There are a lot of reasons why it’s important to nourish your spirit, but the most important reason is so you will have more of yourself as you navigate the opportunities and challenges in your life. In our leadership model, The Leader in You: Three Steps to Claiming Your Power, Influence, and Impact, the second step focuses on knowing yourself. This includes:
- Knowing the kinds of things you fear and how you show up when you are at your best
- Knowing the hurdles and challenges you are facing internally and externally and how you would act if you believed you could influence them
- Knowing what is happening to your spirit and what you would do if you could take action in ways that bring you meaning and purpose
What is happening to your spirit is central to your leadership. When you feel deflated, disconnected, unmoored, or out of balance, you cannot be as effective in your work, with your family, or in your community.
We, the world around you, we need you to tend to your spirit. In our last post we talked about the need to take action to get your energy back. Paying attention to and nurturing your energy is critically important to nourishing your spirit, but it is not enough. To nourish your spirit you need to do things in ways that have meaning and purpose for you. That doesn’t mean that everything you do has to be a big, grand statement of your purpose, but what it does mean is that at the very least you need to do things in ways that bring you a sense of meaning and purpose in the doing of them. So, you may have work that brings you meaning and purpose, but have aspects of your work that leave you feeling out of balance. It is important that you explore how you can do those aspects of your work in ways that nourish your spirit.
For example, one of our clients is in a role that she really loves, where she believes she makes a difference for her customers and communities. At the same time, about 1/3 of her work is related to documenting what she has done for regulators and legal protection. She has always “hated” this part of her job and yet, it is not going to go away in the near future. She has begun to think about how she can document her work so that it is more effective for her customers and also protective for the organization. She continues to be proud of the work she is doing even though she doesn’t enjoy these tasks. So she is taking action to shift away from this intense level of documentation so that her role is more nourishing to her spirit, but in the meantime, she is doing her work in a way that gives her a sense of meaning and purpose.
Spend some time this week thinking about what you know to be true in your life and the small ways that you can nourish yourself through actions that bring meaning and purpose into your life, in your work, with family and friends, or in your community.