A Confession – Why I REALLY Took a Time Out..

(I finished writing this post at 3am. Then, from 4am-5:30am, I rewrote it entirely. Here’s the unvarnished version cos you deserve the truth, not some hackneyed post glossing over the REAL stuff)

The Truth Will Set You FreeSo ya’ll know how I decided Tuesday evening to take a 2 day “Time-Out” from the Internet, phone, people, work, action, plans, ideas, commitments etc?

When I said If you listen closely to your intuition and all the signs around you, you will learn to trust (as I am), that this can only be good“?

I said I wanted to practice self care and spend time doing whatever appealed to me in the moment, something I thought would be a cinch seeing as I’m so good at doing what feels good. Well, that was 80% true.

Uh… the other 20%?

I lied.

By omission.

You see, I left out the reason why I wanted to do it.

The real truth is that I took that time out because I was getting carried away with seeking validation from external factors and it was starting to wear me out. There, I said it.

Can you say OBSESSION?

(And no, I’m not channeling Calvin Klein)

I’m talking about the insidious little devil called comparison. It’s bad enough to compare myself with others way ahead of me in terms of years and experience, but to constantly compare myself with myself too?

This ship was getting harder to steer and I was losing my peace of mind (pieces too).

*Deep Breath*

(Btw, It’s already feeling good to fess up, although I was jittery at the start – make that Day 31 of 100 days!)

My obsession with “social proof”, blog stats, twitter followers, facebook fans, alexa & google page ranks, creating a powerful and engaged community, numerics and other non-blog related life desires that I dated with “must have & do” by such and such time, was getting out of hand.

Those of you who blog know what I’m talking about, right? We can get so addicted to external manifestations of success that we lose sight of why we’re doing something. Sometimes, if #’s didn’t show an increase from the previous week or month, I’d feel like I wasn’t “doing enough”. And think of ways I could do better and be more authentic (recurring theme in my life).

The Irony!

Trying to be more authentic = one simply can’t be authentic. Because, as my favourite Yoda-ism goes: Do or Do Not, There Is No TRY.  You are either authentic or you’re not. Period.

Ouch. I guess once you start being authentic, it doesn’t mean you will automatically carry on being. It requires constant awareness and “work”. Could that be cos authenticity requires vulnerability?

And being vulnerable is scary for the best of us?

I’d wager a yes.

When this blog went from 20 million to 510,000 within 3 months of me launching it, I was OVER the moon! Then I went travelling in July and it’s since dropped to about 1.3 million.

I hated going from nothing to something and sliding back to a little less something again (wow, get a LOAD of me – I hated it, really!? Hate?! Do I smell a little .. attachment here ;)?

We tend to overlook the progress we’ve made when we look at how far we still have to go.

I still want all that I do – to be the best in my field, super successful, happy, write great posts, work with amazing people, make a difference, get married, travel, grow roses, live my dream life..

Except now, I have more patience and compassion for myself. Like most of us, I’m the hardest on myself. Keeping up to my standards is exhausting.

Which brings us back to Tuesday. When I decided I had to make a stand for myself, against myself, to remind me of what’s really important. I.e.,

The passion and love I have for writing, self improvement, personal growth, coaching, having fun, connecting with people and living an inspired life.

(Which is why I started blogging in the first place. To share my experiences, inspire people AND learn from them. And attract a community of like minded peeps. And make great friends.. And..and..ok, ok)

Even during those 2 days, at 1st I tried to be ultra-productive as in: “I’d-better-do-some-good-introspective-work, figure-out-where-I-need-to-grow-and-learn-and-do-it, so-I-have-something-to-show for-this. So-that-when-I’ve-sorted-it-out, everything-will-just-come-to-me-easy-peasy-forever-n-ever”

(Oh my, I just can’t help laughing here! Even when I’m introspecting, I’m doing a number on myself!! That’s hilarious, right!!? Giggle! Snort! LOL!)

Day 1 was a bit of back and forth between wanting to be productive and just goofing off, till I took myself for a walk in the rain and ended up with fear-day #30.

Day 2 was a real laid back, watching movies and reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” kinda gig. That’s when it started to get good, real good.

