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Unfinished Business

3 Ways to Handle Unmet Expectations

Have you ever thought of the perfect comeback except it was too late? Maybe someone put you on the spot and you didn’t think of the right response until the ride home. You left the conversation with unfinished business. Once you realized precisely what you wanted to say the chance to show the world your wit and brilliance had passed you by like someone waiting for a bus that has already come and gone.

It’s taking too long

Lately, I have been working on an outside project that is taking much longer than I expected. Ladders, tools, and pieces of wood are spread out all over the place. It has become a huge inconvenience. Not only that but each item is also a reminder that the project I want to be complete is currently just a mess. Parts of my heart can look this way at times as well.

Unfinished business can leave us with an uncomfortable weightiness. It’s like a cold for the soul. What do we do with this feeling? It can come from the abrupt ending of a hope or dream we wanted to work out. It’s the ache in the soul that arrives when people we love depart too soon. We know this feeling when the plans that we meticulously document in the journal of our heart are surprisingly blotted out by someone else’s intrusive marks.

What exactly are we supposed to do with unfinished business?

1. Honesty – This may be the most difficult thing to do, but we first need to be honest with ourselves. We should ask if this should ever have been our plan or desire to begin with. Was this ever the right relationship or career path or is it just wanted I wanted to work out? Is there a better fit elsewhere?

2. Healing – We need to be careful about continuing our journey on broken feet. Pushing through without pausing to heal may appear to be the best path but often leaves us stranded, vulnerable, and worse off than before. Wounded warriors are immortalized in film but are often the first casualties in the story of life when they do not stop to get the help they need. You will encounter pain in your journey but if every step hurts it may be time to not give up, but rest for the sake of finishing well.

3. Hope – Unfinished business can sometimes just be a reminder of who is the one actually writing our story. When we take the pen out of God’s hand we often settle for a dimmer version of the brighter story he had planned for us. Unfinished business reminds us to trust, have faith, and lean on the Author of our lives. You never know what surprise ending He may have in store for us if we insist on our own narrow expectations.

A missed opportunity, a failed accomplishment, and people who leave our lives too soon can leave us with feelings of despair. These are also opportunities for us to not only be reminded where our trust and comfort should really be but to also witness the miracle of God finishing the dream in a way that is beyond anything we could have ever expected.

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Doing too much

Doing less so that you can accomplish more

Have you ever seen someone is “doing too much” or being what we used to call a “try hard”? Maybe they are being inauthentic, trying to impress someone, or overcompensating for some reason. On the basketball court, he is the guy with all the new gear but can’t dribble or shoot. At a party, this may be the person who talks too loud and laughs at his own jokes but no one is really interested. In some ways, we can all be doing too much. It may not be annoying as the person I just described but doing too much can lead to us being less productive overall.

Normally our greatest strengths are also connected to our weaknesses. I have the gift and curse of doing too much. In fact, one of our family values is “hard work.” This is because it is not only a strength of mine but also of Amy. Our parents have a great work ethic and have passed that down to us. It is something we want to pass along to our kids as well. But is there such a thing as doing too much? Are you someone who sometimes has trouble accomplishing everything on your task list?

I didn’t realize how busy I was until the other day when I was on the phone with a friend I listed all the things I was involved in.

1. Training for a half marathon

2. Writing a book

3. Keeping up with a blog (Setting aside time for creative thinking, writing posts, editing posts, creating email marketing campaigns, scheduling social media posts, finding images to support the blog posts, etc.)

4. Working on numerous DIY projects that include finishing a deck, building a pergola, creating a stone pathway, adding a shelf desk in our kitchen, creating a hanging storage system in our garage, etc.

5. Onboarding new employees at ARC

6. For the first time, we were doing two ARC trainings in back to back months followed by the ARC conference

7. Preparing for the ARC conference

8. Reading 5 books at the same time (Leadership Book, Audio Book, Self-help book, funny book, small-group book, and not to mention my daily Bible reading and the book I was reading to Sophie each night)

9 Leading a small group and

10. Preparing a team of 25 for a mission trip to NYC. And I’ll stop here even though some of the most significant challenges we faced as a family are not even listed here.

I wonder what your list would look like?

Here is the thing about doing too much. This list of 10 things is actually not a list of accomplishments but of failures. I know that sounds harsh but I mean failure in three very specific ways.

