The Problem with Guilt Part 3: We Overreact

Let’s review: we say we feel guilty. Our brains process guilt with doing something wrong. If we have done something wrong, then we must work to make it right. Unfortunately, we haven’t REALLY done anything wrong so we find it’s impossible to make things right. Out of frustration, we simply try harder. And that is when we overreact.

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Time to Pray!

Take a moment to pray, asking the Lord to burden your heart with the name of someone in need of prayer. Then, share their concern with me to add to the weekly prayer list. I know everyone of you knows someone in need of prayer. Time to lift them up to the Lord! Add your request as a comment to this post or email me jeanannduck@gmail.com

The Problem with Guilt Part 2: We Try to Make it Right

 

If we think we are guilty, then we believe we have done something wrong. When we do something wrong, we try to make it right. We make a mistake, we correct it. We break something, we replace it. We damage something, we pay to have it repair. These are all very cut & dry, very black & white. Unfortunately, most of the time when we feel guilty, we simply CAN’T make it right.
You see, we really aren’t guilty of doing anything wrong. And if we haven’t done anything wrong, then we can’t make it right. When we are unable to make things right, rather than giving up, we try even harder. And harder, and harder, and harder….. until we become incredibly frustrated.

Continue reading “The Problem with Guilt Part 2: We Try to Make it Right”

The Problem with Guilt Part 1: Guilt Implies We’ve Done Something Wrong!

I LOVE Law & Order. I watch it on one of the local stations every Wednesday & Thursday. I watch other crime shows as well but Law & Order allows me to see the police do their job & the prosecutors do their job. So I see courtroom action every episode. Most episodes, at some point, a judge asks the defendant, “How do you plead?” And they have to say Guilty or not guilty. Most of the time, they say not guilty so the show can continue rather than ending early! 😊

Funny how even the most guilty person pleads not guilty in the hopes they can get away with whatever crime they are accused of committing. Not so much with mommies. We tend to plead guilty over the most minor infraction. And most of the time, WE AREN’T EVEN GUILTY OF ANYTHING!!!!!

As I see it, guilt implies we have done something wrong. Not just wrong in our own eyes but wrong according to society standards. If a person cheats on their spouse, they are guilty of adultery. Not passing judgement here. Just saying this sort of behavior should be avoided. If a parent mistreats a. Hold, especially to an extreme, they are guilty of abuse. This is just NOT acceptable behavior.

If however you are unable or unwilling to buy your child the newest toy that EVERYONE has, you may feel bad but you should NOT feel guilty. You haven’t done anything wrong. Your kids may disagree but they would be wrong!

I believe most of the time we feel guilty, what we really are is afraid. We fear what others may think. We fear what they may say. We fear we might be harming our children. And to make matters worse, we going onto the court of public opinion, known as social media, and display our sense of guilt so other may judge us. And judge us they will. I have never seen so many glass house residents throw around so many stones! Perhaps it makes others feel less guilty when they judge others.

All I know is we need to stop calling it guilt. The more we tell ourselves,how guilty we feel, the more we reinforce our feelings of inadequacy & failure. Which only makes us feel more guilty, more afraid.

So, to begin this journey away from guilt, become more aware when you tell yourself how guilty you feel and, as Barney Fife would say, ” Nip it in the bud!”

5 Proven Steps to Mentor New Leaders Step 5: Trust

 

I believe the most difficult part of this process is Trust. There simply comes a time when you must turn responsibility over to the other person & surrender control. This can be tough, especially if the project is one you started from scratch. When we birth a project & develop it, we have specific ideas how it should be done. We have to accept the fact, for our idea, our project to continue after we turn it over to someone else, it needs to evolve. Nothing survives in a stagnant environment & this is especially true of ideas. They need to develop & grow over time, having a fresh approach added to the mix in order for them to continue & survive.

