I’ve spent my whole working life running at speed, multi-tasking, and getting stuff done. From my first job in a grocery store where I was setting up the shop at the age of 15 to the best dining experience at Le Manoir are moments I fondly remember; how exposure to customers helped me to understand the value of customer, consumer, and environment. Delivering a visible calm brilliance and on the inside running amidst the chaos. Know that feeling?

Clarity and confidence wins through chaos, as opposed to being right.

I can share many examples of chaos in environments and people’s thinking. Where it causes uncertainty and unknown. But life is all about unknowns because new stuff happens every single day. So what is it that’s really going on?

A number of years ago I went for an interview at a Tech firm. The VP Sales loved that I was clear and confident in how I could help. He desperately needed support and was looking for a solution.

The VP Finance showed uncertainty. The VP Technology, swept in with his warm style and played the I’m great, this is what I’m doing. Can you do that too?

The speed and challenge to grow were visible, and so were the uncertainty and tension between them.

There are three things that I have learned during uncertainty:

1. Multitasking at speed is a myth (great TedTalk here). The more uncertainty, the tendency you’ll work harder and faster. You may get stuff done but it causes tension within you and with others.

2. Being clear about who you are, what you want, and what you can deliver. It’s harder and creates tension upfront, and is a work in progress, but it does build the clarity and confidence in you, and others.

3. Slowing down creates more impact and you get more done, more quickly than you’d
have ever thought possible. You’ll start to recognise the tension and be able to work through it.

The uncertainty and uncomfortableness others feel when you are clear on how, what and why is tension.

The uncertainty and uncomfortableness you feel cause tension.

When you slow down, you’ll gain clarity. You will see in yourself and in others, how life is. And it’s there that you can start to make a shift and move through the tension.

If you’ve read my post on LinkedIn a few weeks back, I shared my love for the book Tribal Leadership. A reminder of how language, thought, environment, and action create tension. And the more you slow down to recognise it, the more you will see it in yourself and in others.

This week, I’m inviting you to slow down. The complete opposite of what we are experiencing in the world right now. Because in a world of 24/7 tension, it’s easy to forget how incredible you are.

  • Take 5 minutes to write down all the things that lift your mood.
  • Go back and circle the one that excites you most – drawn to – fill you with joy and love.
  • Build that joy into your life. No questions, no hesitation, no concerns, no what-ifs. It’s time to fill your life with joy and remind yourself why it does.
  • Remember this isn’t what you are good at – this is what you love.

I’m doing the same and taking myself back to archery this weekend, after some time out from an injury. I love it and it’s a sport that really helps me keep my overthinking hyper achiever tension in check (which is a work in progress!).

Oh, by the way, I don’t always get the multitasking right. In my speed to organise the return to school over the Easter break and buy a pair of trousers, I was delivered 3 pairs of the same trousers. Whoops! It did make me laugh, and a brilliant reminder to slow down.

Photo credit: Aditya Wardhana.

Juliet is an award-winning executive coach, consultant, and leader. Over the next 10 years, her mission is to shape a million futures by liberating dreams, igniting possibilities, and elevating your extraordinary.

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