Mastering yourself is true power. –Lao Tzu
Self-leadership, as the name suggests, refers to how you lead yourself. Do you listen to what you say? Do you take your words seriously? Do you respect your goals and dreams? Do you actually believe in what you are telling yourself or are you just ignoring yourself and treating yourself as someone unimportant?
Unfortunately, there are many leaders today who are not even aware of the importance of self-leadership. It’s not really something trending on social media. There’s no course about it at school (and I really wish there was!). The result? We see a rising number of people breaking down when they get more work because they never established a good foundation that enables them to manage themselves well when things get tough.
The term self-leadership was defined by Chales Manz in 1986 as “leading oneself […] to do work that must be done but is not naturally motivating”. Working without feeling motivated? Is that even possible? Well, it used to be.
Before social media romanticized motivation, we used to be perfectly capable of just doing one task after another without getting distracted. We didn’t second guess our tasks (we didn’t have time to!), we were able to cross off one thing after another because that is what we set out to do.
Nowadays, we are so used to getting what we want so quickly. Want coffee? Easy. Donuts on the side? Done. We press a few buttons and we get what we want. This process of instant gratification is affecting our ability to do difficult things that we need to do to benefit us in the long run. People have forgotten how to play the long game. They have lost the patience and grit necessary to work on their big dreams and they settle for the easy way out…probably on the couch, with a few bags of chips on the side.
Self-leadership is quiet internal work. It is striving to understand who you are, identifying your wants and needs, and proactively making choices that will benefit you in the long-run.
To be able to lead yourself well, you must proactively work on three things:
Self-awareness or understanding your strengths and weaknesses, your goals, your beliefs as well as your triggers and tendencies. It is your ability to objectively evaluate yourself — are you actions and behaviors aligned with your values and your goals?
Self-confidence or your belief in yourself and your abilities to accomplish your goals. It is having a healthy and positive view of yourself so that you are able to trust in your own skills.
Self-efficacy or the utmost belief that you are capable of handling whatever challenges life throws at you. Whether it’s a failed project, a breakup, or an illness. It is believing that you can get back on track and improve by working smart and taking good care of yourself.
During these disruptive times when people spend so much time in isolation, mastering the art of self-leadership is more important than ever. This is why I created the Mental Rockstar Academy Virtual Workshops — to reach people all over the world, reignite their passion and spark their inner fire.
The self-leadership field is relatively quite new and there are not many organizational leadership courses and programs that target it. I hope that with the Mental Rockstar Academy, leaders, managers, and basically everyone who has the willingness to achieve more can have access to the mental training necessary to produce excellent work not because it is required but simply because they want to.
Remember, you are your own CEO! To be a truly effective leader, you must first learn how to manage and lead yourself well. Understand the values that are important to you, be aware of your goals, and proactively make decisions that align with them.
Here are Mental Rockstar Strategies for Self-Leadership:
- Practice mindfulness as often as you can.
- Be clear about your goals.
- Know where to put your energy.
- Test your patience.
- Embed positivity daily.
I’ll be writing about them more in the coming weeks so stay tuned and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t yet!