As a parent, there is high level of leadership in a family as we have little ones paying attention to everything we are doing. As they get older, teens notice more of what we do as parents and will point out things they see that may be contrary to what we say. As parent leaders, we want our children (our followers) to learn from us so they can also be a leader in their lives when they reach maturity. There are too many people that have influence over us and we do not always take the time to hear what we want in our lives. I began to notice this more over the last few years.
The turning point was early in 2019. I was asked almost two years ago to be part of a leadership conference at my church. I was honored to be one of the people selected to be a presenter as there were only going to be three presenters. Little did I know at the time that there were to be three women to present to the leaders of the church. I was excited and nervous at the same time, although I was a mother of two teens, have been running a business, providing trainings as well as teaching social work students on the college and graduate level, I somehow felt ill equipped to lead the leaders of the church. Who am I to tell the elders of the church about leading in their lives? They were older than I was and respectably wiser. These are common signs of Imposture Syndrome.
When I arrived to the event and saw the event was largely attended about 200 people, I felt even more nervous. I read the back of the folder of the conference, the other two ladies on the lineup had strong bio’s. I was fortunate to have a friend who attended who prayed with me and encouraged me to see myself as successful as the other presenters.
I was first to present and once I was on stage and began to be myself, the nerves dissipated. I felt as though I was talking to friends and shared what I knew to be beneficial. I shared how I viewed my life, working, giving, parenting, living. I shared how many times I was knocked down and had to find a way to get up and learn how to prevent myself from being knocked down in the future.
I do not have to opportunity to share my journey as a therapist, because my job is to be there for my clients. As a parent I do join my client’s who are parents, in comradery, that parenting is difficult, but do not share as much of my parenting experiences as I am to listen to their journey and struggles that bring them to therapy. I am to help them to heal from their hurt and begin anew. On this day of the conference, I was able to share that like many others, I must practice what I preach, in other words I follow the suggestions and recommendations offered to those who come to see me in my office.
The comments after the training were surprising to me. I had a lady who was seventy years old share that I had taught her things that at this point in her life she did not realize she had to change, that it was difficult for her to hear but well received. She thanked me as did many others.
I continue to ensure that I’m leading my children in the best way I can which is by finding the balance in all areas of my life. Noticing and focusing on the weaker areas to bring them to the level of the stronger areas. My oldest child, now an adult, is starting to notice more of how I balance, and she is beginning to do the same. I wanted to share this story as it is never too late to begin to be that leader. No use in wishing I had noticed this sooner in my life, I am glad I notice this now and can share with others.
I wish you balance in your life, in this year and many more to come.