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There’s Power in the Pause

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Have you ever thought, “I want ice cream” and then immediately walked to the freezer, took out the ice cream and had a bowl? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this! Ice cream is delicious. I love ice cream!

However, if I’m being honest, of all the times I’ve had ice cream in my life, it wasn’t always because I wanted a sweet treat. There were times when I grabbed ice cream as a way to avoid something else I planned on doing or getting done. There have been times where I grabbed ice cream because I felt stressed or overwhelmed. There have been times where I grabbed ice cream because I felt sad or happy.

My point is, acting on impulse won’t always serve me and most likely it won’t always serve you either. Whether it’s ice cream or something else, recognizing your behavior and thinking it through first can lead you through a stronger decision making process. How we act or operate in one area of our life is how we act or operate in every area of our lives.

In this scenario, ice cream represents a person, place, or thing you turn to impulsively to avoid a task, thought, or feeling you don’t want to experience.

One of the best tools I’ve implemented into my life is pausing before acting. When I want ice cream, I pause and ask myself, “have I had dinner yet?” If not, let me eat dinner first and then after dinner, if I still want ice cream, then I’ll get some. Running through this line of thinking and then acting on this thought process is much more beneficial for me than acting impulsively. This is really easy to say but actually DOING IT is an entirely different story.

I’m 30 years old and just started implementing this practice. I know it may seem so small but think of it like compound interest. Of all the times you’ve wanted ice cream in your life, how many times was it to actually treat yourself? If it was a way to avoid something, let’s say in the last year there were 100 times you had ice cream as an avoidant behavior, what effect has that had on your body composition? Is it the effect you want?

On the flip side, if you are sitting there and think, “I want ice cream”, PAUSE then ask yourself, “why do I really want ice cream right now?” If it is truly just because you want ice cream, then go ahead and have some ice cream. Again, ice cream represents anything in your life. A person, place, or thing you use or run to, to escape.

Moving forward, begin pausing whenever you have moments like this, and think of the effect that can have on you and your life. How will you be one year from now? Six months from now? You owe it to yourself!

I hope you found this to be beneficial! I would love to hear from you and what behavior you use to avoid doing things in your life!

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