If you are a self-led person, then you must be prone to making your own decisions and creating your own targets. People who understand the importance of self-leadership are truly self-aware and make great managers, entrepreneurs, and mentors.
Self-leadership isn’t a smooth quality to inculcate in one’s personality. However, it is one of the most invaluable traits a person can have. Most people are either working under a boss, who may or may not be a good leader. A leader may or may not have embraced self-leadership, but a self-led person shall always be a good, even great leader.
If you are still confused about what self-leadership really is, well, keep reading further.
Five Core Competencies of a Self-Leadership / Self-led Individual
A self-led person has five main attributes. They are – self-discipline, self-awareness, high emotional intelligence, the ability to maintain their relationships well, and the ability to take responsibility for their actions.
If you are a self-led person, then the chances are that you are quite different from others around you. You do not follow the rules that society has set for people. You know you are your own boss and never miss a chance to improve yourself. Every self-led person has different traits and qualities, but all of them have these five qualities.
1. Self -discipline
Self-leadership is all about focus and discipline. When you learn how to put your energy in one place at one time, the best leaders know this because they have mastered the art of self-leadership. So, if you are trying to build this quality in you, then start with self-discipline.
The one quality you will find in every self-led person is developing awareness. In fact, the main reason that such people do not want to be led by other people is that they know themselves too well and their capabilities. They are aware of their skills, limitations, characteristics—in a single word, they are self-aware. When a person becomes aware of himself, he refuses to follow any path that doesn’t fill him with passion.
3. High emotional intelligence
For those of you who don’t know, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand one’s emotions and everybody else’s. A person with high E.Q is able to use emotions in a way that influences his or her positive side. The ability to influence people is an excellent characteristic of self-led people. The reason behind this ability is the higher emotional intelligence found in such people. Meditation, yoga, spending time alone, walking in nature, etc. are a few ways to awaken your E.Q.
4. Management of relationships
Since they are so emotionally intelligent and active about being led by their hearts, self-led individuals know how to manage relationships with themselves and others. Since they know their own selves so well, it becomes quite easy for them to connect with others as well. The emotions and behavior of other people help self-led people in growing their business and life since they know how to communicate with others.
5. They take responsibility for everything
This is a genius quality found in people who have embraced self-leadership. These people never blame someone else for whatever they go through in life. They take responsibility for everything in life. In the same way, they accept life for its good and evil without wanting to make a fuss about it. They know they have the power to change every situation in their life.
If you are someone who is willing to inculcate the above qualities in your life, then, start with writing down all these traits on a piece of paper and paste the same on your study desk or somewhere in your room.
When you pass this paper or sheet, read all the qualities and imagine your brain is accepting these qualities as a part of your personality. Every time a situation strikes where it demands you to act in a way a self-led person would, remember the core qualities and deal with the situation accordingly.
Why is Self-Leadership so Rare in Our Society?
We, as a society, do not support maturity and psychological development. We also do not like to expend a lot of effort into learning self-leadership. Paired with low emotional intelligence, these are the main reasons why our society fails to create self-led individuals.
But why does our society have such a lack of self-led individuals? One of the reasons for this is social conditioning. We have not encouraged all the qualities that are needed to develop this skill. Emotional intelligence and empathy are considered a weakness, not strength. This is especially true for men.
Besides these facts, here are the top reasons why we, as a society, fail to build self-led individuals-
We do not support mature psychological development
This means the people sitting on high posts do not have the emotional or mental maturity to neither give their best not bring out the best in their team members for the full-fledged development of the organization. Most of us are adults with unhealed childhood traumas. Self-leadership requires digging deep into yourself and clear all wounds. Once that’s done, your psychological development takes place at a whole other level.
It takes a lot of effort to be a self-led individual
Most people would instead follow the culture than follow what rings true in their heart and soul. The habit of following the crowd is so deeply rooted in our society that hardly anyone thinks of taking the less-taken path. There is a very less percentage of people who want to take risks, explore things, learn frequently, and start their own ventures. It is sad, but it’s true.
