Tag Archives: Intelligence

Becoming Fearlessly Fulfilled: Authentic Responsibilities

The other day, I was hanging with my “other” family—a close-knit family that I love dearly and is incredibly close to my heart. The mother and daughter were having an honest conversation about something when the daughter essentially said, “Mom, every time you don’t do this, you make me feel guilty. I need you to do something else so that I won’t feel guilty.” The mother said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t help that what I do makes you feel guilty.” I nodded in agreement with the mother, because she was right: her daughter was placing responsibility for her feelings with someone else.

responsibility by renjith krishnan

image courtesy of renjith krishnan / freeditigalphotos.net

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned through my journey towards health is about authentic responsibilities. What are authentic responsibilities? These are the honest, real assessments that only we can make about ourselves. The term implies the real responsibilities each person takes upon themselves and the responsibilities each of us have for our own wellbeing. Over the next few weeks, I will be blogging about authentic responsibilities, which was introduced to me by Kathryn Chamberlin, a licensed social worker, while I was attending Celebrate Recovery. There are fourteen authentic responsibilities from Ms. Chamberlin that we will discuss over the next few weeks.

As we begin this incredible discussion, here are a few things to remember as you consider authentic responsibilities:

  • Swallow the shallow. At first glance, these responsibilities may read as very prideful and self-absorbed. Please read them prayerfully and remember as you read them that this is not a “me first” effort but a focus on areas in which you should choose to take personal accountability in your life. Remember—if you do not make these decisions for yourself, then you are inadvertently allowing others to make them for you. If you go to a restaurant and don’t place your order, you either will not get served or you may get something that you don’t want! Choosing what you want does not make you conceited; it gives you necessary boundaries. So swallow the idea that authentic responsibilities are shallow and prideful, and embrace personal responsibility.
  • Struggle sincerely. It is okay to struggle in these areas. I am not speaking as if I have mastered the art of each of these authentic responsibilities—in fact, I still struggle with many of them! There are plenty of days when I realize that I did not speak out my true feelings and caused others to guess, or I allowed someone else’s judgment of me to annoy me instead of refusing it. As with all growth, learning to take authentic responsibility is a process and a journey. Give yourself the grace to struggle with the ideas and actions that come along with accepting authentic responsibilities in your life.
  • Start somewhere. While you are struggling sincerely, seeing fourteen areas of authentic responsibility may be overwhelming. In addition, realizing the areas that you need to work on may be depressing! I remember feeling weighed down by the volume of areas and my need to work. But then I remembered to cut myself some slack, and I asked the Lord to show me where to begin. He did. He will do the same for you, if only you will ask. Take Him along on your journey and He will make sure that you continue the work He has started in you.

Are you ready to take on more authentic responsibilities for yourself? Let the journey begin!

What are your ideas about authentic responsibilities that each person should have? Share in the comments below or use my Contact Me page to send your ideas and/or schedule a 30-minute Identity Intensive!

Right or Well?

I got called out. My pastor responded to something I did by taking up an offense—and as a result, he hurt me very badly. Later, he wrote an e-mail asking me to meet and talk, and I responded with an e-mail telling him where to go and how to get there—-6 pages of shocking directions. It was not difficult to notice, unless you were me: I was emotionally unfit.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

What is emotional intelligence? I believe emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and control the emotions of yourself and others. A few years ago, I didn’t just lack emotional intelligence, I lacked the basic knowledge about myself and self-control as well, which made me an ineffective leader that never gained the respect of those I led. Had I known more about myself, I would have been able to effectively apply the principles of emotional intelligence and be a better leader.

The following are the three principles that I believe are the most important to improving emotional intelligence.

Principle 1: Manage your emotions. You can’t spell “emotional intelligence” without emotion. Our society and even our churches have become a place of rushed or hushed emotions. People are not taught how to properly express their emotions—or given the time or ability to be angry, to celebrate, to hurt, to grieve, or to heal. We need to shun any assumption in our communities that does not allow us to fully experience all feelings, including (and especially) grief and loss. When we allow ourselves to feel, we grow in empathy and allow others to see us transparently—which in turn draws them to us. And by understanding our emotions, we can control them—and the emotions of others.

Principle 2: Embrace conflict. Once you’ve learned to control your emotions, conflict becomes more manageable as well. As you grow in self-awareness and accept who God has made you to be, your desires during conflict will shift from self-centered to God-centered. You will choose to work through conflict instead of to bury it. Your new awareness and emotional control will affect how others’ respond in the midst of turmoil. Conflict is a natural and necessary part of life, and to grow emotionally, we must learn to face it head-on with grace.

Principle 3: Enforce boundaries. People with high emotional intelligence understand the importance of guarding their families, their time, and their hearts. Can you say “no” and mean it? Are you making sure your family gets the best of you? Do you put restrictions on your work hours? Edwin Louis Cole said, “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.” Setting appropriate boundaries will shield your life from unnecessary and unwanted difficulties while protecting what’s important.

The question is this: do you want to be right or do you want to be well? Part of being well includes being emotionally healthy and working on those areas where we may still be underdeveloped. Is it time for you to grow up emotionally? 

Interested in working on your emotional intelligence and becoming a better leader? Click on “Contact Me” at the top of this page to set up a discovery call with me!