The power of strategic disengagement


In their book The Power of Full Engagement Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz talk about “strategic disengagement.”

Strategic disengagement an intentional period of recovery that paves the way for re-engagement at a higher level.

As in our muscles so in every area of life, growth occurs through periods of stress and recovery.

The mantra “no pain, no gain” is actually true. Virtually every gain in life takes place through effort, stress, or even pain.

There is, however, a tipping point. It’s possible to over-tax muscles, which leads to injury or even permanent disability.

It’s also possible to subject yourself to a prolonged, uninterrupted period of high stress, which leads to what’s popularly called burnout. 

The key to taking advantage of the huge opportunities for personal growth during high stress periods, it’s critical to embrace and practice strategic disengagement.

The last year has been the single most stressful period of my life professionally. Our church is going through some major changes both–a change both of senior leadership, and denominational affiliation.

Change is hard for all of us, and it’s especially difficult in the absence of a senior leader who is the “face” of the organization, in our case without a Senior Pastor.

The key to surviving and thriving in this kind of stressful situation is choosing each day and each week to create ways to strategically disengage–to create a break and some psychological distance from situation.

As you look at your own life, with all of its stress, how are you making space to unplug and disengage?


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