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Stepping Up to the Plate: Your Life is Waiting!
If you guessed that I am scared of small hard objects heading towards my face while simultaneously not having the confidence in the coordination needed from my brain, eyes, hands, arms, body and legs...
you would be right! It's a great analogy nevertheless, especially for those of us who are scared to step up to the plate, it take courage and trust (and perhaps a bit of innocent ignorance too).
The phrase, "Stepping up to the plate" is usually spouted when someone wants to talk about leadership and/or taking responsibility.
I'd like to take it a step further and ask you to consider replacing stepping up to the plate for your own life.
Take a moment and think about where you are right now in your life as you are reading this blog.
How do you feel inside?Are you stressed out?Anxious? Sad?Happy? Joyful? Are there any little things that you've not handled or taken care of (as simple as paying a bill or as big as balancing your budget) that fly around your mind in a continuous swarm? If you are a leader in a company, how does each day unfold for you? How do you feel about your day as you look back over it later that evening? Do you take time to look forward, pause, or reflect? What things keep you awake at night that you could just as easily step up to the plate and hit out of the ballpark today? My father sent me a great article from the Academy of Management Learning & Education called, "Developing Sustainable Leaders through Coaching and Compassion".
This article integrates recent findings on affective neuroscience and biology with well-documented research on leadership and stress.
The researchers reveal that leader sustainability is adversely affected by the psychological and physiological effects of chronic power stress associated with the performance of the leadership role.
They further contend that when leaders experience compassion through coaching the development of others, they experience psycho-physiological effects that restore the body's natural healing and growth processes thus enhancing their own long-term sustainability.
If we went back to the metaphor we could say the leaders are in essence, extending their pro-ball business playing time by nurturing other players.
When you experience compassion for yourself and/or you see your team receiving compassion, this helps you to loosen those ties, and slip on a more comfortable pair of still competitive shoes.
Compassion gives you room to breathe so that you can do this leadership thing that you do so well, longer and better.
I don't mean to be creating images of airy-fairy long-haired peaceful people with flowers in hands running barefoot through your offices (although, in some cases that could be warranted.
) What I am suggesting is that you take the time to talk with someone that you trust and allow yourself the space to get your thoughts out of your head and into the space in front of you, so that you can give your body, your mind and your soul the space needed to keep going.
The tricky thing for all of us whether we're leaders or stay- at-home moms (or dads!) is to find a person or an activity that we can trust enough to let ourselves just be.
That space is the amazing playing field of life and it's yours to round the bases and conquer.
So why not step up to the plate today?