Mar 10

How To First Lead Yourself. CEOs Create Strong Foundations With Boundaries And Permission.

I have had an enormous week where I have been super productive, but without a lot of spare time. On top of which I have not been sleeping all that well because my brain has been working very hard to design programs and find solutions to a couple of things I am working on.

Needless to say, I am treading a very fine line to find some balance that works for me.

As you probably realise, I write an article every week for the people in my tribe. This is something I have been doing consistently for years now. And yet this week I did not find a space where I could get into flow and write my article. It was Thursday afternoon and I still had not written it. I should have delivered the article to my team at least 24 hours earlier. So the pressure was on.

Or was it?

Because to be honest, I create this requirement for myself. If I was not to produce an article, what would be the real impact? Or if it was to be a few days late, what would be the impact? Probably not significant. Although of course, I would be disappointed because I feel like this is a commitment that I have made to my tribe.

So yesterday afternoon, I was telling myself, “Just push through. You can do it. It won’t take too long.” Although I think, secretly, I thought it would take a while, and I was a little bit tired, so not completely focused. And it always takes me longer to write when I am in that state.

To continue working and force myself to write this article late on Thursday meant that I would be compromising some of my own boundaries. I made a real commitment to myself this year to be firm about containing my work hours and having more time available for myself and my family.

Instead, I gave myself permission to not write the article.

I gave myself permission to finish my work for the day and to let it go for now.

I gave myself permission to stop imposing on myself.

I gave myself permission to relax and to stop working, and

I gave myself permission to even stop thinking about this.

I gave myself permission to stay true to the things that were important for me, namely my boundaries, my me time, my downtime.

And do you know what?

I had a good night’s sleep.

I cooked a really nice dinner for my family, which we all enjoyed together, and I felt quite relaxed about the whole thing.

This morning I woke up with a topic for my article. I voice-recorded it, and ta-da. Here it is.

I think there can be real value sometimes in giving yourself permission to say, “No.” To stay true to the things that are important. Including staying true to your own boundaries, so that you support yourself and the commitments that you have made. So that you can stay in the zone of being the best version of yourself.

This is first leading yourself. And the role modelling of it.

But for now, let me just say I am so glad that I drank my own Kool-Aid, said, “No,” and gave myself permission to let it go in the moment. This created the space for me to get it done anyway. With more ease, flow, and grace.

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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