Maxie McCoy

Is it time for your silent retreat? Notes on stepping back…

There was an assumption I always (always) made: if this is the path I’m pursuing in life – this work, these mediums, this career – then the constant use of all things social media was just part of the gig. A nature of the beast. Something to accept and fit into my schedule. Post more and post often. Show the behind-the-scenes and the center stage. Balance encouragement with vulnerability. All the time. It’s just a part of the work. Despite feeling the shudder of but this doesn’t feel good… I operated with equal parts acceptance, belief, and justification.

And then after years of tweets and snaps and filters and posts and likes and feeds… in the heat of an instant, I felt done. Tired. Drained. Over it. The ‘it’ being keeping up with the pace of my social media. Fuck itI’m signing out. And for a bit, I fully I did.

Something happened in the moment away. I realized that I had blindly accepted this way of interacting and never challenged my assumptions about why I had to do it. But in the push for growth and the commitment to my mission…I forgot that I don’t have to do things because “it’s just what you do”.

I don’t have to be constantly connected (it’s exhausting).

I don’t have to be on social 24/7 if I don’t wanna (I don’t).

I don’t have to show all the beautiful places I’m in any given week so people know (external validation isn’t needed to know it’s beautiful).

I don’t have to consume in order to share (feeds don’t bring me joy). I can find my own path forward.

We all need to challenge things we’ve previously accepted. It’s not always about jumping in, leaning in, doing more, hustling harder. But instead, retreating, stepping back, taking a break can give us the most clarity.

There doesn’t always have to be a grand exit, a major blow up, or an elaborate explanation to back away. Sometimes, we know in our gut that it’s just time. Time to ask… is this a must? or did I just tell myself it was?

Time to question… is this bringing me joy? or is there another way?

It’s high time to consider the infinite possibilities for any outcome. Please ditch that template someone else gave you—it only represents minute possibilities.

Maybe you have a hobby to dial down… a commitment you won’t renew… a habit you’re tired of… a way someone told you it had to be. If you’re more drained than you are energized, silently back away. Often the greatest steps we take forward come only after we retreat.Tweet: Often the greatest steps we take forward come only after we retreat. https://ctt.ec/36yYL+ @maxiemccoy

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  1. Thank you for this post. I have a project that I’ve been working on and without the thought or intention, I ended up stepping away from it for a few days. Reading this post reminded me that it’s okay to step away when we need to without feeling guilty or the need to apologize. Thank you!


    I’ve been feeling so like I need to take a step back because everything I’ve been doing has felt so strenuous when it should not. It’s as if I am trying to push against gravity and FAILING BADLY. So I decided to take a step back this month, even though it’s the beginning of 2017 and the energy among the masses right now is all about GO, GO, GO. I was starting to feel like maybe I am just being lazy-minded and then I get this in my inbox and lord knows confirmation always comes in a form or another voice, article, inspiration when it’s necessary.

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