Being ‘easily-led’ doesn’t really have a great rep as far as character traits go.
When people are described in this manner, most picture assume that the person in question is weak, naive and easily-manipulated. A sheep, rather than a wolf. A follower, not a leader. As a teacher, if I describe a student in this way, it’s usually code for ‘he/she’ acts like an idiot in order to impress their mates.
I myself am incredibly easily-led. In some respects, I can also be weak at times (I can also be incredibly strong); I can be naive for sure (I try to see the best in people and sometimes this backfires); and I can be easily-manipulated in some situations.
At 34, I’ve come to a point where I’ve accepted this aspect of my character. And I’ve also come to see the positive qualities that come along with it. Easily-led can also be taken to mean easy-going and flexible; someone that goes with the flow rather than always having to state their opinion or cause drama.
And as crazy as this sounds, I also think that being easily-manipulated is a pretty great character trait!
It’s because of this aspect of my personality that I:
- Listen to a song and instant be lifted from a dark mood to another dimension of happiness
- Find myself working out after seeing a Nike advert or playing Drakes’ Fortune
- Can look behind my shoulder, seeing an invsible cape, for ten seconds and instantly feel more confident
- Frequently commit to changing my life after a TED talk/audio-book/self-help book
- Sign up to fear-facing events like Tough Mudder as a result of peer pressure (though the jury’s still out on whether that’s a good decision or not!)
If you know that you’re easily-led, then use this to your advantage. Pay close attention to your mental diet and ensure that your brain is consuming high-quality knowledge, skills, motivation and inspiration.
Growing up, I always wished that I could be more decisive, outspoken and strong-willed. Someone who knew her mind and was unyielding when it came to opinions. But would that stubborn, steadfast nature really have supported the many transformations that I’ve undergone, or the changes that I’ve had to make in order to make myself happy?
To be easily-led is to be malleable, literally taken to mean something that is able to be hammered or pressed into shape without breaking or cracking.
Providing that you’re careful about where and how and who you allow to sculpt you; this character trait can really be viewed as a gift, supporting you as you grow through life; allowing you to become better each day.
Are you easily-led? Or do you live on the more stubborn end of the spectrum? Could you use either of these character traits to your advantage? Comments welcome: