what is self leadership?

  • what is self leadership? 
  • what has it got to do with building a lighthouse & being your own lighthouse keeper?
  • why does self leadership matter to the average person living their life?
  • how do you know you are ready for some self leadership, and how do you get started?

i am sharing my thoughts on self leadership, and why i believe the lighthouse is actually a beautiful framework to practice self leadership.

i would love to hear from you... what does the word "self-leadership" mean to you? what could it mean to you, if you had more of it in your life?

click here to watch the youtube video: https://youtu.be/1gMbLoTJX4Q
listen to the audio or read the transcript below.

self leadership.


my lighthouse keeper’s journey started at a time i was feeling lost, stuck, no mojo, no clear focus, not in the greatest place…not all that happy in my life… and i didn’t know what to do to change things.

i came across this quote by anne lammot:

“lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

and i thought… yes that’s what i want! i want to be a lighthouse! and so i began a quest of sorts to ignite my light, ignite my spark, to feel ignited and excited again… and that led me to start the lighthouse revolution as i realized overtime that there is more to the story than feeling ignited!

which is where the framework of the lighthouse comes from, because there are 7 components and every component

so my journey has been about…

exploring what ignites me and lights me up

sharing that with others & being of service to others

building something that i love, a life that i love

working on my mindset

working on my resistance and my blocks, getting myself unstuck

making my way through the darkness and storms

feeling connected to something bigger than me

and eventually these things became the 7 components of the lighthouse.

more recently i’ve been intrigued and inspired by the idea of self-leadership, because the more i think about it the more i feel that is what the lighthouse is, it’s a framework for self-leadership.

i’ve been talking about this lighthouse stuff for nearly 5 years… and the journey isn’t over, i don’t think you ever stop building your lighthouse. but at least i have the framework now, the path, the map, the blueprints to help me do the work, and that’s why i am so passionate about sharing it, i want everyone to have the framework! i want everyone to be able to build themselves a lighthouse so they can shine their light in the world, so they can be their highest & brightest self.

so i’m excited because i think this idea of self-leadership is a great way to describe what the lighthouse revolution is all about.

to me the word self-leadership very simply means being a leader to yourself.

rising up, speaking up, taking action, making a change, shining your light… by yourself, for yourself.

maybe you want to…

do something.

create something.

change something.

start something new.

go after something.

try something different.

…no one is going to grab your hand and do it for you.

if you feel like there has got to be something more than this, or there is something missing, or you don’t want to stay stuck, lost, stagnant, no mojo

or maybe you’ve been in that place of procrastination, paralysis, perfection – where you want things for yourself byt you can’t seem to take action

maybe you keep saying one day when… you have more time, more energy, you are more ready… well when is that one day going to come?

no one is going to come along and take you on that path… be that person or that magic bullet that fixes things for you

here’s the thing… this is your choice.

you don’t have to take that path.

you can stay stuck, safe, same, small.

you can wait for more time, money, energy.

you can choose to keep complaining, keep whinging ‘poor me, my life sucks, i am a victim.’

you can keep dreaming, keep longing, keep wishing for things… setting intentions, resolutions, goals, dreams, plans…

you can keep doing that until you are ready.

it’s your choice.

or… if you are ready, you can start taking your own path, forging your own trail, leading yourself… asking ‘what will we do here? something has got to give. and that something is me. it’s on me.’

let’s be clear.

it is a choice. it’s your choice. own it.

if you are not ready to be your own leader, own it. out loud. say ‘maybe one day. but not today. i’m not ready.’

if you are ready? what do you do? how do you start taking steps to lead yourself out of the place you are, and into the place you want to be?

by the way, you know what i think is awesome about this whole self-leadership thing?

you actually do get to take your path. you get to do your thing. focus on your journey. beat the drums for your own thing. it doesn’t affect anyone else or take away from anyone else’s journey. it’s yours! you might walk alongside someone else on a self leadership journey but this is all about you, it’s yours, you get to do it your way.

i think self leadership is about looking inwards, taking responsibility, taking ownership… saying ‘this is on me. i am the only one who has the capacity to make a change here, the only one with the capacity to look at what i want and choose to take a step towards it.’ wright or wrong, pass or fail… to start taking our own hand and leading ourselves forward.

i think it’s about prioritising, putting ourselves first… saying ‘this matters. i matter. what i want matters. and so i have got to figure out how to do it.’

it’s about fulfilling your potential.

seeking your purpose.

finding your passion & feeling lit up again.

being the highest, brightest version of yourself.

owning it. and doing it without guilt. because if you don’t own it, why would anyone else support you, cheer for you, or even just try to understand it.

so if you are ready to do the self-leadership thing… to say ‘i’m going to rise up by myself, for myself. i’m going to take action. i’m going to do it for me.’… here are some ideas to get you started.

