I hear a lot about people failing to live up to their full potential, failing to step out in to their true purpose. Usually it is tied to fear of failure or fear of rejection. I have tried to say that has been what holds me back, I mean if I couldn’t identify it, it could just be the subconscious mind and I am afraid to admit it. The truth was I really didn’t know what was holding me back.
I am not afraid to fail, I know (and I know it is cliché, but I really know this) that I can do all things through Christ. I know that God is for me, and that if it is something that I am supposed to be doing, that God will help me succeed. That doesn’t mean that I have never failed, I have failed at things. Things that I took upon myself to do, that had nothing to do with God, or that I thought I could do on my own without Him. I know that God’s grace covers me, and that in my weakness His strength is shown. I really don’t fear failure. If God brought me to it, He will bring me through it.
I would often lean towards fear of rejection, and while there was some things I could connect with on that, I really do not have a problem if people don’t like me. I know that my worth and value is not tied to the opinions of others, and that there will just be people who don’t like me. I know that my worth and value come from my Creator, and that He accepted me long before I took my first breath. Again, I realize its easy to say that, but God did that work in me a long time ago. I just know what I know. I can listen to constructive criticism, and even blatant hatred comments. I will even see if there is some truth in them that I need to make changes in my life. I can give it to God and let Him work on changing me.
But what I couldn’t see was what was holding me back and why. I was reading Instinct The Power to Unleash your Inborn Drive by T.D. Jakes. About midway through Chapter 10, I have a Ah Ha moment. It is not the fear of failure, or even necessarily the fear of rejection, although closely related. It is the fear of lack of support.
As I have talked about before I was raised in a dysfunctional family, where my parents provided for me, but were not really supportive in terms of helping. They stood behind me, regardless of my mistakes, but I didn’t have that support that said “If this is too hard, I can show you how or help.” When I needed help, really needed help I didn’t know if I could ask for it and receive it. That is where the rejection comes in to play. To many times the support I received was not what I needed. I made a promise to myself that I would never need anyone. God and me, that’s what it would be.
People who don’t know me well can see that I am a very task orients, type A personality. I like to work in groups, but I excel when I am turned loose on a project. I love to learn and I am a good teacher. I would rather look it up on Google than need human support. How I managed before technology, I don’t remember. I like policy and rules because they are black and white. I like numbers because they are concrete. I thrive on helping people because they need me. What I am not good at is needing people for support. I am not good at asking for help.
I should have clued in to this earlier, but maybe God knew I wasn’t ready for the task at hand to overcome it. Almost a year ago, I had a conversation with my then boss. I was having problems, I was overwhelmed with what was in front of me, and I was slowly drowning. I told her then “I have an amazing team. I know that I don’t utilize them enough.” My failure was not utilizing the people who God had blessed me with on my team. I had people who believed in me, and had no problem with helping. They just needed me to communicate my need.
I have long known that the dream within me is bigger than I can do by myself. I know my dream is from God. I know Satan doesn’t want my dream to happen, because it would rock his world and take down strongholds he has. Honestly on the few occasions I have stepped out, the response has been minimal. That is discouraging to someone who has a hard time asking for support. Like once, I sent a letter to every church in my then small community – 248 churches. I got ONE response, and it wasn’t even from my church. When I sent out a second request, I got one face to face encouraging meeting.
I believe Satan has kept me from identifying what held me back because he was afraid. However, God knew when I would be ready for that revelation. He knew how to bring me to a point to see that it is a lie from Satan. Yes, there will be times that I face resistance in the natural. Yes, there will be people who are not on the same page as me, but God’s will shall prevail. He shall bring it to pass, despite my childhood insecurities. He will take what Satan meant to destroy me and use it for His glory. God will bring together the right people, and let me use the skills and talents that He gave me to bring out their strengths and talents to further His kingdom and destroy the work of the enemy. I don’t believe the lie anymore, and it will not keep me from stepping out as God directs.