Why do people live their whole life as a follower when they had it within them to lead?

For a long time, I tried very hard to fit, to be like everyone else.

I tried to play my ‘other- person -appointed’ role – you know what I mean… Trying hard to be what others want you to be, You trust them. You think they know what is best for you so you go along with it. And you ignore the fact that you just do not fit in the hole that is supposedly designed for you.

You ignore the fact that you feel wrong inside…

You listen to the ‘leader’ and you find yourself thinking I can do this better. Why am I listening to this dude? And yet, you stay, you listen, you grumble, you complain but you stay in place.

And you know why you stay?

You know why I stayed in these limiting roles?

I stayed because I was scared…

I stayed because I felt protected in the space that someone else had created.

I was scared to do my own thing.

I knew I was called to be a leader and yet, it all seemed too wild, too nerve – wracking, too overwhelming to try and start up my own thing.

It seemed safer to stay under someone else’s banner.

They did all the scary stuff and I just moaned if it was not the way I wanted it to be.

For a season, I completely refused to take any responsibility for my own life.

I wanted others to do the forefront stuff and I told myself I am better at supporting them. I tried to fit into a supporting role but it just never completely worked.

I kept trying to live my life through them and then complain when they did not do it the way I thought they should.

And then I got angry, really angry that they treated me in a way I considered to be badly.

I forgot that I put myself there.

I forgot that I was supposed to lead and I was allowing fear to make me a follower and I could not settle into it without shutting my insides down completely. Though I did try for a while, but yet, the force was too strong with me.

Is the force too strong with you?

Are you hiding in a job, in a supporting role at church, in your role as parent or some other place?

Are you trying to live your dreams through someone else’s life?

And getting upset with them when they do not do it your way?!!!

Understand this, you are a leader.

You know you are called to lead…

But you cannot see how to do it. All you see is the hardship that may come your way if you step out from under your current protection and stand out, be seen.

I get it!

It is true… when you step up and start to live out YOUR life, it will seem tough.

You will be destroying other people’s expectations, you will feel like you stand alone, you will wonder why you do this to yourself.

And yet, you will feel excited, life will start to open up in ways you never thought possible for you. All that stuff that seemed impossible, will suddenly start to seem possible.

You will find your people. The ones you are called to serve because now that your light is shining, they can see and they are attracted to it.

You will find people who hold you accountable and challenge you higher up.

And life will no longer be full of disappointment, despair, resentment and regret…

You will know you are on path. Even though you will work hard, you’ll love your work.

This can be your life if you will accept the leadership mantle.

Will you?

By the way, Leaders need to choose to step into each day powerfully. They need to keep their head in the game and take a moment to reflect on what they want to create that day, they need to be permanently up levelling their thinking in order to remain capable of leading others authentically and powerfully, so the ABUNDANCE LIBRARY has been created to support you in doing that.



  • Sherri Frost says:

    This fits me to a T – especially the part about not realizing at first that I am the one that put myself in the supporting role in the first place. I think it is a fairly common phenomenon among women, in particular. Do you agree?

  • One of the best pieces of advice that I read early on in my career was that we are 100% responsible for our own lives. Sure, things happen to us, but we choose what we do — even when the choices are really difficult or seem impossible — there is always a choice.

  • Carol Rundle says:

    Wow, this sounds just like I used to be. So glad I stepped out. Rosemary, your writing style is very engaging, I eagerly anticipated the next paragraph. Thank you!

  • Wow!!! This is/was so me. I have taken the step up and out of my old situations and into my new leadership role. Now the key is to continue to learn and grow into that position. This is such valuable information and more people need to receive it…sharing.

  • Roslyn Tanner Evans says:

    I was born with the gene that said’lead on’. I know it started at a young age when I was always selected to be a bunk rep, a group leader, etc. I usually volunteer. I love being a leader and found that I can also be a great team supporter.

  • Katarina says:

    A great post…I hear you, I also always felt a bit shy…I have my own translation business since 10 years, but it mostly means you work for a lot of people, mostly translation agencies, and accept a lot of set rules. And instead a couple of years ago I started making my own demands. And I agree with you, when people do not agree with you sometimes it feels lonely, but you are right, it’s just to keep on going and do what you want.:-)

  • Beth Niebuhr says:

    This isn’t me but I do think you have written an helpful article for people who are or have been afraid to lead.

  • Beth says:

    My father always said I was born with a twinkle in my eye. I think it has served me well over the years as I have always gravitated toward leadership opportunities very naturally. For anyone that doesn’t have this comfort zone I can imagine it would be hard…kind of how I feel about anything too technical 🙂

  • Our future is ours to decide. I would never go along with an idea etc to be agreeable. I’ve never been a follower. If something works go along with it but if there is a better way, I’m never afraid to voice my feelings

  • Delia @ happy Blogger Plaza says:

    I can be both at times, but I definitely prefer the leader role. But only if the project/challenge fits. Otherwise I’m happy to support and assist in a group, just depends on what needs to be done 🙂 Thanks for the beautiful and engaging post.

  • Stacey McCoy says:

    What a really inspiring post!

  • Lorii Abela says:

    I am so happy to note that the Live Life Deliberately Audio Program is envisioned to help leaders to become effective leaders. Effectiveness encompasses leading your followers authentically and powerfully. Being a leader starts with yourself. You need to become a follower before you become a good leader.

  • You are so very right, it is ALWAYS easier to ride someone else’s coat tail. Let them take the risk and learn from them. Let them assume the responsibility and ride along their waves and hope it brings us with them.

    I’m so proud of you that you stepped out and are focusing on being the awesome leader you are. It’s hard, but so much more fulfilling, right?

  • For all the reasons you describe — this is the true value of coaching. It helps you recognize your true value (to yourself and others) and gives you the strength you need to embrace it. And the accountability to keep going! Great sutff, Rosemary.

  • Holly Jean says:

    It is so important, especially for women, to realize this potential inside of us. We are capable of doing all of the things you’ve mentioned… to truly lead. Fear is crippling and your service sounds like an amazing way to get a little positive reinforcement and start each day with a positive attitude of determination.

  • Sally-Anne WERTHEIMER says:

    Until Rosemary showed me, I never realised I was a people pleaser. I had no idea that by doing that, I was severely limiting my chances of being a leader. I now have ringing in my ears Rosemary ‘s words, “You ALWAYS have a choice” and “What do YOU want?” Those words have completely changed me for which I’m most grateful. I don’t follow any more. I think for myself. Thank you, Rosemary.

  • Always a pleasure, Sally-Anne.

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