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Achieving Balance As A Leader And Father – Mastering The Art Of Mentally Clocking Out

Mark Guay is an Integral Certified Coach and IFS practitioner. He is the founder of Fathers Without Compromise, a group coaching program and community for business-owning dads to be great fathers and build a great business without compromising one or the other.

 
Executive Contributor Mark W. Guay

In today's high-stakes environment, balancing the demands of professional life and family responsibilities can be a daunting challenge, especially for business owners and top executives. The relentless drive to succeed often results in burnout, absentee fatherhood, and strained relationships. To sidestep these pitfalls, it's essential to master the art of mentally clocking out. From my experience coaching startup founders and C-suite executives at some of the world’s leading companies, I've learned that simply pushing through and persevering often leads to chaos and burnout. Instead, here's a powerful approach to creating inner balance and fostering growth.


Man wearing eye glasses looking himself at the mirror

Honor your protectors

Recognize that parts of you, known as protectors, are relentlessly working to safeguard your business and your family. These protectors might be the ones that keep you on call 24/7. Acknowledging their good intentions is the first step toward achieving balance. These internal protectors aim to ensure your success and the well-being of your loved ones. By recognizing their efforts, you can manage them more effectively.


Feel into the yes

Setting boundaries is crucial for achieving a deeper sense of yes in your life. Visualize the positive outcomes—more quality time with your family, increased personal satisfaction, and a refreshed mind capable of making sharper business decisions. This vision helps your protectors understand the benefits of maintaining a balanced life. You can create a framework supporting your personal and professional growth by clearly defining what you're saying yes to.


Leader in changing core beliefs

Your beliefs shape your reality. If you believe you must always be on call to succeed, you will inevitably create a reality where burnout is a constant threat. Instead, embrace the belief in balance and smart work. Trust that taking care of yourself benefits you and makes you a better leader and provider. This shift in mindset is crucial for long-term success and well-being. Joining a community with like-minded values can be a game-changer to help shift inner beliefs. Fathers Without Compromise is one such community for business-owning dads.


Embrace and reassure

Your protectors may fear that taking time off will disappoint clients or employees. Embrace these concerns and reassure them that taking breaks makes you stronger and more effective. Remind yourself and your internal protectors that you can still provide and protect while caring for your well-being. This reassurance is essential for easing the anxiety that often accompanies the decision to take time for yourself.


Let the muddy water settle

Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine.


The Centering Practice is a powerful daily exercise, especially to gain more executive presence. If that feels too much, spend a few minutes each day focusing on your breath and bringing your attention to the present moment. Imagine muddy water settling and becoming clear and still. This practice helps soothe your protectors, allowing you to clock out and recharge mentally. Mindfulness can significantly enhance your ability to remain calm and focused, even in the face of stress.

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Being an effective business leader and a dedicated father means knowing when to switch off. To do this effectively for the long haul, understand and integrate your inner system to find that balance. By doing this, you can create a sustainable path to success and personal fulfillment. Adopting these practices ensures you remain present and engaged in all aspects of your life, both at home and at work.


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Read more from Mark W. Guay

 

Mark W. Guay, Men's Coach

Mark Guay is an Integral Certified Coach and IFS practitioner. He is the founder of Fathers Without Compromise, a group coaching program and community for business-owning dads to be great fathers and build a great business without compromising one or the other. As an adoptee and survivor of childhood domestic violence, he leads with this approach: To really change our lives, we must heal the past and embrace the unknown. To do this, we need self-accountability, the courage to take decisive action, a community of support, and trust that doors will appear, leading us on our path.

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