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Are you stepping into leadership?

by Ana Lopez
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Brian McKittrick is the Amazon best-selling author of “It Ain’t Rocket Surgery” and founder of Insurance of Texas.

Do you see yourself as a leader? When leadership is mentioned, people usually think of the head of a company or an organization. What is not considered is that everyone is a leader in some capacity.

Are you supervising another employee? Do you run a household? Do you supervise children? Most importantly, are you leading yourself?

Each of us has those little mini-decisions every day that determine whether we do something or not. By making the decision to accomplish a necessary task, that is leadership: self-leadership. That is why we are all leaders. But most people don’t see themselves as leaders or don’t step into a leadership role because they are held back by fear. For some, that fear is based on a lack of courage, which I think is actually more rooted in not knowing what it takes to have courage.

Leadership And Courage

Leadership takes courage. It takes courage to be yourself. It takes courage to realize the goals of the organization. It takes courage to have difficult conversations and to stand up for what is right.

The fear most leaders feel stems from criticism. Worrying about what the group might think can paralyze many people, preventing them from taking meaningful action. Aristotle agrees said“Criticism is something we can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.”

Fear will make you small. Go big instead. Fear will tell you to blend in, so be brave. Fear will keep you quiet, so be loud. You need to turn your back on your fear, commit to yourself, and have faith in what really matters.

as Tyler Durden said in the movie Fight club: “No fear. No distractions. The ability to really let that which doesn’t matter slide.” Courage is not the absence of fear, it continues despite the fear, feel the fear and do it anyway.

We all have our own definition of fear. You may have heard of fear representing false evidence that appears real. I largely agree. But there are some very real outcomes that many people fear, such as death, illness, divorce, and loss of money.

I’ve also heard fear rephrased as face and fix everything. It is solid but also implies fear as a loss that we have to come back from. How about instead, we think of it as a way to feel excited and ready? There is a healthy amount of excitement that comes from taking on a challenge or something new. It’s okay to be nervous or even a little scared at these times. The key is controlling your emotions.

Actions to take for a strong self-image

So how do we overcome fear? In my experience, the answer to this question is to maintain a strong self-image. Fear is usually based on the unknown. The way I see it, if you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, really getting to know yourself is the most effective. And that is the basis of a self-image.

A strong self-image is essential for any leader. Knowing yourself and knowing what you stand for is essential to being authentic with others. In addition, it is important to have a good work ethic and be relentless in the pursuit of goals. Keep these things in mind to cultivate a better self-image as a leader.

Here are some actions you can take that may help.

1. Embrace what makes you you. This is knowing what sets you apart and will help you create a strong identity.

2. Know your personal values. Don’t just know them, but be consistent in adhering to them. This way you show others that you mean what you say and that you are reliable.

3. Work hard and always improve. A good work ethic is essential for anyone in a leadership position. It shows that you are committed and always strive to do better.

4. Find alignment and positive relationships. It is important for leaders to build strong relationships with people inside and outside their company. This requires regular communication and interactions.

5. Maintain excellent health, both physical and mental. This means getting plenty of rest, exercising, eating right, and making time for hobbies and activities you love. Leaders must be aware of their own well-being to be effective. I believe that effective leaders with strong self-esteem are also avid readers and practice faith.

Think about this quote from Danielle LaPorte in her book Fire starter sessions: “Being true to yourself is not always easy. It takes courage to be creative, vocal and vulnerable, and it takes stamina because if you want to get the best out of life, life will demand the best of you again and again.”

In short, leadership requires courage. Overcome your fear of criticism and the unknown by focusing on what you can control. You are in charge of yourself, and by building a strong self-image, you will have the courage to face whatever comes your way.

People often think of worst case scenarios. In an effort to comfort themselves, people will say, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Well, have you ever noticed that the “worst case scenario” rarely comes true?

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