Are you bossy? Is that a bad thing or a good thing?.

As a child I was thrust into this role of being the one in charge of my brother and sister. It’s what the oldest does when Mom can’t handle things because of illness or other difficulties.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 9.52.53 PMWhy do I have to be in charge?

I remember not knowing how to be in charge and many times not knowing whether I was making the right decisions. I would be the one who had to make supper, clean the house, do laundry. Was I doing it right? I really didn’t know half the time. When pushed into the corner of doing, I preferred to do something rather than sitting there wringing my hands because no one was doing it.

When I got into high school, I was the one with the car, which I earned the money for by working at the local newspaper filing ad mats. As the one with the car, everyone just supposed I would be the one to decide where to go. I remember many times asking my friends what do you want to do? They would say, “What do you want to do?” That would go on for some time until exasperated, I would just make a decision.

You have to understand, I didn’t always want to make the decision and inevitably someone wouldn’t like the decision, but they wouldn’t have a better idea. In those cases I was called bossy because I would say this is what we are doing. I could have just sat there going nowhere, but I’m not a nowhere person.

As I got married I tended to make the decisions for finances, where we ate, where we went, what we did because I have a very laid back husband who really doesn’t like to make decisions.

I hate indecision worse. So, I decided to decide. And yes, sometimes I was called bossy and so I would say, then you decide, however no decision was made unless I made it.

Sometimes I felt others were just waiting for someone to make a decision so they could react negatively and call the decision-maker bossy and controlling. It does seem sometimes it builds others’ egos to point fingers rather than step up and make a decision.

I always wondered why I had to be the one to decide, though. Couldn’t someone else decide ever once in awhile? Couldn’t just one time, someone else lead? Someone else be in charge? I wished many times that this part of me that seemed to be a personality trait could be extinguished.

What are my gifts?

Sometime in the 1980s was the first time I took a spiritual gifts test. I was surprised when my top gift was leadership followed by administration and wisdom. A light bulb went off in my head. The thing a few had told me was bossy and controlling about me was really a combination of several spiritual gifts.

I also took a lot of personality tests during that time to find out my personality is that of a power gift, choleric by one test name which is the person who gets things done. On another strengths inventory test, I came out as the refiner, the one who sees the difficulties in any action and suggests another possible way of looking at it. It’s kind of like when a person is stuck, a refiner is someone who helps them get unstuck.

Combine that with my motive gifting which some call prophetic, which in this sense basically means to see things as black or white with not much gray in the middle, at many times in my life I came off as bossy and controlling.

How is control is related to fear?

The interesting thing to me is that I also tried to control my life out of fear. If you are in control then you don’t live by faith. You live by fear of what you are trying to control. That was especially true of what I ate. I didn’t want anyone telling me what, how, when or how much I ate. I wanted to control that so that I could eat whatever, whenever, however and however much I wanted.

I am describing the reverse side of these gifts. And I recognize they were alive in me for a long time.

When I went on the weight loss journey, I lost a whole lot more than weight. I lost a lot of fear and a lot of anger.

I lost the need to control everything and everybody in my life. I began to focus on controlling one person—me. And even then it was to make sure I was submitted to God’s leadership in my life rather than to doing things my own way.

How faith helped me lose control

For the last almost six years, my life has been topsy-turvy. When I surrendered my weakness for sugar to God, a dam of surrender broke loose. . I surrendered anger. I surrendered fear.I surrendered the need to control my food, my life and the life of others.

It has become very freeing to let go of that need to be in charge and watch others step up and actually share their preferences. To live by faith means to let God be in control. I can finally rest knowing my God has got this. He’s in control. I no longer have to worry. My job is simple. Do what He says and have faith it is the right thing.

Still, I know to whom much is given much is required. I am very aware of the leadership gift God has entrusted to me. I am also aware of how He is placing me in positions to lead. I am also aware that if I don’t listen to Him, I will fail. This whole leadership thing is about knowing you aren’t the leader. He is.

How I stopped being bossy?

Almost two years ago, actually in January 2013, it was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said it’s time to write your book. He showed me the plan and so I began a journey of not knowing, just following where God was directing.

Once Sweet Grace was written, I needed to publish it. For that journey God put a person in my town leading a workshop to teach me everything I needed to know to self publish and to do the things I couldn’t do to get the physical book in my hand.

Then came more learning. I’d say, “God how do I do this?” And He would lead me to a resource. It was clear I needed to do a study guide and from that, a study group was born and from that a coaching group. None of this was on my radar at the beginning of this journey. As a matter of fact I told those who are my coaches that the last thing I wanted to was lead a coaching group. God, however, definitely had different plans.

When I turned the control over to Him, He gladly took charge and began leading me to phenomenal places and people. Radio interviews were scary enough, but TV interviews and speaking? For a former super morbidly obese woman who was always in charge, this was totally out of any control that I had.

How do you let it go?

Perhaps the scariest of all was when I knew God was leading me to do the online weight loss coaching group. How do I do this? Seriously, how do I do it technically? How do I do a sales page, a buy button? How do I advertise it? Where will the people come from? How do I form the group? How do I do videos and make sure they are accessible only to those in the group? How do I lead? How do I coach? How? How? How?

And each step of the way, God gently led me, guided me and affirmed to me that yes, He was in this. Yes, it was what I was supposed to be doing at this time in my life.

To say leading Sweet Change Weight Loss Group has been a roller coaster learning experience is an understatement. There have been highs and lows for me, but I would not trade it for anything. There’s nothing like knowing someone you coach has had a breakthrough and perhaps you played a small part. I would be remiss  if I did not tell you that the upcoming months are some of the most dangerous for those with weight issues. Now is exactly the right time to join Sweet Change.

Now I know that bossy and controlling is just another way people describe someone who has a leadership gift. The decisions any leader has to make are difficult and can be overwhelming at times. Do we always get it right? Of course not. If we are tapped into what God wants, we should get it right. If we don’t and what we are doing is what He wants, He will show us how to fix it or learn from it.

Part of letting this need to control go is just knowing that I am not in charge. I am only a person God has put as a steward over a group. If my group and my story can help someone, it has been worth it all.

If you have a little girl in your family who is bossy, just realize she is probably someone with a leadership gift. Not only that, you have been given an awesome responsibility—that of pouring into a future leader. Lead her well. She might be your next pastor or our next president.

If you are a leader, how do you handle your leadership gift?

sweet-change-sidebar-ad_finalCome join us at Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group4 and find out what more there is to life than food. You are worth the investment of your time and effort. As your coach and mentor, I will help you on your journey.  Please consider what your life is worth and join us on the journey. Just click this link for more info>>>Sweet Change.


Don’t forget to check out Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and theSweet Grace Study Guide,both available on Amazon. Just click the book titles to take you there. If you’ve already read the book, I would be honored if you could write a review. Just click the title and it will take you to the Amazon page and simply leave one or two sentences about how you liked  the book. The more reviews there are the more the book moves up in the search rankings. If you’ve not read the book yet, please post a review after you do.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.