So good that I’m going to share it with you. The edumacation I got when I decided to just be open to whatever showed up! Handpicked are Tolle’s simple and profound teachings that seemed to leap off the pages I was on …

  • The mind holds the unconscious belief that its resistance, (which you experience as negativity or unhappiness in some form), will somehow dissolve the undesirable condition.
  • But resistance leads to more of the same.
  • The way to attain peace? Don’t look for it. Nothing you seek is outside of you. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now.
  • When you completely accept the lack of what you seek, it gets transmuted into what you seek (this one really spoke to me – I reckon it’s where my intuition was leading me – ya THINK!?)
  • The outer situation of your life is like a lake’s surface – calm, windy, rough according to seasons. Deep down, the lake is always undisturbed.

Because the truth is, I’m further along on my path than I’d ever imagined, I’m rocking this joint called life, I’m truly happy and successful, have an awesome community of friends and readers, love what I do, know some of the most amazing people ever, sparkle with good vibe energy, have big plans and live a good, simple life.

As Stuart Smalley says:  I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me! *wink*

Time-Out gave me a chance to embrace my blessings, an opportunity to practice extreme self care, insights into my patterns, face my ego-based fears, become aware of the attachment to externals, and taught me to not equate performance with popularity.

It also gave me lots of chocolate cake. Yes sirree, life is GOOD. Now where shall I send the comparison monster..


If you actually read all the way through, send me your deets and I’ll send you over some Nutella! Boy I had a lot to say thanks for reading 🙂 I won’t ask you any questions this time, feel free to share whatever pops up. Maybe let intuition guide you. I love you!

Facebook comments:



  1. says

    Oh goodness me, it’s almost 6am and I’ve been up all night – or is that morning? Forgive any typos et al k… I’m sl..e..eeppy… gnite!

  2. says

    Tia, I laughed when I read this post. Why? Because I just finished writing a new post on my own blog and when I checked the stats, my heart sank 🙁 I had to remind myself the reason why I started blogging. It serves as a creative outlet for me. I am a magazine and web writer but sometimes I don’t get to write whatever the hell I want to write! My blog serves this purpose.

    Thank you for sharing your real inspiration for taking a time out! It’s all good!


  3. says

    I know, right Judie? It’s the human condition to always want more, more, more!

    We have to TRAIN ourselves to be happy with what we have while at the same time aspiring for more – tricky one.

    Coming back to the “why” is always an eye opener as I found out. I love being in flow – writing and doing things passionately without caring about such inanities.

    And paradoxically, when we stop looking at stats (like I did back in June when those big #s were around), THAT’s when things start happening! Thanks for sharing your experience too, good to know I’m not alone 😉 Ha ha

    ps: get yourself a gravatar gf! http://en.gravatar.com/

  4. Anna says

    Tia, I LOVE that you’re so open and forthcoming about what goes on within for you! This is the stuff that really helps so many, and ultimately, I feel, what people are really hoping to find. It gives us something to relate to, with a healthy dose of vicarious growth tossed in for fun… And who doesn’t like fun?!

    As for numbers … after reading that bit about going from 20 million to 510,000 several times in an attempt to decode your typo (ahem) I learned about Alexa… and I am SO VERY GLAD that I tossed the weight scale years ago. Numbers… the more we think of ’em, the bigger they get (tee hee hee).

    Happy Numberless Day!

  5. says

    Thanks Anna! I started with a different post and just cldn’t hit the publish button cos it didn’t feel right. Am I ever glad, cos right after that, this post just wrote itself.

    I actually like that #’s grow the more we think of them – in some cases. Like, the number of good times had, $ in the bank, overseas trips etc. I’m so not getting rid of the external manifestations of what I want, just the validation that comes from them 😉

    BUT most of all, I like the #s that show how many times I was nice to myself and others, how many times I laughed, felt good etc. THOSE are the #s that really matter, imho.

    Here’s to FUN lessons learned. Thanks for “weighing in” hahahahaha!

