How I Overcame Insecurity as a Leader
Everyone is insecure about something. For the most part, people are insecure about things they care about most. As a pastor and leader, I find myself most insecure about things that revolve around ministry.
Any person who has ever led anything has felt insecure. That feeling where you feel naked, embarrassed, scared and anxious. That feeling where you feel like people are judging you and you are not so qualified to be leading.
As a pastor, I have felt insecure on so many different levels. I’ve felt insecure in my preaching. I’ve felt insecure in leading my staff. I’ve felt insecure in leading my congregation. I’ve felt insecure about my relationship with friends. I’ve practically felt insecure about everything.
But by the grace of God and through experience, I can confidently say that I been able to overcome much of my insecurities centered on identity, worth and competency. Through the ups and downs of life and ministry, I have found my footing and stance before the Lord and His people.
I hope this post can help break off the chains of insecurities that cripples God’s people from fulfilling their calling and purpose on this life.
1. Stop comparing yourself with other people and just be yourself.
All insecurities are a result of you comparing yourself to someone that you think is better than you. This is the root of all insecurities - comparing yourself to others.
As Christians, we must remember that there are no copy machines in heaven. God only makes originals and God made you. You are most anointed when you are yourself. You are at your best when you are yourself.
I came to a place in my life and ministry a few years ago when I told myself, “I don’t care what people think about me as long as I am being faithful to God.” It was during this time that I realized God made me for His purpose and that purpose is not going to be fulfilled if I am going to try to be like anyone else. So, I decided that I will be the best William Chung that I can be and stop trying to be like anyone else.
I clearly remember a moment where I had to fill in and lead a meeting on behalf of my pastor; a pastor who I revere and many people respect.
I remember thinking to myself, “What am I going to say? People are going to be disappointed with the meeting because he’s not leading it. What would he do if he was here?”
And then it hit me. I’m not him and he’s not me. And as long as I try to be him, I will never reach my potential. That inner revelation set me free from ever comparing myself to another leader again.
2. Stop doubting yourself.
One of the biggest reasons people feel insecure is because they doubt themselves. They think someone else can do a better job and everyone else is going to judge their decisions. For any leader to make a sound decision he or she must stop doubting themselves.
The moment we start doubting ourselves a surge of insecurities will arise.
Am I supposed to do this? Why am I doing this? What would people think about me? I don’t know if I can do this.
If you are in a position of leadership, it is because God has placed you there. Even if you doubt yourself, don’t doubt God. God has a purpose and reason for you being in the place you are. Turn your doubt into courage and stare at your fear face to face. Overcome your insecurity!
3. Get over yourself, you’re not as important as you think you are.
You are not as important as you think you are. A lot of times, people feel insecure because in reality they think they are more important than they actually are. Especially pastors, we have a savior complex and often times, we think it’s up to us to save the day.
We are not Jesus. We are not saviors. We are sinners at the end of the day.
Often times, insecurities arise in the pastor, when they take themselves too seriously and think they should have the answer to everyone’s problems. Or when they think they failed at something and everyone is judging them, but in reality no one is probably even thinking about them.
Have you ever had that friend who is paranoid that everyone is thinking or talking bad about them, but in actuality no one is saying anything about them? Often times, that's you and me. Because we take ourselves too seriously, we cannot help but to feel insecure. We think we have to be perfect, especially if we are in a leadership role.
Relax. Breath. Have faith in God. Trust and enjoy His providence and care.
4. Plan and prepare for the task assigned to you.
Some people are insecure because of their own sin and lack of preparation. They have not prepared, planned and trained themselves for the task assigned to them.
For myself as a pastor, I have gotten anxious about preaching; not because I was afraid of the microphone, but because I didn’t prepare my sermon.
I have gotten insecure about leading meetings; not because I was intimidated by people, but because I didn’t plan or prepare anything worth sharing.
As a pastor, it is essential to remember the Holy Spirit is not only present in your praying and preaching but also in your planning and preparing. If you find in yourself constantly feeling insecure about a certain event or part you are supposed to lead, it may be because you haven’t prepared yourself.
These are some of the things I've learned and applied to overcome my insecurities as a pastor and leader.
How about you? What steps have you taken to overcome your insecurities?