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  • Writer's pictureDr Maike Neuhaus

The 8 steps of self-leadership

Self-leadership is the practice of understanding who you are, identifying your desired experiences and intentionally guiding yourself towards them. Self-leadership is relevant for everyone who wants to live intentionally and with purpose. But how do you do it? In this blog post, I will provide you with an overview of the 8 steps you need to take in order to lead your self.

The 8 steps of self-leadership
The 8 steps of self-leadership

1) Know yourself

The first step is to understand who you are. What is important to you in life? What are you passionate about? What is your purpose? What are you good at and what are your weaknesses? Understanding who you are is important, because it will show you why you want what you want, it will boosts your motivation and with that the likelihood that you'll reach your goals. It will also illuminate your path ahead and simplify your choices along the way.

2) Understand what you want

The second step is to understand your desires. What are you dreaming of? What do you want to do with your life? How does happiness work and what will make you truly happy? It can be argued that ultimately everyone wants to lead a happy and fulfilling life – however you define that for yourself. So gaining clarity around your desired experiences in life is a task worth undertaking.

3) Get to know and maintain your machinery

Ever wondered how motivation works and how you can maximise it? How you can increase your own focus and prevent procrastination? How you can gain clarity and get better at making good decisions? How you can maximise your energy and build good habits? We are all born with a body and a mind, yet most of us are taught little about how to best harness the power of the mind, get around some of the intricacies of the human psyche and why and how making simple lifestyle choices will bring us closer to our goals.

4) Set your goal

Step number four is all about identifying the exact next step, how you will know once you achieved it and what you can do to maximise your chances of doing so. Spoiler alert: this involves a little more than just making your goals SMART.

5) Optimise your eco-system

How can you maximise your chance to win when the world can be unfair, your chances are slim and everything just seems too hard? You may have heard of the nature versus nurture debate – that we, including our thoughts, emotions and actions are influenced by both our genetics as well as the environment we grow up and live in. But have you thought about how you can harness the power of your environment in order to achieve your goal? Step five is all about maximising your nurture factor.

6) Launch

You get it: nothing will happen if you don’t actually take action. But how do you know when you’re ready to launch? The truth is: most of us never will. So taking your courage to just make a start and learning the art of becoming more confident along the way are equally part of the launch phase.

7) Crank it up

If you’re like me and are obsessed with all things efficiency, this step is for you. Learning the art of self-coaching for high-performance are great ways to accelerate your self-leadership journey.

8) Get back up

The last step may be the most important one on your journey: The art of accepting failure and learning to fail well rather than trying to avoid it. Too many people rely on their initial motivation to carry them through their entire goal journey and then give up once it fades. The secret? Learning not rely on motivation and willpower and cultivating grit instead: passion combined with long-term perseverance.


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