During a recent conversation with a colleague they said, “You really don’t have a backward step do you?” The context of our discussion was the thought of me being on holiday for two weeks while doing orientation in Amsterdam with my son. My reality is this is not really a holiday and even when I am on holiday, sometimes I feel like I’m wasting time. Which made me consider the importance of cultivating the back step.
For people like me, who find creative expression in their work, the need for down time isn’t a thing. There are definitely moments where I have been pushing too hard, and taken on too much and not managed my energy levels well enough where a break is desperately needed to recuperate, though that’s not the scenario I’m talking about. The back step is a little more subtle than that.
It’s almost like an essential move in the dance of your productivity. If we are constantly moving forward, completing one thing then onto the next, we miss the opportunities to pause. Pausing is a crucial developmental element for us as people and for our craft.
The back step is where we integrate our learnings, connect with our purpose, reassess our direction and reconnect with our true authentic desires.
And maybe we should rename it from the back step. Perhaps it is not a backward movement at all. Perhaps it is the coasting that happens when you just take your foot of the accelerator, and let the momentum of your life carry you forward. And once you’ve reflected, integrated, reassessed and renergised, you’re ready to give your life direction a little more juice.
The back step is so important to ensuring that the realities we are creating for ourselves are the ones we actually want.