Author: pastorjacobs

10 POWERFUL WAYS TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF IN ANY SITUATION!

1. Practice being transparent and authentic.

It might be difficult at times, but if you learn to express yourself openly and honestly, it will feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. So often, we hide behind a halfhearted smile and nod instead of saying what we think. It takes practice, but learning to be authentic and open about what you are feeling or thinking is the first step. Once you get in the habit of making yourself heard without being overly accommodating or defensive, people will be more open to hearing you.

2. Take small but powerful steps.

If you are struggling with being assertive, start taking small steps to stand up for yourself. Even just learning to walk more confidently—head held high, shoulders back—will help you appear and feel more confident. Channel that confidence when dealing with others. This attitude can apply to all areas of your life. Feeling annoyed at the person who cut in front of you at Starbucks? Politely ask them to move to the back. See an unfair charge on a bill from one of your service providers? Call and dispute it.

3. When someone attacks, wait them out.

As you grow more confident in expressing yourself, you’re also going to have to learn to face those who want to override you. There will always be people whose personalities are set to attack mode. It’s important that you remain calm but assertive if you feel like someone is trying to bully you. Don’t allow yourself to get frazzled or react with low blows. Don’t cater to them or allow them to browbeat you either. Walk the high road but stand your ground.

4. Figure out what’s really bothering you.

Going with the flow for the purposes of not making waves actually creates more stress and anxiety for yourself. Of course, mustering the courage to face something or someone that is bothering you can feel scary. But facing the issue will empower you to make it better and diminishes the control it has over you. Remember, people can’t read your mind; if you don’t vocalize what is bothering you, no one will know.

5. Clarify first, without attacking.

It’s tempting to take a self-righteous stand, especially if you are sure you are in the right. From your viewpoint, you are justifiably defending yourself against someone who seems to be entirely in the wrong. But it’s important to resist the urge to react with emotion. Instead, take a breath and calmly explain your perspective to them. Avoid combative tones or accusatory words. Clarify exactly what you mean and listen to their response. Only then can a real discussion begin to take place.

6. Practice makes perfect.

Once you start getting the hang of what it means to stand up for yourself, it’s time to practice asking for what you want as often as possible. When someone says something you openly disagree with, or you feel pushed into doing something you don’t want to do, say something. Research shows that it takes 66 days to form a new habit, so stick with the new assertiveness for two months and you might be surprised by the results.

7. Be deliberate.

Here’s a situation that many of us have found ourselves in: sharing space with a messy co-worker or a roommate who is a slob. You might have remained silent while growing more aggravated at the situation. It might be tempting to slip into passive-aggressive behavior, such as angrily cleaning up the mess or making snide comments. Try being deliberate instead. Tell the person how you are feeling without being accusatory. Be straightforward with your concerns. Follow up with a simple suggestion that can correct the situation, such as: “If you can take a minute to tidy up your space at night, it would be a big help.”

8. Stand up for your time.

Time is a precious and limited commodity, and yet we often feel pressured to give it away when we have the ability to say no. There are times when you might not have a choice, such as when your boss says a project has high priority. But don’t let obligations dictate how you spend the hours of your day. You are in control of your own time. Push back when it’s appropriate, or tactfully disengage from those people or situations that submerge your schedule.

9. Recognize that no one can invalidate you.

You are in complete ownership of your feelings and actions. Your beliefs, emotions, thoughts and ideas belong to you, and no one else can tell you what you feel or invalidate your opinions. Likewise, if you seek to invalidate other people’s points of view, you are also sabotaging any chance for problem-solving or having an open discussion.

10. Fake it till you make it.

Learning to stand up for yourself won’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow comfortable with being assertive. While you are in the learning stage, it might help to imagine that you are an actor learning to play a new role.

Imagine that you are the most assertive person you know. How would they handle themselves in a difficult situation? There might be times when you swing from being overly zealous to being too indecisive. Learning to stand up for yourself is like riding a bike: Eventually, you will find the right balance.

CAN I BE AN EFFECTIVE PASTOR IF I DON’T LIKE MANAGEMENT?

Pastors are not managers, at least in a corporate-business-world-publicly-traded-company-sort-of-way. But pastors are shepherds. And shepherds manage sheep.

