Updated: Mar 24
Welcome to the club .. you are not alone. Every owner or leader faces tricky challenges throughout their career that require their brightest thinking cap and best self. Challenges that sneak in, or abruptly show up can include: ego, hard truths, relentless pain points or fires, fear of uncertainty, lack of patience.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic many new challenges have been invented. I share this post to reveal how normal these challenges are in my work with business owners and leaders. Read on for details on how you can remedy and what moving past such challenges might look like for you. After all is said and done you may even express gratitude for the learning they provided you with.
I’m in charge, therefore I have to appear as the expert. (“Oh hi ego!”)
Reality check.. you are not creator of all, or knower of all things. Sure, this might be your baby or pet project, but given your mind and energy is tapped constantly it’s difficult to have answers to it all. The belief, limiting belief that is, “I should know this.. I should be seen as this ..” is merely coming from your inner judge.
Being honest and transparent with yourself and others is a big sigh of relief for your nervous system. Be real with others, collaborate with them, provoke their capabilities by asking questions or hearing their point of view to keep churning the dial forward.
Bottomline, it’s not a requirement that you know it all, be it all, or do it all.
There are hard truths to deliver and I don’t want to hurt anyone - or even myself.
Courage, along with trusting the innate human resourcefulness we all have within.
We are capable of picking ourselves back up again, even with what may be perceived as a heavy blow in the form of feedback, or a change in plans or structure. Trust that you or your peers can’t be broken; resourcefulness and resiliency is always available for us to tap into. Holding back the truth is likely a reason why the other challenges remain alive.
I’m in fire-fighting mode, unable to see the broader picture.
Take responsibility in the form of a time-out to pause and reflect. Be open to alternate perspectives and possibilities.
You’ll have to take a time-out even when you feel you can’t afford to. Create the space to assess. Have someone like a coach be a second ear, listening to what’s really being said or not said so you can be heard, reconnected to the vision, explore potential possibilities, and move from defence to offence.
Choose a growth mindset, over fixed - optimistic and open to new ways of thinking.
The world is in neutral right now, therefore I should stay in neutral.
Re-visit your why. Call on your courage.
Your why is your purpose, vision, mission, objectives, intentions - or any form of these. What problem are you here to solve, or how are you here to serve? Ask yourself this very question. You may wish to engage with others to stimulate your thinking.
Get excited about your why and empower your supports to join as well. Acknowledge the strength both you and they bring, and kindle the energy forward. Assign responsibility and accountability to yourself and others. When you have troops to support you most of them want to, or are waiting to be called upon, to be of support and help deliver. If they're showing little motivation, it could be because they're unclear what they're supposed to be doing.
Sometimes leaders feel stuck in neutral for fear of getting it wrong – perfection paralysis. Leaders have to call on their courage, often putting themselves out there. If we stayed safe all the time, innovations and movements would never be created. Detours are obstacles in the right direction. Trying and failing is better than obsessing over getting it right and never trying at all.
Impatience. I wanted 'it' yesterday.
Lean back and relinquish control. Tune to other joy.
We’re all waiting for something to occur or manifest. “Things will be better when I land this deal .. or when I complete this assignment .. or when I get healthier.” It may be true that it will feel great to accomplish and receive, but it’s taxing and often times an uphill battle when it's a stress-induced ride to get there. Be intentional, carry-on your endeavours, but enjoy the process of executing your actions. Lean back and trust that the effort you’re putting out there will return to you in some favourable form. Lean into joy while you wait – do what has meaning to you.
In a reality where we’ve had many (COVID-19) restrictions placed upon us, and we’ve been tasked to re-route and make the best of our new reality. It’s been a huge test on our patience. Remain optimistic, commit to your momentum, and allow it to work its way to you.
Finally, remember that you’re the vessel carrying the goods, so take good care of your whole being – body, mind, spirit – so you can show up as you desire, and be of positive influence and inspiration for the rest. Give yourself the self-compassion you deserve, often times this gets lost on a business owner or leader who’s steering many ships. Remember you can always look back and acknowledge the abundant progress you’ve made to get you where you are. This part feels good.
What steps are you taking as you steer forward?