  6. says

    *sigh* my guess is that we all go through it. Thanks for sharing. I’ve had a few self-imposed breaks lately to make sure that I am enjoying myself and family. Its hard not to compare and remember that we are all individuals – so not worth comparing 🙂

  7. says

    I hear ya girlfriend! It made me wonder what we’d all be without comparisons and yardsticks, how would we chart progress.. and, would we be happier and more productive if we didn’t compare ourselves with others or against standards? I’d like to think so.

    What if the only measure of success was how we felt? What a beautiful thing THAT would be. Now to convert the world to think this way! Hmmm…

    Get this, I was JUST thinking about you and wondering how the “top secret mission” went – heard Jason Mesnick and Molly got engaged in Queenstown!? WAY COOL. I’m headed back in December, just gotta book a flight soon. That will be 3 weeks of top quality time out with friends and their bubs 🙂

    So great to see you here, thanks for droppin by Ms Ghada xo

  8. says

    Hi Tia,

    Had to respond to this post as it really speaks to me. Like you, I’d been working on my business day and night over the last few weeks. Rarely a day goes by even weekends when I don’t have the laptop on.

    Something I’ve noticed about building my business, whether it’s increasing income or stats or whatever – it happens when I’m happy and not stressed!

    When things seem to get stuck, it helps me so much to take a time out. I like to remind myself that I started my business to serve me as well and to create the lifestyle I want. If it’s not doing that because I’m stressed about it, then it’s time to take a step back!!

    Phew. Easy to say 🙂

    On that note, I am turning off my laptop for the day (it’s a beautiful day here in New Zealand)…gonna enjoy it.

    Love Anna

  9. says

    You know Anna, I didn’t realise it till you talked about having your laptop on all the time, but so far I’ve been thinking I only work a few hours a week, like I always intended.

    Fact is, my lappytoppy (as I’ve named it 😉 is on from the minute I wake up till I go to sleep at night – about 14 HOURS a day with a couple of 30-60 min time outs during the day. That is INSANE!

    And it’s also where where I spend all the EXTRA hours (apart from coaching clients) – on teleclasses, seminars, assisting courses, market research, talking to people about their social media needs (for free), reading blogs, newsletters, listening to pod casts, watching inspirational vids, social networking, marketing, working on my brand / niche, new business ideas, coaching for myself, writing articles, ezines & blog posts, responding to comments, emails, and so so much more.

    I do this 7 days a week, about – omg – 10 hours a DAY!? 70+ hours a week? And I think I’m working 15 hours a week? O.M.G. Never calculated it like that before :O

    That’s a LOT of time and it’s all related to work even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes (esp when it’s as fun as social media hehe). No wonder I feel like a chicken with my head cut off sometimes. Even the time I spend offline, I spend thinking about what to do when I’m back online.

    Oooeerrr… “problem” is, it’s so easy to get sucked into thinking all this is actually productive and put off action for another time. One way around that is to lay off the keypad until I’ve done at least 3 things on my list. Or create a system where for every hour online, I get to take 30 min off checking off my list or just being. Hmm..

    Right then, awareness is key as I always say and it may be time to limit computer activities to 8 hours a day. Can I do it? Yes. Will I? Watch this space!

    Enjoy that glorious NZ summer, sweetie. I’ll be rockin’ over soon enough! Thanks for sharing btw, your gravatar pic is the cutest! Love your smile!

  10. Janice Laing says

    I like the girl who wrote this post….she rocks! Btw I’ve owned the book “The Power Of Now” for almost 4 years…thanks for reminding me…I think I’ll start reading it finally! xo

  11. says

    It’s sure been a while since I saw you here Janice, and look at that cute picture! I am loving having gravatars back 🙂 Funny – I’ve had the book for a few years as well and never managed to complete it. Which is just fine cos I pick it up when I need some gyan and peace of mind and it always works. Not the kind of book to read in one setting, rather, keep coming back to it as and when you need to slow down. SO great to have you drop by, thanks muchly and big hugs xoxo

  12. says

    So funny- I am totally stat obsessed too. It’s a real problem! I noticed that I have this desire to monitor the works of mentors and others in my field, but if they’re posting more, tweeting more etc.. then I feel a huge pressure to crank out more content. Same thing with increasing followers. It’s an exhausting cycle and one that I’m determined to get out of.

