There seems to be a lot of people struggling out there in the market place. I know because since I returned from my holidays this week I’ve had so many phone calls from folks asking me for help as they’re feeling burned out and desperate. When the going gets tough, it’s good to take a step back and check for what’s really going on.
Dr Stephen Covey in his brilliant book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ used the metaphor of ‘sharpening the saw’ to explore the concept of looking after yourself. He talks about someone felling and sawing trees and as time goes on and they neither rest nor sharpen their saw their effectiveness weakens and weakens until they’re making very little impact at all.
I see that behaviour again and again in stressed leaders and stressed and depressed entrepreneurs. They just keep going, working longer and longer hours, making little headway and not having the impact they desire. They neglect themselves, their ‘saw’, and often their families in the process. That’s quite a hefty price to pay when you think about it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you keep getting what you’re getting. If you want different, you need to do different.
Sometimes what is needed is simply time out to step back, re-energise, refocus, redirectionalise, restrategise, But how often do you do that?
I’ve seen people get pretty sick, worn out, squeezed out, and become dry and brittle human beings instead of juicy and juiced. Too many people lose their oomph. And without question these ain’t the times to lose your zest, your juice, your focus.
How resilient are you? How do you prevent burn-out? Psychologist Suzanne Kobasa talked about the 3Cs that are the back-bone of resilience:
A feeling of control over your life is a good thing for both your mental health and your health. Feeling out of control leads to high levels of cortisol. Cortisol is pro-aging, pro-cancer, pro-arthritis, pro-diabetes.
A sense of challenge in your life is also a good thing. Setting goals that are achievable but a stretch. Striving for something. Doing different things. Maintaining your spirit of adventure and expanding your comfort zone are great for your mental health and well-being.
Commitment to something bigger than yourself is important. Whether it’s to your community, your passion/fascination, the planet, the future, whatever. Having ‘me’ism, and being overly self-focused is detrimental to your mental health.
I’d like to add three more Temple C’s to Kobasa’s 3Cs:
To be connected in to others. Pathological independence/aloneness is not good for the soul, or your mental health and well-being. To know your neighbours, to be connected with family and friendship circles, professional networks, interest groups, community groups – whichever work for you – is a great thing.
Do you give? Do you contribute? I truly can’t bear those who just take take take. I drop them like hot potatoes. In my wisdom years I’m interested in reciprocal relationships, how about you? What are you giving? What difference are you making in this world? Do you tithe? Tithe means ‘tenth’. One of the spiritual laws of prosperity is tithing to those who have given you spiritual nourishment. Who has nourished you and helped you grow? How have you given back? Time to tithe? Giving, contributing is good for our mental health and health – huge amount of research about the difference kindness makes to YOU as well as those you give to.
The Dalai Lama reminded me of this one. Compassion. There is always room for compassion in business. Remember that. Compassion is not only good for the soul, it’s good for your heart too. A hard heart, like hardening of the attitudes, literally hardens the arteries too. When in doubt be compassionate. Be compassionate with yourself as well as others.
So the learning this month is to take time out to relax, refresh, re-energise, refocus, redirectionalise and reap the rewards of doing that in business, in health, in your juicy presence, and in your relationships. You are replaceable in business, but not in the lives of those you love and who love you. Punctuate the landscape of your week, your month, your year, your life with oasis of spaces that nourish your soul, your vision, your health and vitality. And notice when you do that that’s often when the ideas just start to really flow.
Enjoy enjoy enjoy! Slow down in busy times. Take time to smell the roses. When you do you’ll find the right things bloom and grow inside of you and your business and your life.
International Success Psychologist Kath Temple loves to influence influencers. Her Strategies for Greatness and mentoring programmes aligns her with entrepreneurs, leaders and thought leaders. If you’re looking for more influence, more impact, & more income, contact Kath on 01502 562162 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01502 562162 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email: firstname.lastname@example.org