3 Steps To Be THE LEADER Of Your Life
Leadership… what is it? Often when we start thinking about leadership, we think about it from the perspective of the professional world: managers, bosses, employers… generally speaking “the person in charge”. The trouble is, that kind of thinking puts the context for leadership out there – a “somewhere else” or better yet a “someone else” phenomenon.
I think real leadership is a much more personal experience, and it’s only when we take ownership of who we are as a leader in our own life that we can actually start to live the life we want.
I mean really…
You have this one life, how do you want to live it?
It’s a great question that deserves an answer – YOU deserve an answer to that question!! Lot’s of people will have spent a little bit of time thinking about what they want to get out of life; unfortunately the picture is often out of focus and blurry. Most of us won’t actually spend time trying to create a plan or road map to get ourselves to that end.
To think about that stuff is a little intimidating! Isn’t it? I mean if you sat down and thought about what you really wanted in life, you’d eventually get to the point where you’d know that if you wanted it to happen YOU were going to have to be the one to make it happen!
It’s way easier to get bogged down in the day-to-day realm of life, focusing on all the reasons why we don’t take real, effective, concrete steps towards creating the life we want. We justify, make excuses, and explain away why things are the way they are in life:
A lot of people live out a version of that in their everyday lives because they don’t know how to do better… and even if they do, the idea of taking action to do better is uncomfortable.
We are creatures of habit, seeking out the familiar, the path of least resistance. It’s as if we’re saying: “If the easiest road is to not rock any boats and keep the peace, then so be it, that’s my path!”
But the truth is… if you’re reading something like this, you’re not satisfied with not rocking boats and instead staying stuck in mediocrity! The truth is, you want more!! And the only way that’s going to happen is if you take the reigns in your life and make it happen!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain
Be The Leader Of YOUR Life
Being a leader is never easy, if it were, everyone would be doing it! Being a leader feels risky… and it is because you’re putting yourself at stake! You’re taking yourself out of the middle of the herd and stepping to the front, to LEAD!! And that my friends… is scary.
When things get scary, I’ve always found that having some short and simple ideas to focus on, helpful. When it comes to being a leader in life, I’ve boiled it down to 3 basic rules:
I use these to keep myself on track and moving forward as a leader in my life, no matter how scary things get. Let’s break it down shall we?
Rule #1 :: Be RESPONSIBLE
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life is that if I want it, I’m the one that has to go out there and make it happen.
No one is coming to save me… I am responsible for my own life.
It’s so easy to stay in your comfort zone and wish for something different and wonder how you could make it happen:
- “How do I do that?”
- “How do I make a change like that?”
- “How do I stick to it?”
You get the idea… You want to make change in your life but you feel like you don’t know how.
I think that’s BS! I call bullsh*t!!
I think we know how, we’re just afraid of digging in and doing the work. We’re afraid of failing and looking foolish… Because that feels out of control, and feeling out of control is generally something we all tend to avoid at any cost.
Here’s the thing though. If you want your life to be different in the future, you’re going to have to make some changes.
That’s a simple fact.
If you don’t make changes, your life will be very similar in the future to what it is right now. If you make changes in your life now, those changes will be reflected in your future. It’s just basic logic… And you’re the one responsible for creating that in your life!
But being responsible and putting ourselves at risk is uncomfortable so instead we hide behind “I don’t know how” or “I’m not sure” or “I’m confused”.
Bullshit! You’re just a freaked out about declaring what you want and then taking the steps to make it happen! Freaked out about change and what that will mean to your life.
It rarely has nothing to do with whether or not we know how to do something. That’s right. Any time there is a ‘how’ question being asked, it’s quite likely you’re avoiding being responsible for taking actions that will create change.
Think about this common example: “I want to lose weight but I don’t really know how to make that happen. I’ve tried before and failed.”
Right. I’m sure that’s true – well at least the part about having tried before and failed… The thing is (and this will sound extreme) I bet if you were put in an interrogation room with a gun to your head, you’d be able to make a general list of steps you’d need to take to effectively lose weight… Right? Because it’s not about the how… It’s about YOU having to take the steps.
But does that have you take the steps? No.
Even if you don’t have the answer at the tip of your fingers, I bet if you looked into your network you know someone who could help. Of course there’s always the Google – available 24-7-365 (do people still say that anymore??) to provide you with how-to information, links to experts and resources on every subject imaginable!
I’m telling you, the HOW is never the problem.
It’s a smokescreen we use to avoid being responsible for making the changes necessary to live the life we want to. The trouble comes with YOU having to take the steps, to take the action, to make the call, to tell the truth, to even discover the truth!
