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You Can't Pour from an Empty Cup

Ask any number of people what leadership is, and you’ll get a variety of answers. While the exact verbiage might differ, the definitions are usually similar. Most would say that leadership is about motivating and encouraging a group of people toward a common goal or purpose. Providing guidance to achieving that goal requires dedication. Leading by example requires consistency. Inspiring action requires enthusiasm. All of these require energy.


Leadership is exhausting and exhilarating. To be frank, life is exhausting and exhilarating. You’re asked to wear a hundred different hats – take care of your team, your family, your job, your car, house, pets, projects, ideas, relationships . . . whew! It can feel like too much. Where does taking care of YOU fit into all that?


Often, because you are a Leader and because you are ambitious, you allow yourself to fall to the wayside. It’s easy to think, “let me do this thing first, and I’ll do for myself later,” and then ‘later’ never comes. You give your energy to your family and friends, to your employees, to your business, and yet, you often forget to give energy back to yourself. That has to change.


In order to provide the best for everyone else, you need to take care of yourself first. It’s the whole “put on your oxygen mask on first before helping others” moment. Your self-care is primary to caring for anyone else’s needs, and self-care looks different for everyone.


What do you do for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being? The answers are as infinite as the number of people on the planet. Exercise – run, walk, yoga, Pilates, swim, martial arts, basketball, bike, parkour?  Quiet activities – read, journal, meditate, nap, snuggle with pets, do a puzzle, paint, complete a diamond art? Not so quiet activities – listen to music, play an instrument, go to a concert, go dancing, watch a movie, take your kids to the park, take your partner on a date?


Making time for yourself daily is a necessity. Put a dedicated meeting on your calendar. Schedule time to do whatever it is that restores your energy. A car can only run for so long when the fuel light comes on, and the machine that is you, is no different. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish. It is essential.

tired business woman with coffee


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