Self Doubt: always questioning if you measure up; believing that you are disqualified.
I can remember feeling these things all the time, and occasionally still do, when I forget who I am and what I’m called to do.
There can be many reasons why we feel this way. Regardless of the root cause, when we don’t value who we are and see ourselves as uniquely gifted, we can easily find ourselves stuck when facing challenges and difficulties.
Knowing who you are is a key to resilience.
Having imposter syndrome, or doubting your calling and giftings, can be crippling. It can prevent you from growing, making decisions and moving forward. You can become paralyzed when facing hardship.
However, when you know who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are, you are better equipped to bounce back more quickly when you go through challenges.
And that is what resilience is all about; being able to withstand adversity without getting stuck, and bouncing back more quickly. Resilience isn’t the absence of struggle or pain. It is the ability to come out of a time of suffering quicker, more easily, and perhaps with growth.
There is so much freedom in knowing and being confident in who God made you to be.
No one is good at everything. However, we often have the expectation that if God called us to do something we should be good at all of it.
For example, in ministry, it can be tempting to expect yourself to be good at or skilled in all aspects of ministry. Therefore, when you find yourself struggling or not seeing success, it can cause you to doubt your calling or feel inadequate.
A thorough study was done by the United Methodist Church on clergy effectiveness. They identified the major tasks and activities that make up the work of a pastor and found that there are 13 groups of tasks that are expectations of the role. The job analysis further discovered that there were 64 personal competencies that are required to fulfill these identified tasks.. 64!
Even the study leader reported that “it is almost inconceivable to imagine that a single person could be uniformly high on the sixty-four distinct knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics.” (www.gbhem.org/sites/default/files/ bom_ jobanalysisdeshon.pdf)
Pastors and leaders often beat themselves up for not excelling at every part of the job and feel like they’re failing. There’s a temptation to have all-or-nothing thinking – if you can’t be great at everything, you’re a failure at everything. That just isn’t true.
I, too, have felt this. I know that I have been called to support ministry leaders in caring for their communities, but there are aspects of this role that I’m not good at.
And like many of you, I have been tempted to doubt my calling.
However, one of the keys to resilience is knowing who you are. This includes knowing who you are in Christ as being “more than a conqueror.” (Romans 8:37). Knowing your strengths, and knowing your weaknesses.
It’s impossible to be good at everything, but knowing who you are and the gifts that you have, can prevent you from getting stuck as you focus on what you CAN do.
In your role as a supporter, you are offering support and encouraging people’s strengths. It is likely that you have noticed the same trend that I have. When you remind people of their strengths you often immediately hear, “ya but,” as people dismiss their calling, strengths and giftings.
People tend to minimize this type of encouragement. As frustrating as it is to hear, we can relate… we have all done it.
We dismiss the obvious positive strengths and focus on the negatives and weaknesses.
So how do we encourage others to see who they are and build resilience?
Here are 5 ways that you can encourage someone to begin to see who they are and build resilience.
- Share with them a story of how their giftings positively impacted someone else.
It can be how their friendliness welcomed a new family to church or how their skills help keep the church functioning. Perhaps even how they support their family.
People often don’t see the impact of their giftings unless it’s pointed out to them
- Validate and uplift their uniqueness.
If someone is different, they can see that as a weakness or problem. Like a man who is really great with kids, or a woman who has entrepreneurial giftings. It can be challenging for the person to see those as giftings because they differ from the “norm.” As a supporter, encourage them to use these gifts and not smother them.
- Encourage others to write a note.
We all receive encouragement differently, Receiving words of affirmation through notes, cards, or letters may offer a huge impact.
- Identify their strengths.
It wasn’t until I was in my mid-30s that I discovered I was skilled at project management. I had no idea this was something I was gifted in until I did an assessment.
As a result, I received certification in project management and it changed the course of my career. Sometimes there are hidden giftings that we don’t know of. CLICK HERE for a strengths finder assessment. It is free and can be very valuable in how someone sees themself.
- Share scriptures reminding them of their intentional creation.
Create a list of scriptures that identify that they are made intentionally. God has a plan and purpose for every gift and strength that they have and He did not make a mistake with creating them.
When we are struggling with our purpose, we don’t see ourselves as valuable or skilled. It can become easy for us to get stuck when we are struggling.
By regularly reminding ourselves of who we are in Christ, that we were each created uniquely on purpose and that we have gifts and strengths, we build resilience to bounce back more quickly from hardship.
If you would like to hear about the other 6 Keys to Resilience, check out the hopemadestrong.org/blog or subscribe and be notified when videos are posted.