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  • Writer's pictureRusty McKie


Beyond having an awesome Twitter handle (@stevecusswords), Steve Cuss wrote a book that I wish I had when I started in ministry called Managing Leadership Anxiety: Yours and Theirs.

Out of all his wisdom, one concept personally helps me and those I work with more than any other.

The Four Spaces

Steve explains the four spaces this way:

  1. The space between God and me (my relationship with God).

  2. The space in me (what I think, feel, want, how I perceive reality, etc.).

  3. The space between others and me (our relationship).

  4. The space in others (what they think, feel, want, how they perceive reality, etc.).

And here's the earth-shattering concept:

The space in others is off-limits.

Not Yours To Carry

Do not have imaginary conversations in your head with other people, imagine what others think or feel about a situation, or make judgments about others' thoughts or feelings.

Their inner world should not occupy your brain space unless they share it with you (at that point, you've moved into the space between others and me).

Consider with me:

  • How much time and energy do you give to thinking about others' inner world?

  • How much good does that bring about in your inner world?

  • How much does your ruminating help or hurt your relationships?

  • What would your relationships look like if you followed this simple rule?

Life is too short to live in your imagination. Make this fourth space off-limits, and get to living in the real world.

And while you're at it, pick up Steve's book to learn many more valuable concepts for life and relationships.


Want help growing in emotional and spiritual health? Trying to discern a big life decision or overcome a challenging obstacle? Want to be closer to Jesus? Interested in coaching or a workshop for your team? I can help.

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