Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling, and behaviors to achieve your objectives. The following strategies are designed to increase your capacity for self-leadership.
Goal-Setting: Goals direct attention and give you an action plan to know where you are going, and how to get there. Clear, specific, self-set goals have been proven to lead to successful outcomes. Self-leaders set goals in their business and their life. Leaders also re-calculate or adjust their goals as needed in order to remain in balance.
Self-Observation: Keep a journal of your actions/behaviors and record the results of those actions. If you are proud about how you behaved, go ahead and reward yourself. Be careful not to beat yourself up if you were disappointed by your behavior.
Behavioral Rehearsal: Just like the dancer, prior to performance, you can take yourself through a rehearsal. If you have ever done public speaking, you know how important it is to practice. If you can see the room in advance, and practice with the audio/visual equipment, it makes the rehearsal more beneficial.
Mental Imagery: Instead of imagining the worst as most people automatically do, train yourself to imagine the best possible outcome. Executives practice mental imagery when they see the successful conclusion to a business venture. Golfers use this technique when they see the ball go into the hole before they even take the shot. Use mental imagery to form a picture in your mind of the intended goal or behavior. You can use mental imagery to see yourself wearing that cap and gown to graduation or receiving applause in a speaking engagement. Remember, your mind believes whatever you tell it.
Reflecting on your thinking, beliefs, and assumptions will give you a foundation for self-leadership. You have heard the expression that practice makes perfect. Practice the above success strategies and learn how to visualize. Surround yourself with people that are positive supporters in your success. Continue to set goals and learn new skills. Reward yourself and share your success with others. Keep moving forward and remember to turn around to lead those who are following you. You will arrive at a point in life where others will reach out to you for advice. Practice being a good role model. Whether your role is a boss or a co-worker, you can lead, influence, and inspire others.