When you seek self-improvement, are you being your own leader? A proactive, active, alert participant, guiding your own experience?
In our most recent series of posts, we discussed the concept of Guru Literacy to help you make safe decisions on your self-help journey. There are many wonderful resources out there to aid you in your quest for self-improvement–excellent leaders who can inspire and instruct you, books full of knowledge about the process of change, events that will challenge and empower you. But through this whole process, it’s important to remember, no matter what books or people you choose to guide you along your journey, YOU must be the leader of that journey.
You’re the Leader of Your Experience
What does this mean?
Quite simply, you are in charge of your experience and you should not give up your power to anyone. This is important for two reasons.
#1: In order to get the most “bang for your buck,” you have to be an active participant in your self-help experience. If you passively sit back waiting for change to happen to you or for someone else to give you all the answers, you’ll likely only experience change that is superficial and fleeting.
#2: You need to be in charge of your personal safety–physically, emotionally and financially. Never let a book or a guru tell you to do something that you feel is unsafe or wrong. Certainly, there are times when you will want to look beyond personal hang-ups and challenge and push yourself. That’s ok! But if you feel uneasy about something or you don’t feel it will work for you, trust your gut. You know yourself better than anyone else, even a “professional.”
Teachers Empower their Followers
As we discussed in our post about leadership, the best leaders know how to empower their followers. If you’ve found someone whose message resonates with you, that’s great! But the relationship should be all about making you stronger, not dependant. Any books, CDs, gurus, events that you choose to help you along the way are just tools. You should outgrow your guru. Take back your self-help adventure. YOU are ultimately the most important and instrumental part of your self-help experience. Don’t forget the SELF in self-help. Be your own leader!