Leading a church involves management. A church hierarchy assumes management. And most churches—even smaller congregations—are not completely flat in structure. Even at the most basic level, churches require management. Who pays the bills? When does the meeting start? Who is responsible for snow removal? Who fills the baptistery? What is our policy? Those are basic managerial questions. Most churches are more complex.

Some senior leaders in the church gravitate towards being more like a senior writer or senior analyst. These leaders are recognized for their intellectual contributions but do not have managerial oversight. Many teaching pastors have this type of role in the church. Other senior leaders prefer to manage the minutia and deal with people issues. Many executive pastors have this type of role. Most pastors, however, must both teach and execute.

The vast majority of pastoral roles include management. So, can church leaders be effective if they don’t like management? Yes, but they must compensate in these ways.

Be self-aware. One of the core problems of bad management is poor managers often do not recognize their weak managerial skills. When you’re self-aware about your weaknesses (and willing to admit them), then you’re more likely to receive help from others. No pastor can (nor should) do it all. And all pastors should be self-aware of what they can and cannot do.

Discern what to delegate. Just because you’re naturally good at doing something does not mean you are able to manage others doing the same thing. Some pastors delegate their responsibilities too quickly. Others delegate the wrong responsibilities. And some tasks should never be delegated. Delegation with discernment makes up for a lot of managerial weaknesses.

Don’t fear being the doer. Some people prefer doing tasks. Others prefer managing people who do the tasks. If you cherish a few tasks, then don’t give them up. Keep doing them. For instance, a pastor might enjoy locking the church after the evening service as an opportunity to prayer walk.  Or, if you’re an artistic type, there may be certain creative tasks that are difficult to manage. Good church leaders know what select tasks they enjoy most and keep doing them, sparing their followers the inevitable and overbearing micro-management that would accompany overseeing others doing them.

You don’t have to like management to be an effective pastor. But shepherding a congregation does involve managing others. All pastors should both teach and execute. Few master both. If you’re weaker at managing, then you can compensate through self-awareness, discernment, and doing the tasks you enjoy most.


FIVE REASONS TO USE TESTIMONIALS ON YOUR WEBSITE!

1. Customer testimonials help build trust

Simply having a customer testimonial section can be enough to earn the trust of your visitors. This is because, first and foremost, they are proof that you have customers and are therefore a legitimate business and not some sort of online scam. Secondly, testimonials are kind of like positive reviews from previous customers. The more testimonials you have, the more your visitors will assume that you must be a trustworthy company.

 

2. Customer testimonials work like referrals

People tend to trust other consumers over businesses, and for good reason. Few people will trust a business because they’ll assume that their end goal is just to get their money. Customer testimonials work like referrals, convincing your visitors that they can rely on your business.

 

3. They can explain the benefits of your products or services

Customer testimonials don’t just help to position your company in a positive and reputable light, they are also effective in explaining how beneficial your product or service can be. A good customer testimonial will include what the customer’s need was and how your product or service was the solution to that need.

 

For example, if you’re running a law firm, then in one testimonial, a customer might go into how they were injured in a car accident and needed legal assistance. They could then explain how by using your legal council, they were able to win their lawsuit and obtain a large settlement.

 

4. They can explain how your products or services work

A company’s products and services may not always be self-explanatory. In fact, some products and services can be used in multiple ways. Visitors to your website can glean information on how your products or services can work from your customer testimonials. This is because your customers are likely to explain how they used your products or services to meet their needs.

 

Take for example a product like a stain remover. Your customers can explain in their testimonials the different ways in which they were able to effectively use your stain remover, whether it was to remove a wine stain from their couch or to remove pet stains from their carpet. These are different examples of how the product can be used.

 

5. They can help you create an emotional connection

It’s a lot easier for visitors to connect with other customers than it is for them to connect with a CEO of a company. If they can relate to the customers in your testimonials, it will be easier for them to relate to your brand. Such an emotional connection can be a powerful tool when it comes to converting new customers. Be sure to use the names and pictures of the customers providing the testimonials to make it even easier for visitors to connect with them on an emotional level. 


SOME ADVICE FROM AN OLD FRIEND

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.  Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.
An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.  As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you
to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. 
Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider this:
Never receive counsel from unproductive people.
 Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who
never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. 

Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. 
You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person.
 
Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.

With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. 
Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. 
Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. 
If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.

STAY WISE MY FRIEND!