The ultimate goal for personal development (and when working with me) is Self-Leadership.
You know who you are, what you want, where you’re going, and what you need to get there (at least the first steps). I also believe that one of the original aims of higher learning was to train humans in how to think, and thusly, lead themselves. Thinking alone though isn’t enough to help someone become the leader of themselves and others. When we become self-leaders first, everything else begins to fall into place.
What is Self-Leadership?
Self-Leadership as a term started in the business world as we evolved away from managers managing human automatons. The business world, and truly the world in general, has been moving away from blind compliance towards independent thinkers and “self-starters”. Bryant Andrew of SelfLeadership.com defines it as
“Self-Leadership is having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you’re going coupled with the ability to influence your communications, emotions, and behavior on the way to getting there.”
How is self leadership different from self confidence?
Self Confidence is knowing that your skills & abilities are enough for whatever task/job you’ve got in front of you. Self Leadership involves everything else as well; emotions, communications, decision making, AND your skills & abilities. So in effect, the more you grow into your own self leadership, the more your confidence will coincidentally grow as well.
Why is Self-Leadership such a big deal?
I’ve heard it said that there are 3 types of people living their lives:
the human automaton - just going to work, watching tv, and taking up some space in the world until they die. not much lights them up and they wait for the weekend when they can numb constantly until Monday.
the one playing whack a mole with opportunities and fumbling her way through life. Sometimes its fucking amazing! Sometimes is sooooo NOT amazing.
then theres the person who has a vision for their life, a mission, and they go after it without letting anyone distract or mislead them.
Whats the major difference between them? One of them is leading themselves. The other two are hoping that others will come along to just tell them what to do. Thats the power and impact it has on our lives! There are of course lots of shades of grey between these and thankfully we aren’t stuck in any one of those types unless we decide to be! So what are the key traits of self-leader? What are we aiming for?
5 Key Traits of a Self-Leader
1. Knows Herself - She has spent the time to know her likes/dislikes, strengths/struggles, needs & sensitivities, how she make decisions, how she likes to communicate, and how she likes to live her life. If you don’t know yourself and stand up for who you are, the world is more than eager to tell you who they think you should be instead.
Example: I was conditioned to be like my mother, who is pretty much my opposite when you look at our Human Design charts and energy. I also conditioned myself to be like those I was around as a way of hiding and staying safe in an abusive situation. I thought I was meant to only be a chameleon… a part of the background. It wasn’t until I began re-exploring myself as a 30+ year old that I finally began to be my own person and actually having preferences & needs. Up until that point, I had been working to be what others wanted me to be… not actually myself because I had no idea who she was! Talk about exhausting!
This can be little things like the fact I love Asian food with a passion! My mother hates it so I’d never had it till adulthood. Or it can be bigger things like, I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and had no idea until the last couple of years. I didn’t realize that the extreme irritability or loss of the ability to function after large crowds or lots of noise was just something I needed to get over and suppress. I learned to do that and it worked for awhile… until the pressure from everything I’d been stuffing bubbled up and I exploded in rage all over everyone around me at the time. I didn’t realize I had those needs…
2. Accepts every part of herself. This doesn’t mean she never wants to grow. It does mean though that she’s not making herself wrong for WHO she is right now, today. The things you think of as “flaws” are exactly what make you perfect for your exact mission in this lifetime.
Example: In Human Design terms I’m an Emotional authority, meaning I use my emotions as my internal GPS. For most of my life I thought I was supposed to be logical and that my emotions (especially their intensity) were a flaw I needed to minimize. Nope, its legit how I’m designed to function! Now I feel my emotions as they come up. I no longer make myself wrong for having them. And I know they won’t last forever.
ps. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle is a great read/watch on this matter. I love the 2018 movie xx
3. Practice Self-Awareness — especially around your emotions and thoughts. Awareness is the first part of the acceptance and change process. If you’ve got your head buried in the proverbial sand, it’s going to be really difficult to know whats going on with you, in your body, mind, and emotions. It’ll be even harder to pop your head out of the sand to lead yourself towards where you want to go.
Example: Let’s take emotional self-awareness. If I feel this overwhelming “feeling” yet don’t have the vocabulary to describe it, it can be difficult to impossible to then calm yourself and use that emotion as feedback. However if I’m self-aware and feeling I can name, I can do something about it. Like I feel anger and after looking at it a bit more I realize its actually betrayal. Now that I have a better understanding of what i’m actually feeling, I can take the steps to mitigate the betrayal and prevent it from happening again.
4. Resilient AF -- When you know and accept yourself, you KNOW you can take care of you or lean on others…no matter what. When things don’t go as planned, you naturally roll with the punches and then dust yourself off and keep going. It’s not that you’re now untouchable and nothing less than optimal ever happens to you. You just know you can handle whatever does happen.
There is a huge sense of freedom with this knowing you can handle anything. You can try new things for example without fearing the potential outcomes. There are always risks involved with trying new things, yet without the new we never evolve.
Example: I’ve personally pivoted my business at least 4 times because I knew that I’d either succeed or learn from the “failure” and use that for my next adventure. I’ve chosen to end relationships with partners because I knew I’d be OK without them and that particular relationship was only dragging us both down. Glow ups happened for both after, btw :)
5. Decisive AF -- Each of us has a specific way that we make decisions. For some, it’s a quick gut check. For others it’s a slower, more emotional process. Regardless of the how, a self-leader follows & honors her process, no matter what. This is one of my favorite parts of teaching Human Design — how to be decisive AF! When you have the ability to make your own decisions, you can truly transition from employee to CEO. Or from slave to Queen!
Example: I was conditioned to believe that if I didn’t make a snap decision, then there was something wrong with me. Then I found out that my design is meant to ride my emotional wave and THEN come to a sense of clarity. Now that I’ve had awhile practicing what that clarity feels like in my body, I have true peace in my process, knowing that I’ll know in time the best decision for ME.
Is this Self-Leadership thing possible for you?
Short answer, YES! Totally!
Long answer, YES! Totally! Let me show you and teach you! I’ll start off by letting you know that you’re seen, safe, and enough just as you are! Then using your Human Design Chart as the user manual or cosmic blueprint, we’ll work together to help you see yourself and nurture these 5 key traits (and lots of other good stuff). You’ll be self-leading before you know it! You’ll be feeling new levels of confidence and joy because you’ll finally be able to SEE through the conditioning to the real, beautifully authentic, YOU!
“The secret to change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~Dan Millman
If you’re feeling lit up after reading this and are ready to to explore this self-leadership stuff more, I’d love to invite you into our community, Radically You! This is a safe space, away from social media, for us to come together, learn, grow, and do this healing journey together. Both free & paid options available 🙂
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To find out more about this Human Design thing I'm talking about, check out my blog post about it or my YouTube video:
And always know, if you fancy a cuppa and a chat, heres my link: https://tidycal.com/radicaljoyfulness/coffee