If you have read my work before you might well have read my definition of what leadership is all about. It goes something like this: ‘A leader creates the environment that is conducive to the success of the team.‘
This applies to whether we are being a leader of ourselves or of others. And for the purposes of this conversation I am most interested in personal leadership. Leadership of self, and as it relates to the path to self-actualization, which according to maslow’s model is at the top if the pyramid.
My personal experience, observation and hypothesis is the singular hardest step to take on the self-actualization path, or what I also call the personal development or personal growth path, is…
Acceptance of personal responsibility.
When I was in my 20’s I used to believe I was ‘unlucky’ and that is why bad things happened to me. I used to think it was because of bad bosses, that I didn’t have a higher level of professional success. I used to blame my girlfriends personality on the relationships not working. I blamed people’s lack of attention to my needs for me having a skiing accident that required a knee reconstruction. Blame. Blame. Blame.
All blaming something outside of myself did was remove my PERSONAL POWER.
All blaming someone else did was keep me stuck on a hamster wheel (and not growing).
In 1999 I did a 30-day personal development program, and one of the most powerful aspects and gifts of that program was teaching me to take personal responsibility for the results I did or didn’t get in life.
I was made to realise – in a powerful AH-HAH moment – that I was not ‘unlucky’. I just made very poor decisions, and a lot of them where made under the influence of alcohol. This meant I had to take self responsibility, it also meant since I caused it, I had the POWER to make a different choice.
And thus I changed the course of my life back in 1999.
I decided to take the first step to self-actualization by taking 100% personal responsibility and accountability for my behaviours and their relationship my results in life.
Did I become automatically self-actualised as a result?
Of course not; but it finally set me on the right path.
Why this is so relevant in 2020
Regardless of where your beliefs are at in relation to this corona virus business (and business might be a very relevant word to use); it is an amazing opportunity for a big wake up call.
Yes there is so much of what is being imposed on us that has a very real and very significant impact on our lives and livelihoods. And I fully acknowledge for many people there is very little they could do once external measures were imposed on them. I get that and am empathetic of peoples struggles. I see it every day, face-to-face.
But what I want to focus on – which is my passion – and is the thing that is most likely to bulletproof you through this experience, is your personal health (physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual).
And what I am going to say, might be a hard pill for some to swallow. The pill is the personal responsibility pill and as I suggest, it is the first and hardest step down the self-actualization path. As a professional coach, one of my principle roles is not necessarily to be peoples friend, but to challenge them (and their beliefs and narratives), so they step boldly and deliberately on the path to self-actualization.
So here is the thing. I have had zero fear of any health consequences from a corona virus, because about 20 years ago I got really serious about taking personal responsibility for my health.
I want people to self-actualize.
I want people to be the fullest expressions of themselves.
I want people to be as vibrant and radiant as possible.
And to assist people with that I need to get them to ask the tough questions. To look inwards. To challenge their own narratives. To ask themselves in times of challenge, adversity or crisis, “Could I have made different choices in my life, which would bulletproof myself even more, from external influences.”
The point of this conversation – the thing I most desire – is for you to take a courageous, bold and compassionate step back; and ask yourself, if you could have made different choices, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, what new choices will you make moving forward.
Self-Actualization is all about self responsibility and then using that to learn and grow.
If your physical health is in good order (bravo to you, you legend!!); maybe you look at your relationship health. You could also look at your financial health, your professional development health, your ‘living life on purpose’ health. Any area that is not at least a 8/10, might be something you need to pay more attention to, and take more personal responsibility for.
Maybe you need to talk to a professional financial advisor.
Maybe you need to see a relationship counselor.
Maybe you need to work with a coach.
Maybe you need to work with a mentor in your workplace.
Maybe you need to talk with your boss and ask them where (exactly) you need to improve.
You get my message. I know you do.
Take that step back and make sure you use this challenging experience, to help you step higher on that path to your own self-actualisation. Learn and grow and I wish you all the very best on your journey.
And feel free to ask for my help if you need it.
Have a super fabulous day and take care.
PS: If you are interested in 6-months of help in 2021, please check out my Consolidation to Break Through program, for 8 lucky individuals. There is an early bird saving until 30 Nov 2020, so check it out now (and start saving). It will be a chance to make 2021 a year where it all comes together.