Over time I’ve discovered that new year resolutions aren’t that motivating for me and whenever I did try them, I rarely followed through for more than a few weeks. Whilst I have nothing against new year resolutions, nowadays I save myself the angst and no longer set them!
But what about you leader? Is this the year you’ve promised yourself that things will finally be different? Is this the year you’ll spend a bit less time on work and more time for yourself and with loved ones? Are you determined that this year you’ll have more headspace, less overwhelm, less guilt? Perhaps 2021 is the year you share your ideas with others with confidence and clarity?
You really can achieve those dreams.
There’s no doubt about it, it will be hard work! You’ll be creating new habits and new ways of thinking and doing and responding. You see, you already have habits and patterns that have been with you for decades and they do not want you to let them go!
Don’t be put off by the hard work. You are a hard worker. Look at all the time and energy you have dedicated over the years to getting things right, to not letting others down even when it meant staying up till the early morning, to getting the job done, done well and done on time. Look at how hard you’ve worked at appearing calm and confident on the outside while feeling unsure and anxious on the inside.
Leader, you have the time, energy and commitment to make the changes you want.
What you might not have is the confidence, the tools and the strategies to help build your new way of being.
What I’m almost certain you don’t have is the self-compassion to encourage yourself, to see your progress and your strengths and to pick you up and keep you motivated when it doesn’t all go to plan.
It’s hard to do this for yourself, especially when you have a deeply embedded habit of looking for what’s wrong or what could have been better or how it should have been done.
So this year, if you really do want to do things differently, to overcome those habits that are getting in the way of you showing up as the leader you want to be and burning up a lot of your mental time and energy, may I suggest you ask someone to help you.
Asking for help can feel like failure for many of us. You might be telling yourself the story that you just need to try harder, work harder, suck up the worries and just get on with it. Maybe you don’t want to ‘burden’ others with your stuff.
In the past, you’ve tried working harder, working more, just getting on with it and sucking it up. Why not shake things up this year and try bringing someone onto your team to help you work on you.
A mentor, a critical friend or a professional coach will help you to bring about the changes you are dreaming of. They will be the balanced voice to your critical one. They’ll help you see growth when all you can see is failure. They’ll help you map your way forward in a way that is achievable and sustainable. They’ll model the compassion, encouragement, wisdom and kindness that you don’t find easy to give to yourself.
This year as you set out with hopes and good intentions, take the time to find someone who will be a wise, kind and honest companion for you on your journey to being the leader and human you want to be.