Whether you have worked your way up the ladder into a leadership role or you took one unexpectedly, it can often be difficult to navigate the waters. A huge piece of that understanding is choosing the leadership style you want to reflect to your people. Finding the leader within you can mean different things to different individuals, but ultimately it comes down to taking responsibility for your actions and your words, letting go of your doubts, accepting yourself for what you bring to the table, and learning to embrace the ever changing challenges that leadership will bring you.
Getting to Know Yourself
When you imagine your ideal life or career, what intrusive thoughts get in the way? First things first - no matter what they are - LET EM GO! In order to succeed in leadership, you’re going to have to step outside of your comfort zone. Get out of your safe space and take the leap. Stop letting them author your life story and claim your own authorship. When you do your inner work and “clean up the basement,” you bring wholeness to your world. Every moment is an opportunity to write or rewrite your story in a way that is nourishing and life affirming.
So when you think about everything from your home life to your career, all of it is made up from the choices you have made along your journey. Take full responsibility for your world and commit to creating from it. You have two options: you can choose to make the best choices possible on your own or you can sit back and let others choose for you. I know which one I’ve chosen! Do you?
When you put yourself in the driver’s seat, those circumstances outside your control have far less power over you. Which is why it becomes so important to sit down and consider what your core values really are. What are the things that really give you deep meaning and purpose to drive you to be the best leader you can be? Determine your strengths and find ways to apply them throughout every day. Aligning your actions with the values you display on your shelf will show your people that you not only mean what you say and do, but that you’re willing to grow.
Learning to Accept Yourself & Your Choices
“Should” is one of the most dangerous words in our inner dialogue. Along with those intrusive thoughts and doubts, you have to learn to let all of the ‘shoulds’ go too. Always trying to live up to others’ advice or expectations will only deter your leadership goals. Think about what it is that really puts a fire in your belly - what is it you truly want. Free yourself from always trying to get it right or being in the mindset of always having to ‘perform’ for others. Settle into your own expression of self so that you are able to let your leadership grow and blossom.
And then, once you’ve done all you can do to truly know yourself - accept yourself. The key here? ALL of yourself! Both your strengths and your weaknesses. Your whole person. The whole package. Now this will take a lot of change, but the good kind. When you go through this process of accepting yourself, don’t change who you are. But work to be more present with yourself, just AS you are. Your goal is to work towards developing yourself into a better person, as better leader, and learning to take your strengths to an even higher level.
Embracing the Change
Here is the real truth - every single one of you is a natural born leader! But you cannot lead naturally if you aren’t leading yourself first. Turn your focus inward. Getting to know your whole person will allow you to take control and put yourself in the driver’s seat. You are the only person that can steer where you want to go in life, what path you choose, what choices you make, and how you choose to lead people. You can spend a lifetime fighting every little roadblock, or you can conquer them by embracing them for what they are: opportunities to grow. Every challenge is an chance to learn something new about yourself. Find the lesson and you will always succeed! And the leadership part? That will follow.