Podcast Transcriptions

Pursue What Matters

Episode 216: Self-Leadership 101

Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service

Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
What does it mean to lead yourself? Well? And is it possible to lead others well, and yet be a train wreck in your personal life? Well join me today to find out.

Dr. Melissa Smith 0:09
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. So I hope you are joining me for this series. This summer, we are focusing all on curiosity and how it really is your secret weapon when it comes to leadership. And a big piece of curiosity is self awareness and self leadership. And today, we’re really going to jump into self leadership 101. And so let’s jump right in and help you strengthen your confidence to lead by strengthening your curiosity, that secret weapon. And so first, I want you to understand that self leadership is a way of life. So it’s not just a tool that you use. It’s a way of life, and it is about how you show up to life. So just think about how you do life. Is it chaotic? Is it stress ridden? Isn’t highly rigid? Is it tightly organized? The way you live your life is your best example and your most important legacy. So take a minute and just reflect on that? Do you feel like you’re leading your life pretty well that you have a sense of order and structure and predictability? Also, do you have some flexibility? Do you have playfulness? Do you have fun? So as humans, we have a drive for to two factors that can feel contradictory. So as humans, we really thrive on predictability. But we also need novelty. And so you can think about this in terms of how do you lead your life? Are you too chaotic, too much novelty, or not enough. And so, you know, when we think about life and self leadership, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. And so it really does require the establishment of consistent habits that are sustainable in the long term. And you know, self leadership can be a big term, and it can, it can be highly conceptual. But I want you to think in terms of your habits, what are the daily habits that set you up for success, that really are the markers of true self leadership. And these are the small daily habits, it’s, you know, getting up when your alarm goes off, not hitting snooze 10 times, it’s having a regular exercise program where you can be consistent, it’s getting to bed at a reasonable hour, it’s not living life, on the edges, the extremes of behavior. And so you know, as we get into the basics of self leadership, I really do want you to, you know, consider your daily practices that allow you to show up consistently for yourself. These are also you know, we want to think about these questions that allow you to show up consistently for your family and for your loved ones. And for those you lead. And in a very real way. It’s these daily habits, it’s these daily practices. And so, of course, when it comes to self leadership, consistency, that’s the name of the game.

Dr. Melissa Smith 3:47
Okay, so consistency eases your cognitive, emotional and physical load, which frees you up to tackle the challenges of life, and leadership. consistent action makes you more predictable, which may sound boring, but I promise you, it’s not consistent action makes you more predictable, it is actually incredibly beneficial for helping you better understand yourself, your needs, your strengths and your vulnerabilities. So we want to develop some predictability about ourselves. And of course, consistency and self leadership frees up that cognitive, emotional and physical bandwidth so that you can more effectively show up for others. So the classic example is that you must put the oxygen mask on yourself first, right? If you’re on a plane, you start fiddling with the oxygen mask for someone else. Pretty soon you’re passed out and you’re, you’re no help to anyone. And so we really do want to prioritize this self leadership. You know, we can think of another example thinking about new Babies. The first advice most new mothers receive right and they receive a lot of advice is to get that baby on a schedule. Why? Because babies don’t follow a schedule much. Because consistency is nurturing. Consistency creates predictability, it creates constancy, it gives you and others something to rely on to count on to depend on. In a very real way, consistency and predictability are nurturing and comforting for those babies and babies are a little humans, right? Of course, obviously. But we need that same nurturing and consistency in our own lives.

Dr. Melissa Smith 5:42
So consistency equals security. And in a very real way, I want you to become your best security, you’re on solid ground that you can rely on yourself, to face the storms of life. So I want you to know that despite the craziness that may be turning around you, that you can be your secure foundation that you can count on you in the midst of the storm. Now, of course, that doesn’t mean that we don’t count on other people connection is hugely important. But do you have that kind of trust with yourself that you can show up for yourself in life’s challenges. And this is where the role of consistent practices and good habits really help you to build that trust with yourself that you can count on yourself. I can for sure think about times in my life, where the stressors have been really high. And I have absolutely relied on those daily small practices and habits that I’ve developed over the years to see me through. And in a very real way. They have been like lighthouses in the storm, they have been the calm in the storm, where it’s like, Okay, I’m gonna stick with my routine around movement and exercise, I’m going to stick to a daily walk, because these habits helped me to find that steady ground, especially when the grout the storm is raging around you. But when we think about consistency, it’s really important to be aware of consistencies counterfeit. Consistency is a great thing, but there is a counterfeit.

Dr. Melissa Smith 7:21
And that counterfeit is rigidity and obsessiveness. So it’s important to remember that consistency is flexible, it is not rigid. Consistency is a servant. It’s not a master. So consistency serves at your at the leader of your goals and your wishes and your values. It’s not your master. So don’t become don’t let your daily practices become a task master. That is really the path to more obsessiveness. And of course, we don’t want that happening. And consistency works in service of your values and your calling, not your compulsions. So it’s really important to have very clear intent when it comes to consistency. So you know, I love predictability. I love my schedule. I love my daily practices, but I have a tendency towards compulsivity. And so one of the things that I have recognized is that I really need to protect against consistencies counterfeit. And so if I find myself feeling anxious about my schedule, or you know, getting my workout in or that sort of thing, I just have to, that’s where I have to get curious and really challenge like, okay, am I becoming? am I letting my practices become a taskmaster? And if the answer is yes, I just try and build, I just push against that rigidity, and really work towards a little more flexibility. So maybe that is, you know, taking a break from the gym or mixing up my schedule or intentionally altering the schedule so that I can learn to relax and go with the flow a little bit more. It does not come naturally to me. But those sorts of pushing against the the rigidity can be really helpful. And so today, we focus on how curiosity helps you to slow down so that you can respond mindfully rather than reacting impulsively. We also talked about how curiosity helps us to cultivate self awareness, which really is the foundation for self leadership, and we talked about the important role of consistency. We encourage you to think about your daily practices that really help you to be on stable ground, both for yourself and for others in your life.

Dr. Melissa Smith 9:51
And so head on over to my website to check out the show notes with all the resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/216-selfleadership101. Again, that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/216-selfleadership101. I’d love to connect with you on Instagram @dr.melissasmith I’ve always got a lot more resources there and I’d love to interact with you and I’d love it if you would consider reviewing the podcast on Apple or Spotify. I love getting the feedback and it helps other people to discover the podcast as well. In the meantime, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.

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