1. look back at the road so far.

know what brought you here to have a clear picture of where you are going… understanding the road so far can open your eyes to the road ahead. seek understanding, awareness, clues, and signposts.

2. have a vision.

what is your destination here? if you’re leading yourself down a path have a destination, know where you are going and why. your why is what fills your tank… it’s important to know what fuels you… what gives you energy, passion, purpose, and drive.

know yourself… learning yourself is, i believe, one of the biggest parts of this self-leadership journey… you need to know you. what are your strengths, what do you value, what’s your personality type? because everything else you choose, every step you take, has to align with that.

(this is the ‘ignite your light’ part of the lighthouse… it starts with you!)

3. own it!

say it out loud. if you can’t say it, own it, by speaking up, by being seen, by saying ‘hey this is me, this is what i am working on, this is what matters, to me, this is the path i’m on’… if you can’t say it, it can be very hard to do it!

(this is the beacon of the lighthouse… it represents us speaking up!)

4. how will you get there?

this is about making your plans, choosing your steps and your strategies. what will you focus on? what will you choose to include into your world to support and serve what it is you say you want. it’s about giving yourself permission… what to focus on, say no to, change, or declutter.

(this is the tower of the lighthouse… it’s the tall structure, the vehicle, that helps you shine!)

5. work on your mindset.

your confidence, worthiness, valuing yourself enough to do this, being brave, backing yourself! saying ‘this matters to me so i am going to fight for it.’ nobody else is going to back you if you don’t back yourself first. be brave enough, confident enough, worthy enough, believe you matter enough, to take action.

(this is the foundation of the lighthouse… you don’t want to build on a wobbly foundation. make it strong by building up your mindset.)

6. get unstuck.

it’s important we shine a light on the stuff that comes up and gets in the way on this journey – stuckness, resistance, blocks, fears, worries, doubts, guilt, limiting beliefs. it’s all part of the journey, in fact the stuff that comes up as you lead this path to what you want, the person you want to be, it comes up for a reason.

you are the leader here, the warrior on this quest, and as you fight those dragons, overcome those obstacles, you grow! you become the best version of yourself. so have a willingness to explore your stuff, be curious, have fun! let the journey be as amazing as the destination.

(this is the spiral staircase of the lighthouse… it reminds us of our journey, every little step we take takes us closer to the top.)

7. come back.

understand that the journey will have darkness, storms, and shadows. have a willingness to just BE in those places, and know that you can come back to your path, you can change directions, you can start again, you can come back to what you want, you can come back to yourself, you can keep going.

(this is the harbour of the lighthouse… it reminds us we can come back to our light at any time.)

it can also help if you surround yourself with an ocean of love… if you have support, if you feel safe, if you have a sense of belonging… it can help you on your self-leadership journey.

8. connection.

the last thing that i think is important (and i have only begun to explore this myself) is feeling connected to something bigger than you, to your source, your inner guidance system or inner light, (whatever you want to call it). think of it as spirituality or connection to your soul or to your purpose or to feeling like the universe has your back.

(this is the sky above the lighthouse… a connection to the source of your light)

i feel like this is important and a lot of times i think we discount it. in fact most of us do some of these things really well and others not so well… they are not natural to us or not in our wheelhouse.

the lighthouse framework reminds us that all of these bits are important! they all make a difference.

learn what you are naturally good at, use it to help you on your journey of self-leadership. also learn what doesn’t come naturally to you…

for example, if speaking up doesn’t come naturally you can learn to get better at it. or if you notice you don’t feel at all connected to your soul, you don’t have strong spiritual beliefs or practice, or whatever allows you to feel connection, you could start to build it now.

if you have all of the components… the whole lighthouse, the whole framework… you have everything you need for self-leadership.

so keep exploring this and exploring yourself!

we are each on our own journey… taking our own path, forging our own trail… that’s what self-leadership is all about! but we can do it together. we can support each other, we can walk alongside each other. when each of us chooses to rise up and shine our light we inspire others to do the same as well.

a rising tide lifts all ships. let’s keep rising.

rise up, by yourself, for yourself. because what you want for yourself is worth it. you are worth it.


karen guntonComment