The Importance of Filling Up Our Cup

Hi meaningful leader,

I’m so glad you’re here. I hope you had an AMAZING weekend, and if you are a dad, Happy Father’s Day to you!

For this week, I wanted us to talk about a topic that is critical, yet often overlooked among leaders, healthy boundaries. This is a topic I discuss at length in my upcoming book, because I believe it’s a huge blind spot for many leaders.

In our constant quest to bring value to our teams, reaching goals, supporting all the different ongoing projects running around the organization, attending all the meetings, and preparing all the presentations, we try to maximize the hours we put in and the level of engagement we have. We skip lunch and work through out lunch hour, sitting in front of the screen and use the weekends to catch up on emails. Yet, this approach can actually be counterproductive to our efforts…let me elaborate please!

Setting healthy boundaries and ensuring our well-being is a priority to us is not selfish or unprofessional…remember that the more we give to ourselves, the more we can give to other people.

The role of a leader focuses on people. We are constantly surrounded by people who need support, guidance, input on solving a problem, feedback, etc., so understanding that unplugging and recharging ourselves is a basic need, will allow us to be more present and increase our overall value, both at home and at work.

Okay, I’ll go first: I’ll admit that I’m my worst critic. Those who know me personally know how much I demand of myself and how inflexible I’ve been with my goals and my timelines in the past. After achieving a goal I used to keep running like the devil was in close pursuit.  I never stopped and celebrated. Instead of setting milestones and stopping and assessing after each achievement, I was running an endless Olympics’-style sprint against myself, and it was senseless and exhausting.

It took me a long time, lots of introspection, and hefty piles of regret, to understand that I needed to take care of myself first, because it was taking a toll on both my mental and physical health AND my loved ones were paying the price by constantly getting whatever leftovers I had in me, when they deserved to receive only my best. There’s no such thing as pouring from an empty cup, it’s simple logic.

Now is your turn, don’t worry, I’ll wait…

An analogy I love using when illustrating this point is that same as before take-off the flight attendant, during the safety briefing, explains the use of the oxygen mask in case of depressurization of the cabin, we must put our mask on first, before we can attempt to help others put on theirs.

If we don’t properly and timely fill our cup doing the things that matter to us the most, we’ll be constantly running on empty. And sooner rather than later, dealing with others just becomes depleting and consuming and eventually we’ll grow resentful, disengaged and sometimes even rude.

“As leaders, we are never responsible for filling anyone else’s cup. Our responsibility is to empty ours”

Andy Stanley

I’ve also learned the importance of practicing self-compassion, as well as how critical the language and tone we use in our internal conversations really is. Leaders practice patience and offer grace and compassion to themselves and to others.

Remember that optimal performance requires optimal endurance and running on an empty tank just won’t cut it. Protecting our downtime, allows us to be more resilient; which in turn, will allow us to be better prepared when confronting challenges while serving our teams well

I hope you found value here today…my hope is that you become intentional about your rest and that consequently you become more effective and engaged with your team and your family…they truly need you at you best, please never forget that!

Have an amazing rest of the week, see you next Tuesday and God bless,



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