Give yourself permission to be human…
We’ve been conditioned to believe that as leaders, as influencers, there is no room for vulnerability, fear, sadness, timeout.
Thing is, if we avoid uncomfortable emotions, challenging situations and hide behind titles and positions, then we’re essentially sending a message to those around us that being human is not a thing, it’s not acceptable.
Leaders need to, they must walk their talk and send a message to those who depend on their leadership that it’s ok to be human. It’s ok to experience emotions. It’s ok to take TIME OUT.
Monday this week, my husband was admitted to hospital, having a major procedure, ”Whipples Procedure”. Unfortunately, during surgery, our surgeon decided it was not safe enough for him to continue, and so they closed him back up again. It was a bittersweet moment. What this means is that we’re still not out of the woods. I was a mess, but I had to keep it together for my husband, for our children, our grandchildren, his elderly mother, his 5 siblings, and more importantly, for myself.
It’s so important to know that it’s ok to take timeout, to feel all the emotions. The anger, the frustration, the hurt, the fear, the sadness. It’s ok to take time out to think. Reflect. Make sense of all that’s going on and focus on what we can control and influence.
There is a significant amount of resilience skills that are within our control and influence and when we experience new challenges, crisis situations we learn new skills – including coping strategies that enhance our ability to cope with any subsequent challenges.
Giving ourselves permission to be human matters. When we are under stress, we tend to respond without thinking but when we have a structure and a strategy in place, this really helps put things into perspective.
Tapping into the right skills and thinking helps to better manage any challenging, critical, or unforeseen situation.
- Create the right environment – Decide where and with whom you spend your time during times of crisis because this helps to direct our focus and attention more resourcefully
- Focus on the comfortable emotions – Focus on what emotions you want to experience more of. Things like gratitude, inspiration, joy, interest, curiosity, love. If we focus on our emotional state, this then means that we can be deliberate and intentional about what activities, discussions, and interactions we engage in, leading to those positive emotions and outcomes.
- Accept our uncomfortable emotions – Let go of the need to avoid any unconformable emotion, instead, lean in on them and embrace them. Give yourself permission to be human, to feel all that you feel. You’ve nothing to prove to anyone. You’re human and that’s all there is to it.
- Reframe challenges as an opportunity – Look at ways in which you can develop skills that build resilience for growth and happiness. So many people believe that we’re never supposed to experience problems or challenges.
- Reframe uncomfortable emotions as an essential part of the human experience Many people view uncomfortable emotions as bad, dangerous, weak but
this only reinforces their unworthiness when they do experience those emotions during challenging times. Give yourself permission to be human.
- Become aware of patterns of thinking – Where we internalise uncomfortable emotions, making it all about ourselves. Worrying about what others are saying, thinking, judgment… the more we identify with these patterns of thinking and fuse with them the more we experience discomfort and exacerbate this vicious cycle.
By tapping into our emotions, and knowing that we can only change what we can control and influence, helps to filter in supporting beliefs rather than just any unresourceful belief.
If we’re aware of our emotional state, this then means that we can be intentional about what we do, what we tell ourselves, the actions that we subsequently take. By choosing to respond rather than react, we make conscious decisions.
The key is to develop our own ways of dealing with critical situations, challenges. Creating a “toolkit” of techniques and strategies helps to manage our emotional state during these times, rather than simply categorising all emotions as “good” and “bad” or not acceptable.
There is value in all emotions.
Give yourself permission to lean in on them and be human.