Even though we’re all unique, we often find ourselves imitating others or trying to be someone we’re not.
The idea of being our true selves is of greater importance if we’re in any type of leadership role because our words, behaviours and actions will influence and impact others, either in a positive or negative way.
While it’s valuable to learn from others so that we can improve our leadership abilities, what will help make us stand out from other leaders, is our ability to be unique.
It’s important to remember that we should never pretend to be someone we’re not, but we can adopt qualities, traits or behaviours from leaders we admire and incorporate them into our leadership style, while staying true to who we are.
A number of years ago, I did some training work for a company, where I was part of a team of training consultants focused on introducing a new way of training employees. While the training methodology had been around for many years, it was a very new concept in the company.
The concept of taking risks implies there is a possibility something we want to accomplish may not work out.
Taking a risk means doing something for the first time or doing something different. There is often fear associated with taking risks and most times, the things we initially believed to be risky don’t turn out that way.
Risk is often overrated because things eventually work out, even in times of failure. We tend to learn and grow more from our failures than from our successes.
The level to which we’re willing to take risks often corresponds to the level of success or reward we get in life. Risk equals reward. The more risks we take, the better our chances of achieving what we want.
It’s quite normal to have some level of fear come up whenever we think of doing something we believe is risky. The good news is we can always do things to deal with any potential risks so that we can continue to make progress and move closer to what we want.
While taking risks in life means we’re learning and growing, it’s important to know that we should never put ourselves at risk. If we do something that affects our ability to survive or stay physically safe, then perhaps the risk we’re taking is not an intelligent risk.
Every risk has to be assessed on its own merit.
The words we use has a huge impact on how we feel and what we experience on a daily basis.
If we use more positive words, whether it’s in written form or spoken, we’ll tend to be more optimistic, cheerful and confident. On the other hand, if we use more negative words, we’ll tend to be more pessimistic, focused on what’s going wrong and not be as self-assured or self-confident as we’d like to be.
As a result of our early programming and the external environments we’re exposed to, most people know and use more negative words instead of positive words.
It’s a matter of perspective whether using positive words is better than using negative words and the context in which they’re used, however it’s useful to know the effect the words we use are having on us and those we interact with.
Certain words we use on a regular basis may be causing us to have low confidence, therefore it’s extremely valuable to know what they are so we can consciously choose to use more empowering words.
Many years ago in my manufacturing career, I had just started a new role as a site manager for a company. During the first two months, I was trying to find my feet and better understand the way things operated.
One of the great things about us is that we’re programmed for growth, which means we all want to be, do and have more in life.
In the book, The Science of Getting Rich, in the chapter on Increasing Life, Wallace Wattles writes, “Every living thing must continually seek for the enlargement of its life because life—in the mere act of living—must increase itself.”
There is a law of the universe which states that we’re either in a state of growth or decline. Put simply, if we’re not growing, meaning if we’re not actively seeking to be, do or have more in life, it means we’re dying.
For us, dying means accepting or creating the same reality over and over again, or not making progress in life. If we speak to a person, most times we’ll be able to tell if they’re growing as a person or whether they’re content to be where they are in life, which is just another way of saying they’re in a state of decline.
By achieving more, we’ll be able to:
- Experience or do more in life.
- Give more to others who are not as fortunate as us.
- Support others in achieving more.
- Make a bigger difference or impact in what we do.
This idea of either doing, having or wanting more is not greedy or selfish because it’s part of who we are. Knowing our intention behind wanting more is really important because that will identify whether we’re after personal gain or whether we’re focused on benefiting others as well.
Our desire to be happy drives most of the things we do in life.
If we’re happy, we’re more likely to:
- Do things that will make a positive difference.
- Make a bigger impact on those we interact with.
- Be in a better frame of mind to make changes to move us closer to our goals.
- Have a health attitude, which will affect what we do daily.
- Have a higher level of self-confidence and self-esteem.
While we may have different ways of pursuing happiness, our intentions are almost always the same — to do things in life that will make us a happier person.
The interesting thing is we’re never really taught how to be a happy person. The idea of being happy in life is something that’s meant to just happen, usually based on our daily habits and the quality of our relationships.
There are always ideas we can learn and apply in order to generate and experience more happiness.
The ability to persuade or influence others is a valuable skill to have.
We’re constantly being persuaded in our daily lives through advertising messages, conversations we have or things we’re required to get done. The more persuasive we are, the quicker and easier we can accomplish what we want.
What does it mean to be a persuasive person?
Being a persuasive person means being able to positively affect the thoughts, emotions and actions of another person to accomplish a desired outcome, that’s beneficial to both.
A persuasive person is able to build a picture of a better result or future in the mind’s eye of another person and cause that person to willingly take action to make that result or future a reality.
Some of the characteristics of persuasive people include:
- They’re goal-oriented.
- They’re future or possibility thinkers.
- They tend to show leadership qualities.
- They focused and effective.
- They like getting things done.
The more persuasive we become, the better results we’ll achieve for ourselves and others.
Our dreams are a representation of who we are and what we consider to be important to us.
From an early age, we all have dreams and part of our journey in life is making those dreams come true. Even though we have dreams that are important to us, many people stop pursuing them because they believe it’s too late or they’re too old.
Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, says, “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
People often justify giving up on their dreams by saying they’re being responsible or the time isn’t right. There will never be a perfect time to do something because things or conditions are always changing.
If those who aren’t willing to pursue their dreams are honest with themselves, they’ll admit they have some level of fear and resistance that’s preventing them from taking the necessary steps to make their dreams come true.
The truth is we’re never too old to purse our dreams!
In the 1990s, there was a single mum, with a young daughter, who was struggling to make ends meet, living on government aid in the UK. Having put away her dreams of being a writer for many years, she felt she had nothing else going for her except to write a story that she felt compelled to share.
We experience competition in our daily interactions. Being competitive has both benefits and disadvantages.
On the negative side, being competitive can be viewed as being self-centred, aggressive, inflexible and self-absorbed. Those who are competitive because they have to win at all costs often create more stress for themselves and those they interact with.
The origin of the word competition means “to enter or be put in rivalry with.” Competition is part of our lives from sports competition to educational and career competition.
Like most things in life, we can use being competitive to our advantage. We can harness it in a way that will assist us making faster progress towards the outcomes we want.
When I was in my early twenties as a university student, I was extremely competitive at sports. I hated losing and oftentimes, if I believed I could not win at a sport, I would not even participate. To me, winning was the reason why I played sport competitively.
Looking back, that was a very limited way of thinking and wasn’t healthy.
Our ability to keep making progress when things aren’t going our way is critical if we want to accomplish the things we want.
Challenges, setbacks, obstacles or roadblocks are all part of the process whenever we pursue things that are important to us. Whenever things don’t go our way, it can be easy to lose motivation or not feel inspired to do what needs to be done.
Difference Between Inspiration and Motivation
Inspiration and motivation are both necessary if we want to stay on course and achieve our objectives.
Inspiration is internally generated. This can be ignited by a desire or passion to do something or achieve a particular objective.
Motivation is usually triggered by something external, however there are two types of motivation—intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is generated from within, whereas extrinsic motivation is triggered by an external source, whether it’s to gain a reward or avoid some type of consequence.
Motivation usually gets us started, whereas inspiration and our habits is what keeps us going.
While both are important, the challenge of relying on external motivation is that when something doesn’t go our way, which is an external event, it can cause us to slow down or even quit on what we’re pursuing.
Being able to find inspiration again when things aren’t going our way can make all the difference whether we achieve something or not.