Female leadership coach Pastor Marjorie Esomowei often finds that women are held back from leadership by fear. Here she explains that that’s not what God had in mind when he put the call on their lives.
In my work as a pastor, coach, mentor and confidante to female leaders, across all spheres of society, one thing I’ve noted is that many experience fear which I define with this acronym; False, Evidence, Appearing, Real.
I am surprised by the depth of fear some female leaders experience, something I write about in my latest book, The Leading Lady, Her Life and Her Influence – especially when they are accomplished qualified leaders and have everything they need to succeed in their chosen field. Fear inhibits, causes inaction, and can prevent us from moving forward. Did you know the word “fear” is mentioned 500 times in scripture, and the phrase “fear not” a total of 365 times? God knew that there would be times his creation would be fearful and that he needed to remind them not to fear.
Women must learn to conquer fear because it can serve as a barrier preventing them from fulfilling God’s purposes, achieving their goals, and stops them from leading with confidence.
The fact that we are told so often to “fear not” has made me conclude that fear is an emotion women must learn to conquer because it can serve as a barrier preventing them from fulfilling God’s purposes, achieving their goals, and stops them from leading with confidence. Allowing scripture to encourage us is one key way female leaders can overcome any fears they may have. 1 Timothy 2:7 says: “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, but of love and a sound mind.” It’s important to be emboldened by this scripture.
It’s also important to recognise that our faith empowers us to overcome our fears and do that which we thought impossible. Philippians 4: 13 states “We can do all things through Christ.” This scripture reaffirms the fact that our faith gives us all we need to not only overcome fear but to do the things we are entrusted with.
Female leaders, should not succumb to fear. If they are called to lead they have all they need to be a great leader.
At other times it’s important to confront our fears and do the thing we fear. I remember when I worked in banking management, prior to coming to the UK to join my husband, and I went on a training course where participants were required to do a bungee jump. I had never heard about bungee jumping, and when I saw what it entailed I shook in my shoes. It looked frightening.
However, I did not want to let my bosses down and did it anyway – even though I screamed like crazy and my wig – yes I wore a wig – fell off. However, the fact that I confronted my fears and did the bungee jump impressed my superiors because when I went back to the office I was offered a promotion.
Being all God has called us to be, and the things we hope and pray for are often on the other side of our fears. Cliché I know but it’s true. Female leaders, should not succumb to fear. If they are called to lead they have all they need to be a great leader. The only fear a female leader should have is of Him who has power over the body, soul and spirit. In a nutshell, a leading lady must admit her fears but also face them. And when she faces them God will give her the strength, courage and ability to overcome them.