Hand on heart: Have you ever felt bad about indulging in self-care while there were so many important people (projects, tasks,…) to take care of as a leader? Did it feel selfish to focus your own needs, and a waste of time, since you could be doing something more productive and impactful?
It did for me. I used to be notorious for not getting enough sleep, making food choices I wasn’t proud of, and not having as much fun as I was craving to be happy… for all the “best” reasons that had everything to do with being successful in my career. And actually had nothing to do with that at all.
By not taking great care of myself, not only did I sell out on my dreams for my relationship with myself (guess how treating myself poorly played out for my self-confidence?), with my body, and with my family (how fun is a sleep-deprived, stressed-out mom and/or wife?). I also got in the way of having the career of my dreams.
While many of us like to think that investing time into self-care is contrary to building a successful career, actually, the exact opposite is true: Making self-care a priority is key for having, sustaining, and upleveling a fulfilling career.
At HG Corp, we tell our clients that their competitive edge is determined by three things:
- What you know,
- Who you know, and
- How well you take care of yourself.
Early on in your career, what you know is probably the most important factor.
Over time, who you know becomes increasingly important.
How well you take care of yourself, however, is the magic sauce to it all, regardless of which stage of your career you are at.
Here are the three reasons why self-care is a top skill for any leader, at any time:
1. Self-care is good for you
Taking great care of yourself makes you healthy and happy – which (unless you are from another planet) is something that you want. It’s that simple. And you know it.
2. Self-care is good for your team
If you’re not taking care of yourself, your team will take the hit.
There’s no way you can be an extraordinary (or even ordinary) leader when you are tired, hungry, haven’t had a break all week, and have not been on vacation in a year. As much as you might try to prove this wrong, it’s not possible to show up for someone else if you’re not showing up for yourself.
Plus, whether you like it or not, you are constantly modeling for your team: They will mirror the example you give them. So what do you want to be known for in your organization?
3. Self-care is good for the people in your personal life
We want you to be happy, proud, inspired, and effective across the board, both in your professional and in your personal life. And you want that, too, right?
So how can you possibly be there for your friends and family in an impressive way when your tank is empty? How fun will you be if you don’t have any fun yourself? Not much. By taking great care of yourself, you support the people that support you.
Are you ready to make self-care a priority from now on? – Great. Then we only need to get you started. Which is simple.
In order for your self-care to take the front seat, only three things are required:
- A promise (that is specific, measurable, and in a dimension on time), e.g. “Meditate for 5 minutes each day”, or “Go out for dinner with friends once per month”.
- A consequence (which you pay only if you did not keep your promise), e.g. “10 pushups for each meditation missed”, or “If I didn’t go out for dinner, I will call 3 of my friends and chat for at least 20 minutes each by next Sunday”.
- Someone to hold you accountable (because we’re so much better at keeping promises that we’ve made to other people than just to ourselves). Ideally, that would be a coach. Or pick someone else who will root for you and won’t buy into your excuses.
How about making yourself proud of how well you take care of yourself …starting now?
We’re here for you… even when you might not be here for yourself.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how a Coach can support you and your team.