Choosing Trust over Fear During Crisis Part 2

Photo by Martijn Baudoin on Unsplash

“Stay near me, so I can protect you”, my husband said to me in the grocery store. 

As we were shopping, I became angry and fearful when other people did not adhere to the 6 feet distancing rule. I kept darting around carts and got separated from him during our trip.

Weeks ago, the woman who had reminded her husband to show compassion and grace to others during this national crisis, had completely broken her own rules. I chose fear over trust, anger over kindness and let my emotions get the best of me.

Ever been there? Embarrassed and shocked at how you reacted? It happens to the best of us.

In last month’s blog post, I covered two strategies in Choosing Trust Over Fear During Crisis – Part 1:  focus on the goal and believe in the impossible.

This month, I will cover two more strategies.

For us to choose trust over fear, we must remove negative thoughts and walk by faith, not sight.

  1. Remove negative thoughts from our mind

I felt so vulnerable and broken that day in the supermarket. I was confused and scared to move.

It’s natural to question why things are happening when the whole world seems like it is falling apart. It’s also natural to be fearful about something we have never faced before, especially when a hug, a touch and kiss could make us sick.

We will all be faced with negative thoughts, we are human. But when they come, they don’t have to be a welcome guest in our house (our mind). It’s the dwelling on thoughts, the ruminating repeatedly on the negative thoughts that keep us discouraged. Recognize it, but let’s not let our thoughts stay there.

We are all faced with many choices. We can ignore what is going or get sucked into fear. The key is to be prepared and have a plan. Our family plan after that day was to stick together and to ask people to move back in a respectful way. We also decided that we could order our groceries online and pick them up if needed to relieve some of the stress.

When we remove negative thoughts, it is easier to choose trust over fear and see beyond our present circumstances. The second strategy is the result of removing negative thoughts; walk by faith, not by sight.

2. Walk by Faith, not by sight.

This strategy is based on a biblical scripture from II Corinthians 5:7 – Amplified version. It says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises).

When I was getting angry at people who were not social distancing, I was focusing my attention on the circumstances around me. I took my focus off the promises that God can protect me and heal me. Trust and faith cannot happen when I am judging other people and afraid of getting sick. I can only control my own emotions and not let what I see around me affect my believing. My husband prayed with me in the middle of the produce section. Then, I was able to extend compassion to others and myself. That is walking by faith, not by sight.

If we remove negative thinking from our lives, then positive thoughts like hope and trust can get in. Hope is seeing a better future way beyond what we see with our eyes. Trust is a result of removing negative thoughts and firmly believing in the reliability, ability or strength of someone or something.

How we react is a choice.  What we believe is also a choice.  

Let’s choose trust over fear during times of crisis and any other times negative thoughts comes our way.

Have there been times in your life when you got distracted by things going on around you?

What strategies have you tried that have worked for you in the past?

If you would like to continue to get more faith building strategies and tools to repurpose your life, follow my blog or connect to my Mirrors and Bridges training and coaching business page: https://www.facebook.com/mirrorsandbridges/

Choosing Trust Over Fear During Crisis Part 1

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Photo by Danka & Peter on Unsplash

And he said, “Come.”

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

Matthew 14:29 King James Version

Trust is believing that water will hold us when our mind says it is impossible to do without sinking. Peter did and he was human, just like us. Trust is choosing to walk when we are scared, and our world is falling apart all around us. It is clinging to heaven’s promise of protection and surrendering our life to a God we cannot see.

In Celebration of National Poetry Month, I am including an excerpt from a poem called “Meet Me on the Water”, From the heart of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 “Meet me on the water in the deep part of the sea

Meet me on the water, that is where you will get to know Me.

You can stay in your comfort zone

There you can stand on your own.

But in the deep part of the sea,

You’ll live in victory….”

There are four strategies that are designed to help us trust instead of staying fearful in the storms of life. Today we are covering two of them. Next month I will reveal two more strategies.

  1. Focus on the goal.

Don’t look at the storm around us or the water beneath us. We keep our focus on what we want to accomplish. For me, it is publishing a book I started writing last year. It keeps my focus on something I can control and what God had inspired me to do right now, in the middle of a crisis. There will never be a “perfect” time to write a book, open a business or have a child. I know many writers who wrote in the middle of sickness, one who finished her book right after her husband’s death because it was his wish for her to do it. Another author wrote their book in the early hours of the morning way before their newborn twins were up, fueled with coffee and lack of sleep.

The last two stanzas of the poem go on to say,

“The storms of life of course, they will come,

But like a shelter to you, I will be.