Let’s look at the example Jesus set for us. No matter what you believe happened to Jesus after He died, we can all agree, He eventually had to turn things over to His followers & leave. We have a record of the events that followed & not just from the Bible. The apostles took the things they were taught by Jesus & built on them. They organized the church. They created other roles in ministry. They began training new leaders. They wrote down an account of the things they had seen & the things they were doing. They defined the role & responsibilities of the church & the people in the church. The list goes on & on.

The apostles took the lessons Jesus taught them, they took His message, they took the things they learned while studying under Jesus & they expanded on them. Things were changing around them & they adapted & developed with the changes without sacrificing the message or lessons Jesus had taught them. And Jesus had to trust them to continue in His absence. He had to surrender the work to those that followed. And over 2000 years later, the work Jesus began continues, different than it was back then but still the same at its heart.

Mentoring can be a rewarding experience for both the mentor & student. It makes the transition of power on a project or organization smoother & increases the chances of things continuing into the future. Never let your fear of change prevent you from turning the reins over to the next generation of leaders. Insure continuation & growth by choosing & mentoring your replacement. Then relax knowing you have placed things in qualified hands.

5 Proven Steps to Mentor New Leaders Step 4: Train

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 Your mentoree has watched you in action. You have explained to them how you do things & answered their questions about your techniques. You have given them the opportunity to try to do it themselves & had them tell you about the experience. Now it is time to train them to do it better. 

I would like to differentiate between teach & train for the purposes of this material. When I talk about teach someone, I’m referring to more of a lecture type situation. You explain a subject in detail & take questions from the students. At this point, they may have no practical experience on the subject. Training comes after the student or mentoree has had the opportunity to apply the lessons they have learned through your teaching. Now they have practical experience however, they need their abilities refined. They are more apprentices than masters in the field. To give a broad example, medical school teaches students about medicine. They have the opportunity, through internships, to test what they have learned. Eventually, they move on to a residency where they receive more detailed training to refine their skills & abilities. 

When the disciples would return from the mission trips Jesus sent them on, Jesus would take time to debrief them. He listened as they told Him what worked & what didn’t. They told Him about any problems they had. This debriefing is more for the mentor than the student. It gives the mentor the opportunity to discover areas that need more focus or topics that are confusing. It also helps the mentor understand things that simply don’t work anymore. If the mentor has been doing a task for years, there may be a newer or at least easier way to do it nowadays. You always need to listen carefully to your student. Your task as a mentor is to turn a job, position, etc. over to them. Unless you want to keep on doing it until you are gone, you need to help them discover the way that works best for them. That means combining your way & their way. 

Training allows you to break bad habits before they begin, strengthen good habits & help your student discover the best way to do it for themselves. 

One more step in the process & you’re ready to begin!

5 Proven Steps to Mentor New Leaders Part 3: Test

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  The second biggest mistake mentors make, after not mentoring new leaders at all, is failing to test them. We tend to be too quick turning things over to the newbie before we are certain the are prepared. Offering them a short period of time to shadow you & then giving them only a bit of teaching before handing over the reins is worse than no mentoring at all. 

When we drop everything into the newbie’s lap too soon, they may become frustrated when things fail to go well. Even worse, they may become embarrassed, believe THEY are to blame for their lack of success when the mentor is the one responsible. 

Rather than quickly giving them the responsibility of their new assignment, take time to make certain they are ready. And the best way to do this is to test them. No, not a written exam! Instead, give them responsibility for an assignment while you are still there to offer guidance & advice. 

Early in their training, Jesus sent the disciples out into neighboring towns to do ministry. He sent them out in pairs so they could support & encourage one another & to hold each other accountable. When they returned, Jesus talked to the disciples about their experience. What worked? What didn’t? Where did they have problems? 

These mission journeys gave the disciples to practical experience, like an internship. They were able to fail on a small scale while Jesus was still available to offer them guidance & advice. 

Nothing discourages a new leader faster than failure. It takes less time & effort to retrain them to overcome their mistakes & weaknesses than it does to start all over with a new person when your current new leader quits in frustration.

Take the time to do the job right!