Recently, my biz coach asked me what my fellow change agents had in common. It took only seconds before I started listing the things I see in my clients and students as well as the things I've experienced firsthand. The fear, doubt, excitement, ease, and then more fear...
In my experience, we all go through some variation of the following:
- Disbelief that what we think is possible will actually happen
- Hope that can sometimes feel naive or like we're missing something
- An overwhelming sense of "imposter syndrome"
- If we fully go after our dream or vision we'll lose something meaningful in the process
- No one will ever pay us to do what we love
- If we reveal our fear people will walk away or not hire us
- Everyone has it more "figured out" than me
- Questions like: Am I making this too hard? Am I missing something? Has this been done before? Who is going to come along for this ride? And my personal favorite, what the f*$k am I doing?
I say favorite because it rings in my head almost every day - "What the f*$k am I doing?" What if my vision doesn't work? What if my belief that I have so much faith and conviction for steers me wayyyy off course? What if I'm actually not the one for this job? What if the other shoe drops and it all just dries up?
This is the part where I am supposed to switch gears and tell you that of course, it will work out! But I can't. Because your dream working out is not up to me. It's up to you.
Only you can decide if what you're aimed at, fighting for, and believe in is worth all of the above. And the sooner you decide this, the sooner you can roll your sleeves up and get to work.
Somewhere in the spring, I turned my back on my purpose. OK, that sounds a bit dramatic, but looking back it's how I feel about it. I feel like I got ahead of myself and tried to steer the ship. But what happened was the ocean dried up. Metaphorically speaking :)
I took space because I needed it and truthfully because I wanted it. But I didn't account for the world going on without me. And it will. The world will keep turning and evolving because that's what it does. If you aren't heeding your call, someone else will. It isn't because you don't deserve it or because you aren't "the one"; it's because we are our calling's stewards. And if you stop listening it moves on to the next steward.
Your calling has insight, creativity and a soul all its own. Sometimes I think my calling is simply using me because it is! Well, I took space and also turned off my call button. I stopped being the work.
And what happened next honestly surprised me: I got bored. Like, really bored.
I could feel myself on the outside looking in and it didn't feel so good. My momentum stopped because I stopped stoking the fire. I stopped showing up in the way I know I can. But in the moment it just felt like a funk, and I thought maybe I was just reacting to something. It never occurred to me that the universe really is following my lead...
It's following yours, too.
When I was finally ready to admit that I was done sitting on the sidelines I ate whole humble pies, washed them down, and called my coaches. Yes, plural.
One reminded me that we all need a pause even in the midst of the big game of our life to get reconnected to our mission and restore the energy to make it happen. The second reminded me that I was too good to sit on the sidelines but that I also can't confuse conviction with importance. Thanks, coaches.
And then I cried. A lot. And kept crying for weeks. And it felt so freakin' good. I cried about losing my purpose, about getting too full of myself, about being bored, I even cried about thinking I had it all figured out. What I did was release. Release. Release. And I remembered this potent truth that gets me out of bed every single morning:
I believe in people. I wholeheartedly believe in their ability to do good, love, and heal. I have a deep belief in the spiritual potential of humanity and I won't quit until every single human being inherently understands their true value and worth.
Something tells me you feel the same way. In your own words, what gets you out of bed in the morning? What keeps you going when you have the question of, "What the f*$k am I doing?" buzzing around in your head?
If you need to pull over once in awhile and take a little rest, do. Maybe everything won't stop like it did for me, or maybe you'll reconnect to the deeper truth of why you risk yourself spiritually to fight for your vision. It isn't even about the world needing you. It's about YOU needing you and it's about YOU coming fully alive. I believe that for everyone this is the real mission. The rest are merely details.
But when you do connect with your vision, stoke your conviction, worship your belief in what's possible, and keep going...well I guess we'll find out, won't we?