A Story of Self-leadership & Courage

With Karen Grewal

Karen Grewal has developed the skills on how to stay motivated, become self-driven, and how to demonstrate courage when navigating through difficult situations. Her super skill is, self-leadership, a skill that is crucial to creating a life where you can achieve your goals and take you closer to your purpose.

Karen has achieved many goals in challenging situations with extraordinary speed. However, what is most admiring about her is her honest and humble approach when she is asked about the start of her fascinating self-leadership journey and the recipe behind it.

    I know that my self-leadership started when I found my mentor in 2019, someone who was there for me, every step of my journey. I moved to Sweden due to my husband´s work assignment. I decided to change career direction, and I started searching for different work opportunities, but I also had some creative project ideas in my mind, some of the ideas were old but kept growing, so I decided to do something about it.

    For example I had a book project inside my mind for 6 years without crystallizing it. I kept asking myself, “if I don’t do something about this now, what is the point of even thinking about it?”

      Karen´s determination and awareness were present from the beginning of this journey. She didn´t give up the mentor search, as she understood she needed help to take the first step.

      Before my mentor even agreed to mentor me, I remember her first question was about finding my true purpose, so I started putting a lot of work and time towards what I wanted to do and breaking it down. The determination started to grow with this exercise.

      My mentor introduced me to processes and structure and said, “you need to keep a routine where you allocate time to focus on your goals and at the same time to stay motivated” she also asked me regularly, “how is the process of your job search? Are you documenting your interactions in a spreadsheet? Are you following it up?”

      The idea for my book was already there, and sometimes I just wanted to give up because I had so many limiting beliefs, but my mentor kept supplying me with energy and questions which helped me visualize my book, the deadline, and the steps forward.  Those tips and questions became the lessons I needed to put into practice and took me to where I am today.

      Karen became the author of the book “Messages from Guys” and recently moved to the Netherlands, she received 3 job offers within 3 weeks and now works full-time in her dream role!

      What are your insights about these fantastic achievements in a short time frame?

      As my mentor once said: “one day the preparation will meet the opportunity” and I realize now, the challenges I faced, were part of the preparation I needed to understand what she was talking about. I applied everything I learnt and use them all the time.

      You need mentorship or support to be successful. A mentor can´t be just anyone, it must be someone special, someone you respect, trust, and a role model that holds you accountable and knows the HOW.

      What do you think is the most important element of self-leadership that people should have?

      Self-leadership is understanding that you are a self-driven learner, to become proactive at learning things but the real key is, to learn faster and better than everyone else.

      I asked for help when I got stuck. Sometimes people feel too uncomfortable to ask for help because it can be hard to admit that you’re lacking in something. It takes a lot of courage to reveal and share your vulnerabilities.

      How can we find that courage?

      It depends how much you want something. I believe drive comes from your personal situation. What do you want?  What do you constantly think about? Your drive is connected to those goals, it is important to focus on the things that are meaningful.  Otherwise, what is the point of having them?

      If you could recommend three things that can help to release strong self-leadership as yours, what would these be?

      1. Be open minded as possible
      2. Never stop learning
      3. Learn as fast as possible and ask experienced people to support you with the HOW. Research your subject area as much as possible.

      If you want to write a book, you’ve got to learn how to plan, publish and promote a book. There is a lot of work and you won’t be good at all three things, make sure it is something that you won’t lose interest in.  Become a student again, be open minded. We are students for life. We should never stop learning.

      What is your next step?

      I will keep building and strengthening meaningful relationships and I will keep developing my skills and continue enjoying my journey.

      You can connect with Karen via:

      Photo: Bal Grewal
      Interview: Cristina Söderberg