It is possible to experience several of the symptoms at the same time as was discussed in the part one of the series which we began last week. Friend, the key is to identify how you cope with your insecurity, and what kind of lies you tell yourself about the reality you face.
Consider this: If the truth makes us free then lies put us in bondage. The level of defeat and bondage you face as a leader may be directly linked to the volume of myths or lies you have embraced about your identity. Our problem is that why we know the truth… we believe the lie. Dr. Chris Thurman has written an insightful book entitled, The Lies We Believe. He provides a helpful process for us to understand.
First you will have to determine the trigger event that fostered the lie/bondage. Example: Your supervisor failed to affirm the hard work you put in on last week’s successful outreach event. You feel resentful and insignificant.
Second you will have to discover the lie you have believed about the situation. Example: Perhaps you have embraced the lie: “I am only as good as what I do.” Here you have attached your value to your performance, and the approval of others.
Decide what response is truthful, appropriate and realistic. Example: My personal worth is tied to who I am, not what I do. My supervisor does appreciate me, but is human like me and likely failed to notice my hard work due to an oversight. After all, he has been very busy himself.
Friend, we must never put our emotional health in the hands of someone else. Understand that the truth is a requirement for our emotional health and that most of our unhappiness and insecurity is the result of the lies we believe. Therefore you will have to recognize that you will believe what you want to believe and that the truth can be overshadow, surpass or outshine by a thrilling lie. Remember that hurting people naturally hurt people; intimidated people intimidate people.
The below are keys to emotional security and they are important for us as leaders to know them:
Identity – As a leader you must tie your self-worth to your identity, not people and performance.
Brokenness – You must allow God to break you of self-sufficiency and self-promotion.
Purpose – You must discover and practice your God-given purpose in life, not someone else’s.
Giving and Receiving – As a leader you must learn to let others love and bless you, and do the same for them.
Friend, it is not a good statement to say work on your weakness. Identify where your strength is and thank God for it. Check yourself each time you compare yourself to someone. Pause and thank God for the differences. Read and listen to motivational material: books, tapes, magazines, etc. Identify the two or three most common lies you believe about yourself. Write down the truth about those areas, and then tell yourself the truth.
Find someone who is “safe” to be a support person. Practice giving and receiving the love, encouragement, and truth you both need. Watch for vulnerable situations: criticism, rejection, meeting someone important, a colleague’s success, failure and unfamiliar territory.
Lastly, remind yourself of the truth: we are to imitate great leaders whom have served well. Leaders like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, etc. These were leaders who served others.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development; strategic planning and team building and management and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. He can be contacted through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776545394).