An old adage says, "You can’t pour from an empty cup." Yet, how often do we find ourselves attempting to do just that, especially as servant leaders dedicated to empowering, uplifting, and guiding others? The drive to serve is both a blessing and a challenge. It is a blessing because we know the profound impact it can have on our communities and world. But it's also a challenge when the act of giving begins to deplete us instead of invigorating us.
At some point in our journeys, we've all encountered the expectation to give, whether it's our time, energy, or resources, out of sheer obligation. This kind of giving can lead to burnout, resentment, and a weakened ability to serve effectively.
When we give out of obligation:
Our actions are not fueled by passion or genuine desire.
We may neglect our own needs and boundaries.
The quality of our service diminishes.
In the end, no one benefits. Not us, not those we’re trying to help.
The Power of Giving from Abundance
Now, imagine a shift in perspective. Instead of feeling drained, joyful giving comes from a place of fullness, where our hearts are overflowing with the desire to serve. This is the essence of giving from abundance.
When we give from abundance:
We prioritize self-care and personal growth, ensuring that our cup remains full.
Our actions come from a place of genuine love and compassion.
We set clear boundaries, understanding that saying "no" at times can be the best service.
Steps to Cultivating Abundance
Self-care is Non-Negotiable: I am always going to start here. You absolutely cannot give or be for others what you have not become for yourself. Make time for activities that rejuvenate your spirit, whether it's reading, meditating, spending time in nature, or pursuing a hobby.
Celebrate Small Wins: Instead of waiting for major achievements, celebrate the tiny milestones. It is an act of gratitude. God will not give an ungrateful person more to be ungrateful for. Tiny celebrations of your life accumulate and foster a mindset of gratitude and abundance. It tells God I can be trusted to be blessed AND be a blessing.
Seek Support: Remember, servant leadership doesn't mean going it alone. Surround yourself with a supportive tribe, seek mentorship, and delegate when necessary and possible.
Practice Mindfulness: Do your best to be present in the moment. If you are bonding with your children, put the phone in a drawer. Being present with my children always inspires gratefulness and abundance for e because they are constant reminders of God's faithfulness, the God who gives his children good gifts. Can you think of an activity or people you spend time with who remind you of God's faithfulness?
Affirm Your Worth: Speak positivity into your life. Remind yourself daily of your worth and the value you bring to the world. We all have something to offer, be it a talent, gift, or smile on someone's face.
Giving should be something we do joyfully, not out of moral obligation. Understand that your worth isn't measured by the extent of your sacrifices but by the depth of your passion and commitment. By prioritizing your well-being and recognizing the importance of giving from a place of abundance, you can serve more effectively, sustainably, and joyfully.
Here’s to a journey filled with purpose, passion, and an overflowing cup!
Issata Oluwadare is a dynamic leader and innovative systems thinker with fifteen years of leadership experience in the private and non-profit sectors. She is also a content creator, four-time #1 best-selling author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, certified life coach & consultant for women in leadership and business, and the founder of The EZ Breezy Life. Issata is happily married with two children. Deeply rooted in Christ, she believes in transforming the lives of imperfect women through the grace of a perfect God. She is also the founder of The EZ Breezy Life, Manny's Village, and Issata O. Inc. Learn more about Issata O. by visiting www.issatao.com.