I often talk about the importance of autonomy; but “What is really autonomy?” How do we achieve autonomy?” “What makes autonomy important?”
Looking at linguistics information, I am finding the following definition for autonomy: “the freedom from external control or influence; independence.” I particularly like this notion of freedom from external control or influence. What about the internal influence then? This is nothing new to any of us, at times, we may
experience reactions or attitudes that feel automatic and may not always achieve the best for us. We even have given them names, such as bad habits, poor behaviour, and negatives patterns, to cite only the politely correct ones. Managing these internal influences is the domain of self-leadership.
I am not mad about fashionable word, and leadership is definitely one of them… leadership there… leadership this…. leadership that… wow, it’s exhausting… it’s also the new stigma… I would challenge statistics that “the fear of public speaking” is now second behind “the fear of not being a leader”… and with the generalisation “everybody is a leader”… it seems we have an impasse… who is left to be led? Pfff… we are saved, we will always have one person to lead… our best partner and friend, our own self.
Self-leadership can be seen as the ability of someone to guide oneself to positive places and fulfill their potential; or the process of influencing oneself to achieve one’s objectives; my favorite definition being “Self-leadership is having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviors on the way to getting there (Bryant, Kazan 2012).
One way to develop and strengthen this self-leadership is to relearn using our intuition. In fact intuition is the first tool we learnt when growing up. I would even say the first year of our life is fully based on intuition; and the first years are spent actually mapping intuition to emotions and then to cognitive interpretations of a situation. What makes us discard this tool when reaching adulthood is probably inherited from our love for science.
Intuition is often associated with a sensation in our gut. To have that gut feeling we have to have had received information and this will be with our senses (our 5 traditional senses: see, hear, smell, taste, hear; and then a 6th one based on bio electro/electromagnetic waves recognition – the famous people’s vibe or energy). Intuition is what we called a somatic information, that is “non-cognitive” (or not brought to our conscious awareness) type of information. In some cases, research shows that people may identify later on (up to a few days) the cognitive understanding of the intuition message (cf. Intuition: A fundamental bridging construct in the behavioural sciences, Gerard P. Hodgkinson. et all, BJP, 2008).
Autonomy and self-leadership are simply best friends. An autonomous individual has often a great notion of self-leadership. With highly valuable information, intuition is a key element in the development of self-awareness. So have fun in the next coming days, take a moment to regularly observe your environment and your impressions; these are the first steps in relearning using intuition, and know that this is a start in becoming an expert in self-leadership.