Self Leadership: The Foundation for Success

When you think about it, many of us
were trained to surrender our personal power from the time we were
small.  We were taught to be followers—not leaders.  We were expected to
play by other people’s rules.  Although this strategy created nice boys
and girls, it didn’t prepare us to be high functioning adults who
assume full responsibility for our choices, actions, experiences,
responses, and outcomes.   It didn’t teach us how to proactively CREATE a
life.  Actually, it taught us to play small, to feel insignificant, to
focus on pleasing others.  In some cases it snuffed out our spirits.

The truth is that we can’t lead others if we can’t lead ourselves.
  Ever wonder why you’re having difficulty with leadership at work, at
home, or in the community?  Perhaps it’s because you never learned how
to take charge of YOU.  If you implement even a few of the following
seven leadership “lessons”, you can change this situation dramatically!

1. Ask for what you need and want.  When is the last
time you did that?  When is the last time you requested a particular
meal, a choice assignment, a day off?  What about a long overdue date
night with your partner, an hour of interrupted time in your office, or a
pay raise?  What is your history in regards to asking for what you need
and want?  If you’re not used to doing it, why is that?  Is it because
you’re afraid of angering someone?  Is it because you don’t believe
you’re worth it?

2. Seize opportunities that come your way.  Opportunity
is a chance for advancement.  It’s also a favorable combination of
circumstances, time and place.  Do you know how to recognize
opportunity?  When you recognize it, do you act upon it or ignore it? 
If an ideal job pops up, do you apply?  If you need a new microwave, do
you take advantage of the big sale you read about in the paper?  If
family members invite you to their vacation home for an extended
weekend, do you make arrangements to join them?

3. Live fully in the moment.  Most of us are living
in the past or the future, completely missing the present.  Frazzled and
burdened by regrets, we dwell on yesterday’s mistakes and worry about
when we’ll read the batch of emails that hasn’t yet arrived.   Rarely
are we focused on the here and now.  Rarely are we totally “there” with
the person on the phone, the colleagues in the meeting, the webinar
trainer we paid to hear.  Being in the moment is often a foreign idea,
isn’t it?

4.  Adapt to change.  Change is a bad word for a lot
of us.  While a few people thrive on it, most of us fear it.  Some make
themselves sick over it.  How do you handle change?  Do you fight it or
deal with it?  Do you see it as a chance to learn, to grow, to
experience something different?  Do you perceive it as the flavor in
life?  What exactly is your relationship with change?  Having trouble
coping?  Identify what you have to do to accept change and make the best
of it.

5.  Be resourceful.   To what extent can you
confidently meet and handle various types of situations?  When and where
are you most resourceful?  At work?  At home?  With community
organizations?    Why is this?  When you don’t know the answer to a
question, do you know how to get it?  When presented with a problem, can
you figure out what you need to do to solve it?  What is holding you
back from becoming more resourceful than you are now?

6.  Create memorable experiences.  Your ability to
transform the ordinary into an experience is what turns a mere existence
into a zestful life.  Using sights, sounds, smells, textures, and
tastes, you can add spice to just about anything:  the next committee
meeting, the drive to the grocery store, the research project, the
brainstorming session, the call from a friend, tonight’s dinner.  Think
about everything you must do over the next twelve hours.  Consider how
you could take all of it to the next level.  There’s a difference
between hot chocolate made with water and hot chocolate made with milk
or cream.  How can you put more milk and cream into your routine?  How
can you make life rich?

7.  Take time to recharge.  It’s no secret that most
Americans are sleep deprived and relaxation starved.  As a result, many
of us are tired, irritable, and moderately productive.   As the leader
of your life, acknowledge—and honor—your physical and emotional
requirements for regular refreshment.  Listen to your body.  Pay
attention to stress.  Build short breaks into your day.  Do more things
you enjoy.  Develop new relationships.  Walk in the woods.  Turn on some
music.  Breathe deeply.

 It really is time to establish new rules.  It’s time to claim your
life and lead it.  When you take that step, you’ll be more, do more, and
achieve more than you ever dreamed possible.  Not only will feel better
about yourself but you’ll also positively influence those around you!

If you like what you’ve learned here, visit Launching Lives for a ton of free articles and resources that will help you solve problems, develop leadership skills, and increase balance in your life.

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