As a leadership coach, one of the comments I most often hear from leaders is about how overwhelmed they are by all they have to do. I know very few leaders who are not feeling constantly overwhelmed.
Some are so overwhelmed they are unable to sleep well, relax on vacation, or be present in the moment. Too many leaders have lost the ability to fall asleep naturally; their minds are unable to rest when they are trying to sleep because they feel so overcome.
I do not believe this is how God intended for any of us to live life, whether or not you are a leader. We have fallen prey to the way of the world, believing that busier means “more important.”
Becoming aware of need should not automatically lead you to assume that God wants you, personally, to meet the need. This is a common reason that leaders become inundated. It’s as though there is an unwritten belief driving leaders; the belief says if you have an idea, you have to own it and make it happen.
Some leaders are overwhelmed because their identity, purpose and self-worth are in what they do and how others perceive them. That kind of leading is always a tough act, because you can never do enough to be liked by everyone.
The wise leader knows it is her job to give vision and direction. At the same time, she does not assume that she must take responsibility for everything that needs to get done. Sometimes God only uses the leader to be a means of presenting the idea to an organization, and not the one who realizes it.
How can leaders know if God wants them to do more than make others aware of the need? You must to pray carefully about what you are taking on as a leader, keeping in mind all you are already doing so you don’t get swamped. Remember, if God makes you aware of a need, God already has a way of meeting that need – and that may not include you. Maybe your only part in meeting that need was making others aware of it.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all you are doing, you are probably doing more than what God has asked of you. And the end result of leading in a state of feeling constantly besieged is that you rob God, others and yourself of your best. You can never perform at your best when you are constantly feeling overwhelmed.
The following are some – but not all – of the signs of being overwhelmed:
- Not sleeping well.
- Always feeling tired.
- Not living in the moment (or, worried about what has happened or about what might happen).
- Trouble digesting your food.
- Trouble concentrating.
If any of these signs have become or are becoming a regular experience for you, you are in danger of becoming overwhelmed. You need to re-assess all you are doing, seek the Lord in prayer, and listen to what God is saying to you through those He has put in your life to help you walk obediently and wisely before Him.
Stop robbing God, others and yourself of your best.
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.