Astrid Davies tells us how a recent coaching client is now looking after themselves and leading their business to success.
A coaching client asked me, “I need to look after myself more, don’t I?”.
We had been working together for a few sessions. Time and again this entrepreneur criticises himself for what he sees as his own failures and as a result is diminishing any resilience to change. Consequently, his business is not able to seamlessly adapt to changes in his marketplace. Quite simply, he was stressed, anxious, exhausted.
What he sees as failures were what you and I would probably see as something he could choose to do differently, maybe some of the teaching and coaching communities’ EBIs – the Even Better Ifs. None of them are catastrophes, disasters … failures.
The Coaching Conversations
During our coaching conversations, we had been discussing how he views his own performance. He explained that he has an unhelpfully high bar. This means that he holds himself to such a high standard that it leaves no room for error, experimentation or even the potential for real life to get in the way.
As a result, he was not resilient and his business planning did not feature resilience either. He could not mitigate the impact of the slightest variation from his plan. This meant he was not looking after his business. He was not looking after himself.
By exploring this high bar, and by using some courageous reflection on what this means for his company, his staff and him, this young entrepreneur is able to understand much more about how he does what he does – and why. Always a man for a plan, he built up a strategic action plan for how he would change, what he would do, and when he would achieve it. And he did. And the best bit? He looked after himself through this whole change journey and is thriving as a result.
What was the most important change?
The most important part of this client’s reflection is his learning about the importance of self-compassion. Entrepreneurs are renowned for pushing themselves to the brink. They drive hard to make their business work, to build their dream. They do what it takes, and more, to make it a reality.
There is no room for self-compassion in this, right?
Without self-compassion (namely, understanding why you do what you do and the fact that sometimes it’s OK not to be OK), there can be no genuine self-care. Without self-care, there is the real risk of a lack of resilience. There will be an ever-present fear of under-delivery, and therefore the prospect of damaging burnout.
Even the most inveterate planner needs to account for the inevitability of change. That is a key first step towards self-care, for example building flexibility and the “human factor” (i.e. room for error and alteration) into plans. This allows some room for experimentation, changing of minds, even the decision to stop something for a while. It is about the entrepreneur looking after themselves in a very simple way; not holding themselves harshly to account for every detail of the business, every day. And it works.
Do you recognise this in yourself?
If you recognise yourself in this article, and know that, if you are honest, you hold too high a standard for yourself, you may need to look after yourself too.
Executive coaching from The Change Maker Group is proven to help with this. Especially, it helps you to focus on what is important. It helps you pace yourself as well as understanding the impact your pace has on others.
Best of all, it helps you look after your most important business asset – YOU. So please, take a look at what we offer on The Change Maker Group website and get in touch for a chat. That’s all it could take, to really change your world.
Contact Astrid at [email protected]
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