You’re on part two of the Health of a Leader blog post series. Check out part 1 here.
In my last post, I shared how clarifying my personal mission and vision helps me focus on what matters and prepares me for the inevitable storms that come in life. It creates a clear picture of where I want to go and what I must do to get there. With this knowledge, I can begin moving from the starting line toward my intended destination.
But starting always brings with it some kind of resistance. And external resistance can be challenging, but I think mental resistance is even more difficult because it happens in your own head.
Mental resistance often starts with a little voice in your head. It can be the little whisper of doubt you hear when you get rejected on a sales call. But as you get more rejections, this small voice inside your head can become a roar, saying you are not good enough and will never measure up.
Unchecked, that negative chatter can permeate all aspects of your life.
If that sounds too dramatic, maybe I am alone on my own island. After all — and this is tough to admit — earlier this year, I told my doctor that “I feel like a failure right now in just about everything.”
Okay, that may have been a bit dramatic, but it was how I felt at that moment. The mental resistance I faced had infiltrated how I viewed my life as a whole. Thankfully, that moment led to a better thought on the way home — specifically, that I needed to get right mentally because I was not seeing things accurately. I then remembered an excellent book I read two years ago about winning the war in your mind.
What I am about to share is something I learned from studying Craig Groeschel. Not only do I recommend that you listen to his leadership podcast, but I also recommend every book he has written. I learned so much from his book, Winning the War of Your Mind, that I cannot recommend it enough.
In the book, Craig shared a “daily declaration.” The first time I read it, I thought about how powerful Craig’s declaration was. I then referred back to it a few times over the next few months but eventually forgot about it as the months passed.
My Daily Declaration
Fast forward to that doctor’s appointment: When I was leaving, I remembered Craig’s daily declaration. I knew I needed perspective, so I decided to get his book out and take another look at it.
I realized that I needed to do a better job of leading myself, particularly in mental health. So I decided to create my own daily declaration, then set a reminder on my phone to read it aloud every morning before work. After 30 days, I planned to ask myself if it made any difference.
I borrowed some lines from Craig’s daily declaration to create my declaration, then added a few of my own. I ended up with something like this:
Jesus is first in my life. I exist to serve and glorify Him.
I love my wife and will lay down my life to serve her.
I love people, and I believe the best about other people.
I am creative, innovative, driven, focused, and blessed beyond measure because the Spirit of God dwells within me.
With the power of the Holy Spirit, I can stay calm and collected in the midst of the furnace. For God is with me!
Of course, your daily declaration would look different than mine, and it might not be so closely tied to spiritual truths. The point, however, is to create a declaration that gives you renewed perspective — a perspective that will give you the fight to take on any internal resistance you feel. Remember: we’ll face resistance in anything worth doing. We must lead ourselves first to counter that resistance.
My Prayer for You
As we come to a close, I pray that you find inner peace. Life is hard. I write these words a few days after two teenagers were killed in a car accident about a mile from Hoffer Plastics. I can’t stop thinking about their family and the horrific loss they are experiencing. Everybody has to grieve and go through the cycle of grief on their own. In fact, I think the most applicable Bible verse in situations like these is simply:
You might wonder what this tragedy has to do with having a daily declaration? I can only share, again, part of my own declaration, and I share it because it has helped me keep perspective as I weep with those who are weeping.
Pain is my friend. I rejoice in suffering because Jesus suffered for me.
Jesus frees me from fearing death. He is there waiting. Eternity awaits.
Therefore, I can smile through any difficult situation or season.
I would never preach that to someone else. I’ll reiterate that everyone has to go through the grief process in their own way.
But I preach this to myself. I declare it to myself. It’s my daily declaration.
I pray that the resistance you face is the kind that I typically face. And as I mourn with our community, I invite you to create a daily declaration that will allow you to speak truth to the lies in your head and weather life’s inevitable storms.