How Accomplishments Can Become Failures

When we do too much…

  1. ...we don’t do anything to the best of our ability – While doing all of this I was constantly feeling like I was falling short in each specific area because my attention was constantly divided. I couldn’t do one thing without thinking about all the other things that needed to be done. I was exhausted mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually which means I was never able to give my best.
  2. …we fall prey to discouragement – When I would look at my to-do list over the past couple of months I would often get so discouraged that I would not feel like doing anything. If there were only a couple of items on the list I could have been energized to get them accomplished. In my case, the shadow from the mountain of tasks before me often darkened my day before it even began.
  3. …we live by the tyranny of the urgent instead of by the priority of our values – A long list of activities and accomplishments may be impressive to some. My experience has taught me that doing a lot often means not doing what is most important. What is not on the list above is being a husband, dad, child of God, and being a witness of Jesus Christ. When we try to do too much we often end up sacrificing the things that are most important on the altar of accomplishment.

In the past couple of months I have not been blogging; which is one of my favorite things to do. This is because I have been doing too much which is an old habit of mine that is resurfacing. Learning lots of lessons from this and maybe it will give me content for future posts. For today I will wrap up with this thought: The key to doing more is actually doing less. We have to learn to edit the good things in order to be focused on the God things.

Thoughts for reflection:

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What weaknesses are connected to your strengths? How can you manage this?
  2. What are your priorities in life? How can you arrange your to-do list to match your priorities and values as a person?
  3. What good things need to be edited in your life in order to focus on the God things?
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Moses CEO Part 2

4 Steps to Lead Your Team Out of Dysfunction

Moses returned from his executive retreat to find his organization in total disarray (Exodus 32:9-10). You can see the four decisions that lead to this disaster in my previous post. The results of Aaron’s passive leadership led to the group getting off mission, internal corruption, and dangling on the edge of total destruction.

How Moses responded to this dysfunctional situation shows us how to problem solve and lead in an organization. I read this story in Exodus while I was also going through the book, The Five Dysfunctions of Team. This caused me to wonder what Moses would do if he was the CEO of a corporation, church, or non-profit. You do not have to be an executive to learn from Moses’s example. You can make difference in any position with these 4 steps,

Take responsibility (Exodus 32:10-11)

Moses was not willing to be promoted at the expense of his team. Instead he took responsibility for something that was out of his control so his team could succeed together. He didn’t blame others. He looked for the best version of his team and refocused on their original vision (the future) instead of focusing on their failure (the past) or current circumstances (the present).

Be proactive instead of reactive (Exodus 32:19-20)

When Moses returned from his leadership retreat and saw that things were in disorder, he immediately took action. Moses did not sweep the situation under the rug and move on. He didn’t take a vote to see who wanted to keep the detestable golden calf. He addressed the root of the issue. He made sure a crack in their foundation would not compromise the integrity of the team, even if it meant a painful immediate adjustment.

Prioritize what is right over what was popular (Exodus 32:25-26)

Moses was willing to step away from what was popular in order to prioritize what was right. Sometimes groups can do more wrong than individuals. When no one speaks up, we all assume everyone else is in agreement. The reality is many times others are just waiting for someone else to speak up. Who is waiting on you to prioritize what is right over what is popular and stand with you?

Be loyal (Exodus 32:30-32)

Behind closed doors Moses was for his team. He was not in denial that they had made a mistake, but was willing to honor them when their behavior could only be seen as a liability to him. Not only that, but Moses also honored up by seeking God in this situation instead of taking matters into his hands.

Moses was not a perfect CEO, and he did not lead a perfect team. However, he did many things right and does have a special place of honor in the hall of faith. Ultimately we look to model Jesus in everything we do, and we can see Christ in how Moses led his team.

What is Your Gold Calf?

The gold calf is present in every team and organization, even the most healthy ones. It represents the one things that obviously needs to change, but we dance around it or are unwilling to admit it. We can make a lot of little adjustments, but until we find our golden calf and are willing to confront the weaknesses in our own leadership, little will change.

What lessons do you see in leadership from the story of the Golden Calf?

What are Jesus style leadership traits that seem to contradict worldly wisdom?

Which of these four traits are a weakness for you.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Be the first to get the next one by subscribing here.

If you are interested in a great leadership fable that talks about pulling together as a team checkout The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

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Moses CEO Part 1

Aaron COO: 4 Leadership Mistakes

Moses took over a failing corporation that had a brilliant founder, but was plagued by internal discord. After delivering some miraculous results that impacted the world, these people found themselves under dictatorial leadership. Moses comes in to lead them to the Promise Land but not without some resistance and lessons we can all learn from along the way.

