‘The act of not being so fucking hard on yourself. Just because we’ve been doing it a long time does not mean it’s normal. Or sustainable.’ – Dr Joanna Martin
We are all depleted. Shot to bits.
And most of us were depleted even before the pandemic came hurtling through our doors and turfed out what little resources we had left.
But we’re leaders – heroes – so stand aside, please, there are people to save. Muscles to flex. There is no fear here. No hurdle we cannot curdle.
Kryptonite does not exist, where we’re from.
Or so we say.
The truth, of course, is somewhere quite far, far, away. For we are no more heroic figures than we were before all this. But we’ve convinced ourselves otherwise.
Resilience rules, you see! As if it’s some sort of badge of honour we’ll one day show our grandchildren, whilst wearing warrior pyjamas and sucking life out of a strangled straw.
The truth is…the truth…actually…is…we are depleted. Reserves are low, stress and irrationality are high, and the best decisions are in short supply. And like all flawed protagonists, we beat ourselves up.
Stuff strewn across the kitchen table. Punch! Kids trudging mud through the house (again!) Boom! Incorrect answer to your partner’s question. Thwack! Argument with the dog. Kapow!
And this is why, in this moment, this very extraordinary, unfathomably uncomfortable, time-eroding, soul-sapping, unique experience of a moment, we need to tell the perfectionist in us to, “FUCK OFF.”
Because only by taking a break and being kind to ourselves can we defeat our depletable resource.
Superheroes are supposed to represent hope, opportunity, and strength for everybody. But if as leaders we don’t look after ourselves, villainous notions will prevail.
One day very soon – at a moment quite subjective – we will feel replete again. And then the next battle can commence.
This article was fashioned as a comic book fable extracted from the MembersOnly leadership course, Beyond Limits, written and presented by Rebecca Shannon, a certified One of Many leadership coach. To watch this session, click here.
Simon is founder and CEO at MembersOnly.
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