When a Leader Has Doubts

A practical plan to battle doubt:

There is no simple “three steps to conquer doubt.” Doubt never disappears completely. But you don’t have to let doubt conquer you. Doubt can become more like a common cold. It’s a nuisance, but you know what to do, and in a week to 10 days it’s gone!

Here are some ideas to help you in the battle.

Get honest about your doubts.

You can’t win the battle if you don’t own the issues. Where does doubt eat your lunch? Which kind is the most common for you? Put that on the table and take intentional action. You don’t have to make this point a big project, your awareness and honestly alone is a big help.

Allow doubt to be normal, but not a consistent habit.

I’m not suggesting that you surrender to your doubts, but give yourself a break by acknowledging that some doubt is normal. However, never allow your doubts to become a lifestyle or gain traction as a pattern. Again, talk with someone.

Don’t let doubt become worry.

Doubt is a question in your mind; worry can own your soul. You can get an answer to the question, and worry can significantly marginalize your ability to lead. Doubt is something that you can attack, worry is something that attacks you.

Don’t confuse doubt with negativity.

When you hear someone say to your idea or vision or belief, with a little attitude, “I doubt it.” That’s not doubt, that’s negativity. Don’t let anyone’s negativity cause you to doubt. Always consider the source.

Talk to a trusted mentor.

I’ve mentioned this several times, and let me repeat it. One of the simplest and best ways to beat up your doubts is to get a little time with someone you trust. The two qualifiers are; first, they need to be strong. They must be able to tell you the truth. Second, they must be smart. They have a track record of wisdom.

Ask God to increase your faith.

This one is last because it’s the most important. Ask God to help you conquer your doubt by increasing your faith. God can and will help you increase your faith in yourself, your leadership, and in His intimate presence and desire to grant you favor!

This article originally appeared here.

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Dan Reiland
Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.