Choosing Trust Over Fear During Crisis Part 1

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

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?

Make Your Setback Your Comeback Story

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Excerpt taken from Shannon Turner’s interview with me for her Comeback Story Contest.
ST: What was your setback?
MAB: By the time I learned to read, I started writing poetry and songs. This helped me express feelings that I could not possibly speak out loud. By the time I attended college, I had two binders full of poetry and songs.After a very negative experience with an evangelical church, I threw the binders into a dumpster. I somehow connected writing with depression and thought it caused a nervous breakdown in high school. I stopped writing for about 15 years. I lost my identity and gave up on my dreams of ever being a published author.
ST: What did you learn from your setback?
MAB: During the time I stopped writing, I read the bible and studied scripture. I also read personal development and leadership books, trying to figure out who I was and why I was put on this earth. After I left the evangelical church about ten years ago, I joined a few writer’s groups and started journaling. As I wrote in my journals and spent time alone with God, my desire to write resurfaced. I learned that if God gave me a gift, no one, not even myself, can stop me from using it. That part of my life was an unfinished story. He called me to be a writer and gave me the desire to connect with others.
ST: How have you used your experience to help others?
MAB: About three years ago, I started attending local conferences and started hanging out with authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs. They spoke my language. I felt alive again on the inside. All the things I had been studying and time I had spent with God journaling, came together in my life. I started speaking positive declarations over my life, made vision boards and took steps to achieve my goals and dreams.
Last year, a publisher accepted my manuscript and once published; I will use my story to help others tell theirs. I also became a certified life coach. I teach others how to find their identity and live out their purpose.
ST: Looking back how can you see that God brought beauty from your ashes?
MAB: God is a God of restoration. He restored the desire to write and the desire to help others. He healed my mind and I am free of the grip of depression. My heavenly Father turned my ashes into my purpose. He turned my story into a beautiful song of hope for others.
ST: What is a message of encouragement you would that you would give to someone currently going through what you went through?
MAB: I don’t know what you have been through, but I know we all have unfinished stories. You know the ones I am talking about. Some keep you up at night. Others bring you to your knees. They break your heart. We hide them and bury them deep inside. We don’t want anyone to know because we are afraid that if they know, they might reject us. If they turn away, they are not a true friend. Surround yourself with people who speak life into you and your dreams. Finish your story and share it with others.
We all have a story. Have the courage to tell yours.

Shannon is hosting a 30 day Devotional Writing Challenge to be a published author starting March 1st. Contact her below for more information and sign up for her free webinars and daily inspiration.
https://www.facebook.com/shannon.turner.7370
https://www.facebook.com/rebuiltbygraceministriesinc/
 Shannon TurnerOrdained Minister, Certified Life Coach, 11X Author, and Speaker