THE ART OF SELF CARE FOR WOMEN LEADERS
A guest blog by Dr Joanna Martin, founder of One of many
If you’re a woman who wants to have an impact on the world, you probably find yourself struggling to carve out time for yourself.
After all, leadership in these challenging times requires serious commitment. It’s a tough enough challenge to juggle the rest of your life alongside that. And in those corners of spare time you do have… collapsing in front of Netflix is often the best we can manage.
So where exactly do dressing up, making sure you look and feel fantastic or taking time ‘just for you’ come in?
Why self care is a priority for leaders
Today I’d like to invite you to reconsider the importance of taking time for yourself as a leader. At One of many, the women’s leadership organisation, we’ve helped thousands of grassroots women leaders discover a new way of leading. One which doesn’t leave them burnt out, overwhelmed or trying to do everything all of the time.
We call this way of leading ‘Soft Power’.
And making time to take exquisite care of yourself is right at the heart of it.
Self care and soft power
Soft Power is the term we use at One of many to encompass a whole range of principles and behaviours, which together form a new paradigm of female leadership.
Top of the list?
Soft Power principle #1: First, replenish yourself.
It’s the mantra our team repeat to ourselves when things get hectic.
Our coaches teach it to their clients.
The leaders in our programs — whether they’re spearheading community gardens or managing global organisations — support each other to do it, time and again.
And that commitment to taking care of YOU proves itself again and again to lead to extraordinary results. But it might not look like what you imagine.
What putting yourself first looks like
We use the 5 Women’s PowerTypes as models of powerful female leadership. When we’re able to lead powerfully in each of these archetypes, we have at our fingertips techniques to handle anything life throws at us.
And when it comes to looking after yourself, they each have different strengths.
- The Lover is the beautiful, magnetic, sensual part of ourselves. She loves beauty, delights in adorning herself, and knows that pleasure builds her power and influence.
- The Queen is decisive, strategic and extraordinarily well supported. You can’t have a burnt out, overwhelmed, knackered Queen! She knows that in order to lead her realm, she needs the best possible team to look after her. She needs to look and feel powerful and in control. And she sets unapologetic boundaries to allow her to tend to herself.
- The Mother is the part of us that unconditionally loves and accepts those around us, and ourselves. She gives us safety and comfort; accepts us just as we are, imperfections and all.
- The Sorceress is wild, intuitive and deeply trusting. She finds joy in connecting to nature and in spiritual practices that connect us to that which is greater than us.
- Warrioress is playful, active and energetic. She thrives when she’s able to move, take action and access the less serious side of life.
When we understand these different facets of leadership, we see that nurturing ourselves can mean many different things.
- Forgiving yourself for not being perfect and choosing to love yourself just as you are.
- Creating a beautiful ritual of finishing your day and slipping into a vintage robe that makes you feel like a goddess.
- Finding the perfect heels to make you feel like you’re CEO of your own life — even if the only person who will see you is the cat!
- Getting training in an area of life you need support in, whether it’s your relationship, your style or your finances.
- Giving yourself time to do the things that light you up, without feeling guilty.
Self care is fundamentally taking care of you. And other people won’t always be happy with that.
But if you’re serious about having an impact on the world, it’s critical you’re able to focus your energy on the most important resource you have: Yourself.
Need a hand setting boundaries?
If you could do with knowing how to set effective boundaries and take control of your time so you can prioritise yourself, take a look at Enough is Enough. It’s our free guide to creating unbreakable boundaries with grace, and you can download it right now by clicking here.
How do you need to take care of yourself?
What’s one thing you can do today to take care of yourself? Can you create a boundary that will allow you to take some time just for you? What can you give yourself that will allow you to lead even more powerfully? Let me know in the comments!
ABOUT DR JOANNA MARTIN
Dr Joanna Martin founded the women’s leadership organisation – One of many – to bring about a global paradigm shift. Today it is the fastest growing global leadership community for professional women and entrepreneurs, inspiring and empowering over 70,000 women across four continents.
By training and supporting this generation of women to step up and lead the change they want to see, Jo believes the next generation of women – and the generation after them – will be inspired to follow in their steps. Until finally women are represented at every decision table, small or large.
A qualified medical doctor, trained actor and accredited coach, Jo applies her knowledge of physiology and psychology to enable her clients and the 12,000 women in the One of many community, to lean into soft power and have impact without burnout.
As well as leading a global paradigm shift Jo is a committed financial investor in the work of The Hunger Project, a diplomatic wife, a sometimes-too-tired mother, a protective sister, and loyal friend.