As leaders and entrepreneurs we work so hard for others. We work constantly to keep the company together, to keep the team together. I found myself ‘holding space’ a lot for other people the past year.
Holding space is a notion that has been popularized in a blog and a book by Heather Plett. In her words it means : “…what we do when we walk alongside a person or a group on a journey through liminal space. We do this without making them feel inadequate, without trying to fix them, and without trying to impact the outcome. We open our hearts, offer unconditional support and let go of judgement and control”.
We are in liminal space when we are in a transition period. Between A and B. The old is gone but the new hasn’t quite started yet. Last year I found myself mentally thinking of my company as a cup. A cup I held in my hands and that I had to carry through a storm. That’s what holding space was like for me the past year, especially during the first lockdown.
But now we are in a different situation. I see people around me, especially leaders and entrepreneurs, are coming to the end of what they can do in terms of ‘holding space’. They work very hard to keep their company and team together, but are falling apart themselves.
So here is a question for you. Who is taking care of you? Who is holding space for you? With whom can you lay down your head and cry?
First of all, the most important person who takes care of you is you. You need to hold space for yourself as well. You need to build up resilience for yourself as well. And second, there are other people looking out for you. Very often it will be our loved ones, be it family or friends. But even though these people love us, they can never truly understand what it’s like (unless they are leaders and/or entrepreneurs themselves). So my advice is to find peers who are in a similar situation.
Two weeks ago I went on a meditation retreat (Covid-proof) with other entrepreneurs. We meditated a whole day and were ‘holding space’ for each other. We all felt replenished and supported throughout this experience. We all had things to work through during our retreat. It feels so good to have peers. To feel safe. To feel supported. And to learn on how they build resilience in their companies and hold their teams together.
So do you have a support group? Who is in it? And if you want to have support from peers, who would they be? Take care and ask other to hold space for you. And stay tuned for more tips and more updates on my forthcoming book “Bring yourself to work”.