POD #26: How to Systematically Undo Doubt
As you get down to the nitty-gritty of envisioning your next season in detail, do you find yourself stopping the momentum of your dreams before they get started by thinking about all the problems, challenges and obstacles you could encounter?
First, write out your dream in a sentence or two.
Secondly, as fast as you can, without looking for the right answer or what you think someone would tell you to say, write out the problems you regularly anticipate. Get it out. All of them. No word smithing or editing.
Now, go back and reframe or rephrase them as questions.
Pick the top 3 most pressing questions, the ones that most capture your attention. For each, write the following:
1) Do you already know the answer to this question? Write about it.
2) If you don’t already know the answer, what’s the next good step for finding it? Write out that next step
Pro Tip: Once you identify the questions, if you have a sitting or meditation practice, you might find the answers coming to you during your moments of stillness in a bolt of inspiration. Happens to me allll the time.
Finally, what is a go-to activity or topic you can think about when you want to shift your energy out of problem-spotting, dream-deactivating, doubt mode?
My dream is to see the church be the Church, meeting the tangible physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the community they are placed in as the hands and feet of Christ. I would like to see a database that will connect people who want to volunteer into relationship with those directly in need and a single place for both to connect. I also see a center where people can go to work on needs like resumes, job training, assistance with applications, again through personal relationships not organizational ones.
The problems I anticipate / reframe question
- Getting churches outside their denominational walls to let their congregations freely share their gifts and talents. What is the best way to help pastors and congregations feel comfortable about sharing their gifts and resources outside thier structured institutions?
- Getting Christians outside their comfort zone How do you break down the barriers to engage people to step outside of their comfort zone and make it a priority to invest in strangers in their free time?
- Teaching clear boundaries so that those helping don’t hurt or enable and those reaching out don’t take advantage How much training and rules are needed for both participants and recipients to provide safe boundaries for a relationship to develop?
- The database to really exist as it does in my mind Who can design, develop and keep updated a secure platform for the electronic needs of my dream?
- A central location to house a center where people can come to build relationships and meet needs What is the best location for this to be?
- The wisdom and knowledge to put it together, run it, and grow it Who are the people who can help me gain the resources mentally to create this dream?
- The resources for running it What would it take to really get this type of service off the ground? Who is best suited to help support this type of program?
- Time What can I stop doing to free up time to focus on this dream?
- Safety of participants and recipients What types of liabilities, procedures and policies need to be in place to ensure a strong start to finish?
The three questions that I would start to focus on are:
2) How do you break down the barriers to engage people to step outside of their comfort zone and make it a priority to invest in strangers in their free time? I think part of getting people to step out of their comfort zone is to find what they are passionate about, let them try it with others until they can feel comfortable and connect with the bigger cause. People become volunteers at the encouragement of their peers. Most long-term volunteers connect with a cause. If they really connect with the cause they will feel compelled to share of their time when they connect individually. So the key is to start connecting passions to causes until there is a personally connection that drives the volunteer.
3) How much training is needed for both participants and recipients to provide safe boundaries for a relationship to develop? I like rules. I like policy. I like the black and white of things. However, people are complex and there cannot be a rule in place to cover every scenario that can happen. I have also volunteered places that required so much training (With good cause) that it becomes burdensome to the volunteer. I think there needs to be various levels of training and rules. Some ground rules about what is allowed and isn’t when it is the general engagement stage for all volunteers. Then some training as people connect with the cause, and then deeper training as they engage with the individual. Leveled training provides a way to ensure resources are not poured out onto someone who doesn’t plan to stay around. It also respects the time of the group that is just coming to check things out. Group boundaries are much easier to enforce than the individual boundary. With recipients letting them know in advance what they can expect from volunteers and what would not be allowed.
9) What types of liabilities, procedures and policies need to be in place to ensure a strong start to finish? I am a trained volunteer coordinator. It would be important to do background checks criminal and abuse/neglect for all volunteers. Also because I am looking for the church to rise up, getting personal references from pastors and people who know the volunteers well. Liability coverage and written procedures and policies for each level of commitment. Overarching policies on how people engage with groups to boundaries when working one on one.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders