Imagine riding through life on a cycle with wheels like the one in image above. A recent coaching session with an aspiring secondary school middle leader demonstrates just how central health and wellbeing is to feeling effective and confident at work.
My client, who will be designated as Ruby for this blog, described the perfect bicycle of self-sabotage. Imagine Ruby talking to you now, as she talked to me during our conversation around her Wheel of Life, she would be saying something like this:
“I do not lead my life a balanced way. When I am tired, overworked and neglecting myself I ignore the symptoms until I reach close to burnout. I believe that this makes me inconsistent at work, this inconsistency in turn undermines my confidence in my decision making and my relationships with others. I end with a head full of negative self-talk, part of this is what I think others must be thinking of as well as my own negative judgements about myself. I can pull myself out of it but I do not want to keep on being trapped in this cycle. I want to be proactive. I now recognise that regular self-care, catching myself earlier in the cycle of negativity, would help me to be more effective, efficient and consistent at work as well as happier in my personal life.”
These insights for Ruby came out of completing the Wheel of Life Reflection, Goal Setting and Action Planning Tool that you can download and use for yourself at the end of the blog post. The Wheel of Life is commonly used by coaches and mentors when working with individuals who are experiencing high levels of dissatisfaction with life.
And the visual impact of Ruby’s completed wheel just screams out at you.
What a bumpy Ride! Look at her health rating, just one step up from zero.
So, her priorities and action plan for becoming more effective at work is to have a more balanced life by ‘getting a life’- excuse the slang!
She is going to give more priority to exercise in a way that she enjoys and finds motivating, focus on developing friendships and leisure time.
In our next session, we will focus on her Negative Self-Talk using the Cognitive Behavioural Coaching Approach of Reframing.
Effective leaders model for others how to live a good life. One this is meaningful and centred on purpose, none of this is possible without self-compassion and self-care. When you give this to yourself, you are more able to give to others and create cultures that foster hope, optimism, and high aspirations.
If you would like to do some self-coaching using this model, then download the wheel of Life here
Let me know if you use it and find it helpful.