Why I Struggled to Lead Boldly and How God Fixed It

Are you struggling to lead boldly? Once courageous, I recently struggled to lead with confidence. I second-guessed my every move. Here’s how God helped me regain boldness.


Not too long ago, I morphed into a timid leader while wondering where my courage went. Once a go-getter, if someone called for a leader, I raised my hand.

At some point growing up, I overheard an adult talking about how you could tell if a kid is a leader. If some children decided to do something together, one of those kids would start organizing it without invitation, give directions, and lead the group toward the next step. The kid that achieved results is a leader.

I sat in wonder of this new piece of information. I did that. Well, I could be quite bossy. But I am a leader? Whoa.

After that, when the opportunity arose, I stepped back to see if any of the other kids would lead. When I saw another take the unofficial role, I respected that. But if it was chaos, I couldn’t contain that drive to lead. I jumped in every time.

Sometimes it wouldn’t always be to the betterment of the group because a novice has a lot to learn. I naively thought those leadership tendencies made me a born leader and I didn’t need to grow in it. As an adult, that headiness got the better of me; I crashed and burned after leading foolishly. For example, I trained a new director only to middle-manage her decisions after that. But God helped me gain wisdom over the years and get some real experience under my belt.

Disturbing Tentativeness

So recently when I found myself second-guessing my every move, that tentativeness disturbed me. I’m no longer a novice. What happened to the bold girl that jumped at chances without looking back? I noticed it affected multiple components of my life. The fabric of my life had rips—and it frightened me. I looked for validation anywhere I could find it. I cried out to God, asking Him to show me what was going on. I can’t lead this way!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 ESV

Then one day I noticed how I avoided Facebook as much as possible. I’d get on and off as fast as my fingers could fly. I read articles but gravitated away from people I knew in real life, especially dear friends that had hurt me. They appeared to go on their merry way while my heart was left reeling from their soul-crushing rejection. I began to see a connection and the source became clear….

To finish reading this post, follow me to Rachel Britton’s site where I’m sharing for her #BeBoldGirl series on how God helped me when I was struggling to lead boldly. 

Once courageous, I recently struggled to lead boldly. I second-guessed my every move. Tentativeness disturbed me. Here’s how God helped me regain boldness. #ThrivingInChrist #LiveYielded Click To Tweet

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6 Comments

  1. God empowers us to serve Him Kelly. Doubt and discouragement is from the enemy. Thank you for your openness and honesty in this post.Encouraging words indeed. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season. Have a fantastic week, and may God continue to guide and grant you wisdom as you live for Him. Be well friend and God bless.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Great to see you here, Horace! I’m thankful that God walks us through our weaknesses and empowers us with strength and boldness. He is a good Father. Although seasons like these are painful, I’m glad to share them now. I hope others can use it if they find themselves in a similar season. Praying that God blesses you and your ministry, friend!

  2. Wow, I’m seeing shadows of my own story here. Heading over to Rachel’s to finish reading . . .

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks for joining us, Michele!

  3. It was a blessing to read this article this morning. I too have built up walls around my heart because of past hurts. This year has been especially tough. But, through the power of the Holy Spirit, His Word, and the testimony of others such as yourself, I am slowly tearing down those walls! Thank you for being real and honest about your own struggles. God has used you to minister to me greatly! Lord bless you!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      I’m so glad my story helped you, Tracy! It’s not an easy process to tear down the walls, but so necessary to be a healthy leader. Praying next year is a better year for you.

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