Nothing is a storm to Me

For I have always walked in victory.

As we walk hand in hand,

You’ll do what’s impossible for man.

Come with me to your promised land.”

We first learned to keep our eyes on our goal in order to not let fear paralyze us and trust God during crisis. Next, we must believe and do what seems impossible.

2. Believe in the impossible.

Do you know that it is physically impossible for a human to walk on water? But that is exactly what we must do in order to choose trust over fear. We must believe and do impossible things. We stay up late, get up early in order to feed our family, finish writing the book or learn new skills. We pay someone to help us bring our business online so that we can put food on the table. Choosing to trust God when life seems uncertain and unstable can feel impossible. We push through because someone is depending on us. Our family, community, work, yourself, needs us to trust in God and achieve our impossible dreams.

This excerpt was taken from a poetry book titled: Angel Ink: Inspirational Messages From the Heart of God written by Judy Fryling Dube. She is an author at the first ever non-profit publishing company, Change Her Story. You can find more information about Judy and how to purchase a copy of her book at https://changeherstory.org/products/angelink

For more personal growth, leadership development and inspirational messages, join my e-mail list. For a chance to win a copy of my first book, follow me on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MelonieABenjamins

While you are checking out Judy’s book, grab a cool journal too and write down your ideas and thoughts. 

What keeps coming up or pulling on your heart during this “Divine Pause” season?

What is God inspiring you do to?

What do you need to let go of so that you can believe in the impossible and stay focused?

 

 

The ART of Effective Leadership

Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash

Think for a moment about your favorite leaders, role models, coaches or teachers. They had certain qualities and styles that drew you in and made you want to follow them. Some people are born to lead, but not all leaders are effective. Leaders must develop and learn new skills and practice them in order to be effective. 

Today, I will cover the art of leadership, highlighting 3 skills needed to lead effectively and three leadership styles that are used to create a masterpiece team.

All great artists practice their skills. A singer warms up their voice and goes over the performance for hours before they are stage ready. Effective leadership requires the same focus and hard work as an artist. Leadership is an art and an acronym is the best way to break it down into small chunks.

The “A” in ART is for Attention.

How do you get people’s attention as a leader?

You ask them for ideas, opinions and what worked in the past.

Attention – Dictionary.com – defines it as simply redirecting the mind.

Think of it this way: moving in the right direction in order to produce the desired results, In other words, don’t take your eyes off the vision.

“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” ~ Seth Godin

Give people a platform and you have their attention and buy in.

Innovative leadership is the best style of a leader to demonstrate getting people’s attention by providing them a platform.

It is defined as the ability to influence others to create “new and better” ideas to move towards positive goal. Some qualities of an innovative leader?  You may recognize these in yourself and others.

  1. Lifelong Learner
  2. Relationship-Focused
  3. Calculated Risks
  4. Visionary

The “R” in ART is for Respect.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair

Not all roads are the right roads and not every path should be taken. A good leader knows the difference between what will add value and what is a distraction. This is where the coaching leadership style is the most beneficial.

Coaching Style Leadership

According to Performance Consultants firm in Europe – “the coaching style of leadership is characterized by partnership and collaboration. When leaders behave like coaches, command and control give way to collaboration and creativity. Blame gives way to feedback and learning, and external motivators are replaced by self-motivation. Barriers fall, teams build and change is no longer feared but welcomed. Short-term fire-fighting reactions are superseded by longer-term strategic thinking.”

What is a Coaching Leadership Style?

The coach helps to eliminate competition. Team members start to respect the opinions of others and treat the team fairly. The coach takes the lead, but not in a commanding way.  It is a systematic pull on the members, motivating and guiding them to their destination together.

We covered A for Attention, R for Respect. The “T” is ART is for Trust.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

In any relationship, at home, work, volunteer organizations, trust is crucial. With it, others voices are heard and they feel needed and valued. Without it, there is breakdown in communication and people become defensive and more focused on their own views and values and less on the team.

Altruistic leadership style

According to Ben Janse, Content Manager from Tools Hero, “Altruistic Leadership is defined as the guiding of others with the goal of improving their well-being or emotional state. Empathy, kindness, listening and selfishness” are words to describe this type of leader.”

Innovative, Coaching and Altruistic leadership styles work well in both in customer service corporations and non-profit organizations. It takes time for the team to build. Effective leadership is an art and should not be rushed. Giving the members attention respect and trust leads to a masterpiece team.

What type of leader are you?

What skills do you need to develop in order to be more effective?