Did you miss LLCA open enrollment and want us to make an exception?

nl llca logo

Episode 145 Transcript: Building in the Pause

Nancy: Think about it, how often do you do that knee jerk, yes. And you say yes and then you see the thing on your calendar and you immediately begin thinking to yourself, how the hell am I gonna get myself out of this? Building in the pause, completely erases that experience.

Nancy: Welcome to the Nancy Levin Show. I’m Nancy Levin, Founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, best-selling author, master coach, and your host. I help overachieving people pleasers set boundaries that stick and own self-worth, anchored in empowered action, so you can feel free. Plus, if you’re an aspiring or current coach, you are in the right place. Join me each week for coaching and compelling conversations designed to support you in the spotlight, as you take center stage of your own life. Let’s dive in. 

Nancy: Welcome back to another episode of The Nancy Levin Show. And today I wanna talk about the power of the pause. This is something that comes up often in conversations with my students inside of Levin Life Coach Academy, as well as clients I’m coaching. 

There is a wonderful quote that is well known by Victor Frankl from his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, and the quote goes like this, between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. 

There is a big difference between reaction and response. So that’s the first piece I want to identify here. Most of us tend to react, and we react to an external force. Whether it’s something that’s said, something that’s done, we get into reaction mode. And the evolution to learning how to respond, and ultimately taking responsibility, which really is about the ability to respond. Moving to this place of taking responsibility for our response is what allows us to stand in our own empowerment, instead of staying in a mode of blame or resentment or essentially any kind of finger pointing about what someone else is doing.

Taking the pause also allows us to get in contact with ourselves around how do I really feel? For example, we all know what it’s like when an external request comes to us and we have that knee jerk reaction, which is usually a yes. We have that knee jerk, yes. And we say yes for a whole host of reasons. We say yes because we don’t want someone else to be angry or disappointed. We say yes because we wanna be the hero or the fixer. We say yes because we have a sense of obligation or responsibility. But here’s the thing, if we were to build in a pause between the request and our response, we wouldn’t default to reaction. 

So taking a pause and responding from what’s true for us can sound like, I so appreciate you asking me, I’m going to sleep on it and I’ll get back to you tomorrow. That’s what building in a pause sounds like.

So that instead of being either caught off guard and saying yes from that overdeveloped sense of responsibility for someone else’s experience, we can actually chill out and go within and consider, is this something that feels important for me? Do I have desire here?

Because the reason to say yes to someone else’s request is not because you’re afraid of their reaction. Just because someone else wants something from you does not mean you are obligated to provide it. So just notice what happens in your body as you hear me say that someone else’s urgency is not your emergency, is the saying I’ve heard. But really we get caught up in thinking we have to provide something just because someone else has made a request, when in fact we do not. And we don’t have to do anything that isn’t on our own timeline. 

So as you’re moving through today, your week, notice what happens when someone makes a request of you. Notice your original and initial impulse to react immediately. Notice if you can shift this instead to taking a pause. I really wanna consider this. I’ll get back to you. Now notice I didn’t say even, let me get back to you because let me get back to you, is even implying that they have to give you permission to get back to them. So again, words are so important and we speak so often in ways that give our power away. So the more we can own our power, the more we can say, I really want to take a few moments with this. I’m gonna sleep on it, I wanna pause, I wanna reflect, and then I’ll get back to you. Then we’re coming from a place of responding instead of reacting.

Nancy: Hi, it’s Nancy interrupting my own show. I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024, including a brand new book plus a group coaching opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever offered before. To make sure you are in the know, pop on over to my website now and sign up for my free weekly newsletter at nancylevin.com/newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Okay, back to the show. 

Nancy: So all of this that I’m sharing about the pause has to begin with rooting down in what is most true for you.Being willing to bring your antenna inward to inquire, what do I need? What do I want? What do I feel? What do I think? Is this something that is essential for me? Is this something that I desire? If it’s not a desire, it’s a no. But we often can only answer no from the place of the pause. Because think about it, how often do you do that knee jerk yes. And you say yes and then you see the thing on your calendar and you immediately begin thinking to yourself, how the hell am I gonna get myself out of this? Building In the pause completely erases that experience. Literally, you’ll never again have to suffer through, how am I going to get out of this, when you take a pause and answer from your desire and from your truth. Your pause is going to give you freedom. 

So if you look at your life and you feel overscheduled, you feel overburdened, you see you’re overgiving. This is the invitation to take the pause before you answer. To really consider, you’ve heard me say this before if you’re a listener to the podcast, consider your own needs at least as much as you are considering the needs of others. Can you give yourself permission to do that? Then can you give yourself permission to consider your needs even more than the needs of others? And then can you give yourself permission to consider your own needs first? That’s the magic of the pause. Giving yourself permission to consider your own needs first. What works for you? Not what works for someone else. 

Now, for anyone listening who is thinking, well, that’s awfully selfish, that’s awfully disrespectful, I want you to hear me when I say this is a both/and not an either/or. You can care for yourself and your own needs and care for the needs of others. It’s not one or the other. And in fact, the better you are at taking care of yourself, filling your own cup, the more available you will genuinely be to support others. 

So when you are feeling empty, when you are feeling resentful, when you are feeling chaotic, chances are you have reacted instead of responded. Chances are you have made someone else’s needs more important than your own. When we don’t tell ourselves the truth, we create chaos. And one of the ways we most often create chaos is by crossing our own boundaries, by saying yes when we really wanna say no. 

And here’s the thing, the more we can say an honest no, the more true and real our relationships will be. Because if we keep saying yes when we mean no, we are lying. We are inauthentic. We are not telling the truth. So if we want relationships built on trust, honesty, intimacy, connection, we have to tell the truth. And it needs to begin with this is a no or this is a yes, and believing that these answers, these responses, are rooted in what’s most true for you.

Every time you say yes, when you wanna say no, you are depriving yourself. Every time you say no, when you wanna say no, you find your freedom. And the truth is, in order to free your yes, you must know your no. 

So I’m gonna share Viktor Frankl’s quote one more time here, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

So take that to heart and let that be your mantra this week. Thanks so much for joining me, and I look forward to being with you again next time.

Thanks so much for joining me today. I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com to check out all the goodies I have there for you. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. I’ll meet you back here next week.