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Who’s the Boss? How Self-Leadership Is the Key to Your Success

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Are you a take-charge kind of person? Would you rather have someone else run the show and tell you what to do? It takes all sorts of people to make the world go round. No matter which side you gravitate towards–a take-charge boss or a worker bee–you'll benefit from practicing self-leadership.

Self-leadership is the ability to manage yourself. You're the boss of you. You consistently set goals and direct your thoughts and actions to reach those goals. The skills you need to self-lead include effective communication, stress management, and everything in between.

​Some people are naturals at self-leadership. They've been dreaming up goals and propelling towards them as they check off boxes on their to-do lists since they were young. If you aren't as naturally inclined, you can learn and practice similar habits to improve your self-leadership. Yes, you can learn to be a self-led goal-getter with some care and effort. Why should you care about your self-leadership skills? Let's get into that right now.


Why Does Self-Leadership Matter?

Whether you know it or not, you have a dialogue or narrative going on in your brain. Once you tame your brain, you can infinitely harness its power to affect all other aspects of your life. Let's look at an example.

Suppose you're 90 years old and want to learn to do somersaults. Now, suppose your brain says," No way! It'll never happen. You're too old to do gymnastics." Will you achieve what you want? It isn't very likely. Your inner dialogue didn't leave room for 'maybe.'

However, you can change your thoughts to something more productive. In this example, you could think, "I'm 90 and want to learn to do a somersault. I wonder how I can achieve that?" In this case, your brain isn't telling you it's impossible, so you get curious about how to make it happen. You might make a game plan to strengthen and stretch your muscles. You may consult a YouTube video or a gymnastics coach. You work on yourself little by little and eventually do it.

Thoughts become feelings, and feelings become actions. That means your thoughts influence more than you realize, especially when you are unaware of what you're thinking.

So why do we care about this? We care about self-leadership because that inner narrative that promotes or squashes dreams can mean the difference between living the life you want or letting life pass you by.

While the thought of a leadership role at work might not excite you, you can get excited about leading yourself. You are the only one who can set goals that are personal and meaningful to you.

​Want more benefits of self-leadership to get excited about? Check out the following advantages of being a self-led individual.


7 Advantages of Being a Self-Leader

  • Confidence
    You step sure-footed through life because you’ve seen yourself succeed.

  • Trustworthiness
    You trust yourself because you make and keep your promises. You begin to treat others with the same integrity, and they start to trust you, too.

  • Dedication
    You don’t easily bend to the whims and opinions of others. You set your sights on your goals and put in the work to achieve them.

  • ​Inspiring Others
    You lead by example, and that motivates others.

  • ​Building Relationship
    You understand that, even though you are the only one who can make and achieve your personal goals, no one is an island. You need knowledge and help from others to get where you want to be. You treat everyone with respect and compassion because you are on a journey to a higher self and don’t have your blinders on to petty things.

  • ​Accountability
    You say ‘yes’ to meaningful things and ‘no’ to things that cross your boundaries. You give your all to things you say ‘yes’ to. You know you aren’t perfect, so you willingly own up to your mistakes and work to fix them.

  • ​Efficiency and Productivity
    You do not sit idly waiting for life to happen to you. You set goals and chart a course to achieve them. You overcome limiting beliefs that can hold you back.

Don't the advantages of self-leadership sound like something you want for yourself? These benefit your personal life or professional life. Let's discuss how a follower can become a self-leader.


How to Become a Self-Leader

Anyone can become a self-leader. Use the following steps to lead yourself to greatness.


Become Aware

How do you tame your brain? It all starts with awareness.

​Becoming aware of your brain's narrative is all you need to change it and make it believe whatever you want. Recognize your thoughts–it's that simple and that challenging. Here are some tips:

  • ​Define your internal dialogues to work through them. Reframe them if they are pessimistic or use them for goal-setting if they are positive.
  • ​Try journaling your thoughts and feelings daily. You can jot down thoughts as they pop into your head or do a mental inventory at the end or beginning of the day.
  • ​Sign up for life coaching. A trained professional can help you recognize patterns, thoughts, and feelings from an outsider's perspective.​​
  • ​Dive into resources on mindset and other related readings. They’ll help you train your mind to recognize and squash limiting beliefs. They’ll help you develop helpful practices.

Become Trustworthy

Would you follow a leader who let you down? Who consistently made promises they couldn’t keep? Whose moods were a roller coaster ride? Probably not.

​You must be the type of person you’d follow. Tell yourself you’re going to do something and follow through. Even the little things are big things to your subconscious. Keep volatile emotions in check. After all, no amount of screaming and stomping on the floor ever changed the outcome for anybody.


Be Compassionate

Giver yourself–and everybody else–permission to be human. That means extending grace when you haven't done something perfectly. Because who's perfect?


Perform a SWOT Analysis

Just like a business leader would perform a SWOT analysis for their business, you can do one for yourself. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Lean into what you're good at. Find someone who can fill in the gaps where you don't excel. That, or work really hard to strengthen your weak spots.


Be a Self-Leader. Chart Your Course.

Learn how to lead yourself. By doing so, you’ll make and achieve the life goals you’ve always wanted for yourself. Our focus mindset online library is full of resources to help you become and stay a self-led goal-getter.


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