Written by Edita Atteck
It doesn’t take long to find an article on LinkedIn or Forbes about how to become a better leader at work; concepts like emotional intelligence and leadership have become buzzwords today, and while we see the importance of leadership and emotional intelligence hailed everywhere, it’s important to take a look at a different side of being leader.
There is a foundation beneath leadership and emotional intelligence that is more rarely talked about: Self-leadership. And even more importantly, fewer are talking about how to access self-leadership in a practical way. While many brilliant aspects of leadership are discussed every day, I assert that the conversation about leadership will become more effective for you if it offers you a clear pathway for you to be able to access your own self-leadership in any given moment.
A self-leader is someone who is masterful at integrating all parts of their being, such that they experience wholeness.
Self-leaders tap into every aspect of their being at will—intellect, emotions, body, presence, and purpose. With this ability, they can create impactful change in all aspects of their lives.
So, what does this look like? How can you gain access to developing your own self-leadership? Here are five things to consider.
1. Start with seeing yourself as a whole.
You are well aware that your computer has an operating system and you likely appreciate how important it is for your device’s proper functioning. Now consider that you also have an operating system. It’s not IOS or Windows; it’s HOS: the Human Operating System. This HOS is connected to every part of you—your thoughts and intellect, your emotions and your physiology.
You are one whole, connected through your operating system. An awareness of this wholeness is extremely important for your proper functioning on mental, physical and emotional levels.
Do you know how your operating system communicates with you? This brings me to the next point.
2. Learn to read your emotions.
What is a practical way to read your emotions, and how do your emotions tie in with your operating system?
Emotion literally means energy in motion. When you experience an emotion, you are experiencing your HOS, or your nervous system. Your emotions are, simply put, information inside your system. They are physiological responses in your body. For most of us, our capacity to process our emotions in a healthy way is remarkably low, considering that our ability to feel has evolutionarily been around for far longer than our ability to think. Processing emotions happens in the body on an experiential level.
As such, the way to start to understand your emotions and what they are telling you is to actually practice connecting with your body. Understanding our own emotions also help us relate to other people’s emotions, which also increases self-leadership.
3. Practice resilience.
Resilience is a key for inner (self) and outer leadership. And the key is to practice resilience. To build resilience includes developing our awareness of our emotions, thoughts and our physiology, and how to work with all. It also means having the capacity to interrupt (and over time change) old patterns. The more resilient we are, the more we are able to adapt to the never-ending challenges of our lives and the world we live in, which helps us be better leaders.
4. Understand your intellect as only one component of your wholeness.
Functioning in the 21st century life is heavily reliant on identifying with our intellect. Yet, this leads to fragmentation within. What is fragmentation and what is the cost of it? How does fragmentation erode leadership? How can you reduce it?
Our thoughts, our emotions and our nervous system are interconnected. In order to understand our emotions, we need to better understand our operating system and need to practice observing our thoughts. When we disappear into our intellect and ignore the other aspects of our being, we become fragmented.
The mind can be a trap if left to run amok and unexamined. However, when we learn to observe our thoughts, we integrate our mind with all other aspects of our being.
5. Create genuine human connections.
Humans are biologically wired for connection. Through skillful communication with ourselves, our ability to connect to a felt sense of safety within ourselves, we can show up as whole human beings. With that, we become a powerful influence on others and create environments that allow us to reshape all of our relationships—family, friendships and business relationships.
When you see yourself as a whole and integrate all parts of you through your awareness of your emotions, physical sensations and thoughts, you can develop a well-functioning HOS. With that, you can change who you are being and how you show up in the world.
This is self-leadership.
When you change yourself, you change others.
As you learn how to master self-leadership, you will naturally become a leader with the people around you.
Leadership is about who you are being, first.
Edita Atteck is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Oakville, Ontario. Edita works with busy professionals who are looking for a roadmap to emotional and mental freedom, and whose desire is to become better parents, partners, leaders, etc. Her mission is to change our workplaces and families, for the better. Drawing on many years of education and groundbreaking nervous system health research, her own personal journey and years of self-awareness practice, she discovered that the pathway to the capacity to thrive is through understanding and speaking our first language: the language of the body.
Edita’s expertise is in helping people develop Emotional Literacy, overcome stress and anxiety, improve relationships, and unlock their innate leadership. For more information and to learn about upcoming events and workshops, visit www.editaatteck.com.
A version of this article previously published on www.editaatteck.com
Featured image via shutterstock.com