Each one of us has been through the ringer more times than we care to remember as leaders.
Leaders take a lot of hits
From challenging staff, and mean bosses, to simply exhaustion from an overwhelming workload. Most, leaders simply knuckle down and try to power through.
Leaders neglect themselves
The problem is, incident after incident, hit after hit, we just keep adding it on to our already damaged bodies, minds, and souls. As we pile on damage, our confidence deteriorates. We become less effective and find less joy in what we do. This decline is because we never take true, time to heal.
It's time for healing
Healing. That word doesn't seem to fit with leadership. But they must go together. If you want to be an effective, powerful and happy leader, you must add healing to your world.
Injuries require healing time
We have all had a little scratch that we didn't think much about and it just went away. A pulled muscle in your back likely caused more thought and attention to have it heal. The same is true in varying levels of broken bones, serious strains or when someone has a heart attack. If we don't give a physical injury time to heal, it continues to aggravate us. We may reinjure it easier. Unchecked, injuries can lead to other complications.
It is time for a mindset shift
A harsh comment from a boss or board member can sting. Persistent challenging behaviour from a staff can drain our energy and damage our courage. Long hours, high stress and extreme pressures are injuries. They hurt us. Some of the injuries hurt us physically, causing muscle tension or fatigue. Other injuries damage us psychologically. Often hardest hit, is our confidence.
We start to question ourselves
Leadership injury, trauma or damage, challenges our confidence. We begin to question ourselves:
The answer to all three of these questions is YES!
You have to believe
That is where confidence comes in. You have to believe you have what it takes to lead, and to lead fully. If your ankle is still sore, you won't play full out. If you are unsure if your back can handle it, you will not go on that big hike. If your heart hasn't healed, you won't be running around on the playground with your grandchild. If you don't heal, you lose confidence in your abilities.
If your heart hasn't healed, you won't be your powerful self
When you haven't healed from the hurtful comments you received, you will stay quiet. If you haven't taken the time to reconcile the last attack on you at staff meeting, you'll be hesitant to bring forward the next issue that need to be addressed. If you don't heal from each incident small or large, they will simply continue to pile up on each other.
1) Think about it differently
See what is going on as an injury. A change in mindset helps not to gloss over what happened.
2) Have self-compassion
Recognize the impact this incident had on you. Be compassionate towards yourself. It hurt!
3) Take time to heal
Healing doesn't have to take hours or days. Healing can take place in the moment or in hidden moments that you gift yourself. The key is to allow it to happen.
Restore your confidence
When you take the time to recognize the damage inflicted by the day-to-day realities of leadership, it gives you the opportunity to do something about it. Recognizing the damage and then compassionately dealing with it will put you back on the right track to restoring your confidence.
What healing action have you done to help you restore your confidence in yourself after taking a "leadership hit"?
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.