Lately, we’ve been talking about managing our motivation when leading a team. How important it is to know when to step back and rest so we can be our best and avoid blowing up or burning out. In my last post, I shared 3 tips for how to manage your motivation to avoid blowing up and burning out. It’s definitely worth checking out!
You all have had some strong thoughts on this topic and I’ve been loving the conversations we’ve been having over on Instagram. If we’re not connected over there yet, please come join us, since that’s where all the action happens! 👯♀️
Based on these chats we’ve been having, I thought it would be helpful to continue exploring this topic together. In today’s post I want to talk about what happens when you don’t take time to step away and rest and…
What to do when you “blow up or burn out” as a leader?
I recently worked with a leader who was frustrated, at the end of her rope, and thinking about throwing in the towel. She wasn’t sure she could run her business anymore and, quite frankly, wasn’t quite sure if she even wanted to.
Raquel (not her real name) had faced numerous challenges over the past year, from major medical issues to toxic relationships within her business and more. She had dealt with more than her fair share and felt like she was losing in every area of her life. It broke my heart.
As I was chatting with her about how she’d been handling things, she mentioned a recent conversation with one of her team members, in which she said:
“I don’t know if I can go on. I don’t know if I can keep showing up to help you, if you don’t care enough to show up and help yourself. I’m just tired of it all.”
Can you feel the utter despair in her words?
Raquel had reached her limit. She was done. And she wasn’t sure what to do next.
If we’re being totally honest, we’ve probably all felt this way at one point or another. And you know what? It’s perfectly normal and okay to feel this way.
You don’t get the title of “leader” and magically become 100% resilient.
That’s not how it works. Being a leader is a very human experience with lots of room for mistakes, slip ups, and bad days. It can be a tough gig, that’s for sure!
Leaders are humans, with real feelings, and real limits to what we can handle. However, we are also held to a higher standard and we must do better once we learn better. This simply means we need better ways to handle stress and pressure so we can avoid getting to the point where we blow up or burn out.
But what happens if we don’t step away and take the time we need to rest? What happens when we hit our blow up or burn out point?
That’s exactly what happened to Raquel. She had been working nonstop for the previous 13 months without a break, all while dealing with serious health issues. It was the perfect storm for blowing up and burning out. Which is exactly what happened.
Raquel and I chatted about the negative implications her blow up could have with her team member and discussed some ideas on how to repair the relationship (spoiler: an honest, vulnerable apology is always a great place to start!). Then, I shared some tips with her to help her manage blow up and burn out going forward.
3 Tips for Managing a Blow Up or Burnout
If you find yourself in a similar situation as Raquel, don’t beat yourself up. We’ve all lost our cool at some point or another. But how you recover from the situation is what will speak volumes to your team. Following are 3 tips for managing a blow up or a burnout – before it’s too late.
The first and most important tip I have for you is to be compassionate with yourself. Women have been culturally conditioned over the years to be hard on ourselves, to not accept anything less than perfection. There’s pressure to be the perfect daughter, sister, friend, wife, and mother. Add to that the pressure to be perfect at running your business and, of course, being a perfect leader and it’s quite overwhelming. There’s a mighty tornado of high expectations and perfectionism whipping around us, isn’t there?
When we can learn how to be compassionate with ourselves, everything else shifts for the better. We learn how to:
- Have more patience with ourselves and others,
- Establish and maintain healthy boundaries, and
- Take better care of ourselves so we can show up as our best every day and impact the world around us in a positive way.
So many women believe that taking time for themselves is selfish. That their time is better spent caring for everyone else. But you simply can’t continue to care for others if you ignore yourself. Compassion isn’t selfish. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. They are necessary.
The next tip is to find a community to be part of who deeply understand what you’re experiencing. One of my favorite things to do is bring people together. To show them that they’re not alone. To hold space for deep emotions and passionate conversations. And that’s exactly what we do on my social media accounts, at my workshops, and within my private communities.
There are a ton of leadership groups out there that are full of a wide variety of people. Sometimes it can feel easy to get lost in the shuffle and believe that no one truly understands what you’re going through. But here, you have a safe space where you can connect with fellow women who are running successful businesses and leading teams of employees. Because your world looks a little bit different – and we understand that fully.
Find your people. Find the place where you feel safe sharing, engaging, and being. Find the place where you feel both heard and seen. Because this community can be what helps save you from blowing up or burning out. I’d love for you to find that space with us. You can connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and in the pages of our weekly note, Mentor Moments.
And lastly, we should continuously commit to avoiding the point of blow up or burn out in the future. It’s not a fun place to go for us…or for anyone else around us. The verbal commitment is the easy part – the practical part of that commitment can be a bit tougher.
Although we may never completely eliminate the possibility of reaching blow up or burn out, we can take steps to avoid it. Commit to:
- Building in time for rest,
- Implementing the strategies we’ve discussed over the past couple of posts, and
- Being mindful of your energy and when you need to take a step back.
If we do these things, we can greatly reduce the chance of reaching blow up or burn out. We can show up better for ourselves and for everyone else around us.
Running a business is challenging. Add leading a team of people into the mix, all with different personalities and needs, and things can get complicated quickly. By taking the time you need to be the best version of yourself you can be, you’ll be better prepared to show up for you and for them every day!