Sometimes we fail to do the things in our heart, to really go for it, or to even start, because of the who-do-you-think-you-are mentality. Fear may hold us back from putting ourselves out there and creating the things we not only feel that we should create, but the things we must create. This is a common struggle and one that must be overcome before we can accomplish the important things we are called to do and reach for the next level in our lives. This is about pressing forward to pursue mission critical advancements. In this episode, David and Donna take a few pages from their own lives the transparently share the battles they’ve faced, and continue to face in confidently creating the things in their hearts.

For the article and the time-stamped episode notes, continue reading. 

1:15  We’ve heard a lot of creative people talk about the “imposter syndrome”. The term is used to describe the feeling of fear you get every time you put yourself out there and create something that has a lot of yourself in it.

[3:05]  It is that who-do-you-think-you-are feeling. It is the fear that the more you write, speak, create, the more likely it is that people will discover that you are an imposter. The more I create, the more people have opportunity to see who I really am and what I can really do. Sometimes we don’t like ourselves so much, and we don’t want people to discover who we really are.

We all have fears and doubts, and those fears paralyze us.

[4:00]  I’ve found that it is easier to dream about things than do them, because as long as we talk about the great things we want to do and all of the things that we will create someday; as long as we do not act upon those dreams, we cannot be proven to be an inept fraud.

[4:28]  I (David) built this podcast out for years in my head. I recorded a couple of first attempts as far back as 2011. Having a dream and actually doing the work to execute the dream are two different things.  For me, perfectionism held me back. I wanted everything to be perfect before we launched. Why? Because perfection validates my worth. Perfection proves that I have a right to create. Perfection proves that I have something to say of value. The problem is, perfection lies in the value of something, not in its execution.

[5:28]  You can perfectly execute a creative project; but the value, the perfection if you will, is in the result not the product.

I have written 140,000 words in my journal as of this June morning in 2017. Yet, I struggle to keep my commitment of posting a weekly blog post. I write every morning, and most everything I write could be fashioned into a transparent and valuable blog post that would help people.

In the near future we will do a podcast about dealing with criticism, because it is a closely related topic, but this episode is about the internal critic rather than the external critics.

[7:55]  Why do I hesitate? There are a lot of reasons, but one of them is being found out. It is the fear of judgement. It is the fear of people discovering that they really don’t like the real me. And the greatest fear of all: That I present myself in the wrong way, in a way that isn’t reflective of who I really am, that I am perceived incorrectly. Such a fear causes me to work and rework what I write and create to alleviate any possibility of misunderstanding, and I rework the heart and soul out of things, then what’s the point.

[9:48]  We had Wayne Benson do a Pastor / Board Training a year or so ago in our School of Ministry. I prepared 100 booklets I had written about leading a board, board agendas, board development, and leadership development. I reformatted the resources and was proud of it. The content was and is killer content. The contents of that book are worth at least a few hundred dollars in lessons learned. At the end of the day someone asked me if I had the books to distribute from the front of the room. I just shook my head “no”. I did not distribute the books. There are still 75 of them in a cabinet at the office.

[12:07]  Every creative deals with these same things. We sometimes feel that what we’ve created is not worthy to see the light of day, and worse, sometimes we simply don’t attempt creating something awesome that’s in our hearts because we have fears and doubts. That’s the purpose of this episode. Calibrate Life.

[13:17]  We’ve done a lot of episodes that relate to pressing forward, to getting unstuck, making the right decisions, choosing the right paths, having the courage to move forward through the fog. Why? Because we are clawing for our lives to press forward, to stay unstuck, to make the right decisions at this critical critical juncture of our lives. We are bolstering the courage to move forward through the fog in our lives. But it isn’t simply our journey, this is the feeling of a majority of the leaders we meet and talk to.

We were warned about The who-do-you-think-you-are feeling we would have that would keep us from hitting publish. We had to ignore those feelings, again. We had to start. We had to publish. We had to believe. We had to anchor in the passions of our hearts.

Live with Integrity of Heart  [14:30]

Every simple, small and sometimes seemingly meaningless decision has the power to create a ripple effect that will change the complexion of everything. We cannot be paralyzed and fear the impact of each and every decision in its potential for blessing or destruction. That would be thinking too much at the very highest level.

So, what are the implications? What are the take-aways from this line of thinking?

[16:10]  Live life. Trust God. The things that are supposed to happen are going to happen. We have to trust God is conducting our lives as a master conductor. We make so many decisions and turns on “auto-pilot” that there is no way to orchestrate a cohesive plan, really. Instead we do the best we can do.

[16:52]  We do the best we can do. We walk in the Spirit. We seek God’s face. We humble ourselves. We try to choose wisely. We try to listen. We make choices. Sometimes we are right, and maybe sometimes we are wrong. With integrity of heart we move forward.

The scriptures say that with integrity of heart David shepherded, he led with integrity of heart. In my life, if I cultivate a heart of integrity, then I must trust that heart of integrity that God is able to lead me in paths that I need to walk. So that means that the condition and the attitude of our hearts is more important than the power of any single decision.

[17:51]  We must cultivate the integrity of our hearts in the calibration of our lives.

[shareable]We must cultivate the integrity of our hearts in the calibration of our lives.[/shareable]

Yes, our decisions are powerful and they do create the path and direction of everything attached to our lives, but the integrity of our heart divinely keeps everything intact. It keeps everything whole.

