We’re not looking for more information. Flip through Amazon or your podcast app on any topic and overwhelm sets in quickly. While we’re oversaturated with information we desperately need to grow in self-awareness. 

I spend most of my week with pastors and kingdom leaders coaching them to see what’s below the surface and to pay attention to it. With the constant pull from those around us we are usually more others-aware than self-aware. This leaves us starved for clarity. One antidote to this is to begin by naming things.   

Naming things is powerful. I get to help leaders name seasons, pressures, beliefs, behaviors, fears and next steps that are swirling in their heads and hearts. We’ve led through a lot, and change puts wear and tear on our heart, soul, mind and body. The simple act of naming something within you is powerful, and can begin a pathway to healing you didn’t know you needed to address. We can’t make progress until we make sense.

Names are powerful. 

Adam’s jobs in the garden were to name and to cultivate.

Jesus changed Peter’s name giving him a new identity.

Names people call us shape us for years (for good and for ill)

I often share this simple relationship; clarity UP, overwhelm DOWN. If you’re feeling overwhelmed try naming the pressures, fears and challenges you’re dealing with. It’s clarifying. It can form and inform your prayers, team meetings, sabbath (or desperate need for one) and planning.

Here are a few questions I didn’t create, but I utilize every week to analyze what’s unfolding in my life and leadership. You can find these in the Right Side Up Journal every Thursday. 

Where am I thriving? Take a few moments to thank God for these things. Start with celebration. 

Where am I struggling? Get on your knees and pray through these areas. 

What feels confusing right now? Seek God for clarity on these areas. 

What’s missing right now? These are gaps in your life or longings of your heart. Acknowledge them and open your heart to God on them. 

What emotion am I feeling but struggling to name? What is below this? This is a chance to be honest before yourself, God and others.  

What are my next steps? In light of your fresh awareness from these questions you have a response. 

God invites us into obedience, but we often don’t even know how we’re actually doing. This is a perfect season to pause and ask some hard questions, check back in with yourself and invite the Father into your life and leadership at a deeper level.

Alan Briggs

Alan Briggs


Alan is a mountain guide for the leadership journey. He loves outdoor adventures, but the greatest adventure of his being a father and husband. Alan is crazy about helping hungry leaders conquer overwhelm and navigate with courage. He serves leaders and organizations around the country through coaching, speaking, consulting, designing experiences, hosting mastermind groups, writing his own books and ghostwriting for others. He co-hosts Right Side up Leadership Podcast and regularly writes for Outreach and Field Notes .