That’s uncomfortable and that’s what stops people from being responsible and taking on their lives. And it’s way easier to hide behind “I don’t know how” than it is to admit “I’m afraid”…
Remember, “No one can do your push ups for you”… only you can do them – even if you’re afraid…
You – and only you – are responsible for your life.
Rule #2 :: Take. Action. Anyway.
Ask yourself these questions:
- When was the last time you did something for the first time?
- How did you feel before you did it?
- How did you feel after?
Taking action, even when it’s scary or uncomfortable can be truly exhilarating!
When I think about a clear memory of doing something for the first time, I remember jumping off the high diving board when I was a little kid. It’s a really vivid memory for me… I was terrified!
I didn’t realize until I got up there and looked down, how high I actually was. There I was, in my Wonder Woman bathing suit standing at the end of the board looking down – almost 10’ down!! Which would have been three times my own height back then!
I remember thinking to myself: “Well I can’t climb back down because that would be embarrassing!” (There were kids lined up the all the way from the pool deck to the top of the ladder waiting for me to jump…) “I can’t stay up here forever… My only option is to jump.”
Regardless of how terrified I was, I jumped – and guess what! – I lived – obviously. You know what else? Jumping off the high diving board got easier every time I did it…
Why am I telling you this?
Because the truth is that most of us look at things we haven’t done before in the same way… with the same fear and trepidation that showed up the first time you did something like jump off the high diving board.
When you’ve never done something before then it’s uncomfortable… and we don’t like that! Remember? Us human beings thrive on certainty and knowing what to expect.
Feeling Uneasy = Feeling Uncertain = Feeling Out Of Control
We like to know what’s coming so we can plan our reaction, make sure we’re landing on our feet, and come out looking like a rock star.
The thing is… nothing in life is certain – well nothing except that everything changes. The truth is you will never know WITH CERTAINTY what’s coming from moment to moment. Sure you can identify what’s predictable, but you can’t identify for sure what’s coming ahead of time or know with certainty how it will roll out.
If you let your need for certainty – which is the same as NEEDING CONTROL – run your life you’ll only get so far.
I promise, making a change – putting yourself at risk – will occur as the thing NOT to do… and your job is to feel the fear and do it anyway because: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
Rule #3 :: Speak Your Truth
Speaking your truth with conviction is one of the hardest things we humans will practice doing. Speaking your truth will often occur like you’re putting everything at risk… you’re putting yourself at risk of being rejected.
So instead… we stop.
We doubt ourselves. We question whether we know what we’re talking about or feeling. We don’t go beyond the space that is comfortable.
Wanna know if you have trouble speaking your truth? Ask yourself:
- Are you a people pleaser?
- Do you have a hard time saying no to people?
- Do you have a hard time asking for what you want and need without beating around the bush, hinting, or getting passive-aggressive?
- Do you have a hard time being straight and to the point in your communication with others?
- Are you afraid of being perceived as rude, bossy, a bully, or a bitch?
Then guess what… you have a hard time speaking your truth.
Wanna know why that is? Well… we never get taught how to do that! We never get taught how to speak up with power, how to say no thank-you with grace and confidence, how to ask for what we need and feel like we’re deserving rather than needy.
Instead we’re conditioned to figure it out on our own, not impose or put other people out, to help out as much as possible so people like us…
But at what cost?
At what cost are you doing those things? It’s at the cost of yourself and unfortunately – if you get really honest here – your sense of self worth.
Being a leader in your life requires that you step up and speak out. It life requires that you give yourself permission to have your feelings matter just as much or even more than other people’s feelings. Being a leader in your life – creating the life YOU want and deserve – requires that you find your voice and use it, and that takes something!
At the end of it all, the bottom line is this is a journey. I know – eye roll – we’ve all heard that before… But it’s the truth.
You have no idea what life is going to throw at you and your job is to bend, flex, and pick up the shock whenever you can. You get to be IN it playing the game and dealing with what’s happening rather than sitting on the sidelines wondering how, avoiding responsibility, not taking any action and keeping your mouth shut.
I’m here to tell you, you deserve to have the life and love that you long for. You really do.
And it’s within reach, if you want it. All you have to do is get out there and be a leader in your life – what’s stopping you?
Until next time ,
PS – Listen… making changes in life are hard. It’s so easy to get caught up in the concern for the impact or consequences those changes will have on you and the important people in your life. Navigating that space on your own can be really intimidating – intimidating and overwhelming enough that most people stop.
If you’re ready to look fear in the eyes and make a change anyway and feel like that would be easier to do with a partner in crime… I’m your girl. Hit me up for a free consult and we can talk. I know we can figure out a plan and put you in the leader role of your life!! I look forward to hearing from you!!
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