July 14

Being Busy Isn’t Self Leadership – It’s An Excuse.


Busy isn't leadershipIf I were to ask ‘How are you?’, what are the chances your first response would be ‘busy’?

Every person I speak to, everywhere I go, is running around like a maniac, zoom meeting to zoom meeting, email to email, with a diary packed to the hilt. We seem to have so many to-do lists it’s impossible to think about what’s for lunch, let alone about what’s next. And once we throw in some time for looking after ourselves, keeping fit, eating well, getting enough sleep, and squeezing in hugs for the important people in our world, it’s no wonder we feel like we’re living—no, just existing—in Crazy Town.

My trip to Crazy Town

My first serious trip to the world of Crazy Town was after I had my first child, Flynn. I went back to work as a full-time marketing manager when he was just five months old. My husband Jason took paternity leave and we juggled like mad. At the time I didn’t feel like I had any choice: I’d recently arrived in Australia, was rebuilding my career, starting out on a reduced salary, and not getting paid for being on maternity leave. We didn’t have any family support around us as they were overseas or interstate. Add to this that Flynn was our first child, so we had absolutely no clue what we should be doing. All the while my energy levels were being gradually depleted as I attempted to do everything and be the perfect parent, manager, partner and friend.

In hindsight, this was the first time I experienced burnout and operating from a place of survival. I had no energy, a feeling of helplessness, of not having any choice—and yet I robotically got myself out of bed every morning to keep going, to respond to the commitments I had put on myself.

Until I got to the point where one day I’d had enough and said to my boss, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I either leave or I reduce my hours’. Strangely enough, the answer was unexpected, ‘What can we do to help?’

Being exhausted isn’t leadership.

Being exhausted isn’t inspiring to others.

To become your brilliant self you need to realise you are human, and you need to make some tough choices and decisions that often mean saying ‘no’.

Busy is an excuse

Every time we make the ‘busy’ excuse, we deflect the responsibility for our own actions. We give our control over to others. This is not harnessing your energy—this is depleting you of every little last ounce of reserve that you have to be your brilliant self.

Melinda Gates in her book, The Moment of Lift’, shares wise words from her mother, “If you don’t set your own agenda somebody else will.”

Here’s the thing, being your brilliant self requires you to take leadership of yourself, to become masterful at taking back control so you can thrive energetically.  It’s about kicking excuses to the kerb and ensuring that you’re doing all you can to be the best version of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually every day. This is the only way  that you can function at your best and create the influence and impact you want to create.

So what can you do this week to avoid entering your version of Crazy Town? 

And if you were to follow Melinda Gate’s mother’s advise to take back control of your own agenda versus someone else controlling it, what changes do you have to make today?

Until next week




be brilliant, brilliance, Busy, Connection, networking, Self Leadership

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