Why Taking A Break Is Not the Same As Admitting Failure


Everyone wants to make something of themselves. Within every human being lives this innate need to prove our worth to the world, and to make an impact – no matter how small. On our website, we’ve featured scores of women who have done just that; some have become pro MMA fighters, some have started thriving businesses from home, and some have successfully raised families on their own.

Of course, nothing comes easy – and the desire to achieve something comes with a lot of pressure. I’m not just talking about the pressure to show up and contribute, I’m also talking about the emotional pressure to keep pushing and get things done, while also keeping a clear head and a positive mindset. This can make taking a break feel like you’re letting down people who rely on you, and can seem tantamount to failure.

Self-care is a strength, not a weakness! 

Every human being needs to be taken care of – and while we can (and should) look to our friends and family for support, it’s the care we give ourselves that is truly most important. Some people may have you think that self-care is as easy as a face mask, a long soak in the bath, or going on vacation, but self-care is actually way more complicated.

The hardest part of self-care is listening to your body, identifying its needs, and then responding to those needs. It’s like knowing to make a doctor’s appointment when you start feeling ill, or knowing not to eat that tub of ice-cream when you’ve got a sore throat. Knowing when to give yourself a break is an extremely important life skill, and should be encouraged.

Of course, there are still many workplaces in Malaysia that do not recognise this need, which has led to many women dropping out of the workforce. What this shows is that there is a dire need to start seeing self-care not as a source of weakness, but as an incredible source of strength!

Taking breaks can help you grow.

I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase about “too much of a good thing” also being a bad thing. Having focus in what you do is great, and can keep you from getting distracted. But being too focused on a singular goal can cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture. Taking a break can help you re-evaluate your priorities and re-focus your direction in a way that you might not have thought of before.

In just the same way as you might discontinue a product if it’s not selling well, or re-evaluate a marketing strategy, taking a break for yourself is a strategic part of any business plan. Try it when you feel yourself wearing thin, and you might just find that it’ll help you come back stronger than if you’d just carried on and pushed through because you were afraid to fail.


We’ll be talking more about collaboration over competition and other topics at our MissMafia Real Talk event, presented by DOJO KL. Join us on the 7th of July for an inclusive and honest discussion with some kick-ass ladies about Women Who Work It, and Werk It. Click here to register!

About Sunita Soh

Hello! I’m Sunita, a proud “dan lain-lain” Malaysian with a passion for feminism and really good char kuey teow. When I’m not rescuing cats or making endless playlists on Spotify, you can find me with my nose buried in a book or glued to my laptop watching cooking tutorials.

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