I love seeing people develop clarity of purpose; when they set some big goals for themselves and then take action to achieve those goals. And of course, when they meet those goals and have those wins, it’s very rewarding. Time and again, I’m reminded of how vital small, incremental steps are to long term transformation. Often it’s those little daily habits that end up having a big impact over time, because they instill foundational growth.
I think that’s also why I care so much about health, wellness, and wellbeing. You cannot be optimally effective if you drive yourself to the point of burning out. That expression of ‘burning a candle at both ends’ shouldn’t be the way you live life. Performing at your best, and having a positive impact on your family and business, requires paying attention to what you need mentally and physically to be resilient.
There’s no doubt, COVID-19 has had a major impact on our mental health and our self care practices are more important than ever. Not only for our ability to thrive as business leaders, but in our ability to thrive as human beings.
Self care can look different for different people. It could be a bath and a good book, or putting your phone on do-not-disturb for certain hours within the day. It could be an extra long walk outside with your dog, or a daily meditation practice. It could be a weekly call with a trusted friend. No matter what it is, self care also allows us to practice care and compassion towards others in our lives; family, friends, colleagues, and strangers. When we fill our own cup, we can show up with more presence, grace, and understanding for others—and be the leaders we strive to be.
There has been enormous stress on all of us the past two years—from being separated from loved ones to having to lay off employees and find ways to keep businesses functioning with a newly remote workforce. Bringing empathy and compassion to the table can remind us that everyone is trying to cope the best way they know how. If we can be kind, patient, and curious about where the other person is coming from then we can start to understand what they need in order to get back to center. Our minds cannot be in judgement and curiosity at the same time, so the key is to stay curious. We could all benefit from being a little more tolerant and less quick to judge, pandemic or not.
If we start with what we can control (our own habits, routines, and practices), we are more adept to be able to come at any situation from that place. Leadership starts with the self—and, we cannot pour from an empty cup.
Laura Barton is a Family Enterprise consultant and leadership coach with over 20 years experience. She specializes in improving communication, strengthening team dynamics, and building relationships across family enterprise systems. By incorporating holistic wellness with her practice, Laura facilitates the comprehensive personal and professional wellbeing of those that she serves, and fosters leadership efficiency.
Learn more about Laura and the rest of the Trella team on our About page.