What Went Wrong?

Before we look at what Moses did right let’s see what Aaron the COO did wrong. Moses was away at an executive retreat with his assistant, Joshua. Meanwhile Aaron is left to lead the organization, and we see he makes a few common mistakes right of the bat.

He didn’t honor up (Exodus 32:1)

When the people complained against Moses, Aaron didn’t step up to honor his leader with a defense. Instead of guarding Moses’s leadership, Aaron gave room for complaints and tried to be the solution to the void people saw in Moses’s leadership.

He didn’t practice sacrificial leadership (Exodus 32:2-3)

Aaron had the people bring their best to him instead of him giving them his best. Getting to the top is not about having the most people serving you. Filling a leadership role is about being in the best position to serve the most people. The top of the org chart is not for those who want to prop their feet up.

He put a spiritual skin on a selfish ambition (Exodus 32:4)

It is very easy in church environments to mistake grand plans for God’s plan. We must be careful to not call something God that didn’t originate with Him. We shouldn’t dress up a need to be noticed with a good cause. God’s plans always draw people closer to Him, before they lift up the false idols of success, competition, and popularity.

His was reactive instead of proactive (Exodus 32:5)

Aaron waited for the problem to occur, and then chose a solution that would be the most popular over the most effective. We must lead with foresight and learn from hindsight. Reactive leaders display passivity in moments of need, and prioritize stabilizing the boat instead of plugging the hole.

Conclusion

The result of Aaron’s leadership is that his team drifted off mission and began to crumble from the inside out (Exodus 32:7-8). He lost the leadership battle by allowing his position to become about him, and then protecting that position by pleasing people. Reactive leaders see pleasing people as the solution, while proactive leaders know protecting people is the priority. Reactive leaders don’t want to compromise their popularity, while proactive leaders don’t want to compromise the values that protect people and the vision that keeps the mission clear and secure.

This is part 1 of 2 of Moses CEO. Next up are the four things Moses did to turn this situation around. Be the first to get the latest post by subscribing here.

If you are interested in a great leadership fable that talks about pulling together as a team checkout The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

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Crossing the Line

4 Questions that show you have gone from honest to harsh

How do we know when sharing truth has needlessly moved from bold compassion to insensitive confrontation? We have to be able to honest without being harsh. In my previous post I talked about sharing our opinion without burning bridges. Today I would like to explore how to know when we have crossed that line. Here are four questions to ask that show if we have gone from apologetics to just annoying.

Am I correcting or embracing?

Correcting before disarming undermines our influence. When it becomes about being right instead of using our influence to help others we need to change gears. We don’t want to correct people we want to influence them. If we want to walk with someone to a new destination then we should probably start with an embrace, or at least a handshake, instead of a finger in their face.

Am I invading or inviting?

We need to make sure people actually want to hear what we have to say before we say it. If not, we are just wasting everyone’s time. Getting things off our chest is about us. Doing this sacrifices our leadership collateral. Blowing off some steam online alienates others from the very truth we want to give them.

Am I building walls or bridges?

Walls divide and protect while bridges connect and protect. We shouldn’t live in a world without either. We just need to be wise in how we use them. One way we build walls in a wrong way is by making ultimatums. This forces people to accept everything we say without us seeking to understand the other side. Ultimatums divide but they don’t protect. A bridge allows people to take one step at a time until we are walking side by side.

Am I leading by example?

Sometimes it seems we can actually see people winding up at the beginning of an online post before delivering their fastball of truth. They got it over the plate but it came by so fast that no one could hit it. We should make sure are goal is to influence and not just attack. We must be careful we are not lashing out at those we want to learn from us.

How can we set an example of disarming that is easy to follow? Slow down before we post. Ask ourselves if we have left room for the small but all to often case we are not right. If we can’t walk a statement back if we are wrong then maybe it needs to be rephrased. Considered that there may be more to the story that we haven’t discovered yet. 

Lines in the sand

We need to do what Jesus did and extend truth with grace. He drew a different kind of line in the sand. His lines caused people to put down their stones and change their ways. In the same way we should also kneel down to where people are instead of only expecting them to climb up to our platform of truth.

I hope these two posts help us influence others instead of being isolated from them. Social media can be a great tool. Following these steps may help us use our online platforms to work for us instead of against us.

