There is a lot of conversation about self-love and self-care in the world today, but not necessarily a lot of understanding of what it actually means. And why would I be writing about it on a platform devoted to business?
I often talk to my clients about this concept because I believe it lies at the heart of us being able to feel contentment, fulfilment, connection and successful.
We work hard for many different reasons, but at the core of it is that we are seeking the fulfilment that we believe will come with our commercial success. We want to experience the pride of achievement, the recognition of our peers, the satisfaction we will feel with our PDS (not Product Disclosure Statement, but Public Displays of Success 😉) such as the house, the car, the holiday, the clothes and so on. Haha, as a cyclist I should add “the bike” in here too.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on that ride too, and it can be fun, but it rarely achieves what we hope it will without other things in place, and that is the point of this article.
It’s easy to think at this point that I might be referring to having “balance” in our lives, but its more than that. Balance seems to connote some zen-like existence where everything is easy, stress free, and fun. We think we are achieving it if we take some time out for a weekend away, a spa treatment, a regular game of golf or tennis with our friends and a regular date night with our loved one.
But true balance takes work and commitment, I was once given an analogy that balance is like the juggler spinning multiple plates on sticks. They get the plates spinning quickly and are constantly looking for the next plate to start to wobble, then run over, give it some attention to speed it up and it stays balanced. The more plates they have up, the more they need to run and keep them spinning. This is what balance is about, running around, giving regular attention to the important things in our lives to stop them crashing to the floor.
When we attach too much of our self-love, our self-esteem to our Work, the other important plates of Health & Happiness and our Relationships start to wobble. For many men and women, its often the Health and Happiness plate that suffers first as they try to devote time to their Work and Relationships better. They become tired, overweight, unhappy and sleep deprived.
Without that solid foundation of real Self-love we get from recognising our personal needs, we can’t be truly present in our Relationships or our Work, and our performance in both areas suffers.
We build and sustain our ability to be self-loving by understanding our fears and anxieties about who we are and learning to be less self-critical. As we increase our understanding and acceptance of ourselves, we are more prepared to give time to ourselves to exercise, eat well and be mindful. This understanding improves the quality of our relationships with both lovers and friends and gives us the energy and ability to focus on our work with greater effectiveness.
The best leaders have their own sh*t together, first and foremost. Leadership isn’t something that just happens at work, it is a life skill that begins and ends with how you lead your own life.
Pragmatico helps you build your effectiveness at work and at home by working on some of the key levers in your business, but importantly, we tackle some of the big life issues that take the edge off your ability to perform at your best. I’d love to talk to you about it.