The anatomy of self-doubt

Do you find it hard to trust yourself? Are you scared of taking decisions because you’re afraid to make mistakes and bear the consequences?

Self-doubt is a thief who will steal your joy, your sense of self-worth and self-confidence; it will keep you in a stupor too fearful to try things out and discover their outcome.

Self–doubt immobilizes you with fear. You dread taking risks because you do not want to fail.

But the truth is, in life we can’t achieve much without stepping out to try things out and then see what we get at the end of the road. We only have to trust God at such moments to lead and guide us in the right direction, and to bring us back on track when we go astray.

What are some of the things that provoke self-doubt?

  • You’ve messed up too many times in life and you’re afraid to mess up another time. You prefer to play it safe this time.
  • You’ve been disappointed so often; you’d rather be careful.
  • You’ve been hurt too much; you won’t let it happen to you again; your guards are always up.
  • You’ve often been told you’re no good; you now belief it’s true. You don’t want to confirm that ugly report.
  • The devil is plaguing you with the spirit of fear and dread. You are under captivity and you need deliverance.
  • You just hate trying out new things; you’re the comfort zone kind of person.

Self-doubt in itself is not bad, especially the kind that pushes you to ask questions, try out new recipes and do research to find answers. This can actually lead to self-improvement which we all need.

What I’m talking about here is the kind of negative, tormenting self-doubt that makes you to devalue yourself and to doubt your own capability at achieving anything great.

When we understand that God has promised never to leave us or abandon us, that He will not be very angry with us for messing us, that He will readily take us back and continue to love us even when we’ve made mistakes, we will be more willing to take bold steps and to leap forward, counting on Him to see us through.

So what is the cure for self-doubt?

Trust that God knows your doubt and that He’s ready to give you answers when you ask him questions. Trust that He will faithfully guide and lead you along the way. Trust that Christ in you is wisdom, power and a sound mind.

Good luck to you all as you take bold steps and great leaps forward to achieve great things in this year 2016.

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LEADERSHIP: THE CLASSROOM SCENARIO

Today I’ll like to look at leadership in the classroom. I’m considering the teacher to be the one in the leadership position here.

How can I lead in the classroom without becoming bossy or lousy? I’ll like to share my experiences in this area.

First of all we need to know a few truths about the youth we have under our care.

  • Students neither like nor have any respect for dictatorial teachers.
  • They are suspicious when you become too bossy.
  • They want to be heard and not seen only.
  • They want to be understood and not hated when they make jokes.
  • Undeserved punishment will provoke very negative reactions.
  • They are comfortable with teachers who sometimes come down to their level of experience without losing their own dignity.
  • They like teachers who are firm but just in their decisions; they respect such leaders.
  • Most of them are always trying to self-assert. They need to be understood and guided.

So, how do I manage my classroom as a teacher/leader in the face of the above reality?

  • Be just, but be respectful in your justice.
  • Establish the rules and never back down because you feel threatened.
  • Be firm, but avoid unjustifiable punishment.
  • Relax, smile and contribute in the joke, even when you are the target.
  • Know when to get out of the joke into more serious issues.
  • Don’t try to portray yourself as the superman who never makes mistakes; they will help you make some, and then they will laugh at you.
  • Show compassion to those who deserve it without provoking pity for them.
  • Be the example or model, but without too much self-publicity.
  • Give them their required dose, and don’t promise what you can’t afford.
  • Don’t try to please everyone. Strive to give everyone what they need.

Good luck in your teaching career. Have a positive impact on the future generation.

SELF-LEADERSHIP: HOW GOOD ARE YOU AT IT?

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He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down without walls (Proverbs 25:28).

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city (Proverbs 16:32).

If we consider leadership to be the ability to show the way, give direction and rally forces to achieve a specific goal, then the above passages are simply telling us that we must be able to give ourselves direction, be able to identify and positions ourselves on the right path before ever attempt help others achieve the same goal.

The first passage suggests that the inability to rules one’s spirit, that is, to lead oneself leads to disorder and chaos.

  • Lack of self-control or restrain
  • In ability to defend oneself from intruders
  • Vulnerability to invasions of all kinds

This is the image of a city that is broken down and without walls. There is no telling what could happen to it at any given time.

The second passage talks about the importance of developing self-discipline and self-rule; then we can steer others in the same direction.

How can I possibly rule the city I just conquered if I can’t rule my own spirit? Do I have control over my…

  • Emotions?
  • Temperament?
  • Appetite and desires?
  • Attitude and responses?

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  • How do I react in the face of opposition?
  • How do I act or react when I’m angry?
  • What is my attitude when I realize I made a mistake?
  • How do I handle my desire and appetite, especially when they seem to get out of control?
  • Can I say ‘yes’ even when everything in me is saying ‘no’?

Every human being is called to lead in one way or the other.

We lead in the home, in the classroom, in church or at the job. Sometimes we spontaneously find ourselves in a leadership position we hardly anticipated a few minutes back; for instance helping children across a buy street or supervising a rescue mission we run into.

The way we handle ourselves will determine how well we lead those we are responsible for.

The same measurement you use…

We are all called to serve under some form of leadership or another. We are faced with the challenge of submitting to people who might not be as talented, wise or educated as we expect. We could be tempted to despise and even openly criticize their every move because we know better or we think we do.

We should however never fail to realize that only those who wear the shoe know where it pinches. It is easier to follow than to lead. It is easier to observe at a distance and conclude that you would do a better job if you were in the leader’s seat.

But the truth is that once you find yourself in that position you are faced with reality and variables that render your magic plan very impossible. You begin to realize that the head that wears the crown has more than an issue to deal with.

What am I saying then?

We should seek to correct, suggest, propose, call attention to things we consider out of place and even dangerous for the enterprise, home, cooperation etc. But we should do all in love, knowing that the leadership seat is not always as easy as that of the follower.

Give your leader some benefit of doubt and be kind in the way you seek to contribute. Tomorrow you could find yourself in his or her position and you may even find yourself acting the same way he did because you just realized there were variables you didn’t know about when you were still a follower.

Be the kind of follower who brings joy to leadership.