Self care is a buzz word right now but popularity makes it no less important.
A lot of the attention is on looking after yourself, and this is super essential, but what about your business?
Self care for your business finances needs to be at the core of your business, because if your biz money and numbers aren’t looked after, who’s going to look after you?
Self care expert Heather Bestel is one of the secrets I discovered in 2016 that enabled me to make the personal breakthroughs I needed in order to create what I wanted in my business.
I’m not sure even now what she did, it felt like small shifts and tiny actions that created a positive tidal wave of change.
Here is my interview with Heather, and please join us for our Self Care For Your Biz Finances Retreat (it’s free).
Rosie: Self care. People keep talking about it, including me. Could you talk us through what self care is?
Heather: Often people see self care as something frivolous that they do after everything else like: work, family and chores. They see it as a bit of me time that isn’t really important or crucial and definitely nothing to do with their business.
Rosie: So what you’re saying is that self care is much more than taking 5 minutes off to feel less frazzled. Even when we feel, why do I feel I’m not taking my goals seriously when I do take care of myself (despite what everyone says)?
Heather: If you study any successful entrepreneurs they all follow a routine of self care and make sure they look after their personal health as well as the health of their business. It’s also a great way for them to switch off and an opportunity to come up with new, fresh ideas. Yet, when I speak to my clients, they find it hard to take self care seriously.
Rosie: How does that work in your business?
Heather: In my business as a transformational life and business coach, it’s imperative that I make self care a priority. My clients would rather work with a coach who looks after herself and keeps strong boundaries, than a coach who is stressed to the max and ignoring her own needs. It really is a case of me walking my talk and it shows.
I take time at the beginning of each work day to centre myself with either yoga or meditation, I have a morning run that gets me energised for the day ahead (I always feel amazing after my run) and I take lots of breaks throughout the day so that I don’t get overwhelmed. Each evening I make sure I spend time with the family and I write in my journal each night before sleep. These are small, yet important and powerful ways in which I self care and they have a positive impact on my work and my business.
Rosie: So when we feel lazy and like we’re not committed to our business because we put self care first, that’s a red flag that we really need to commit to self care. How do we resolve the inner conflict telling us our world will implode if we DO look after yourselves in our business as a priority?
Heather: I think a good metaphor is the one about putting on our own oxygen mask before attempting to help others and ‘We can’t pour from an empty vessel’ is another good saying to keep in mind. If we’re finding that we really can’t commit to self care even as a way to grow our business, then we may need to look a little deeper at why we don’t prioritise our well-being.
Rosie: As a business owner you are your companies most valuable asset and if you can’t see the simple truth that taking care of that asset is a priority, then there’s something else going on here that needs closer inspection.
Heather: I find when my clients are avoiding self care it’s very often about something deeper. Looking after our own needs first can trigger so many deeply rooted emotions. The underlying problem with self care is that it makes us face how we really feel about ourselves. See if any of the following ring true for you …
I can’t put myself first because:
If any of those thoughts are true for you then it’s probably because you’ve been believing those things for a long time and the weight of this expectation we put on ourselves can create overwhelm and exhaustion.
That downward spiral keeps going as you put yourself right to the back of the queue and the bottom of the list again and again. You may even notice that you wear that lack of self care as a badge of honour in a display of martyrdom when you explain to others how crazy full on your life is and how you never have anytime to yourself?
Which leads to stress, exhaustion and burnout.
Which creates resentment, anger, lack of self esteem, self abuse and unworthiness.
We lose ourselves, don’t recognise ourselves in the mirror, become shadows of our former selves and resign ourselves to the truth that this is our lot. We are someone’s wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and this is how it is. Their needs have become more important than ours and we give our energy to them instead of filling our own emotional reserves.
If this is true for you, it may be because you have grown up in an environment where your emotional needs were not met. Maybe you grew up taking care of your parents instead of the other way around. If so, you have likely learned to take care of others to the exclusion of taking care of yourself. You may even work in one of the helping professions or be a workaholic.
I see this so much with my clients. When they bring all this into their business, it means that they start heading for burnout almost immediately and risk everything they’ve set up. They push themselves to the limit, work every hour of the day and night and push their health to the limit all in the name of building a successful business. Instead of building a successful business, they create another way to make themselves ill. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Rosie: What is the next step people can take to introduce small acts of self care into their life that have a big impact for positive change?
Start by giving yourself permission to learn how to self care as a way of re-programming yourself. Accept that when we fill our own emotional needs, we have much more to give to others and our business.
Make a commitment to listen to your inner needs. Schedule time on a daily and weekly basis to self care in whatever way will feed your needs. Pay attention and listen to your body to understand what you really need to be able to run your business to the best of your ability. Be gentle with yourself [Rosie: this is my personal and business mantra].
Heather Bestel is a therapist, author and transformational life and business coach.
She has transformed her own life through the power of self care and now helps other women create a life and business they love. You can find Heather at heatherbestel.com
Want to take the next step? Join Heather and myself for our Self Care For Your Biz Finances retreat (it’s free).
Best wishes and cake,