Low emotional intelligence
The way we are brought up, most of us have low levels of emotional intelligence. The reason behind this is that we are told from childhood that a lot of emotions aren’t a good thing, which is not valid. If you are a true manifestor, you know your emotions play the most essential role in that.
The best people that the world has seen were all self-actualized and self-led people who refused to follow the typical path of life. They knew they were great even before they became great.
However, they all had a few things in common—high humility, honesty, self-motivation, compassionate, gentle in approach, and self-disciplined. In a nutshell, self-led people are great human beings before anything else.
How to Improve Self-Leadership?
You can ensure a robust sense of self-leadership by being clear about your goals and what you want from life. You should also not be afraid to take risks in life or spend time by yourself. Great leaders also take the time to soak in nature, get excited about learning new things and focus their energy on what’s important.
Now that you know about the main qualities of self-leadership and ways to inculcate them, be assured that you will find a way to build this kind of relationship with yourself. Those who are leading life by self-awareness shall follow the below advice to improve the path of self-leadership.
1. Be clear on your goals
Whether you are seeking a short term goal or working on a bigger purpose, be as clear as you can. When you have clarity about the same, you tend to have a better vision, and your goals are achieved as per the vision you set.
2. Do not be afraid to take a calculated risk
The best self-led people to know that you cannot find extraordinary things in life if you do not risk it. Take up a challenging project, go ahead with a new career that you have always wanted to pursue, turn your art into a business, etc. Taking calculated risks is a massive part of leadership development.
3. Spend time by yourself
The best leaders know that spending time with themselves every day is an integral part of their growth. Spending time with yourself means that you focus on your body, health, and new ideas. Even if you take out half an hour for meditation or reading, it is enough.
4. Spend time in nature
The most incredible leaders that the world has seen cannot begin or end their day without spending some time in and around nature. A simple stroll in your garden or the park has the power to uplift your mood. A good mood boosts your productivity. Staying around nature is quite healing for your mind, body, and soul as well.
5. Be excited about learning
The best kinds of self leaders know the only way to keep their braining working for a long time is to feed it with new experiences, thoughts, and ideas, from time to time. However, they do not learn new things out of duty or responsibility. They do it because it excites them. They enjoy learning.
6. Learn to direct your energy on important things
People who lead by their heart do not spend their energy on careers, people, and things that do not fill them with passion. Thus, they do not mind walking on the opposite side of the crowd. When a good leader knows how to focus his energy on the development of his company, his team members learn to do the same, and brilliant things happen to that company.
As per Jay Earley, the best-selling author of the book ‘Self-Therapy’ says that the goal of self-leadership is to navigate through our various parts, stay relaxed, accept yourself for who you are and be open to accepting others for exactly who they are. He says that self is like the sun—it just shines!
So, if you are walking on the path of self-leadership, then keep walking because the universe offers the best life to those who are willing to follow their hearts.
After 20 years of research in the business sector, it has been revealed that it is emotional intelligence and not cognitive intelligence that makes a business successful. So, if you want to be a self-motivated and self-led human, start from diving deep into yourself, clearing your traumas, and healing your emotional state. After it’s done, your purpose will present itself to you, and you, as a human, will become unstoppable!
If you find it challenging to commit to these goals by yourself or heal your traumas in order to move forward, you can consult a psychologist and therapist for assistance.
Namrata Singh is a dentist turned writer and clinical researcher. Eager to learn about anything and everything, she is what you would call a jack of all trades and master of none. With a zeal for reading novels, books and anything she could get her hands on ever since she was little, she embarked into a writing career purely out of luck. After indulging in a freelancing career for nearly two years, she can now write on anything - from dentistry to decor, travel to technology, medicine to management - but psychology remains her first love. Having dealt with mental health issues in the past, she hopes to raise awareness for the same and help people with her work in association with The MindFool team