4 Lessons I Learned From My Leo Sister

photographed by Lauren Maccabee.
My sister is, in many ways, what one might call a "textbook" Leo. She's honest, funny, extremely generous, and more than a little aggressive. We've been told we have similar mannerisms and looks, but, astrologically speaking, she's basically the perfect foil to my anxious, rule-abiding, and, let's be honest, uptight Capricorn. Maybe it's because she's my older sister, but there have been countless times in our lives where I wanted to be more like her, and her astrological identity has certainly played a role in that.
While there's a reason why we aren't all Leos (could you imagine the yelling?), the rest of us could stand to learn something from their passionate, expansive approach to life. From their confidence to their emotional honesty to their overall boldness, Leos possess many traits that most of us only aspire to have. Again, it isn't useful to be baldly honest, proud, and pushy all the time, but Leo is the rare sign that not only knows what it wants but knows how to pursue it and, in the end, usually get it.
In honor of yesterday's National Sisters Day and the ongoing Leo season, I'm sharing four lessons I learned from growing up with a Leo that still apply to my everyday life — and, if you're trying to tap into your inner lioness, they just might apply to you, too.
1 of 4
illustrated by Anna Sudit.
You don't have to do everything.

This is how I know I'm a Capricorn — there is no task I will not somehow take full responsibility for, regardless of the setting, the task itself, or the tasks required to execute the task. Meanwhile, Leos (my sister especially) are the paragon of the adage, "work smarter, not harder." They know exactly where their strengths lie and when it'd be better to bring in a collaborator than to take something on alone. Sure, they'll stay firmly in the driver's seat for any team effort, but they won't hesitate to sing their co-creators; praises when they inevitably reach success. This is thanks to their ability to see any problem or project from a bird's eye view. My sister exhibits that kind of perspective whenever I ask her for general adulting advice — have I taken a step back and asked anyone else for help? Have I considered that this job might not be well-suited for me?
2 of 4
illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Where a generic astrological profile may list Leo's negative traits as follows: challenging, confrontational, or excessively aggressive, I'd argue that these are poor descriptions for what is, in reality, Leo's desire for a clear narrative. Whether I'm watching my sister talk to her dog's vet or ask for further details on family gossip, she's doing it with the same intensity with which a lion stalks its prey. The thing is, in both scenarios, that level of commitment pays off. The lion eats well for the day and my sister gets the info she wanted in the first place. It's better to come off as "challenging" or "difficult" and be informed, rather than to keep your head down and end up in the dark.
3 of 4
illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Don't panic until you need to.

Leos might be known for their dramatic flair, but that same theatrical instinct gives them excellent timing, too, so they know when to save a grand reaction for when it counts — and when to hold back and wait. Maybe it's my extremely analytical Virgo moon talking, but the urge to overthink and, essentially, panic whenever a plan veers slightly off course is all too real. It's only when I vent to my sister that she points out how the circumstances aren't as dire as they seem — or that they've actually shifted in a way that's beneficial to me. The Leo slogan is "I will" for a reason. Their priority is to progress, to prove themselves, and to ultimately secure their reputation as royalty among the Zodiac. They aren't exactly the most adaptable sign, but they know how to work just about any situation to their advantage — and the first step toward profiting off of a hiccup is usually to freak out as little as possible.
4 of 4
illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Being serious doesn't make you smart.

Okay, Leos can be very self-serious, but in my experience their love of entertaining others usually takes priority over that tendency. And seeing my sister express that desire, to make others laugh, to tell engaging stories, to find the humor in a seemingly frustrating situation, is how I learned the most important lesson a Capricorn can: Acting unseriously doesn't mean others won't take you seriously. Ruled by the bright, warm sun, Leos are a fun-loving bunch at their core, even if they seem too regal or too proud to crack a joke. Emulating that energy is never a bad thing.

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