Something to Say About Leadership…What is Insecurity?

In life we hear the word insecurity often. We use this word to describe people who lack confidence, people who wear their emotions on their sleeves, and people who are enamored with the idea of pleasing other people.

What is insecurity really? The dictionary defines it as an unsafe feeling. A state of mind characterized by self-doubt and vulnerability. So insecurity is a feeling of not being secure. It is a feeling of being a target for hurt or harm, when you get right down to it insecurity in its true meaning is just plane fear, the fear that we are not safe.

We’ve thought of insecurity as an overly emotional state, immaturity, and a lack of confidence. All these things characterize insecurity. They also Characterize fear. Insecurity simply means I’m afraid I’m going to be rejected. It means I’m afraid I’m going to fail. It means I’m afraid I’m going to hurt. It means I’m afraid to risk. It means I just don’t feel safe.

We can all see how this can sabotage a leader. This type of thinking paralyzes a leader. Keeps them from moving forward. Keeps their focus on their performance not the vision. What we need to do however is remove the mystery from the word insecurity and just call it what it is, Fear. Say it after me. “I am afraid.” We all go through this at different times. It’s what we do in those times that matters. Will we see insecurity for what it is and eliminate it, or will we see it as a small weakness and let it stay. It’s fear, and if you are a leader fear is your mortal enemy!

Fear is the enemy of the leader. That’s the way we should look at it. We need to listen and believe the bible. Romans 8:15 says, “we have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry abba father. It says in Timothy, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind. So Fear does the transverse of this passage. It eliminates love, makes us feel weak, and paints us into a corner of confusion. Fear is an enemy to the leader.

We need to understand the power Insecurity and fear can have if we allow it in our lives. What does it cause? If I fear people’s opinions than I can’t lead with a clear vision, If I fear taking a risk, or failing, then I will stick with the status quo. If I fear rejection from people I will be obsessed with my performance and never feel like I’m good enough. It really is a killer of leadership. We must force it out of our lives.

I taught our staff today, on the idea that leading progress requires courage. Its possible to lead and not be moving forward, Moses did it for 40 years in the wilderness. It took courage for Joshua to get it moving forward. God told Joshua in the book of Joshua chapter one, to “be strong and of good courage and not to be afraid” four times. He was getting the point across to Joshua that it was going to take courage to lead to the fulfillment of the dream, to do the right things, to stand against fear itself, and bottom line it takes courage to lead people. It requires us to do the uncomfortable, to confront, and to influence others.

When I was starting out, I wanted everyone to like me. I thought that was leadership. It made me second-guess my communication. I wondered constantly if I was measuring up. It caused me to compete with others in my own mind, and to compare myself with others. I was afraid I would be rejected or I wouldn’t succeed. It wasn’t until I realized leadership is a “stand alone” place much of the time and It takes courage to help people. You can’t help people if you are constantly seeking their approval, because then it’s all about you and not them.

There are ways to defeat this fear. There are perspectives we must have, and perspectives we must change to defeat this enemy. It can be done.

Next blog I will talk about the first way to overcome insecurity, and how our perspectives can create either a vicious cycle of fear, or a victories cycle of confidence.

Hope this is helping you. Please comment on fears you have faced in leadership and how you have overcome them.

-David

Its a dark and rainy day….

I love days like this, I don’t know why but they slow me down. They cause me to think. To reflect and to meditate on things to come. I am thinking of the true possibilities of our Global Reach for Justice in Rwanda. We are leaving on June the 8th. I was meeting with the team just days ago, and we ask the question, “why do you think you are supposed to go on this trip?” There were many different answers. Some said, “I want to help the children,” while others said, “I’m not sure what I can do but I want to help change things for the people of Rwanda.” They all truly gave good answers.

I think we all should take time to ask that question about our lives in General, as to why we do what we do. Why are you involved in this or that? Where are you serving and why? It should bring perspective and clarity.

I asked myself, why are you going to Rwanda this year? My response is simple. To produce potential in people. I see this as one of the main reasons for my life. I have a vision for the potential in people and I feel my assigment in life is to help people realize that potential.

I know when we look at places like Rwanda, we see all the bad things that have happened. After having been there and built so many great relationships, especially with young Men and women who want to lead their country to health, I see a lot of promise and unending wells of potential.

My purpose in going this year, is not to just give a fish, but to teach them how to fish. I have kept relationships going through the web as much as possible, and we are planning a major connection with young leaders when we go. I believe that interaction and teaching, and relationship time is going to make a real difference in the lives of these young Rwandans, and in the life of the future of their country. We are going to help them in humanitarian ways, and in leadership.

How do you change the world, by seeing the potential of change, and producing it.

That’s why I am going to Rwanda. Why do you do what you do? Please share.

overcoming frustration

Many times in the forty years of my life i have battled with frustration. The feeling that things just aren’t working out. The irritation that I’m trying hard to accomplish something and for some reason it just isn’t happening. The consternation that comes with expecting certain responses and results from people and them not living up to it, or worse, expecting big things from myself and not being able to meet a goal, or complete a task or get the results i was aiming at.

