Four common insecurities – fear of failure, fear of rejection, feelings of inadequacy, and a need to prove ones’ self – handicap ministry, leadership, personal relationships, and also contribute greatly to burnout.
Let me give you just a couple of examples of unwanted handicaps these insecurities produce:
Fear of failure leads to playing it safe. Not trying new things. Isn’t that the very antithesis of leadership?
Fear of rejection results in an over-emphasis on pleasing others. Never rocking the boat. When overdone, those kill any chances of overcoming opposition or even of establishing authentic relationships.
Feelings of inadequacy. Of course, none of us are adequate for God’s work. However, excessive self-doubts lead all too easily into energy draining, initiative-zapping depression.
Need to prove one’s self. Those excessively driven to prove their worth and competence view failure as unacceptable. When things go wrong, they cannot stay objective. Their inevitable defensiveness impairs relationships, impedes ability to resolve conflict and ensures an exceptionally thin skin when criticized.
If you suffer from any of those, don’t feel alone.
Instead, focus on two simple, powerful antidotes: self-acceptance + walking in God’s grace.
First, reach out to God in prayer and ask Him to help you accept and walking in His grace. Everything starts there.
Then, determine to develop self-acceptance based on God’s grace. Each one of us must make this journey in our own way. However, I offer the following affirmations for you as a starting place.
Remind yourself regularly:
“I can acknowledge areas of weakness and failing. They do not define me.”
“I am accepted because I am a child of God. I stand in his righteousness. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
“I will never be perfect in this life. I am ok with that. I am ok with me.”
“My mistakes do not define who I am. I learn from them and I view mistake as an opportunity to grow.”
“I will forgive myself. Life is too short to hold a grudge, even against myself.”
“I will not pressure myself (or others) to be perfect.”
“I can learn from criticisms.”
“I do not need to defend myself. “
I pray that these simple, yet powerful affirmations prove to be a blessing in your life. Will you commit to self-acceptance? You will experience greater and greater joy as you do.