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Be Honest: You Don’t Have It All Together

And you don’t have to.

Next Steps

Consider the leadership façade you present. On the inside we may cling to each day, biting our cheek, gasping. But to others we look like we have it all together. Can you feel the freedom in confessing to others your slip ups, stress, and shortcomings? This releases our performance-based leadership into the arms of God. It invites us to look heavenward and rest our narrative in the God of the universe who always has been, and always will be, all that we ever need.

This is all, of course, easier said than done. But there are baby steps we can take together to throw out the façade of having it all together and free both ourselves and the people we minister to. Consider these six next steps:

Shatter the myths.

When someone exclaims that you seem to have it together, have it all, or have it “so good,” point out that it’s not true. Don’t refute the compliment, but be honest. I like to say something like, “Well, you caught me in a good moment.” This kind of response helps to remind others that their perceptions are not our reality.

Beware of FOMO (fear of missing out).

Many of us achieve at high levels because we are afraid. We’re haunted by the “what if” questions of life: what if I pass up that opportunity? What if I don’t do enough, what if I say no? Rather than focus on what you could potentially miss out on, celebrate what you’re gaining. We can’t do it all, and we will miss out on some things. But we have to decide what’s most important right now, in this moment.

Be vulnerable.

Time to get your Brené Brown on. Take the risk and lead with humility and vulnerability. Be honest about your weaknesses, invite others into your process, and share both your successes and failures when they come.

Don’t lead alone.

We were created for community. When we live and lead in isolation it’s easy to hide our flaws and fool both ourselves and others into thinking we do have it all. Community is a fast way to dismantle any illusions of having it all while bolstering one another when we struggle.

Synchronize your calendars at home.

Make every conceivable effort to sync your calendar with your spouse or other people who impact your daily life. It's the easiest way to avoid missed appointments and to anticipate conflicts. This sounds like a simple tip, but it can actually be very challenging. Make every attempt at calendar harmony.

Embrace the chaos.

If you’re married or live with others, keep it real by embracing it. Many times the stress we feel is because we’ve been afforded tremendous opportunity. So embrace it, admit calamity and chaos, link arms, and remember to have one another's backs when the storms hit.

Tracey Bianchi serves as the Worship and Teaching Pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook (in the burbs of Chicago. For more musings like this, check out her latest book, True You: Moving Beyond Self-Doubt and Using Your Voice, or her website: traceybianchi.com.

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