These days there is so much emphasis on leadership. It seems that from our jobs, to our churches, to our volunteer activities, we are constantly being given leadership training to become better leaders in our communities, our homes and on our jobs. I love taking advantage of these trainings and opportunities but a few months ago, I stopped and asked myself a hard question: am I leading myself? The answer honestly ranges depending on the day, the week, and the season. When I got to thinking about it, I realized that for some of us (myself included), it can be hard to even define what “leading yourself” looks like.
Let’s break that down with three ways you can lead yourself – so that you can be more effective when leading others:
1. Resource yourself.
Resourcing yourself means that you aren’t just sitting around waiting for a leadership opportunity. It means that you are going after it and pursuing opportunities, but also pursuing knowledge. Resourcing yourself might look like being intentional about inviting a woman you admire over for lunch so you can learn how she manages her time and her life. It might mean reading a few books that can inspire you to grow. For me, it means all of those things, but the key is being intentional about it. We exercise intentionality in so many different areas of our lives. We also need to be intentional about making sure we are surrounding ourselves with people and things that can help us to become better leaders. That is the definition of leading ourselves.
2. Be open to your calling.
Sometimes what we think we should be doing or how we think we should be leading isn’t quite what the Lord has called us to. I’m often reminded of the story of Esther. If you’ll recall, Esther was an orphan who found herself as the new Queen. She actually saved the Jews from destruction because she stepped up to her husband, the King. What I love about this is that Esther was reminded that she should be open to her calling. In Esther 4:14, Esther’s cousin, Mordecai asks her, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?” That one question reminded Esther that saving the Jews could very well be her calling. Being open to your calling can only make you a better leader–because nothing is more powerful than a woman who is living out what God has called her to do!
3. Stay in the word.
Simply put, you can not lead yourself if you are not following Him. There’s just no way around it. Keeping yourself resourced with the BEST resource is a must, and while we all get busy, it’s important to make this a priority. I like to start each morning reading a verse or a short devotional. Honestly, it doesn’t take too much time but it sets my day up for success and gets my head on straight. There are so many amazing resources that we can take advantage of, and I’d encourage you to figure out a routine that works best for you!
Don’t get so caught up with the day to day that you neglect to invest in yourself. Learning how to lead yourself will not just make you a better leader, it will improve your life. You are so worth it, sister.
Courtney Dredden Carter is a lawyer by training who loves Jesus, her church, spending time with her husband and miniature dachshund and writing her lifestyle blog, Eat Pray Run DC, in her spare time.