For more thoughts on this subject check out Chris Hodges’s book The Daniel Dilemma.

 

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Bridges of Opinion

4 ways to share truth without burning bridges

I recently read a post on social media that was right but wasn’t very friendly. I wondered if the thought would have gotten more traction if it would have been shared with a smile. When we are right but don’t present our truth in a right way we alienate ourselves. This not only discourages us but also keeps our solutions from those who need them most.

How do we share truth without burning bridges? There are probably many ways, but here are four that came to me.

Disarm

We disarm people with humility. By stating the obvious like, we don’t know everything, we could be wrong, and that we are just presenting one way of seeing things, we cause people to put down their defenses. When we make big statement and don’t give room for the perspective of others we only get both sides more entrenched in what they already believe.

Build a bridge

Making dogmatic statements or targeting certain groups with identifiable phraseology is like firing shots over the bow. People aren’t going to come out to listen in this situation. They are going to duck and cover, or fire back.

Making “we” instead of “you” statements says we are in this together. This builds the bridge to their understanding. So does owning our part of past mistakes. It is easier for people to join us by crossing a bridge that we extended than it is to climb down and then up the cliffs of our different opinions.

Invite people over

We need to make sure we have earned the right to instruct the group of people we want to influence. A social media account doesn’t magically make us an expert. Acknowledging that by inviting people to be part of a conversation instead of just asking them to “like” our bold statements grows our influence more than a single post ever could.

One way to do this it to ask sincere questions. Judgmental questioning that casts blame doesn’t help. This just points out how others are on what we see as the wrong side. It doesn’t invite them over to what we believe is the right side.

Embrace them

Abraham Lincoln is famous for preserving the Union. His life also shows that he was able to build a team of rivals instead of like minded friends to lead our nation. He was once accused of treating his enemies too kindly. He responded by saying, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” When was the last time you “destroyed” an enemy in this way?

We should be careful not to take positions that make it impossible to embrace people if they do come to our side. When someone lashes out respond with grace. Billy Hornsby said that anytime we back someone into a corner we should be wiling to let them out. Give room for there to be people different than you on your side of an argument. If not, there won’t be room for anyone to make their way over from the other side. Once they do make sure you embrace them.

This is only part one of two on sharing truth without burning bridges. In my next post I am going to talk about how to know when you have crossed the line from apologetics to just plain annoying. Subscribe and not only will you be the first to know when the post is out, but I will also give you a free gift.

For more thoughts on this subject check out Chris Hodges’s book The Daniel Dilemma.

 

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Happy Birthday Blog

Fish Out of Church Turns 4

It was on this day four years ago I posted my first blog on fishoutofchurch.com. I now blog on a new domain but my blogging journey would not have been possible without that first post. I have learned so much from this experience and am so happy I decided to venture into the unknown world of sharing my story in a vulnerable way.

One of my favorite things about blogging are the people who have reached out to connect with me as a result of sharing my story. Hearing their stories has been refreshing to me. Another favorite part, that is kind of comical, is when I share a low point in my life and I get a messages saying how much that post encourages people! I always wonder, “what is it about me being discouraged that others find so encouraging?!?!” Of course I know people find it refreshing when you are raw, honest, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

I started blogging with the goal of creating 52 posts and turning those posts into a book. I thought if I could get that far then I might have enough content to create a full-length book. Since that time I have written hundreds of posts on numerous different topics, but publishing the Fish Out of Church story is still my top priority.

You may be wondering what is taking so long or why have I written other books if that is my goal? Good questions. The most obvious answer to me is that I do not feel the final chapter of the book has been written yet. I believe there is one more plot twist to the story that is yet to reveal itself to me. I can’t wait for that, to write it down, and share it with you.

Even though I have self published three books so far none of those are full-length books. I have one short story and two ebooks that I have turned into paperbacks. You can get one of them for free when you subscribe to my blog or get the others on Amazon.

If you have ever had the desire to write, even just a little, I would suggest you do it! We need to hear your story. Your voice counts! Write over the heads of your fears and let your words soar. Set them free from the cage of whatever fear has locked them up. Looking back on the past 4 years I am so glad I stepped out to write when I didn’t know if I was good enough, if people would read, or if what I put out there would be celebrated. You shouldn’t write just for you, but you will probably be the one to most benefit from the process.

Thanks so much for following along. I believe the best is yet to come for me and for you.

