Self-leadership is the art of leading yourself – internally and externally – towards growth, goals and positive action.
In a nutshell, it’s about taking full responsibility for your own development; after all, there’s no saviour coming to take charge of your life and set you on your highest path. Self-leadership is all about taking the bull by the horns and acknowledging that only you can steer yourself towards your hopes, dreams and your highest potential.
So, what does self-leadership entail? Well, there are many schools of thought and self-leadership principles can be confusingly wide-ranging. Let’s break down Studio Think’s guiding principles:
You’ll often hear us state that self-awareness is the ultimate superpower. And that’s because it’s absolutely true! To authentically steer your life’s direction, you need to know who you are. Inside and out. What’s important to you? What do you really want? What are your values? What makes you tick? What are your strengths? Your blind spots? Your weaknesses?
No development path worth its salt can ever begin without truly understanding where you’re starting from. To lead, you need to intimately know yourself.
Cultivate emotional intelligence and emotional regulation
As you cultivate self-awareness, you will come to understand your go-to reactions, defence mechanisms, emotional responses and behaviours. Cultivating an ability to pause, regulate and respond allows you to move through life’s challenges and adverse situations with more considered and thoughtful responses. In short, cultivating self-regulation allows you to respond and behave in ways which set you up for success.
Your learning is never done. And the same goes for your personal and professional development. If you are engaging with self-leadership in its truest sense, you will constantly take time to reflect, gain insights, learn and grow; making an effort to self-evaluate, asking for feedback, and trying your best to take critique constructively (rather than personally).
Set aligned goals
When you know yourself intimately, you are able to identify what truly makes you happy, allowing you to better prioritise your goals and ambitions. What are you striving for? Are those goals really yours? What will make you truly fulfilled? And will your means of achieving your goals allow you to live within your value set?
Self-leadership takes discipline and self-motivation, even on challenging days. Keeping your eyes on your goals; accepting that there will be great days and tough days; and committing to the inner and outer work required to get you there is what self-leadership is all about.
Take positive action
Reflection and goal-setting exercises are just academic if they don’t turn into positive action. Self-leadership is all about turning learnings, goals and growth into tangible progress. What are you working towards? And crucially, what are you doing about it?
Take self-care seriously
Remember how we opened this article? No one is coming to save you. And no one is coming to look after your wellbeing, either. Your time, energy and health are precious and deserving of your attention and protection. You can’t lead others if you are depleted, and you certainly aren’t leading yourself if you are allowing other, lower priorities to take precedence over your health.
Sometimes taking rest is positive action, because it is re-filling your cup for the future. Leading yourself and others requires absolute respect for the non-finite resource that is your wellbeing.
In conclusion, self-leadership is about holding yourself fully accountable in all areas of life. It is a recognition of your own responsibility in being the leader of your life and instigating the action and changes required to develop yourself – inside and out – to get to where you want to be.
How Studio Think can help
The Studio Think app acts like a personal mindset coach in your pocket. Our short courses, mindset tools and guided practices develop resilience, self-awareness, self-regulation and self-motivation to make you a better leader at both life and work. In only 15 minutes a day!