You have been framed and designed by a great spectrum of multi-stakeholder societal interventions.
Started a long time ago, in the beginning of your very existence. When you were born, you were spanked to cry as a test of your ability to breathe on your own, right after the placenta was disconnected. You were given a name you did not choose, nobody asked for your permission, a nationality was forced down your throat, you didn't choose your ethnicity, your course of study in the university, and maybe even realizing you are stranded in a religion you were not allowed to decide for or against.
In a nutshell, somebody else has been writing your script for way too long. It is time for you to write your own script, be intentional about living and if you are wondering, i am speaking to myself in the same vein. Enough of aimless existence and time to enjoy the thrill of personal growth and achievement that comes from the pursuit of a worthwhile goal.
Writing your own script is synonymous to leading yourself- Self Leadership
Self leadership is a good sense of who you are, what you are capable of (and can do), where you are going, and influencing your emotions, attitude and behaviour to achieve your goals.
I agree with Dee Hoc, the Founder of VISA when he said and i quote " If you want to lead, invest at least 40% of your time leading yourself"
Also my thoughts resonate with Marcus Aureilus, whose personal philosophical writings are considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy. Here is one of his statements
" So act virtuous, use your time well, and be cheerful. Then when you drop from life's tree you will drop like a ripe fruit"
Indeed, the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. What do you consistently think about? What are you thinking about this very moment?
We never really take a good look at ourselves. We are too busy chasing the wind, and living life unintentionally.
We need to build a solid foundation within self, constantly equip ourselves one building block after another patiently.
According to Vernest Hires Likkel " you can maintain comfort in any environment as long as you have a solid foundation within self"
I used to think helping others was my biggest hurdle, and i was gardually burning out in my attempt to inspire and add value to the lives of others. Somewhere at the tail end of the year 2017 i was hit by the amazing reality that " i can't help others if i don't first help myself"
The truth is, you can only truly know how to lead others by setting the example in leading yourself first, charting a path and walking intentionally in your purpose.
Strategy for Self leadership:
1. Self awareness:
The capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals (wikipedia)
In 1972 the theory of self awareness was developed by psychologists Shelley Duval & Robert Wickland. They proposed that:
"When we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behaviour to our internal standards and values, we become self conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves"
Self awareness is the key cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Self aware people tend to act consciously rather than react passively.
2. Self reflection:
Take a couple of minutes everyday and reflect. It is like looking in a mirror and describing what you see. It is spending time with yourself. Taking time off social media, watching movies, reading etc and just spending time with yourself. Trust me, this minor adjustment to your routine will make a whole lot of difference and set you on the path to living a better life.
3. Self regulation:
How do we react in hard moments. It is the ability to calm yourself down when you're upset and cheer yourself up when you're down or things didn't turn out as planned. Do you approach, avoid or attack? what are the consequences of any of the reactions?
Here are 3 models that might help in your quest to start leading yourself
1. GROW model
How the GROW Model Works
The GROW Model is an acronym standing for (G)oals, (R)eality, (O)ptions and (W)ill, highlighting the four key steps in the implementation of the GROW Model. By working through these four stages, the GROW Model raises an individual’s awareness and understanding of:
- their own aspirations;
- their current situation and beliefs;
- the possibilities and resources open to them; and
- the actions they want to take to achieve their personal and professional goals.
By setting goals which are inspiring and challenging as well as specific, measurable and achievable in a realistic time frame, the GROW Model successfully promotes confidence and self-motivation, leading to increased productivity and personal satisfaction. The Will element of the fourth stage in the model is the barometer of success. It relates to volition, desire and intention.
G is for GOAL
- What is the issue you would like to walk on today?
- What would you like to achieve at the end of this session/meeting ?
- What do you want to see at the end?
- What do you really want?
- What would you like to accomplish?
- What outcome would be ideal?
R is for REALITY
It helps you gain awareness of the current situation – what’s going on, the context and the magnitude of the situation
- What is happening now (what, who, when, and how often)? What is the effect or result of this?
