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From Peer to Leader: A Teen’s Guide to Rising Above the Challenge

(Article written by S. H., Sons of Helaman Warrior)

As a teenager standing on the precipice of adulthood, you might be questioning your potential and how you can impact the world positively.

Let me share a secret: every great leader starts with a moment of self-doubt, followed by a series of actions that define them.

I’m a 17-year-old who holds a top leadership position at my school, and I’m here to guide you through your own journey to becoming a leader.

Recognizing and Overcoming Negative Thoughts

The first hurdle to conquer on your path to leadership is the realm of self-doubt and negative self-talk.

These intrusive thoughts come from a tormenting demon, rudely and without invitation, talking inside your head in your own voice.  Such unpleasant personalities find some dark pleasure in reminding you of your past mistakes and making you believe you’re not good enough.

It’s crucial to differentiate between what is negative self-talk and what is a satanic attack.

Both may seem similar, but you need to remember that they are external, not part of your true self. These can come at you like a ferocious pitch from a sly pitcher. 

With practice, you can gain the power and the skill to knock the unwanted thought, with its accompanying feelings, out of the park.

Remember, no matter what your tormenting demon says, everyone has their unique set of skills and attributes, and nobody is perfect. Embrace your strengths and learn to improve your weaknesses, but never let self-doubt sabotage your potential.

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Entering the Zone of Positivity

In sports, there’s a concept known as “The Zone.” This is a state of mind where an athlete is fully immersed in the game, undistracted by negative thoughts.

Achieving this state of mind in your daily life can help you stay focused and ward off any negativity, much like how the Holy Ghost aids in fostering positivity. This state of mind will allow you to face challenges head-on and overcome them with strength and confidence.

Creating an Upward Spiral

So, you’ve decided to take the first step towards becoming a leader. What next?

Begin by reflecting on your past experiences, especially those when you spiraled down. This process might be uncomfortable, even painful, but understanding your past mistakes will help you avoid repeating them in the future. It’s not fun, but it’s a step that’ll surely benefit you moving forward.

Getting feedback from trusted people around you can be beneficial during this reflective process. Seek out those who are honest, kind, and demonstrate good leadership traits themselves.

They can provide valuable insights and constructive criticism that can help you grow as an individual and a leader.

Developing Leadership Skills

To become a great leader at a young age, it’s essential to learn from the past.

Not just from your own experiences, but also from great leaders who’ve walked this path before you. It may sound boring, but these books and resources provide invaluable wisdom that can guide your journey to leadership.

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It’s not about being smarter or more talented than others. Instead, it’s about understanding how to follow before you lead, treating people with respect, and leading by example.

Keep in mind, you’ll always encounter people who may not agree with you or respect your authority, but that’s a part of life and leadership. Don’t let these experiences deter you.

Earning Trust and Respect

Respect and trust don’t happen overnight.

They are earned through consistent actions that reflect your integrity, dedication, and respect for others. Stay patient and consistent in your actions, even when the process seems slow. The respect and trust you earn from this process will be rewarding and long-lasting.

Tasting Success

The journey to leadership may be challenging, but the fruits of your labor are worth the effort.

In my case, my hard work led me to secure one of the top 10 leadership positions at my school. The key to achieving such successes is to maintain a positive mindset, continuously strive for growth, treat others with respect, and always believe in yourself.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help when needed. It’s not a sign of weakness but an attribute of a good leader.

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Understand that mistakes are part of the journey, and every setback is a set-up for a comeback. Be patient with yourself and know that you are capable of achieving great things. 

In conclusion, the path to leadership is a journey filled with self-discovery, growth, and transformation. It’s about developing a positive mindset, rising above challenges, learning from past experiences, earning respect through your actions, and maintaining a steady belief in your abilities.

Take one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be standing tall as a leader, inspiring others with your journey.

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