Stepping back: take a bird’s eye view on your life


I am writing you from the arctic.  I just got back from my morning walk out on the bay where the wind whipped my face red.  It is sunny and beautiful but -22 degrees Celsius.

After the walk I went for breakfast in the Grind and Brew café.  There were checkered table clothes on all the tables and music filled the space.  The egg and bacon English muffin was fresh.

As I walked on the lake, I was alone with my thoughts.  And that’s what I’ve been doing this whole trip – spending time alone and taking a bird’s eye view on my life.  As I look at my life in Toronto from this vantage point far North all the decisions that I was going back and forth on become clear:  yes – I do want to move into my own one bedroom apartment, yes – I do want to tell the person I like that I have a crush on them, and yes – I am grateful to have such an interesting job.

In my life in Toronto, I am rarely alone with my thoughts.  I work in an office with co-workers, on the subway I often listen to podcasts, and I take dance classes with friends.  But as I slow down to the pace of life in Nunavut, I am realizing how important it is to step back.  And that it’s relatively easy to do.

How to slow down and step back:

  1. Take a Trip Alone

    The reason I have been able to have this birds eye view on my life is not only because I’m far away from my city and routines, it’s that I’m here alone.  If I was travelling with a co-worker or a loved one, it would still be an amazing experience but I wouldn’t have as much time for reflection.

  1. Spend time in Nature

    Part of the reason I have so much mental space to reflect on my life is my walks by the ocean.  I bundle up with all of the layers of clothes that I have and then often end up sitting in a snow back on the bay, watching the snow fall softly around me.  These moments of sitting in silence outdoors are something that I realize I could create for myself in the sitting – making more of an effort to get out into the park on my own.  Taking time to sit on a park bench.You don’t have to go all the way to the arctic to sit in silence.

  1. Write for the sake of Writing

    Writing is another favourite way to step back and look at my life.  When I was on the plane out here I wrote in my journal, “I haven’t written for the sake of writing in weeks.”  When you are always focused on the next blog post, article and chapter of your book, sometimes you miss stories and insights about your life that you come to when you are writing for no reason but to write and for no one’s eyes but your own.   Just as sometimes you learn something deeper when you write a piece that is going to be shared, you can also learn something that you would have otherwise missed when you write for no one other than yourself.

So step back, make space and take a bird’s eye view on your life.

Do you want to:

  • Feel calmer?
  • Stop feeling so drained?
  • Have more time for what you love?

My weekly courage and career newsletter  is designed exactly for you. You’ll get FREE tips and inspiration on how to build a life and a career that’s aligned with your goals that I  don’t share anywhere else!!

You in?



Take care of yourself!!

Bryn Bamber
Career Burnout Coach
The Courage Compass

Author: Bryn Bamber

Career Coach Bryn Bamber helps people like you find a career that’s aligned with your goals. Her Burnout to Brilliance program teaches you how to make small shifts that will free up tons of energy for the things you really love. Start today with your FREE Checklist: Decrease Stress and Get an Hour of Your Day Back! Get it here - Learn more about Bryn & the Burnout to Brilliance program at

4 thoughts on “Stepping back: take a bird’s eye view on your life”

  1. Whoa! That is a damn good view you’ve got there!

    Regarding your advice, I’m sort of worried of traveling alone, which is ironic because I’m an introverted person and I don’t quite like the idea of being around people. I haven’t done a lot of traveling in my life precisely because it’s hard to come up with a schedule that works for everyone — and by everyone, I mean a handful of friends that I have. Every time I think of traveling alone, I go like ‘huh, I am alone all the time. If I’m alone when I’m out there, I’ll probably be even more bored and the entire time will end up being not worth it.’ But I could be wrong, because I haven’t tried traveling alone yet. Plus there’s the thing with security.

    Going back to your picture, I do want to go to the arctic someday. I have a remote job so all I need is an internet connection. How’s that up there?

    1. Hey – sorry it’s taken me so long to reply.

      The internet in Iqaluit is fast but expensive. You can stream video but most plans don’t cover that much so most people who live there download all the shows they want to watch while they’re visiting down south.

      Maybe take a small trip alone. Go to a nearby city, research cool restaurants or things to do before hand, go for one night and see if you like it?

      All the best,

      1. Sorry it took me so long to reply as well! When you say expensive, how expensive do you mean? I’m not worried about streaming videos. My work requires visiting tons of different image-heavy sites, and I’m wondering if I can do that there. Also, is there any limit to how much data transfer you can do (which would definitely make it harder for me to work).

        I like the idea of a small trip alone. I’ve been planning it for years now. Maybe I should bite the dust and just do it one day.

  2. I’m not sure. I stayed in a hotel while I was there so it was included in the price of the room.

    Small trip sounds good :). Let me know how it goes!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: