6 ways to become the inspiring leader of your familyFeb 15, 2022
Children copy the actions of their parents.
From those very early days—when they copied your smile or babbled in response to your words—your child has looked to you as their leader through life.
They mimicked your behaviour as a tiny baby and continue to do so through their elementary school years, their tweens and their teens (even if that feels less true the older they get!).
How you role-model the behaviour you want to see in your kids matters. Actions speak louder than words. And this goes for learning behaviours, too.
By becoming an inspiring leader for your children, you have to first become the change you want to see in them.
With Lights On® leadership we don’t micromanage, cajole, threaten punishment or offer bribes.
You step up to the highest level and become Lights On® yourself—actually showing your children what it means to feel engaged and enthusiastic, connecting to both your learning and the world around you through your own passions.
Ready to start this ripple effect for your family? Check out these tips for becoming an inspiring leader.
How to lead through example: 6 tips for mums who want to empower themselves and their children
1. (Re)discover your learning identity
Within our Lights On® Universe, we want you to understand your learning identity from the offset, so you can get clear on your internal obstacles to success.
By finding out where your mindset and thought patterns are limiting you on your journey to becoming an empowered, motivated leader for the rest of your family, you can create transformational change FAST!
When you discover your learning identity, you shine a spotlight on the change that needs to happen to become a true Lights On® learner—someone who feels connected, aligned and forward thinking. Someone who gets the results she’s sets her mind to.
This insight will help you lead your family to become happy, creative and successful learners.
You can find out your family’s learning identity by taking our quick quiz.
2. Rewire negative thinking
Your brain has a negativity bias and a reticular activating system that is constantly looking for threats based on what you believe. If you do not believe you can do this, that you are an amazing mum, that you can find solutions where others are not able to, then you’ll struggle to become a leader—and you’ll remain micro-managing for the long run.
Your children probably get to hear snippets of your internal monologue as you criticise your actions (and them) or undermine your self-worth.
I can’t do this. I’ve really messed up. Why can I never get this right?
Negative self-talk like this is harmful. Thoughts become your reality and it gets ever harder to believe in yourself and your abilities. By repeating these negative thought patterns you limit your own potential. So, rewiring this tendency towards negative thinking is essential.
But it isn’t as simple as just replacing self-critical thoughts with affirmations. This will get you so far, but chances are you’ve been telling yourself ‘I can do this’ and it isn’t getting you anywhere. That’s because you have to go after the neural network that is attached to that past thinking.
A quick hack that will start you on your way is to celebrate your micro-wins and get really good at supersizing them in the moment successes, too.
Change your internal monologue and you’ll create a family environment where self-belief is the norm.
3. Reignite your passions
It’s inevitable: when kids come along, there’s less time available to do things for yourself.
That means hobbies and passions often get forgotten among school runs, work and that never-ending pile of dirty laundry.
This is a problem for both parent and child. If you can’t connect with things you are passionate about, your kids will struggle to develop their own passion projects.
So think back to what you loved to do pre-kids, or the things on your wish list that you’re still to achieve. Restart piano lessons. Pick up that cross-stitch you started 25 years ago! Get out the paints. It doesn’t matter what you do, but start creating from your heart.
Whatever you feel passionate about, commit to reigniting that energy. Then commit to sparking up that passion on a regular basis.
Not only will this help you get your motivation to learn back and recharge, but you’ll also show your kids what it means to really care about something. In Lights On® we work on our mindsets through our passions, but you have to know what they are first.
4. Step out of your comfort zone
You don’t make changes in your life—and that of your family—by continuing to do things the way you’ve always done them.
If you’re to experience new challenges and achieve new successes, you have to step out of your comfort zone.
That might mean doing things that you’re afraid of. And doing things where success isn’t guaranteed. It might mean looking inwards and being honest about how you’re currently feeling, or simply changing up your daily routine.
By demonstrating your willingness to push yourself and experience new things, you give yourself the opportunity to find the passion to ignite the light in your eyes again. Moreover, you get to show your kids that it’s ok to take reasonable risks.
To become the learners you want them to be, they’ll need to risk failure and take on challenges.
Just like you, they need to move beyond their comfort zone if they’re to move beyond steady or stagnant progress.
5. Learn how to fail—and how to pick yourself back up
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone experiences failures. But the way in which we frame these failures impacts our journey towards success and self-fulfilment.
Experience failure as a judgment of your effort or ability, and you’ll feel demotivated and less confident about trying again.
Experience failure as an inevitable part of creativity, challenge and success—and it’s simply a valuable learning opportunity. Success happens on the other side of failure. Get comfortable with that.
So let yourself fail and show your kids how to be ok with getting things wrong. Tell them when you mess up. Then model the drive and mental strength it takes to pick yourself up and keep going. We call it being courageously vulnerable, and when you do that, you give them permission to explore the full range of emotions that come with learning.
6. Be authentic and honest
To be an inspiring leader, you need to be your authentic self.
What does authenticity look like? It means there will be times when things feel really hard, when you feel like you’re making mistake after mistake, and when you don’t feel like the world’s greatest role model or leader.
Accept that there’s no such thing as the perfect parent—only people trying their best at a full-on, 24/7/365 job.
Recognise that self-care and self-awareness are essential for any inspiring leader on a development journey of their own. And understand that by showing your authentic self, your kids will trust you to lead the whole family on this exciting learning journey together. When you are Lights On® they will be too.