As an executive, the weight of responsibility often sits heavily on your shoulders. You are expected to be strong, decisive, and in control – a pillar of unwavering leadership. But life throws curveballs, and sometimes those curveballs come in the form of immense loss and grief. This can be incredibly isolating, especially in the high-pressure world you navigate daily.

Processing such pain can feel like walking a tightrope. You might feel immense pressure to maintain a facade of strength, to compartmentalize your emotions, and to carry on as usual with your coworkers and career. But here’s the truth: it’s okay not to be okay. Suppressing those emotions can manifest in physical health problems, hindering your ability to function at your best. Give yourself permission to feel. Cry, scream into a pillow, or take a long walk in nature – whatever helps you healthily release those emotions.

Remember, human connection is vital during difficult times. Don’t isolate yourself in your grief. Reach out to trusted friends, family, or even a therapist. Talking about your experience with someone who cares can be incredibly cathartic. There’s no shame in asking for grace during this challenging time. If you need a break, delegate tasks, ask for understanding from colleagues and clients, and be open with your manager. True leadership is about strength, but it’s also about vulnerability and recognizing your humanity.

You are not alone in this. Everyone experiences loss at some point in their lives. By acknowledging your emotions, seeking support from loved ones, and allowing yourself time to heal, you can navigate the darkness of grief. This experience, while incredibly painful, can also be a catalyst for growth. It can make you a stronger, more compassionate leader, with a deeper understanding of the human experience. Trust the process, and know that with time and support, you will emerge stronger on the other side.

If you’re interested in hearing more on this topic, head over to the Conscious Habit to hear the episode “Finding Light in Dark Times”, with myself, Des Garcia, and Amy Woodall.