As a young leader, it can be hard to find your place and have the confidence to speak out and share your message. Young leaders can face lack of self-assurance, feel unsecure about revealing their true self, and question their legitimacy especially when surrounded by more senior leaders. I have personally experienced these feelings and thoughts. Facing my fears of judgement and rejection, requestioning my legitimacy to raise my voice with humility, and taking time for self-introspection have helped me change my mindset and dare to share my message with authenticity.
Here are 8 lessons I learned from my journey that I hope will benefit others.
1/ UNLEARN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT LEADERSHIP
What should I do to be a leader? What is expected from me as a leader? Many young leaders go ruminate over these questions before stepping up to the standards and requirements of leadership roles. The point is that your own beliefs about leadership – that stem from the society you grew up in, the organizations you’ve worked for, and the systems you’ve been a part of – might interfere with your true self and create impediments to raising your voice as a leader. Mull over these beliefs and release them. This will help you define your own leadership style, accept your true self, and give more space to your inner voice.
2/ LOOK FOR INSPIRATION
Which leaders inspire you and why? What parts of their leadership styles resonate with you? Be curious, follow people who inspire you, get to know their stories and how leveraged leadership to achieve their goals. Having role models will help you figure out what leadership traits you value and help you build your own leadership style based on your identity, your life story, your values, and your purpose.
3/ RECONNECT TO YOUR AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
Instead of questioning yourself - “Do I have what it takes to be a leader?” - ask yourself, “What kind of leader do I want to become?”. Authentic leaders lead and inspire while being themselves, and while embracing their own leadership style. They know their purpose and lead with their hearts and their heads. They are self-aware, build authentic relationships, and serve their vision. As a young leader, reconnecting with your own authentic leadership style instead of trying to comply with role requirements will help you feel more comfortable sharing your messages from your heart. Leading with authenticity will enable you to accept yourself as a leader – with the pros and cons of leading at a young age – and to focus your energy on contributing to the world.
4/ LEVEL UP YOUR ENERGY
All leaders go through up and downs; it’s part of the process. Young leaders might go through more questioning than others. Raising your energy levels and maintaining them is key to connecting with your inner voice and making the right decisions for you and for others. Activities like spending time in the nature, speaking with loved ones, treating yourself, expressing your voice through art, dancing, and writing can help you level up your energy. Having energy up will create a new space for you to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as open more a more space for your authentic self to rise up.
5/ INVEST IN YOURSELF
Invest your time, your energy, and your money in achieving your goals. Follow the training that will benefit to you and surround yourself with people who will help you raise your voice. Being supported by coaches, mentors, and energy practitioners will help you overcome the fears and obstacles you might face, increase your self-confidence, and unleash your inner voice. Investing in your own personal and professional development will help you empower your voice and increase your impact.
6/ BUILD AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS AND ENVIRONMENTS
Some people and environments can disagree with your ideas, be judgmental, or project their own fears – especially when your ideas are visionary and pioneering. Trying to get validation from others takes a lot of energy and might make you doubt yourself or your abilities. Building authentic relationships and environments in which you feel secure to express yourself with authenticity is key to raising your voice. These environments are great spaces for you to test your ideas, share your vision, get feedback, and prepare yourself to share your message with a larger audience.
7/ RECONNECT WITH YOUR VOICE
Your voice is a medium with which to transmit a message to the world. What do you think about your voice? How do you express yourself? What are the strengths of your voice and what changes might increase the impact of your message? A voice says a lot about someone. Increasing your self-awareness about your voice, your tonality, and the way you articulate emotions will help you implement some changes to better communicate your message.
8/ KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
Why do you want to raise your voice? What message do you want to bring to the world? How has your life story helped form this message and helped you get where you are today? Who will benefit from your message? Often our life stories highly influences our desires to impact the world and raise our voices. This is not a matter of age. Knowing your “why” will naturally decrease the intensity of your fears and limiting beliefs and bring you comfort that you are at the right place. When you know inside the importance of your mission and goals, it gives you the strength to face your own limitations and remove the barriers that prevent you from raising your voice. This will help you take your place as a young leader.
What did you learn from this article ? What actions are you now ready to implement ?
I work with visionnaries, leaders and change makers worldwide to support them release their inner voice and uplevel their contribution to the world through thei business or project. For more information about my services, visit my website www.douniazellou.com.