Looked at in that light, leadership is not a choice – it is a given. We do not live in a vacuum, in isolation, we exist in relationship. We are interconnected, we influence each other. So what kind of influence would you like to have? What kind of example do you set? What beliefs do you model for those around you?
Often we see the need for action, for change, and yet we do nothing. Often we see a problem (or an opportunity!) and yet we wait for someone to come along and do what needs to be done – someone with more knowledge and experience, more skill or courage. I believe that each one of us has within us the potential to be that someone.
No matter who you are, you have skills, knowledge, experience and passion that the world needs! To use an oft-quoted saying of Frederick Buechner, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
To use an example from my life: I spent a long time wishing that we had a regular meditation group at my home church. I had a great desire to share that sacred practice with others, and I could really see the need for it in the community. But I kept waiting for someone to start that group. Then one day it hit me: that someone is me!
So I started a group that met twice a month, on Thursday night. I was totally inexperienced, a bit nervous, and unsure whether anyone would even show up – but I stepped out in faith. And guess what? People did show up, and they enjoyed themselves. As time goes by the group continues to grow and is a great blessing to our community.
As time goes by, I am presented more and more with opportunities to step up in leadership, to serve, to do what I love to do. That feeling of uncertainty hasn’t gone away – each time I step into a new opportunity, I experience the same doubts. And yet each time I act on faith, and trust in Spirit to guide me, my fears are overcome. I always learn and grow, and discover new talent and potential within me.
Nowadays, I am very involved in the leadership of my spiritual community, and I am very comfortable in that role. But I continue to deal with uncertainty at times, and I continue to learn and grow. The process is ongoing, and the insecurities that we encounter as we first step into leadership are just the natural feelings that accompany our spiritual growth, as we leave behind the familiar and the comfortable and explore our divine potential.
So don’t let uncertainty hold you back! Change and growth are seldom comfortable experiences – we must be willing to face our doubts, to step out in faith. Believe in yourself, all your talents and shortcomings, strengths and weaknesses. Give yourself a chance to express your deeper potential, to be who you cam to be. The time has come that we can no longer afford to sit back and wait – we cannot expect a leader or a savior to come and do what must be done. Now is the time, and we are the ones.
So as you finish this little article, take a moment and reflect upon your life – what kind of example are you setting? Are you being authentic, being true to yourself, and what you believe? Are you working towards your dreams? Are you living up to your divine potential? Take a look at your work, your relationships, your community – where do you see the need for change? Where do you encounter the world’s deep hunger? Where is there an opportunity for someone to step up, and make a difference?
Because I have some news for you: chances are, that someone is you.
Thanks for reading! Peace and love,