- Have you already taken any steps towards your goal?
- How would you describe what you did?
- Where are you now in relation to your goal?
- On a scale of one to ten where are you?
- What has contributed to your success so far?
- What progress have you made so far?
- What is working well right now?
- What is required of you?
- Why haven't you reached that goal already?
- What do you think is stopping you?
- What have you already tried?
- How could you turn this around this time?
- What could you do better this time?
O is for OPTIONS
Here you must think creatively about the possible challenges, problems, and setbacks that you may face as you move towards your goal.
Acknowledge “WHAT” Scenarios
Stretch your imagination and consider “What?” scenarios that will enable you to think creatively about the goal that you would like to achieve.
- What are your options?
- What do you think you need to do next?
- What could be your first step?
- What do you think you need to do to get a better result (or closer to your goal)?
- What else could you do?
- Who else might be able to help?
- What would happen if you did nothing?
- What has worked for you already? How could you do more of that?
- What would happen if you did that?
- What is the hardest/most challenging part of that for you?
- What advice would you give to a friend about that?
- What would you gain/lose by doing/saying that?
- If someone did/said that to you what do you think would happen?
- What's the best/worst thing about that option?
- Which option do you feel ready to act on?
- How have you tacked this/a similar situation before?
- What could you do differently?
- If anything was possible, what would you do?
- What else?
W is for WILL or WAY FORWARD
- What do you think you need to do right now?
- Tell me how you’re going to do that.
- How will you know when you have done it?
- Is there anything else you can do?
- On a scale of one to ten, what is the likelihood of your plan succeeding?
- What would it take to make it a ten?
- What obstacles are getting in the way of success?
- What roadblocks do you expect or require planning?
- What resources can help you?
- Is there anything missing?
- What will be that one small step you will take now?
- When are you going to start?
- How will you know you have been successful?
- What support do you need to get that done?
- What will happen (or, what is the cost) of you NOT doing this?
- What do you need from me/others to help you achieve this?
- What are three actions you can take that would make sense this week?
- On a scale of one to ten, how committed/motivated are you to doing it?
- What would it take to make it a ten?
Knowing how to set effective goals and nailing them in this day-and-age is an important skill that cannot be taken for granted.
SECOND MODEL IS "THE DOUBLE LOOP MODEL"
Argyris (1976) proposes double loop learning theory which pertains to learning to change underlying values and assumptions. The focus of the theory is on solving problems that are complex and ill-structured and which change as problem-solving advances.
Double-loop learning is an educational concept and process that involves teaching people to think more deeply about their own assumptions and beliefs. It was created by Chris Argyris, a leading organizational trainer, in the mid-1980’s, and developed over the next decade into an effective tool. Double-loop learning is different than single-loop learning which involves changing methods and improving efficiency to obtain established objectives (i.e., “doing things right”). Double-loop learning concerns changing the objectives themselves (i.e., “doing the right things”).
THE THIRD MODEL IS "THE WHEEL OF LIFE"
This tool in the toolbox for personal development has been around for over a thousand years. It has been a useful tool when life has gotten out of balance, such as suffering from working too hard, getting burned out, or generally being unsatisfied and not sure why. It’s been very effective in helping people to become more effective and satisfied with their life even if they are not burned out or unhappy.
The idea is to identify the areas, dimensions or aspects of your life and arrange them as areas or spokes around a wheel.
When life is busy, or all your energy is focused on a special project, it's all too easy to find yourself off balance, not paying enough attention to important areas of your life. While you need to have drive and focus if you're going to get things done, taking this too far can lead to frustration and intense stress.
The circle represents your life, the whole of you. The pieces of the pie, or spokes, are the parts your life: the areas, roles, or aspects of the whole. You assess those aspects and create a graphic like the one here to see how balanced your life is.
I will end this with two last quotes.
" Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" - Hellen Keller (Deaf and Blind)
" To be yourself in a world that is consistently trying to make you something else is a great accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Will you dare to be yourself?
(c) Edison. August 22, 2018.