For those of us who are running a business, looking after our own emotional well-being can quickly fall into the ‘I haven’t got time’ basket as we spend the majority of our time focusing on building up clients or creating a successful business. Never mind the endless admin tasks which go with owning your own business!
Recent figures from Work Safe Australia highlighted that business burnout costs Australian business over $20 billion each year so it makes good sense to pay attention to our own needs before we end up stressed and exhausted; and not much use to our business —or to ourselves.
The demands of running a business can really take its toll and if you are constantly in emergency mode, your mind and body may end up paying a high price for putting your business needs before your own.
The good news is that you can easily implement some simple strategies to resolve this. The more difficult part comes with your own commitment to put your own health, before the health of your business!
In my coaching practice, I still get shocked at the amount of people who come to me burnt out and exhausted believing the needs of their career or business is more important than their own emotional wellbeing. These people often find it difficult to implement boundaries between their work and career life and end up putting their customers or client’s needs, before their own. Yes, as a business you need to look after your client base, but not continually at your own expense. If you do this, you will only end up exhausted and resentful.
Start by committing to changing a few small things in your day like making sure you take regular breaks, eat regular meals and practise saying No to other people. Tune in to your own needs and learn to honour them as well – without feeling guilty. If you find this difficult, block out time in your calendar for you time. Make time with your friends and family a priority.
Another tip is to give up the need for perfection and stop setting yourself ridiculously high expectations of yourself and your business. Aim to do your best and that is sufficient. You can only do the best that you can given the resources that you have. If you need help, then ask for it.
A major factor of stress in business is worrying about what could go wrong. Come on, let’s get honest here, does worrying change anything? Seriously?
Having the odd worry is just human nature but if you are one of those people who is a worry wart with constant thoughts of what could go wrong then this is a bad habit which needs to be stopped.
Do you worry about your competition or cash flow? You would be better to take empowered action to resolve these issues rather than letting your imagination run away with you with thoughts of imagined threats and terrible things happening.
Here are a few simple ideas for reducing worry:
1. Write your worries down.
It is amazing how relieved you will feel just by getting your worries out of your body and onto paper. In particular, write then done before you go to sleep.
2. Set yourself 15 minutes worry time a day.
Book this time into your diary and save all worries until it is time to worry! The interesting thing is that you will probably have forgotten all about them by then.
3. Remind yourself that if the worse does happen, you can handle it!
Seriously, what is the worse that could happen?
In business, we get into the habit of being positive with our clients but it is worth spending some time ensuring that you are also being positive towards yourself. Do you constantly beat yourself up for not getting everything done on time or not making the right impression?
Also try repeating positive affirmations such as ‘ I am doing the best that I can’ or I cope with everything easily and effortlessly’. I am a huge believer in the first hour of your day will set the theme for the rest of the day so make sure you use the hour after you wake up to set yourself up for a positive business day and focus on what you want to go right, rather than what could go wrong .
Lisa Phillips is a Speaker, Life and Business Coach based in Australia. She is also an experienced engagement and training expert and assists businesses in empowering and engaging their employees. For more information, please see www.amazingcoaching.com.au or www.howtoempoweryourstaff.com.au.