Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Anxious

You know I enjoy our monthly local Key Leaders gathering.  Last time I threw out the invitation to pause with eyes closed to let any anxieties flicker into more conscious focus.  Say, the sort of reaction you get when your least favourite neighbour asks "for a chat", or a chase-up email or note drops into your in-tray.

We defined anxiety as: "Imagination captured by something negative, so you experience an emotional knock-on and your decision-making is challenged".  When we came to share in turn, the guys were pleasingly honest and open.  We identified:

1. Social pain: because there'd some excruciating element in the interaction.

2. Abandon: you'll be found left standing alone and unsupported, exposed and vulnerable; it seems your destiny.

3. Pride/vanity: your reputation, self regard, status, etc, will get demolished.
4. Emptiness and resource deficit: you won't have what it takes in competence, accomplishment, ability to manage the context, time, contact with God, relevant knowledge.

5. Correction; that will destroy you, because you associate it with rejection; your fragile self-worth will be bankrupted, having got it wrong (or even just being charged with this).

6. Losing the argument, losing initiative in the conversation, losing control of the decisions in hand, forcing down your cherished truth claim, falling under the power of the verbally adept and belligerent.

7. Disqualification through ignorance or infringement of the rules.

8. Your decision-making processes will crumble; else you will need to endure conflicts of disinclination or dissonance.

9. Don't upset mummy (or some current female primary figure: many Christian leaders need deliverance from this.)

10. Exposure where we've been in the background, shadows; or able to deflect attention, responsibility and unpleasantness from your threshold.

11. Fear of corruption: compromise of your righteousnesses, integrity and person will pitch you into guilt and defilement.

12. Ending on the wrong side of authority through carelessness, indolence, procrastination, deceit, subterfuge, discontentment.

We'd banned the too-general "failure"; but interestingly physical violence didn't get much airing.  The fearful thing is that all these serve to undermine our confidence, which is a key attribute to delivering secure leadership.

No comments: