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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

The beauty of boredom [Wise Wednesdays]

So it’s that time of the year when society sanctions rest and holidays.

How are you doing with taking time to yourself?

I’ve noticed some guilt and resistance to taking a break myself. Several coaching conversations have also led to the topic of boredom this season. Many action-oriented professionals and leaders have an underlying fear of boredom and a judgement that boredom is bad…

Boredom is a relatively new concept, by the way. “We are less bored than our ancestors were, but we are more afraid of boredom” – Bertrand Russell.

This week, let's praise the beauty of boredom. Here's why.

[Photo: artist unknown but hopefully got that nap]

A recent review of the boredom literature in the Experimental Brain Research Journal reported two types of boredom:

1) Searching boredom: when you feel restless and bored (= “can’t get no satisfaction” feeling)

2) Apathetic boredom: when you feel disengaged and bored (= “meh” feeling).

Which one do you lean towards?

Boredom is essential because it is a transition state between one level of activity and another or one phase of life and another. It seems to appear when you need a break OR a change in your life to shake things up.

If you’re an extrovert who thrives on stimulation, you’re more likely to get caught in the Searching Boredom and feel restless and have a hard time letting go it's time to transition into rest. You stay busy even though there's nothing for you to do.

If you’re an introvert who thrives on alone time, you’re more likely to get caught in Apathetic Boredom and have a hard time when it’s time to get back out there. You stay isolated even though you need new interactions.

What can you do?

Bringing presence to your experience will help you reclaim your power to choose a way forward and play with the possibilities available to you.

Here are a few suggestions based on which type of boredom might be present.

For Searching Boredom, replace the need for outer stimulation by tuning into the richness and beauty of your inner-world and the present moment. Relax into the restlessness so you can reset before setting off again.

For Apathetic Boredom, replace the safety of your inner-world with gentle exposure to new people and situations. Activate your energy with gradually bigger adventures without overwhelming yourself.

Here’s a vintage video Wise Wednesdays with more on why boredom is beautiful, what it can teach you and how to learn from it.

I found myself in Searching Boredom earlier this month. As I relaxed into in, I noticed my mind-body opened up to a new vision for the coming year. Now, I feel a sense of trust in the ‘boredom’ and that it is the beginning of a new creative cycle.

How about you, what have you found in the beauty of boredom?

Have a great week,

Amina | Presence · Power · Possibility

p.s. Wise Wednesdays will be on a break and back in September. Have a great month!

PLUS When you're ready to transform what makes you different into a league of your own here are ways I can help:

1) Self-Coach: Amplify your influence with simple exercises from the Leaders Circle [Download PDF]

2) Read: Get the free chapter from The Success Trap book if you haven’t already.

3) Group learning: TBA

4) 1:1 and small group coaching: Let's explore what it might look like to work together and experience powerful coaching that will cut through the noise and leave you with 1-3 clear steps towards the career and life you truly want. Book an Exploratory Coaching Conversation >>

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