Being a leader in your own life is about staying in integrity with your vision and values, no matter what challenges you face. With self-awareness and accountability, you can share the deeper and most authentic parts of yourself with the world. (Estimated reading time: 4 minutes)
“Mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power.”— Lao Tzu
When most people think of the word “leader”, they see images of kings, presidents, CEOs, and other authoritative figures in the social system.
They assume that if they don’t have one of these leadership roles, they are followers by default.
But what if I told you that you are a leader, regardless of which roles you play in your career, family and social life? A leader in your own life.
As a female, born and raised in a collectivistic culture, I grew up hearing subtle messages insinuating that women were essentially subordinates in our community.
Traditional families expect girls to adhere to the rules and customs. These women are obliged to fulfill the duties of a daughter, and then a wife, once she is married. These expectations almost always stifles the growth of her individuality and personal expression.
This was a way of life that remained unquestioned for centuries. Even in today’s modern world, there are a significantly large percentage of chauvinistic societies that hold onto these customs as a way to control and manipulate women. In fact, I have witnessed it right in my own backyard.
Now, I’m not questioning the sanctity of these traditions. After all, everyone is free to live in whatever way they deem right for them. What really bothers me about it is the detrimental impact these customs have on a woman’s self-confidence if the lifestyle does not empower her.
I believe that if any person is stripped of their right to express their potential and follow their dreams, they’re reduced to being zombies. And this is why I believe we all should strive to become leaders in our life—to become the most exalted version of ourselves.
We become leaders in our lives when we remain true to ourselves, by staying in integrity with our vision, no matter how oppressive our circumstances get. We have one life to live and it’s our responsibility to make it as exciting and meaningful as possible.
Even if we aren’t satisfied with the outcomes from our actions, we’ll find it a lot easier to accept because we know that it’s part of our learning process. We’ll feel liberated simply knowing that the power to change direction lies in our own hands.
You can tap into your inner leader by taking charge of your life and making choices that support your growth. Here are a few ways you can do that:
1. Have a clear vision for your life: As a leader, it’s imperative to have a purpose for your life. Your vision will guide you towards making the right choices and your purpose will give you the reason why it’s important to chase that vision. Both go hand in hand and are equally important in inspiring you and giving your life a deeper meaning. Without a clear vision for your life, you could easily be manipulated by other people who’ll try overlaying your plans with their agenda.
2. Become solution-oriented: A true leader always acknowledges their role in creating the results that they experience in life. They don’t waste their time on the blame game (even if other people were partially responsible), or indulging in victim mentality. They are quick to re-orient themselves, finding a solution to the problem, and taking the necessary steps for damage control, before swiftly moving ahead.
3. Manage your life responsibly: A true leader takes responsibility for every choice that he or she makes. Their decisions are made from a place of deep self-awareness and conscious intention. They are independent and seldom rely on others to meet their needs, and if they do form alliances with others, it’s based on mutual respect and equality.
4. Make your voice heard: It’s important to have something that you stand for. Every leader has something that they passionately believe in, which they express to the world. Nowadays, it’s easy to share your ideas with others – you can express them through event speeches or a YouTube channel, you can write books or start a blog, and you can even start your own campaign. Finding an outlet will allow your creative juices to flow and provide a way to make a difference in the world.
5. Get feedback from others: Becoming a leader in your life does not mean that you completely shut yourself off from getting advice of others. It’s important to maintain a sense of humility and openness when learning from others who have more experience and expertise than you do in certain topics.
Without leadership qualities, we could float aimlessly in the ocean of life. When used with good intentions, our skills will act as the sails that we need to catch the winds of opportunities, taking us towards our vision.
All my best on your journey,
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