If you were to capture a picture of yourself right now and observe it, what would you see? What would your facial expressions look like. If the picture was a video which recorded your self-talk, what would it be recording? In short, how do you feel right now and what was your inner voice telling you in this particular moment?
‘The leader who had no title’ is one of the statements I hear over and over again from the world great leader Robin Sharma. In his books and videos he encourages people to act like leaders, leading their own lives and acting like Picasso in their vocations.
Working as an Educational leader for a full decade, Stephen R. Covey’s and Robin Sharma’s books had taught me profound life lessons. Elyse Nelson’s words greatly express one of those lessons: “Leadership is about the decisions you make, and the actions that you take each day.” Each day. Tough part. And that’s what Covey insisted on. We can’t be leaders in one area of our lives and failing in others. Our life must be a complete whole. This is what authenticity is about.
My journey in leading myself wasn’t an easy one. It was harsh. It started with guilt, shame and self-judgment. I was too hard on myself and expected from it to be perfect ALL the time. I scolded myself and blamed it for every single detail. I did that for so long till I reached a dead end. I lost my voice for stress and suffered from chronic back pain. The pain kept increasing till one day I felt unable to continue such a miserable life. I sought help and a compassionate Life Coach taught me to see myself and my life from a different angle. I started to practice self-love and here I am, four years later, showing up as a leader ‘each day’ as Nelson advocated.
Leading my life on daily basis required from me further readings and several practices. I comprehended that the way we start our days sets the tone of the rest of its hours. Devoting few minutes at the beginning to breath well, to mediate or to drink a cup of fresh orange juice had magnificent effects. Buying myself flowers on weekly basis and having them on my desk at work reminded me that I am a leader; leading my life. Loving myself. Playing no victim. Taking ownership of my happiness. And by practicing simple and affordable self-love actions my relation with myself changed and I started to befriend myself which was a turning point. I watched the way I talked to myself, paid attention to my negative words and apologised to myself sometimes. Gradually my self-talk became gentle and kind and I embraced myself the way I was, with the things I used to reject in my outer and inner self.
Observing my life lately I found out that accepting myself was the starting point that made me find the peace and fulfilment I was looking for. I became a LEADER.
“Leadership isn’t a title. It’s a behaviour. Live it,” Robin Sharma