Frustration is a killer, its the step before discouragement and depression. Frustration unresolved steals motivation and momentum from your life, and brings everything to a halt. It opens the door to bitterness and offense in our lives, which lead no where but to negative circumstances.

So what is frustration really. Frustration is the difference between Expectation and reality. You expect your kids to behave a certain way, and in reality they are not perfect. Everything between the two is frustration. You expect to be at a certain level in your career by a certain time, but you don’t make it. The difference between what you expected and where you really are is frustration.

Given that life is imperfect, and there will be many times when our reality doesn’t line up with our expectations, how do we keep from being overrun with frustration?

The common Mistake we make is to get focused on our reality. There is nothing wrong with evaluating your reality, or being honest about it, but if we get to obsessed with it, or focused on it, especially in light of its deficiencies in relation to our expectations we will be overcome by frustration.

The answer is to keep our eyes forward, looking forward towards our expectations, moving forward towards stated goals, thinking forward in the direction of our vision, focused on where we are going, not where we have come from.

Expectations are powerful, we should set them high and shoot for them, and as long as we stay focused on that, then at some point our expectations will become our reality. Frustration can destroy that from happening.

Overcome frustration. Focus on your expectations.

David

Take Your Place….

Being out of place is the most uncomfortable and disorienting feeling in the world. It steals our enthusiasm and frustrates our purpose. It can hurt us and others around us. On the other hand being in place is completely satisfying. There is peace when you are in the right place at the right time.

I think of it like a jigsaw puzzle. You have a beautiful picture on the outside of the box, which all the small pieces put together should make. We have, in the Bible, the picture of the purpose and life that God would have us to live. When we pray and seek God and put each one of those elements, seasons, gifts, talents and abilities together in the right place it culminates in the picture that is our God purposed life. The thing about the pieces to a puzzle is they have one place to fit. We can try to force a piece in but it will ruin that piece and the pieces around it, and ultimately the picture will not look like the front of the box.

Being out of place can bring loneliness, confusion, heartache, and apathy to the forefront in our lives. Moses is the biblical person I think of in this scenario. I think sometimes we put his life in a theatrical box and don’t really understand how he felt. The picture of Moses overall life is definitely the picture of a deliverer. The components of his life put together depict his purpose. His personality, his raising, his very name meant “to deliver” or to draw out.

He was raised in Pharaohs household, God’s way of training him for leadership, however because he was a Jew and Identified with his people, he felt out of place. His frustration and zeal combined to push him to act out that frustration. He struck a blow against tyranny and slavery, but was out of place and time for that blow to be struck. This forced him to run. He knew his actions were ill timed and as a result his life begin to spiral out of control. Was he to be Israel’s deliverer? Yes, but this was not the place or the time. God had not finished training him. Inexperience and immaturity will Cause us to act out of frustration even in the direction of our purpose it will put us out of place, as it did him.

Moses, then found himself on the back side of the desert. Even then we see him trying to be a deliverer. There were some young women trying to water their father’s flocks and were being bullied out of the way. Moses stepped in and stood up for them and brought them to the front of the line. He met his wife in that interaction and married, and took on the trade of his father in law. He became a shepherd.

It seems that Moses had resigned himself to his new life. The zeal to deliver seemed to be lost to him, and his people dead to him. We can deny our purpose, we can act like “our life is fine,” but in truth we are hurting and miserable. The way you see it in Moses is in the name of his child. In their culture your name many times held great meeting. Moses named his child just as his mother named him, except she named him in faith. She named him the future deliverer of his people. He named his child to declare his miserable state. He named him Gershom which means Expulsion, or a stranger there. He was practically screaming “I am out of place!” My life was not supposed to turn out like this. It’s not that he wasn’t happy with his wife, or his child, or even his life or occupation, what was missing was the God component, purpose.

It’s very interesting to me that he knew he was out of place, but when God called him, he made excuses, and asked God to get someone else. Sometimes even when we know we’re out of place and in our heart of hearts we’re miserable, missing that one God component, we still make excuses. I think we get comfortable. After all, my life’s not so bad; I have a great life, a good career, a great spouse, wonderful children, and good friends. No more excuses! It’s not about whether or not I have a great life or whether or not I enjoy my life, it is about whether or not I am fulfilling my purpose. We can’t get comfortable with life in the wrong place.

When Moses finally surrendered God gave him the courage to act on his purpose by delivering the Israelites out of the hand of Egypt. He broke the generations free from the shackles that held them. What significant thing is yet to happen as a result of your purpose or dream? It’s going to happen if we get in place. Moses wasn’t meant to be pharaoh’s son, nor was he to be just Jethro’s son in law the shepherd, He was meant to be Moses, the deliverer of the people of God. He found meaning when he found his right place. Find satisfaction, peace and the realization of God’s purpose in your life as you take your place.

David