What Sustains You When The Going Gets Tough?

What sustains you when the going gets tough?

In the last five weeks, as I traveled from Doha, Qatar to Saskatoon to Winnipeg to Edmonton, and Grande Prairie, and at home in Calgary, facilitating leadership development programs, coaching leaders, and being on a panel at a Leadership Conference, I have had fun asking leaders I have met  “What sustains you, as a leader, when the going gets tough?”  Most people are intrigued and really appreciate this question. Their answers are falling into two broad categories, as follows:

IMG_1791 doha in evening

Connecting with Oneself – going for a walk; taking time for reflection; connecting to my values, higher purposes and intentions; looking at the big picture, and asking myself “What is really important?”; checking in with myself and asking “What I am feeling and needing?”; listening to inner guidance and acting on it; cultivating a light heart, humor, and having fun; cultivating a deeper experience of self compassion and kindness towards myself; and taking time for renewal and self care.

What has really helped me with my recent very full travel, work and volunteer schedule, and keeping connected to family, is to stay in the present moment. I focus on showing up fully present and just doing the next thing as best as possible. And I am learning to befriend overwhelm by experiencing it as an abundance of travel, opportunities to pursue my passions, offer my skills and serve, and be with my ageing parents, an ill close family member, and my growing family with the recent arrival four soon to be five grandbabies!

All of these comments and my own personal experience really affirm Linda’s and my choice of Radical Self Care as our WILL foundational program for women leaders.

Connecting with Others – asking myself  “Who can help me? Who can support me?” and then reaching out for help and support; just being listened to and witnessed by confidantes such as partners, friends and coworkers; listening deeply to others; helping others; extending compassion and generosity towards others; seeing the good in others and appreciating their strengths and noticing how people rise to the level of encouragement they receive; being part of a cohesive team where everyone supports and helps one another to be successful; having fun with others. Linda wrote about support in her last blog. What kind of support do you need now?

We would love to hear from you too, What sustains you, as a leader, when the going gets tough?”

Email us at info@womeninleadershipforlife.ca

all the very best,


Photo by Lillas: Doha, Qatar in the evening