A Few Lines from Presence

I posted about Amy Cuddy’s book Presence on January 31. I finally finished it today. What a great read.

The last two chapters were worth the wait. Chapter ten addresses what she called self-nudging. Here are a few quotes:

Presence is about approaching your biggest challenges without dread, executing them without anxiety, and leaving them without regret. We don’t get there by deciding to change right now. We do it gently, incrementally, by nudging ourselves – a bit further every time.

Focusing on process encourages us to keep working, to keep going, and to see challenges as opportunities for growth, not as threats of failure.

The more you reframe your anxiety as excitement, the happier and more successful you may become.

And chapter eleven captures the point of the whole book. “Fake it till you become it.”

Saying No to Say Yes (book review)

I don’t recall how I came across this book. I’m guessing it was a “if you like that book you’ll like this book” Kindle referral. God bless Kindle.

If you are remotely involved with pastors (you are one, you serve one, you sit under one, you counsel one, you plan to be one, you’re married to one, you are searching for one, you just hired one, you used to be one), this book is gold. Why? Because the church world more often than not fails when it comes to pastoral boundaries. Ask your pastor.

We cannot become an expert at anything if we are responding to everything.

If for no other reason, get the book for chapter three, Setting Boundaries in Anxious Congregational Systems. Congregations become anxious for all kinds of reasons. That’s part of community. In those anxious seasons, they respond in various ways. Chapter three discusses four of those: projection, scapegoating, triangles, and multigenerational transmission. Immensely helpful.

The greater the anxiety, the more primitive the functioning of members… The greater the anxiety and emotional contagion, the more primitive and reactive people become and the less capable of creative thinking.

Chapter three also introduces the topic of differentiation-the ability to be in emotional contact with others yet still autonomous in one’s emotional functioning.

True differentiation is the ability to go home, not become emotionally reactive, and attempt to maintain a one-to-one relationship with key members of the family… Trying to keep everyone happy is not differentiation nor is avoiding or cutting off from unpleasant people. Differentiation is the ability to lead, set clear boundaries, say “no” when necessary, while at the same time building intimate relationships – even with those with whom we disagree.

All pastors will face boundary issues. It comes with the serving people career. If your pastor is up to pursuing excellence, he will agree with this final quote:

It is our job to preach, teach, and live a gospel that doesn’t depend on human over-functioning but on God’s grace.

Do him and yourself a favor. Get copies of this book and start creating healthy boundaries that connect to an overwhelming “Yes.”

The Phenomenon (Book Recommendation)

You don’t have to be a Cardinals fan, not even a baseball fan, to enjoy this book. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. It’s a true story about overcoming obstacles in life
  2. It’s a look at the professional athlete’s world that feels like any other person’s world
  3. It’s a story of perseverance
  4. It’s written well, written to keep your attention, and written emotionally honestly
  5. It contains life lessons for all of us, whether we are the struggler or the one walking with the struggler

“If a tire goes flat, does the reason matter?” @TheeRickAnkiel #thephenomenon

Here’s some people who should read this book:

  • Those directly impacted by anxiety disorders
  • Those working with young adults with high potential
  • Those coaching clients through life-altering seasons and incidents
  • Those addressing family-orientation obstacles
  • Those who are trying to answer the question, “What are you going to do?”

“All I had to do was look up. All I had to do was stop the fear from rising.” @TheeRickAnkiel #thephenomenon