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What's Holding You Back?

We at Collective Impact are dedicated to serving nonprofit leaders to impact the community, create jobs and leave a legacy. In addition, we help our Leaders of Color overcome

internal and external barriers preventing success by providing educational content and professional services. This week we will examine internal barriers:

With all the challenges we encounter daily, the most impactful are the barriers we set for ourselves.

I pray this blog will make you look internally and honestly at your mindset, and see what, if

anything is holding you back?

  • Have you had an idea for six months now but have not done anything with it? Do you chalk it up to being a perfectionist? You are not a perfectionist; you are scared of judgment and failure?

  • Have you needed to write a grant proposal but never gotten around to it? Or do you keep rewriting it because you do not think it is good enough to submit? That is self-doubt holding you back.

  • Have you leaped to start your nonprofit but are unsure about making it grow? Is the spirit of fear limiting your progress?

We will discuss all these things below and how to overcome them.

Fear of Success

This is very common. The fear of success paralyzes some, is often unconscious, revealing itself in procrastination and otherwise acts of self-sabotage. We wanted to speak to that being successful is overwhelming because you have to be everything to everyone. This is why we incorporate a course in Impact Academy, "Comprehensive Well-Being," taught by the therapist, minister, and mental health advocate, Jasmine Pope. Being a nonprofit leader is a tall order, and stewarding physical, mental, spiritual well-being is imperative. Angelica Miller taught Impact Academy on Time Management to provide practical ways of creating work-life harmony. Again, we wanted to speak to the common fear of success. As long as we acknowledge God in all thy ways, he will direct our paths and make us sensitive to his guidance and wisdom of when to rest and refuel and let go of things not serving us. Yes, the more success you have, the more responsibilities. However, the more freedom you gain, the more options you have to hire others to lighten the load. And most important, remember your Why, to impact people's lives through the nonprofit mission. God wants to bless us so we can be a blessing to others and give him the honor! The remedy to fear of success can be found in the book of Deuteronomy.

Behold, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and take possession of it, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 1:21

Fear of Failure

Everyone has something to say about the social issues plaguing our community, but few have answered the call to solve them. However, YOU DID! That, my friend, speaks volumes! I want to applaud your courage to step out on faith and start a nonprofit. So give yourself some grace. We need to shift our perspective about failure.

Failure is not the opposite of success; it is a component of it. You never started a nonprofit before. Mistakes are going to happen. My prayer for everyone is that we learn to separate what we do from who we are. If your identity is in an outside source, it's harder to handle mistakes. We tend to internalize them rather than learn from them. I promise I had to learn this myself. You can read Letter from Rashaunda to learn all about my mistakes as a nonprofit leader and how I learned from them. Romans 8:28 always comforts me.

All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his will.

Everything you go through is preparing you. So to submit to the process and trust God's timing.

Worried About What People Will Say/Think

In our social media-driven society, we're constantly exposed to the lives and opinions of others. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts, for everything that we do flows from it. Sometimes you need to UNPLUG. I practice this every Sunday. I started to feel myself getting anxious and feeling pressured to Grind instead of being led by the Holy Spirit. If we aren't careful, we will begin to compare our lives and businesses to everyone else's or, worst, shrink to keep others comfortable. I just got to a point where I can only focus on the vision God has given me, and anything or anyone who wasn't advancing HIS purpose or feeding my spirit I eliminated. Take a moment and reflect on the things you feed your spirit. Are they drawing you closer to fear of Man or God's will for your life? I once read that people are waiting on you to do what God has called you to do. Will you keep them waiting?

Lack of Trust

This one right here is a common tactic of the enemy. Divide and Conquer. I don't know what the root of your lack of trust may be, AND I'm not diminishing its impact on you. I know that God provides provision through people, and if you are crippled by distrust, you can overlook the people God sent to bless you. If I submit to you, my lack of trust was a form of protection because people always let me down. My defense mechanism was "I don't need anyone," so I did everything myself. Holy Spirit really did work in me to reveal that truth and remind me that we are called to community. Where there is Unity, there is an anointing. If anyone could have walked in Purpose alone, it was Jesus, yet he set an example for us for the importance of community with his disciples. We all fall short from Grace and will disappoint one another. We will all encounter Judas. You don't have to trust people not to make mistakes; TRUST God to send THE RIGHT people and protect you from anything and anyone that attempts to harm you. Pray for the gift of discerning spirits and listen to it, no matter what. We focus a lot on Kingdom Mentorship in the Collective Impact community. We are many members but of one body. You can read the blog posts "We Need Eachother" and Who's Pouring into you? For more encouragement in this area.

Self Doubt

This is a common struggle for us all. I find it interesting everyone in scripture that had a vision and was guided to purpose always questioned God: Who me? Moses gave excuses, "Lord, I am slow of speech," "Who am I to speak to Pharoah?" God called Gideon, what He didn't see in himself, "Mighty man of Valor," and Gideon asked for confirmation several times to ensure God meant HIM. Aren't we glad God's word will not return to Him void. HE CALLS US BY OUR NAME, even in the winepress hiding or focused on our shortcomings. Sometimes, we don't believe in ourselves and can't handle any more rejection, i.e., grant denials. We naturally avoid any opportunity that will make us feel unworthy. I want to remind you that you are loved; you are God's masterpiece. He doesn't make mistakes, and He has given you the vision to serve his people and be the light in a dark world. Focus on what God says about you to drown out the doubt.

We created a biblical affirmation worksheet in the Impact Academy workbook for you to find scripture to build up your Godfidence. Download it here. Find HIS TRUTH to speak to the lies of unworthiness, the shame from past mistakes, and lies spoken over you by others. You can print the worksheet or fill it in digitally. Then, post them everywhere as a reminder of who God says you are!

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life or death, but it first starts in mind.

We have to feed ourselves HIS word and renew our minds daily. Speak life over yourself, men and women of God. Then, surround yourself with a kingdom community that will pray with and for you, oily friends that can break yokes of bondage off of you.


We often use words interchangeably. Pride is one of those things people get mixed up with arrogance and ego. The key difference between ego and pride is that ego is a sense of self-importance which can lead to arrogance, whereas pride is a sense of satisfaction. Scripture tells us that God opposes the Proud. We're called to be servant leaders. It's not by might, nor by our power but by HIS spirit that we accomplish things For HIS Glory! As a nonprofit leader, the main focus is Impact, not popularity. It's not about getting the credit. It's about serving others. Not asking for help is ego why because you may want all the credit. Ouch, I know. It hurt writing that, but it's true.

We Can't Heal What We Won't Reveal" Jay Z

Again we want to remind you that this is a safe space for nonprofit leaders. If you felt convicted, take it up with our Boss. Seriously pray on it and ask for revelation and deliverance and do the work.

We can provide all the information and services to advance your nonprofit, but we can't change your mindset. We all have to get to the root of the actual problems because excuses will not change our communities. Our prayer is that this may open your eyes to whatever internal barrier you may be facing that prevents your nonprofit from growing and making the impact you envision; when God called you to serve.

Next week we will focus on the external barriers that may be holding your organization back. If this resonated with you, let us know on the Collective Impact App social wall. Your testimony may bless someone who is struggling in the same area. Please let us know how we may serve you be its relevant content, prayer, whatever it is; we are in this together.

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