The GPS in my car isn’t the best.
Recently, I found myself completely and utterly lost, and in my desperation, I decided to rely on my vehicle's navigation system to guide me to my destination. Little did I know what a mistake that would turn out to be.
Two traffic jams and a pesky road closure later, I finally arrived at my destination, albeit 35 minutes late!
This frustrating situation got me thinking about you – yes, you!
How is your internal navigation system doing? Is your inner compass leading you towards your desired destination in life?
When it comes to merging our personal and professional lives, many business leaders tend to resist.
Instead of granting yourself grace and understanding during difficult times, you may brush off your personal struggles and push ahead with work.
It's a pattern I've observed time and time again, and truth be told, I've been guilty of it myself.
The hard truth is that self-kindness often takes a backseat to the relentless pursuit of work.
Pushing aside your emotions and plowing through the day might seem necessary, but being able to discern when it's time to step away is a powerful leadership skill.
It invites and even welcomes the human element into your business.
Let me share a touching story that illustrates this point.
I was working with a client who had experienced a personal loss. The impact was much greater than she had anticipated.
During one of our coaching sessions, I asked her about the rest of her workday.
She bravely admitted that she had some meetings scheduled, but she had already informed her clients and team that she wouldn't be at her best.
It was a vulnerable moment, and it prompted me to ask her five powerful questions that granted her the permission she sought:
- What do you need most today?
- What would it feel like to give yourself permission to do that?
- What is holding you back from giving this to yourself?
- How would you advise your closest friend in this same situation?
- What would it mean for you to follow this guidance?
Her answers revealed a simple truth – she needed to take care of herself by curling up on the couch, shedding tears, and taking a long, much-needed nap.
Embracing what she truly needed in this moment felt like a warm embrace of softness and kindness. (That’s what self-care feels like.)
However, the pressures of being a business leader held her back from granting herself this essential self-care.
She believed that she had to soldier on, be there for her clients and team no matter the personal cost. But when she considered how she would advise her closest friend in a similar situation, her perspective shifted.
She realized the importance of recognizing that her well-being must come first.
So, here's the bottom line: you, my friend, are not a superhero, but a beautiful, imperfect human being. And that means connecting with what you genuinely need in any given moment.
Should your internal navigation system require a course correction, remember those five powerful questions.
Embrace self-kindness, lead authentically, and follow your path forward with a tender heart.
Remember, my friend, it's okay to be human.