Do Leaders Practice Self-Care?
As a solo entrepreneur, business owner, or leader, do you often find yourself at the eye of the storm, fighting not only for the survival of your business or organisation but for yourself on a very personal level.
We all know this tends to sap energy and make work- life balance appear to be a selfish distraction or a pipe dream.
Burn out is a silent killer, invisible to leaders until it becomes extreme. If leaders do recognise burn out it is often too late, and they can’t remedy it because their fundamental ability to take care of themselves is impaired and invisible.
Self-Care Is a Business Decision!
Solo entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners characteristically deny the impact of stress. According to the Center for Creative Leadership ” Leaders aren’t even aware that they are under performing”
It is important that self-Care begins before the disaster occurs. This involves developing a vision for your life and living it. In my previous blog ‘Is Isolation Safe’ you are reminded that the replenishment of the mind and soul will improve decision making and coping skills. Learning to understand the tools and practices of self care beforehand can contribute to well-being and health on a daily basis.
Barriers and Obstacles to Self-Care
There are many barriers to successful self-care that leaders face when deciding to change.
Perhaps a conflict that can also exists, is between the desire for health balance and the war with the fears and beliefs, that are somehow unconscious yet interconnected?
Can a leader’s genes, parent’s anxiety and environment reflect in leader behaviour? For example a predisposition to high anxiety, unreasonable expectations and demand of self and others.?
Successful leaders who tend to be ‘guilt ridden’ or feel undeserving of their entitlement for being successful, have unconsciously felt like an outsider with regards to their family and friends and struggle with self care. Not unlike like the anxiety experience of a lottery winner.
What can ‘feel’ more natural to such a leader is their cultural environment including the family dynamics which often define the leaders’ reality and morality.
This is a leader’s only true story known, despite what the leader says or consciously intends.
Leaders feel the conflict when their reality, their story is violated, rejected, or they leave behind the unspoken norms, patterns governing their family and all that the leader used to do.
This conflict can take the form of guilt, anxiety and impacts unconscious behaviour and choices.
“Such difficulties according to Michael Bader aren’t the exception but the rule, such unconscious conflict can place brakes on wishes to take better self-care, to be patient with and love the self”
Such conflict can create stress, depression, addiction, a belief that leaders really ‘don’t deserve to relax’, but to believe in the’ reality of success’
If leaders were to make that change to self -caring the first thing that they must do is to Get a coach this one simple act can:
• Improve self-awareness
• Identify areas of strength and vulnerability
• Identify stress management techniques that will work!
• Avoid risky behaviour
• Discover how to approach ‘wellness’ as a business challenge with a vision and a plan
• Accountability partner
What Will Self-Care Look Like?
Science has proven that without proactive, effective self-care, the impact on the leader can be debilitating to creativity, judgement and insight. Qualities that are necessary for sustained performance, success in business and life.
Research with Leaders who opted for self-care interventions have demonstrated
• Greater productivity
• Brighter mental clarity
• More energy
• Improved ability to readily access flow and high performance states.
“When these individuals meet their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs , standing in the power of their best selves, they inspire others to realize their potential performance and productivity”
Dr C L Ackrill MD of WellSpark
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• No time to focus on YOU!