Episode 116: ​​Feeling Like You Should Have It All Together (But Don’t)?

August 15, 2022


Can you still lead with doubt? Can you still be an effective and strong leader when you too have questions about what you’re navigating and your belief is shaken? 

Today, I’m going to share with you what it has felt like to lead with doubt because I’ve done it. I’ll talk through how to navigate the rockiness of leadership when you feel like you should have it all together. Because guess what? This is what leadership is all about!


[1:49] True Leadership

I can’t speak for every other leader out there, but I have not fully once and for all overcome doubt. I haven’t achieved a level of leadership or success and then become immune to doubt. And anyone that tries to tell you that they have overcome it once and for all, is likely bluffing or living in their comfort zone attempting to keep their ego intact. 

When those waves of doubt rise, can you still in good conscience lead? Shouldn’t you have it all together before you step into a leadership role? Isn’t it out of integrity if you’re showing up to lead but you’re shaken at the core?

Although it is important to have confidence and clarity (which can be developed in leadership), I would argue no, you don’t have to have every box checked to lead. You don’t have to pause leadership and figure everything out and then come back to it. In fact, true leadership is navigating those choppy waters while still showing up to lead. That’s the whole point. Just because you’re a leader, it doesn’t mean you have to know the outcome of the storm and know exactly how you’re going to navigate through it. But you do have to be confident that you will. You know you’ll keep showing up and keep trying, you know you’ll do your best to keep your people safe and guide them ahead.

[3:45] How To Lead Through It

We recently hosted Camp Luminary, a camp for entrepreneurial families and the leaders they’re raising. This was one of the most powerful events that we’ve ever hosted, but it was one of the toughest things we’ve ever done in business. We were carving out a new market, we were marketing, we were putting money upfront, and at the same time we were planning two launches and two other in-person events. We went in with a really strong vision and a ton of excitement because we knew the work we were doing was going to make a huge impact. But it’s easy to have that excitement about what you’re producing but what happens when you’re in the weeds of the reality of it? It’s hard to keep that excitement up when you’re writing multiple $25,000 checks without knowing if you’re gonna recoup the cost. It’s hard to jump into a new space and to be honest, my foundation was starting to quake. But we had work to do and I couldn’t pause my commitment to lead and still yield the results that we ended up having. So, how do you lead through it? 

[6:23]  Humility and Integrity 

The first thing you should keep in mind is that this is what you signed up for. This is leadership. And as a leader you need to be able to rise to the occasion. You might not know how things are going to go but you’ll keep trying and you’ll keep showing up for it. You’ll learn the lessons from the pain and the suffering of defeat, you’ll take all the hits in the middle of the storm, protecting your people knowing that you have a big mission and a big vision ahead of you .

There are six integral values that you have to lean into to help you through the many, many moments where you will experience exactly what we’re talking about here today. 

The first value is humility. When you have humility and you’re facing something really hard, it means you can go to your team and acknowledge that things are tough and at the same time, explain to them how you’re going to push ahead and what your vision is. This is a crucial component of leadership. 

The second thing is integrity. It’s important that you, as the leader, do what you said you were going to do. It might not look the way you originally said you were going to do it because you might find a better path or a different way or you hit a roadblock, but integrity is about continuing to show up, despite what you’re facing, and staying true to your promises and your commitment and doing it all in accordance with your values. 

[10:56]  Faith and Community 

Next value is faith, and this is a huge one for me and our team. It’s faith. I know that looks different for everyone, but I have the hardest time mentoring people that have no faith at all. Because I know in my bones that it’s critical for leadership. If you don’t believe you’re being guided, if you don’t know that there is something greater than you facilitating possibility, if you actually believe that every single thing is on your back alone – that’s suffocating. So often when things become too much for me, emotionally or physically, I turn to my faith and I remember that not everything is mine to control and that there is a force far greater than me that loves me and that it’s going to take us where we’re called to go, even if they have to take us through a storm to strengthen us and get us ready for what’s ahead.

The next thing is community. Are you leveraging your team? Bring them into it. Don’t be an island. Don’t be alone in this. Allow yourself to be supported. Do you have community outside of your team? Do you have mentors and support systems or a mastermind you’re part of that

you can lean on? This is such an important piece of leadership. All of the best leaders that I admire were not an island. And if you’re looking for that support, if you’re looking for more than just a business strategy, and you want to be a part of a pack that are high achievers and leaders, go to because we’ve got your back.

[13:39] Vision and Resilience 

The next one is vision. When you’re in the thick of it and your doubt starts showing up, go back to your vision. Don’t jump into action straight away, take some time and go to a vision. Know that as a leader, you have to lean into being a visionary. 

The final value is resilience and it’s really the summation of what leadership is. As a leader, you’re going to be knocked down a bajillion times and having the resilience to keep getting back up and hopefully with time, getting back up quicker, will be one of your greatest gifts. All of these are values but they’re also skills. They’re things you put into practice. If you want to be an effective leader, if you want to experience the glory of what you’re pushing for, you need to be resilient and you need to develop that and put it into practice.

There’s a William Faulkner quote that I love:”I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes at 9 am every morning”.  When you’re in doubt, it’s hard to be inspired. You have to stay committed to the vision you have to stay committed to your people, committed to your leadership and in integrity with who you are. 

I hope today’s episode gives you what you need and shows you how you can step into that next level of leadership and become the leader you’re meant to be even when you are in doubt.

And if this episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review! Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke! If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.


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