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©2018 by Kelly Neff Speaks.

  • Kelly Neff

Just As We Are…


Photo: Kelly Neff

I was blessed to spend time with a dear friend on Sunday afternoon. She's the kind of friend that you can be real with and share your hurts, your struggles, and your deepest fears, and she still loves you. As it turns out, we're both struggling with debilitating doubts, insecurities, and fears. We are both in a place where we are being asked to lead others, but neither of us feels ready or capable to carry out that responsibility.


Each of us shared that the reason we don't feel qualified is that we aren't where we think we should be to lead others effectively in those areas. We are both struggling with the belief that we must have an area mastered before we can lead others. We both have a vision in our mind of where we should be if we are to lead with confidence, boldness, and authenticity.


You see, both of us are wrestling with the thought that we need to have all our ducks in a row, all our i’s dotted, and all our t's crossed before we can have any meaningful impact on those we have been asked to lead. We both feel as if we would be impostors trying to lead others when we know we don't have it all together ourselves.


So, the question is, “do you really have to have it all together to lead others?" Do other people expect us to have it all together, or is that our critical inner voice speaking lies to us?


Do we expect those who lead us to have it all together? Actually, those who have had the most impact on me personally are the ones who haven't been afraid to tell it like it is. They're the ones who have shared their shortcomings, mistakes, failures, fears, and insecurities openly and honestly. So why do we listen to our inner critic when it tells us we should be different?


If we listen to our inner critic, we will never step out of our comfort zone because we will never feel ready or capable. Our inner critic also tries to convince us to hide who and where we are in life, which is anything but authentic.


Who wants to be led by someone who pretends to have it all together? Let’s face it, when we see others appear to have it all together, it just adds to our fear and insecurity. When we believe that everyone else has it all together, we buy into the lie that we aren’t good enough, and we keep our messy lives hidden. But if we hide, we will never be free.


Knowing this, why would we continue to choose to sit on the sidelines when we don’t feel capable, or pretend we have it all together? Let's stop listening to the lies that tell us we must be perfect before we can lead others!


The truth is, the best way to lead is to embrace our shortcomings and share them openly. Authenticity is the key to healing for us, and it’s also the key to helping others do the same. When we are willing to be transparent, we let others know they are not alone. We show them it's okay not to be okay, and we can help each other move to a healthier place.


When we are willing to lay it all out there… the good, the bad, and the ugly, we put others at ease and allow them to be real too. This is the soil where true communication, healing, and growth begin to take root. It establishes a place where we can flourish out in the open. It is the place where freedom is found.


Instead of shrinking back into the shadows because we think we aren't good enough, or pretending to be someone we are not, let's walk forward bravely with courage and confidence. Let’s be bold and authentic. Let’s get real and let others see us just as we are.


Blessings my dear friend!


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