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Make Friends Not Points

3 Benefits of Connecting before Correcting

In my last post I shared how a battle for an armrest turned into an opportunity to share my faith. While this was happening I was actually reading the book The Daniel Dilemma by my pastor Chris Hodges.

After getting off the plane I would later come to the chapter “Connecting before Correcting”. In it Pastor Chris begins with a story of another uncomfortable encounter on a plane. Eventually the door opened for him to share the gospel. I thought this was pretty interesting considering how similar the story was to my own and that it took place I was reading this very book.

This chapter ended up being one of my favorites from The Daniel Dilemma. Here are some of highlights.

Highlights from The Daniel Dilemma

As followers of Jesus we have real hope. And we’re called to share it. But how we share it makes a difference.

Sharing your faith is all about relationship, not being right or slick presentations.

We’re not trying to prove we’re right. We’re just trying to be effective.

Jesus connected with people before he corrected them.

People don’t care what you know; first, they want to know that you care.

We have to earn someone’s respect before we can build a relationship. And we have to have relationship before we can have influence.

Evangelism is not telling people what they should do; it’s telling them what happen in you.

I used to feel a lot of pressure when it came time to share my faith but also didn’t want things to get awkward. Eventually that changed when I shifted my perspective from convincing people I was right to valuing people in my community. Instead of trying to make a point I began focusing on making friends. If we do a good job of that eventually the other person will ask about the things we care about and talking about our faith will happen naturally.

Three Ways This Helped Me Share My Faith

Takes the Pressure Off

When we put all this pressure on ourselves things get weird and the other person can sense this. We stop being authentic and it turns people off. Sometimes we even put pressure on people to hear our point which actually takes away from it.

Sets Other Believers Up for Success

Even if you don’t get to “close the deal” you can still set the next Christian that person encounters up for success. When you genuinely care about others because they are people and not just a potential convert or worse, someone on the other team, then they are more likely to hear out the next Christian they meet.

Surprise Teacher

Listening may be our most effective tool in evangelism. I am often surprise by what I am able to learn from those in the past I only saw as someone I wanted to teach. Sometimes you don’t know what you need to share until you have first listened to someone else share. Not every person you meet is someone God wants you teach. Sometimes God brings people into our lives he wants to teach us.

Stand Firm & Love Well

I was so excited to hear that Pastor Chris was writing a book on how to stand firm and love well in a culture of comprise. I love how he is always able to balance loving people in a relevant way and sharing God’s truth. If that sounds like something you would be interested in than I recommend checking out The Daniel Dilemma for your self.

What were your favorite parts of The Daniel Dilemma?

Do you have a favorite airplane story?

What happens when we get connecting and correcting turned around in relationships and in ministry on a larger scale?

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Armrest Battle

A surprising lesson in sharing my faith

Awkwardness and Faith

Have you ever wrestled for an armrest on a plane? I often have experiences where I feel like a spot in line is a fight to the death. My passive aggressive side or just plain aggressive side comes out when strangers seem to violate these kind of unspoken rules that keep our society together. Maybe you are oblivious to these types of things but if something like this has ever annoyed you then you may want to read on.

I recently had an experience on a flight where the person sitting next to me changed the armrest battle game for ever. He is like the Tiger Woods of hogging the armrest. Instead of fighting over who would get the armrest he used a “unique” startegy that took the only comfort a middle seat person has out of play altogether! At the time I didn’t realize this armrest battle would come to symbolize something that would strengthen my ability to share my faith.

The Gamble

It was gamble, but I went ahead and did it. I chose a middle seat to be close to the front of the plane. When it came time to take my seat I noticed a hefty guy sitting in the window seat spread across half of my seat as well. When I sat down he didn’t budge. So I put down the armrest that fell squarely on his leg. Again, he didn’t move.

So I did the only thing a friendly person would do. I began pushing the armrest down into his leg so that he would hopefully get the passive aggressive point that he was in my seat as well as his own. His response – nothing. Even though he wasn’t giving me my seat back I just left the armrest sitting on his leg as a reminder of how he was inconveniencing me on this short 30 minute connection flight.

Then things got a little dicey. Our short connection turned into a 2 hour delay on the ground. My seat buddy didn’t seem to mind because he had his legs spread out comfortable into my area with a tablet watching a raunchy chainsaw murder movie. I decided to read a book while we waited to take off, but I have to admit his movie was a distraction.

A Sign of Defeat?

