Think about any given stressful situation that you have been in, whether alone, with a single individual or a group and consider what might have taken place if you had just pushed the pause button for 15 seconds. That 15 seconds permits you to 1. Note your adrenaline so it is no longer driving your actions. 2. Quickly invite God into the situation and 3. Remove the first reaction from taking place which is often a bad one.

Telling On Myself: Tom and I just joined a health club (along with half of America I would guess). Going to the gym is not in my routine yet. So I parked the car, carefully hid my ID and headed up the North Hills escalator trying to get a bit of a workout in before Tom’s class ended in 25 minutes when we would officially signed and become members.

As I was about to walk in the door of the gym, I realized that I had left my guest pass in the car. Back I went to the second floor underground and retrieve, this time taking the stairs back up two at a time trying to sneak in a workout before his class ended in just 20 minutes now.

I victoriously hand my free certificate to the front desk employee who then asks me for my ID. No one told me I needed ID. For those of you who have spent years in the gym, yes, it may seem obvious, but I was out of practice (and now out of breath). I recalled that the certificate only said that I needed to present that.

When I returned with my ID, now with only 10 minutes left to workout, I let poor Brandon have it. No, I didn’t yell at him, but I was frustrated and less than friendly. Bottom line – I strongly suggested they include on the certificate and/or the email we receive the need to bring ID along with the certificate.

Here’s the punch line, or in my own conscious, the gut-kicker. If I had used that time up the escalator to push the pause button rather than further build my arrogant and pathetic case, I could have presented a very different Cheryl – one that would have been much more in line with the testimony I’m trying to offer the world.

Coaching Application: What would it look like for you to push the pause button?

Care to take the Pause Button Challenge

In sharing this example with my family around the dinner table – my son came up with another practical example which is more fun to read about. While playing ultimate Frisbee after school with friends, they too often felt the pain of a managing a thriller catch followed by an all too quick release that inevitably went wildly out of bounds or straight into the hands of the opponent. However, now, as a team mate makes a catch, one or more team players will immediately yell out ‘take it slow!’ – in order to remind the player, while in the intensity of the adrenaline filled moment, to pause long enough to think about what they wanted to do next. The opposing team, noticed the winning results, and now uses the same strategic technique.

“Take ‘er slow” and you just might see greater progress in the long run!