“What safeguards can a leader put in place in his or her life to prevent falling into the trap of fear?” His question was as good as it was transparent. What can we do as leaders to prevent succumbing to fear?
Our conversation began with his story of what had happened in his new leadership role. He expressed excitement and energy around all that had been happening in his transition to Executive Pastor of a multi-site church. But in the last couple of weeks, his wife had pointed out that his tone was curt and his patience was on the low side of normal for him.
As she spoke truth to him, he realized that his first line of response for challenging circumstances—fear—had grabbed him again. He feared maybe he was “not good enough” to do everything this position required. Thankfully, because he had a truth-teller in his life, he was able to reflect and see what was happening. And now his question to me came from a thoughtful heart—a heart knowing that it could happen again.
As I prayed about my response, I remembered the way he had described the situation prior to his wife’s alert. Almost every sentence he spoke in our conversation began with “I’ve got to.” I could hear in his voice the heaviness of wanting to have all the answers and the pressure of not wanting to disappoint. And then I could hear myself saying these same kinds of things when I am under pressure. There was the clue. I identified the safeguards I would suggest to my friend and place in my own life.
Safeguard #1: Listen for the “I” factor in our conversations.
Listen for statements or thoughts that describe you as “less than” or “more than.” Take notice when most of your sentences begin with “I”. “I’ve got to figure this out!” “I have to have answers for my team.” The truth is that we don’t have all knowledge; no one can be “enough.” When we think we are “enough,” pride is lurking around the corner. In either situation, we have lost perspective.
Safeguard # 2: Go to our Heavenly Father for His perspective.
He will remind you that you are not alone, that you are loved and valued without condition. He will remind you, too, that we are only enough in Him. He will tell you again that perfect love casts out fear.
Safeguard # 3: Take a memory walk back through your life.
Remember the faithfulness of God in the times that were so difficult. Remember how God did not leave you then, and be confident that this time will be no different.
Like this pastor, I stay amazed at how quickly fear comes to overwhelm me. Maybe that happens to you, too. God knew us so well that He filled the Scriptures with reminders to “Fear not” and to “Be courageous” as we put our trust in Him.
When we put safeguards in place—taking the focus off “I,” turning to the Father, and remembering His faithfulness—our fears can be replaced with God-grounded confidence.
Prayer For Today...
Heavenly Father, thank you for paving the way before me and walking beside me. There is nothing I will face today that You cannot help me overcome. There is nowhere I can go where I will stand outside Your presence. I need you, I trust you, and I surrender all my fears to You. Amen
Phyllis Hennecy Hendry serves as the inaugural President and CEO of Lead Like Jesus. Under her capable leadership, Lead Like Jesus has had a global impact. Phyllis has traveled across the United States and various parts of the world to speak and teach the message of Lead Like Jesus. She is a dynamic communicator who gets to the heart of her audiences with messages that come straight from hers. Her messages of truth are clear, personal, filled with stories, and life-changing. She often serves as a keynote and plenary speaker and delights in each opportunity to share the impact of the Lead Like Jesus message in the home, church, and marketplace.
For More Information about Lead Like Jesus or to bring Phyllis Hendry to your organization as a speaker, visit www.LeadLikeJesus.com or call 800.383.6890.