Are You A Leader Or A Follower?
For the majority of my life I have been a follower; letting others take the lead. I stayed quiet and went along.
This is how I thought it was supposed to be; that I just wasn’t built to be at the front.
When I played soccer I chose to be a defender; at the back so I could hide.
I remember, there was a time when I had the ball and had gone past a couple of their players and looked up to pass but there was noone there; there was only me and the goal. All I had to do was take the ball near to the goal and score and we could have been victorious; I could have been the hero of the day. But, instead of that I froze, I became self conscious and thought “I am going to miss” and so instead of taking my time and getting closer to make it easier I panicked and struck from far out and missed an open goal.
I was devastated.
To me, that meant that I should always stay at the back, that I was a fool to risk being at the front; to risk being seen and messing up. I learnt a hard lesson that day, but it was the wrong one.
This pattern played out for so many years; I would look for opportunities to hide, to not be seen. It led me down a path that made me ill and caused all kinds of other problems; but it didn’t have to be that way. Other people would have made a different meaning out of that experience and they would have grown stronger, but I grew weaker and became a quiet follower.
If only I had known that one experience was just that; an experience. That the next one could be different and the next. That in every moment I get to choose; do I want to follow or do I want to lead?
That leading is a skill like any other. It is not a talent that someone either has or they don’t; it is developed and grown.
Over the past year and a half I have been learning how to be leader; how to take the lead in any moment. It starts with being present and then deciding what I want to do.
If I get caught up being a follower by default, as soon as I become aware of it I can change it and I can lead the moment.
This is not an easy path to take; it is one of much resistance, but I don’t want life to be easy, I want it to have meaning.
It is a gift to take the lead. A gift to yourself and a gift to the person you are taking the lead for.
Here is a question that I’d love you to post an answer to here:
WHERE IN YOUR LIFE ARE YOU FOLLOWING BUT WOULD LOVE TO LEAD?