Being Your Best BossNov 27, 2020
What kind of boss are you?
Do you get things done? Are you firm but fair? Direct? Kind? Assertive? Generous?
The chances are, if you've been in management, you’ve been on courses and read books on leadership. You might have asked for feedback and had appraisals.
Leading a team usually involves all the complexities of managing others, team dynamics, delegation and training.
So, when we only have ourselves to lead, that should be a doddle, shouldn’t it?
However many find the relationship between their inner-boss and inner-worker even more challenging!
It can be hard enough to manage your career when employed, but this is magnified when we are doing our life’s work, bringing our passions into the world and crafting our dreams into reality.
The potential Self Employment has for fulfilment brings with it a huge opportunity for over-thinking. Not only are we in new and unfamiliar territory, learning as we go, but we may also feel more exposed when communicating our views. We have sole responsibility and we are emotionally and financially invested.
Any insecure thought patterns we have about things needing to be a certain way (control and perfectionism) or not being good enough (imposter syndrome and shyness) are likely to come to the fore and we often find we meet resistance, even when doing simple actions.
How we lead ourselves through can make all the difference to us living the life we desire.
The Comfort Zoners
Faced with this resistance, some see it as a sign or prediction. They believe this feeling is telling them something about the future, 'It doesn't feel good therefore it isn't for me'.
They are not prepared to go through the discomfort necessary to move out of their comfort zone and they think their fearful feelings are telling them about the potential of their business idea or their capabilities, rather than recognising that fearful thinking is to be expected when we do something new and unknown.
Although the comfort zoners may resist opportunities for some time, it is likely the decision to stay-put is not the end of the story. We humans are made to develop and grow physically and spiritually and suppressing those impulses makes our comfort zone less comfortable and moving forward more attractive.
Some push themselves harder to get through the resistance. They raise their standards and work longer hours. Giving themselves (and listening to) motivational talks and scaring themselves with images of the consequences of failure. If the conversations between their inner-boss and inner-worker were exposed, we would probably identify bullying!
When theses standards prove unattainable or they run out of energy, the next step is to indulge and distract. The distraction is never totally relaxing as they have the task-in-hand circling in their minds. Eventually their inner-boss steps in and reprimands them for laziness and the cycle starts again. It has parallels with yo-yo dieting.
If a friend told you they had a boss like this, you would probably tell them their boss was crazy and they should look for another job!
Whilst this style of leadership might feel familiar because of past situations, it is not enjoyable or part of living the life of our dreams.
The Inner Workers
Believing that they need to feel 'on top of their game' to do their best work and that this resistance is made of negative emotions that need to be cleared, some new business owners lead themselves to work harder on themselves.
They step up whatever has worked for them previously, journalling, yoga, affirmations, meditations and mindset work, and they may take more courses and coaching to develop these further.
There is no doubt these techniques can transform our mood but many find this clearing is a never ending process. It takes a significant amount of time and energy at a time when our focus needs to be on growing our business and it holds some back from ever starting.
The fundamental assumption of 'self improvement' is that we are not good enough... yet. Whilst the language might be positive, we may in fact be re-enforcing that insecure thinking.
As spiritual, human beings how could we ever not be good enough?
As new business owners we've only just started and have lots to learn. It's like telling a child who's just produced their first splodge painting that they are fundamentally flawed and need to work on themselves before they try to paint again!
Perhaps there is another way?
The Inside Outers
What if that insecure thinking we are so concerned with avoiding was a natural part of life? What if it carried no relevant information for us to take notice of (other than to let us know we're experiencing insecure thinking). And what if it needn't have any bearing on moving forward with the task in hand?
As Michael Neill says,
“...when we look away from our own unique peccadilloes and consider the nature of the human experience, we discover a very interesting thing: that most of what we thought was wrong with us is simply a part of the human condition.”
When we are not concerned with fixing or changing the feeling, it is free to move through us and we are free to create our business.
These ideas are my interpretation of the Inside Out understanding. If you'd like to explore further, join the Vision Building Challenge, I explain more in 5 live videos.
Being our own best boss is as much about our emotional and spiritual evolution as it is about leadership styles and business strategy. Self Employment is a tailor made opportunity to better understand ourselves and all that makes us human and, in turn, to lead ourselves to new levels of personal fulfilment alongside our business success.
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