After I listened to Pastor Craig’s podcast this month, I started thinking about myself—you know, like you do when you get tagged in a group photo on social media. Who’s the first person you look at? I know I’m guilty of zooming in on myself first to make sure my hair looks good or my smile doesn’t look too weird. (Usually it does.) On your birthday, when you know everyone is thinking about you, it’s a good feeling. It feels good to focus on yourself, doesn’t it?
We all like to think we’re important people. We don’t like waiting in line, getting passed over for a promotion, or getting the smallest slice of cake. Those negative feelings happen when we focus on ourselves.
But when we focus on ourselves, what are the kinds of things we focus in on? We might start with the things we’re good at—being really smart, or a great friend, or having the best Instagram feed. Or, you might focus on your faults—like having a weird smile in pictures.
But there’s a healthy way to focus on yourself, and it starts with a simple truth.
That’s a quote from Pastor Craig in this month’s Leadership Podcast. In it, he discusses five steps to developing leaders—and honestly, if we’re focusing on ourselves, a lot of that has to do with a desire to be a leader. Pastor Craig says the first step to growth and development is self-awareness.
You see, we have an unlimited capacity for self-deception—we’re great at feeding ourselves lies about who we are or who we’re not. But when we’re working toward being self-aware, we start to overcome self-deception. When you really focus on yourself, you won’t just see your strengths, you’ll also see your weaknesses. You’ll see areas you can grow and develop instead of traits you can’t control. You’ll see the person God says you are. You’ll see the leader God created you to be.
Of course, developing self-awareness is only part of becoming a better leader. Trust and experience are indispensable. Knowing how and why to ask questions is a great way to keep growing, and it’s an excellent way to start taking ownership of your own development.
So focus on yourself, but do it for the right reason. If you’re working on yourself and growing into a good leader, you’ll grow into someone who will one day develop great leaders.
If you want to know more about what developing great leaders looks like, check out Pastor Craig’s latest podcast episode.