe. We get so caught up in the day to day and serving our clients and hustling for the next thing and work, work, working. We keep going and going without taking a breath – without taking the time to check in with ourselves and how we are feeling. To think. To strategize. To pause.

Pausing is a good thing. It gives us the opportunity to stand still and ask ourselves, “Is this what I want? Am I heading in the right direction? Do I feel good about this? Am I okay?” (tweet that)

Pausing allows us to be mindful and become aware of that moment in time. Pausing allows us to take inventory. Pausing allows us to think about what we want to say next. Pausing allows our audience to pause and take a breath with us. Pausing allows our next sentence or step or action to feel even more powerful.

So the next time you find yourself struggling with the next step or overwhelmed with the day to day or feeling like you’re running out of air, remember that it’s okay to pause.

Has this ever happened to you? Where might you need to take a breath and pause?