    Love that we’re on the same wave-length around this. It gave me some good nuggets to ponder. Keep up the awesome personal development!

    Hugs, Sarah

  13. says

    I knew there would be others like me in my circle of friends! After all, we’re all part of a tribe 🙂 Admitting it wasn’t easy but I find the more I share, the easier it is to laugh at my ego-self.

    Funny thing is, I don’t look at stats of people who are at the same level as me, I look at people wayy ahead like Leo Babauta and @copyblogger (Brian Clark) and wonder why I’m not there yet. Kinda forget it took them a couple of years to get there!

    Also, it might help here to add it’s not really the #’s I care about as much as what that means to me – an engaged community of growth oriented people, fantastic discussions where we learn from each other, insights, ideas, camaraderie, a place to hang out virtually and have fun! THAT’s what I really want and … I have it 🙂

    Thank goodness for recognizing and easing up on it ay. Forget about keeping up with the Joneses (wt reg to how much to post/tweet), that’s one thing I do have a handle on. I know how often I can post and write and I’m fine with that. I’d like to get to 3X a week but for now 2 is fine (besides, that’s twice as much as a few months ago – progress!)

    Remember to do what feels good Sarah. It’s not how often you do it but how passionate you are when you DO (this goes for anything at all haha).

    One thing I’m really good at is ignoring unsubs from ezine/twitter etc. Happens once in a while and I just don’t worry about it after that initial noticing. Cos here’s what I’ve found – for each unsub, there are 5 more subs and it’s better to have people around who want to hear what I have to say than people who don’t care about the ride. Sides, what we focus on expands..

    GOOD on you for noticing the obsession and wanting to get out. May I suggest not checking stats for a couple of days? I’m shocked at how easy it is for me to say away once I decide to ignore #s. Twice a week is enough, really.

    Here’s to #less worlds of freedom hey?! Thanks for ‘fessing up along with me!

  14. says

    This post resonates on so many levels. I love what you wrote: “Trying to be more authentic = one simply can’t be authentic. Because, as my favourite Yoda-ism goes: Do or Do Not, There Is No TRY. You are either authentic or you’re not. Period.”

    It reminds me of when my kids or others would say they were SORTA in trouble, had a problem, liked someone, etc. To which I would say, you can’t sorta have a problem, you either do or don’t. So admit it and get on with resolving it.

    What you said about being TRYING to be authentic can be expanded to everything. I laugh at the times that I tried to bluff my way through things and end up sounding ridiculous. I feel so much better when I fess up that I don’t know and ask questions. When we try to be something we are not, know something we don’t or act like someone else we come off fony–because we are at that moment.

    But the real gem in your message for me was your recognition that just telling it sets you free. I wrote a response to one of your posts about facing fears. In doing that I set the fear free and the wisdom that I needed came to me in the way of Abe quotes and passages in Ask & It Is Given, and in many more wise gems from contacts that I had with family and friends.

    When we have the courage to expose ourselves and our vulnerabilities “pocks, marks and all” (as my Mom use to say), we gain so much in ways that we can’t ever imagine.

    My heart is buzzing because I identify with so much of what you have said, and the best part was the reason that you and Anna gave of why you are blogging and creating your business in the first place. You both have a core value in serving others, and I imagine most of your followers have the same core belief. I know I do. And through our authenticity we give, receive, share, learn and grow from all that is written here.


    P.S. Pock, marks and all refers to all those things we try to conceal such as chicken pocks scars, birthmarks and anything else that we deem unsightly. Though this metephor is skin deep blemishes, she was speaking of the short comings in character.

  15. says

    Cldn’t have said it any better myself, Berta “I feel so much better when I fess up that I don’t know and ask questions”

    One of the biggest challenges facing us is the inability to ask for help, thinking we have to come across as some sorta expert all the time.

    I’m going to go off on a wee tangent now..

    Just heard some shocking stuff about a few “internet marketer experts” that I met via twitter a few months ago and am appalled at the level of inauthenticity displayed by them.

    WOW. The same people who talk about being authentic and transparent, have been found to be downright liars about their “million dollar” businesses. A few months ago I unsubbed from a whole bunch of them for spamming me with the same affiliate emails which gave me a bad feeling. SO glad now that I trusted my intuition and never bought any of their programs. Yikes.