If we are whole and integral in the living of our lives, such integrity will seep into our decisions. The power and revelation of God in us is supernatural.

Believe that God Orchestrates Our Lives [18:44]

Really, God does orchestrate our lives.

So, rather than agonizing over every decision as to whether it is right or wrong, we need to focus on calibrating our lives before God and having integrity of heart.

Our world was turned upside down by a reality that culminated in a sudden and unexpected turn of events that went against the hope and confidence of our faith. Everything changed. Were there any decisions that could have changed the outcome?

[19:47]  Either I believe that God is directing my life or he isn’t. Either I believe his sovereignty that when I do the very best that I humanly can, to be a person of integrity before God in the context of my human passions and filters, or I don’t believe it.

[20:16]  If I believe it then I have to accept where I am right now, in this moment, as the perfect, good, and divinely orchestrated will of God. If I believe it then this stage, the one I’m on, is my stage. This is my platform. This is my path. Like it or do not like it, this path is attached to a divinely orchestrated succession of events that has brought me to this place.

[22:02]  To take this further, if I trust and believe in the sovereignty of God in my poor and beggarly life, then I rest in the confidence of the decisions I am making right now.


Drive the stake.

Right here, right now!

By faith I proclaim that I am exactly where God wants me to be.

I am standing in the exact place I am to be standing for the fulfillment of His desired future.

So, What Are We Afraid of?  [22:33]

Some of these concerns are valid and deserve our attention. Some of them are fears that need squashed.

 Fear #1: What I’m doing isn’t transformational, It isn’t significant   [23:08]

I want to make a difference; and if what I’m doing is irrelevant and doesn’t make a difference, then it is worthless. Valid or invalid?

Identify the transformational value. Adjust the project, dream, or initiative and focus on building its transformational value.

Fear #2: I am not positioned, I need to prepare myself further [25:42]

Positioning is important. Either I am here because of the sovereignty of God or because of a series of disobedient actions. But I stand where I stand. I will move forward from where I am, not where I wish I were. Either redemption or confidence applies. I need to allow God to position me.

You will never be exactly positioned where you wish you were.

[shareable]I will move forward from where I am, not where I wish I were.[/shareable]

Fear #3: I cannot sustain this. [28:50]

I have enough knowledge, content, or direction to start, but I’m not sure I can finish.

This is a valid evaluation.

We must believe the principle of stewardship. If we faithfully steward the gift given us, we will be given more. Sowing seed makes a harvest possible. When you invest what you have you will experience a return.

This could be a valid concern if you are not reading, if you are not putting things into your life, if you are not being fed from different sources and places, or if you are not coming into the presence of God daily and receiving revelation from the Father.

Fear #4: Failure – What if I cannot do this? [31:32]

The fear of failure is a common fear. I could repeat some platitudes, but the fact is sometimes we win, and sometimes we fail. Failure really is one of the best teachers. We have step out to learn and perfect.

Position yourself with a net at first. You can do spectacular high-wire acts if you have a net. Without a net our protection reflex kicks in, and we hold back.

Fear #5: Too much competition — No one cares about what I’m doing. [33:25]

No, and they will not until you give them a reason to care. You will not be noticed at first. I continue to nurse my blog with the realization that there are 400 million English language blogs in the world. We continue to do this podcast with the realization that there are nearly a half million podcasts with hundreds of new ones launching every day.

We want significance, but the world isn’t going to clear the stage for you. In fact, if you are the ONLY one in the world doing what you are doing, then embrace the reality that most of the time you have no competition because no one does care about what you are doing.

I don’t want to be trite, but the one thing you can do better than anyone else in the world is be you. The unique expression of your God-given gift has a place.

Don’t focus on doing the spectacular (016 Three Temptations Every Leader Faces), focus on obediently fulfilling your call.


The imposter syndrome is something usually felt by high achievers. They have experienced a measure of success. They mostly fear that they are not as good as people perceive them to be and, if they keep creating, they will be discovered for the fraud they are.

In this temporary world (2 Corinthians 4.16-18) the solution is continuing to do it anyway. Continue putting yourself out there, keep doing the work, keep creating the things in your heart, keep pursuing the dream.

From an eternal perspective, we have to see God as the divine orchestrator. We are empowered for our calling and we are dependent upon that empowerment.

A few years ago, when laying the foundations for Calibrate360 and the things I want to accomplish through it, my planning began to consider downplaying the “God thing”. Yes, I am a follower of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, I only want to please my Father, but I felt I could gain broader appeal if I just didn’t mention God too much.

[39:38] The Holy Spirit took me to task for thinking that way. I believe his exact words were, “Okay, let me get this straight, the thing that has made all of this work in your life, you are going to leave that part out.” Since that conversation I have embraced my source and who I am, and I haven’t looked back.

I know that I limit our audience, because the realities of the gospel of Christ are offensive to some. But to us, it is the power that sustains us. It is the reality that makes everything in our lives work and make sense. I can’t leave it out. It is who I am.

In all that you do, be true to who you are in God.

[shareable]In all that you do, be true to who you are in God.[/shareable]

[41:38]  You are not an imposter. You have a lot of things to offer to bringing the transformation you were called to bring. Step into it.

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