This summer, vanquish the bully within

With Memorial Day behind for folks in the United States and good-bye to May everywhere, it’s all hands on deck for nonprofits racing toward a June 30 fiscal year-end. Then ah, summer, and with the season, hope of a few days of rest and relaxation or at least a slightly slower pace.

the_monster_inside_400_clr_14589In a blog article titled “A Summer To-Do List for Nonprofit Leaders,” consultant Nell Edgington offers suggestions for making the most of the summer schedule without wearing yourself out. All five tips are helpful, but for Type A folks (myself included), the last on her list – forgive yourself – is the most needed, but hardest to do.

I see it all the time. Ministry leaders – executive directors, board chairs, and fundraising officers – are quick to lament their failures. Deadlines missed, goals unmet, a board meeting gone awry, etc. etc. etc.  The litany of things gone bad goes on and on.

But let me mention progress I’ve observed within the organization or its board and the compliment is met with a shrug and a self-deprecating explanation for what I’ve identified as praiseworthy. Time and time again, the bully within shouts down anything I (or anyone else) can say.

Nell’s description of social change leaders as hard on themselves is spot-on. She writes that

Apparently it’s not enough to work on saving the world, but you have to continually berate yourself for not doing it quickly enough, or well enough. So get over it. You are doing the best you can with what you have. Give yourself a break and you will find that without a bully constantly breathing down your neck you can accomplish much more. Take that knowledge with you into the fall and you may just be transformed.

What a lovely possibility, this summer or sooner.

For more on managing yourself, see:

Giving ourselves the gift of self-care

Rushing toward rest and relaxation

Rest for the weary, grace for the rest


  1. Amen!

  2. Thanks, Rebekah. I think I may just give myself that gift right now 🙂

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