    I’ve learned there really are no short cuts and if anyone promises that, run fast and run far. And there is a big difference between being authentic and being transparent, imho.

    Authenticity really shines through when you open your heart and come from a place of sharing, giving and caring. Transparency often looks like people trying to show how open they are, but really, it just comes across as hogwash.

    Tangent off.

    True courage to me is exhibited by men like Steve Pavlina – who says it like it is and risks huge criticisms for living his life the way he does. For that, he’ll always have my respect.

    Uh oh I’m still thinking about these people.. they’ve really got me thinking..

    Truth is, when people chase money over service, it’s only a matter of time till they lose it all. Or at least lose credibility. If there ever was a case for being authentic and courageous, this is it!

    Thanks for joining me in living a brave, pockmarked life. You rock, do you know? xo

  16. Ricardo says

    Hi Tia,

    as a fellow PM Member I added you a week ago to my Google Reader because I liked your post “Tueasdy Tip – Face One Fear today!”

    It spoke me off the heart since I’ve found it one of the most helpful things in life: “Face one fear a day, keeps unhappiness away” 🙂

    Regarding your actual post, in my personal oppinion, it’s your best (of the one’s I’ve read). Not only are you on the right track, expressing gratitude instead of complaining. But also, you’re thinking about what IS instead of what ISN’T. And that open-heartnedess and the way you speak about your thoughts and fears to get rid of them inspires others and proves “Hey look, at least she’s got it, I’m not the only one thinking like that” And when reading the comments of the persons above it’s also easy to see that many people are sharing your thoughts and that you’re touching them.

    If I can, I would like to encourage you to continue being a source of inspiration for others – it seems like your niche 😉

    I love the things you quoted from Tolle’s Book, I already printed them and put them on my wallet, they are a way out of procrastination and other negative feelings for many people.

    So, great job and have a nice evening!


    PS: Holding you accountable to reply (PM Acc.Group) 😉

  17. says

    Ricardo, as the token male responding to this post, extra special thanks to you! Your support and words mean a lot to me 🙂 Will definitely be doing and being what and who I need to in order to have fun and live my best life ever. Thanks for keeping me accountable on PM – I’m excited to be a part of that great group of entrepreneurs, watch out 2010 hey!

  18. Carol says

    Miss Tia, I admire how you are able to expose your vulnerability and put yourself out there with every post! I fit the Scorpio stereotype . . . strong emotions hidden beneath a very still exterior. Several people over the years have told me that they’d love to know what is going through my mind because I never let on what I am thinking. I have always played my cards very close to my chest, which is one reason I’ve been a lurker on this blog for much longer than I’ve been a poster. And now, as scary as it is sometimes, I am starting to open up. So even though there is no way to keep a stat on the impact you are making in others’ lives, I want you to know that you are really a great example for me for learning to share who I really am with the world. Even though you don’t need the external validation, it is important to tell people when they are making a difference in your life. So thank you!

    Did you read yesterday’s Abe quote? Here is part of it . . . “All is well, and you will never get it done. Life is supposed to be fun. No one is taking score of any kind, and if you will stop taking score so much, you will feel a whole lot better — and as you feel a whole lot better, more of the things that you want right now will flow to you.” Definitely a good reminder for all of us to stop taking score, even if it is just with outselves . . .

  19. says

    Haha the grammar gremlin strikes again! So glad it’s not just me who types so fast and excitedly that the gremlins play with my words >: ) LOL

    Carol, it must have something to do with the fiery gabbiness of Saggitarianism aligned with the airy chattiness of a Mercury in Gemini, to get all astro about it. Seriously though, it hasn’t been easy but since this is one of my values (and cos so many people have helped ME by being open and honest), I figure it’s my purpose to be authentic about my human-ness. People like you, yes, YOU, for being so courageous and vulnerable in sharing your own vulnerabilities.

    Your words went right to my heart – thank you for “”you are really a great example for me for learning to share who I really am with the world.”” It’s beautiful to have such feedback from people I care about 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    Thanks for the Abe quote, hadn’t seen it till now. No scores! I’m on board with THAT.


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