Be quiet. Find acquaintances with silence. Go inside. Delve into your heart.
Take a day off from the clamor. ~ Rumi
As a leader, nurturing relationships with others is a primary part of the formula for success and positive well-being within any organization or group. It takes care, compassion and empathy from the leader to build an authentic connection with those who are mutually engaged in and inspired by the goals of the work. Respect and tolerance are also pivotal values that need to be present if healthy and productive relationships with others are to be enjoyed. The depth of a leader’s capacity to nurture these connections with others is a direct result of how meaningful and caring he or she is to self.
In other words, genuine leadership is directly related to the depth of a leader’s ability to care about themselves and their capacity for self-love.
What is Self-Love?
A person who is experiencing healthy self-love:
- believes that they are loveable,
- understands that they belong and matter in the world,
- are able to make loving choices for their well-being (good food, peaceful environment, self-care).
- rather than ignoring or numbing out to their emotional needs, they are aware of and know how to support their feelings and personal issues and
- they are willing to work with their own vulnerability to heal what needs healed within them.
How to Nurture Self-Love
- Set Boundaries – know you can say ‘no’ or do what you want without losing love.
- Respect yourself – honour your own holiness as you would honour a holy temple or holy place. Cultivate self-reverence.
- Treat yourself with the same compassion, empathy and support you would give to those you lead. Ask yourself how would you treat others in your group and apply that same regard and caring to yourself.
- Release judgment of your fear, shame or guilt by:
- Embracing all of your experiences including your mistakes as opportunities for unconditional learning and growth
- Becoming aware of the message in your emotions –ie- why anger, why now? or what triggered your sadness or joy?
- Letting your inner dialogue accept and extract the value in both the negative and positive thoughts.
- Accept your weaknesses and insecurities as part of your humanity and vulnerability. Use them as empathic tools to better communicate and connect with others.
- Embrace new experiences that can boost your confidence and build your resilience
- Be balanced in your levels of self-love – be aware that too much self-focus can become narcissism
Why Self-Love Matters in Leadership
When self-love is part of the leadership equation, relationships with self and others can grow and thrive because there is room for compassion and emotional intelligence to participate in the organization or group.
Accessing self-love softens both inner criticism and exhausting perfectionism. It opens the way for attaining reasonable achievements while still maintaining important values but can introduce flexibility into performance and outcomes. Quality and excellence matter but there are times and situations where sticking to a standard can inflict unnecessary hardship, stress and resentment. By embracing self-compassion, goals can still be accomplished intelligently and by moderating unrealistic expectations.
Love itself is a unifying creative force that awakens the soul and sparks immense enthusiasm in all who are touched by its sweet fire and its power. When self-love is the motivating energy in a leader, it becomes the genius that can convey vision and perpetually generate excitement and willingness in a team.
May I be safe
May I be well
May I be filled with vitality
May I live with joy
May I love myself
May I embrace my soul
In every perfect and imperfect moment
The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself
~ Steve Maraboli