If I was to judge simply by his movie selection and lack of compassion for others on this place I would have to conclude that maybe I should take a moment to talk to me new seatmate about the love of God. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to lift up the armrest. I didn’t want to though because it would be a sign of defeat. I would be giving up on the battle for my seat.

Then another raunchy seen came on the tablet. I thought, “Ok, I need to say something. I understand he has the freedom to watch whatever he wants, but it is only 5:00 a.m. in the morning. The lights are out in the cabin, and his screen is illuminating my world like a flashlight in my face while sleeping in the middle of the night. I might as well share a little light myself.”

Giving up Ground

I lifted the armrest and tapped him on the shoulder. He paused his movie at a not so well-timed spot, and took out his headphones. At this point things could have gone a lot of different directions. I could have confronted him about his overall rudeness. I could have handed him a gospel tract and then followed an evangelism script. I didn’t choose any of these.

I asked him about his family, his work, and what brought him to Birmingham. His flight was re-routed and he had spent the night in the airport. We talked some more and then weirdly after about an hour and half of conversation the timer on my watch went off. I didn’t remember setting it and I must have accidentally hit a timer while skimming around for what space remained of my seat.

Times Up

When this happened I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Times up. Go ahead and share with him what you know you need to say.” Then I told him I think I may know why his plane was delayed. I believe God is pursuing his heart. Sometimes life takes a different direction then we expect but God knows what is happening all along.

He was from a small town in West Virginia without any church background. I shared the gospel with him. I was a little rusty in my presentation. It had been a while since I have shared so directly with a stranger like this. But he received it well and I learned a lesson in the process.

Gaining Ground

Sometimes we have to be willing to give up ground if we want to be able to gain ground later. We must give allowances for people’s faults and short comings if we want any chance to influence them through those areas. In other words, we need to be willing to lift the armrests in our lives between us and those we want to influence for Jesus. We don’t need to let the things that don’t matter keep us from getting to the only thing that matters.

If I would have asked him to just go ahead and turn off his crazy movie do you think he gives me a chance to share the gospel? I don’t think so. Does doing that get to the root of any issue? Again, no. I am glad I lost that armrest battle.

If we are going to build bridges to where people are we need to give up ground on our end first and hopefully, if they are willing, they will offer us the same once the bridge gets to their side as well.

 

The Daniel Dilemma by Chris Hodges teaches us to love well and stand firm. Check it out!

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Pushing Through Your Fears

3 Answers to the Problem of Fear

In my previous post I talked about not failing before you start. Sometimes we have voices that come to embody the fear that keeps us from trying. When we listen to them we fail before we even start. If this sounds like something you have faced then you may want to check out that post.

In this post I wasnt to discuss how to answer the fears that cause us to question taking a step of faith. What do you do when doubt keeps you from doing something different from what you see other people doing? Here are three ways I keep fear from derailing my momentum.

Inspire the prisoners

When dealing with the fears that come with writing in a vulnerable and authentic way a friend of mine encouraged me with this thought, “Wright to the prisoners; not the guards.”

Instead of trying to convince those who may disagree with us look for those in need of inspiration. Don’t be afraid of those guarding old paradigms but also don’t waste your time trying to convince them to give up old ways of thinking. You’d be better off giving hope to the prisoner looking for a way out and watch the magic happen.

Remember why the bird sings

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” This quote is most often attributed to Maya Angelou who also said, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Simply put there is a song inside of all of us that must be let out, not because it is an answer or because it will get unanimous approval, but because it is what we were made to give back to the world. It is more of a burden to keep that in then it is to face the fear to let it out.

What were you created to create?

Tell the truth

When I first started blogging over 10 years ago I most often chose to take the position of an expert. I would pontificate in a  sermon-like style telling other what they should do and how they should live. I wasn’t telling the truth. My insecurities caused my to write as if I had all the answers because I was afraid of admitting the areas where I still had doubts. I never got a big response from those posts. Hmmm…. I wonder why?

Eventually I wanted to change that. So every time I sat down to write I challenged myself with one simple but difficult task – tell the truth. Those three words changed how I wrote. When I would begin to hide behind my expertise I would either throw that post out or begin to tell the truth of how I wrestled or was still wrestling with a topic. That changed everything.

These are three answers I give my doubts when they keep me from writing. I love encouraging people to tell their story through writing but that’s not the only way to face your fears. What is something fear is keeping you from trying that you need to step out and do? What answers do you give fear when it causes you to question your calling? I’d like to hear from you!