Fostering the growth of young leaders is something I’ve found to be one of my greatest passions in life and a primary goal of my ministry, Unashamed Impact. I wanted to look at some of the common hindrances that I’ve experienced in my own journey of purpose. I’ve also seen some of these hindrances locking up the greatest potential of many around me. If you find yourself struggling with the issues below, I ask that you sincerely take a meaningful moment to address them. We can’t change what we’re not willing to confront.
- Apprehensive Communication
Our communication can be muddy for various reasons. Here are just a few.
- Hesitation and uncertainty will keep us from clear communication. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and say it boldly. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, there’s a good chance others won’t either.
- Sometimes we have not yet sufficiently consolidated the ideas we are trying to share with others. Make sure your thoughts are in order before presenting your ideas. If the concept isn’t simple and clean, it may get lost in translation. If you are not already clear about the idea, you will not be able to communicate it clearly to anyone else. What are you trying to accomplish, and how do you want to go about it?
- Assumed Expectations
One of the most common causes for communication breakdown is failure to get on the same page. What are your expectations? Make the gray areas clear so nothing is left to assumption. What are your plans for each person’s involvement, and what are the anticipated results? What is the end? What is the process or route to that end? This is not only “good business,” but it is also an important key for effective and influential relationships in all realms. Make sure everyone is looking at the same map from the beginning – with the same picture of expectations.
- Fear of Failure
Holding back for fear of failure is very common. This fear continually rears its ugly head to block us from our full potential.
- The pressure to meet the expectations of others can be crippling. Focus instead on the fact that as God calls us, He also enables us and equips us for the work He has given us.
- A poor self-image, or not seeing ourselves as God sees us, can prevent you from accomplishing the very thing you’ve set after. A lot of people drop out of the race early from the simple fear of “measuring up.”
- The possibility of failure is always in front of anyone who steps out in some new direction. But it is those who risk pushing the limits who get to see how far they can really go. Sure, mistakes will be made, but they’re proof that you’re trying. Let’s learn from our mistakes! A healthy leader’s approach to making a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct it, and learn from it. This literally can turn a failure into a success.
- Cowering to Opinions
What people think about you is none of your business – yes, none of your business. You take care of your character, and your reputation will take care of itself. You can never truly be who you are if you’re constantly driven to be who you think people want to see. You’ll soon find that you cannot please everyone. It’s the quickest way to lose yourself and the unique qualities that make you you.
Just be a first-rate version of you instead of trying to be a second-rate imitation of someone else. Be true to deep principles and don’t worry about people’s shallow opinions. A leader is one who goes the way and shows the way – staying principle-centered rather than people-centered. How can we change the world if we are busy trying to look just like it? We diminish our genuine effectiveness trying to be anyone other than ourselves.
Break free from the chains of people’s opinions. Develop a healthy self-talk instead. What do you think about yourself? Self-awareness is the ability to think about how we think, and the fact that you can separate yourself from your thoughts and review them proves that you are not your thoughts. Even our own opinions of ourselves can often be just as shallow as what others think. So instead of being bound by the opinions of others and ourselves, begin to develop a healthy meditation of yourself first. The opinion that matters is God’s! He has called you and He is at work in you to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). You are His project and all that matters is what He sees as your full potential (Eph. 2:10).
Pause and Reflect:
Think about the main points of this article and pray about your answers to these questions:
1. Where have I been uncertain in communication due to hesitation and wrong assumptions?
2. Where have I been so afraid of failing that I refuse to get out of the boat and walk to Jesus?
3. When have I cowered to shallow and fickle opinions – of others and myself?
– LeaderSource SGA
Good insights, Brittney. Thanks.
Some of our apprehension arises from reactions we have suffered from insecure men who have other fears: fear of losing control, fear of being exposed, fear of job insecurity, fear of being blamed.