It’s not easy being good at what you do.
I remember being invited to speak for 1,000 pastors. I said yes, and prepared my message. As I sat in front getting ready to speak, a fear like I’ve never experienced before gripped me. Voices in my head said things like:
What were you thinking saying yes?
You will not do very well!
The best thing you can do right now is get up and go. Run, Roger, RUN!
I had to calm myself down and pray. I spoke and God blessed, but I wondered if I was the only one who struggled with it. Now I know I wasn’t.
I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside, befriend and mentor some outstanding pastors. Most of them have at least three of the five characteristics I list below. This list probably also applies to other successful people as well.
Here’s the five:
- Often think they are crazy.
One of the greatest traits of a leader is the capacity to detect atrophy. Outstanding leaders have a sense something is not right, but see others just carrying on and believe something is wrong with THEM, not everyone else! They are able to see what’s wrong easier than others.
- Often have bouts with doubt and discouragement.
Pastor’s lives are often characterized by intense, stressful, busy times followed by periods of quiet nothingness. That can often lead to doubt and discouragement when the expectations (whomever they came from) were not met. It usually happens after a mountain top experience.
- Often have powerful opposition.
Success breeds opposition. Successful leaders wish they could just leave well enough alone, promote the status quo, stop with all the boat rocking and just mark their time until they leave. They can’t. That produces enemies. The fierce emails, long and difficult conversations, people leaving all are associated with success. That’s the side we don’t see when we look at the completed process.
- Often struggle in a personal area that no one knows.
The list is endless. Anxiety and difficulty sleeping (my hand is raised). Finances. Victims of past abuse in one of its forms. Addiction. Difficult marriage. Lack of sexual intimacy with spouse. Many times that happened in the past. Often it’s happening now.
- Extremely talented.
Amazingly they are able to function at a high level, but they do. They read, learn, and improve. They turn around churches and business. They make it work.
The next time you see a great leader and think “hey that guy/girl has it easy” think again. Pray for them. Give them grace. Its not easy being good at what you do.