Life is constantly changing, so, becoming a lifelong learner and someone who finds happiness in adapting to new circumstances is a great and useful quality to have. After I published an article on Self-Leadership To Become Successful, I was asked multiple times for a roadmap to achieve success by leveraging self-leadership. In response, I’ve put together ten steps to achieving a strong self-leadership:
- Forge healthy self-esteem. Appreciate yourself for who you are — faults, foibles and strengths. The difference between someone who has healthy self-esteem vs. someone who doesn’t lies in ability or innate skills per se. Good self-esteem is simply in the acknowledgment of your strengths and your weaknesses, and moving through the world safe in that knowledge. When you have healthy self-esteem you are able to feel good about yourself for who you are, appreciate your own worth, and take pride in your abilities and accomplishments. You also acknowledge that while you’re not perfect and that you have faults, those faults don’t play an irrationally large role in your life or have an overwhelming impact on your own self-image (how you see yourself).
- Clarify your vision. Visualize how you would like to see yourself in the short-term and in the long-term. On a piece of paper create four groups: one for (1)yourself, one for (2)family, one for (3)work, and the last (but not least) for (4)what's important for you. Divide each group in two sections: the first section represents your short-term vision and the other section your long-term vision.
Vision boards and plans are perfect to get you started. We tend to be very busy and constantly bombarded by distractions. Making use of vision boards and vision plans serves several purposes, some of which include identifying your vision and giving it clarity to keep your attention on your intentions. In our program "the power of perception" we guide participants on how to create an effective vision plan to break through the dynamics that stop them from achieving what they want. We have different techniques to help you embrace your visions, and to concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal.
- Identify goals. Once you are clear on your short-term and long-term visions, set goals to achieve them. Note your age for each goal and the age of those involved and affected by your goals. This will give you a more realistic understanding of your expectation. Every goal affects you differently, as each aspect is intertwined -- your family, your job and what's important for you in life. Really acknowledging the bigger picture of your visions will help you work within the context of your whole life and thereby make follow-through more likely.
- Create a timeline with an action plan. Schedule your week with discipline -- plan your work and work your plan. Every action you take has a reaction in the four areas you identified in the step #2. Think of each area as requiring 25% of you. In order to be completed, to reach a 100% potential, you need to work on each of the four areas. So, your timeline has to reflect actions on yourself, your family, work, and what's important for you. This will create positive momentum for potent self-leadership.
- Identify measurable results. Out of every goal you have, identify measurable results to know if the actions you designed to achieve your goals are effective. This will allow you to make sure you don't set yourself up for failure. In other words, setting up measurable results will save you from wasting time on actions that are not taking you closer to achieve your goal. For example, if I want to lose weight, I'm not going to jump into a very strict diet the following day because my body reaction won't be in alignment with my willpower. Instead I will gradually cut off foods that I know work against my goal such as sweets, fat and carbohydrates. In addition, I will start to include healthy meals and habits so my body begins to learn how to adapt to new routines. Reaching out to a nutrition expert and initiating new exercise habits to help activate my body will also be a part of my strategy.
- Take initiative. Volunteer to be first. Be daring, bold, brave and fearless, willing to fall down, fail, and get up again for another round. Your action plan will assist you in having integrity with your vision. Vulnerability makes you stronger when all is said and done, so embrace it with power. See yourself as a winner -- not as a victim. Learn to love ideas and experiments. Turn them into pilot programs that preface decisions. Things are impossible until the first person does it.
- Be humble and spread the credit. The best way to lead yourself and others is by being a team player. If you praise the accomplishments of others with genuine enthusiasm, you will be considered a team player. At work, your supervisor will see your ability to defer to others as a positive leadership trait that might benefit you during your formal employee evaluations and your general profile. This might even earn you a promotion!
- Make very clear distinctions in your life. We have the capacity to reason. We can choose what works for us and what doesn’t, what fits our plans and what doesn't. To make informed choices we need to acquire sufficient knowledge of relevant details so that we can distinguish between what fits and what doesn’t. Distinction, discernment, decision … a good path.
- Surround yourself with other influencers, mentors and people who are smarter than you. Surround yourself with smart beautiful people who seek to achieve similar things in life. Creating this environment will allow you to motivate and learn from each other. In addition, learn from others by listening while others learn from you. This is the give-and-take of goodness and success.
- Care for and about people. Compassion and empathy become you, and keep you ever-connected to your humanity. Beauty exists in everything and in everyone. Learn how to find it, you’ll be amazed how little you have to invent and much is waiting to be displayed.
Now that you have "10 Steps To Healthy Self-Leadership" and "Self-leadership, The Key to Your Success" I invite you to champion change. These 10 steps will improve your self-leadership skills – and, as a result, people will choose you to lead them.
As the saying goes: those who do what they’ve always done, will get what they’ve always gotten. Seek to be continually inspired by something, learning what your triggers are and self lead yourself into greatness.