This post is for you if you…
- think you don’t have a purpose or calling
- want to know what is holding you back from living yours
- wish to find the confidence to fearlessly live your dream
The Purpose of This Post
Warming my hands around a steaming hot cup of tea this morning, I looked out my window and watched as the first early morning rays of light lit up the pitch black. Content to sit and enjoy the silence that comes before the rest of the house stirs, I thought about nothing of importance. At some point, my attention was caught by a few random ideas that popped in my head, ideas that brought me such clarity that I immediately got off the couch and headed straight to my computer to type.
I often daydream about what life would be like if I just knew the exact steps to get me to where I wanted to be: a life where I am fully happy and feel completely fulfilled. This morning, it suddenly became clear to me that I have been looking at this the wrong way. I truly believed that what has been stopping me from living a life filled with meaning and purpose was that I didn’t know with exact clarity what my purpose is. Let me take a step back – I am pretty sure I know what I am here in this lifetime to do but it is cloudy to me because I can’t see it with the exact precision I want to. Exact precision meaning I want to know every single step to take from this point forward to my end goal.
What was suddenly apparent to me this morning, however, was that I know what I want to do. I have a dream that has not wavered for years. It is the part in the middle of where I am now and where I want to be that is the issue. A bottleneck, a large boulder on my path, a seemingly impassable obstacle. It’s all the stuff that is holding me back from stepping forward towards my truth with confidence that is my problem, not a lack of understanding of what my dream is. The purpose of my post today is to identify what it is that holds us back from stepping into a life of purpose – the roadblock – and what we can do to move it out of our way once and for all.
Confidence is Key
Without a healthy dose of confidence, your dreams can seem pretty damn far away. The lack makes it seem as if having a purpose is a pipe dream reserved only for those who are outgoing and have no fear, a level you are pretty sure you will never be at. But what if I told you that finding your confidence isn’t nearly as hard as you think it is?
Speaking as someone who has been afraid of her own shadow for most of my life, I know this was true for me. The idea that I could *gasp* actually show up fearless was as likely to happen for me as money growing on my backyard tree. Therefore, because I believed that I just wasn’t born with the confidence gene, I automatically added another rock to the huge pile blocking my way forward. I was in full self-sabotage mode.
If only I was more outgoing, more sure of myself, more extroverted, more worthy, more creative…
As we are prone to do when we can’t see a way forward, I was looking for the magic pill to take that would clear my obstacles instantly and give me the qualities that I wasn’t blessed with. The qualities I believed were the key to success and a happy life. What I couldn’t see, however, was that every single human has the ability to achieve their dreams. We just need to look at it from a different perspective.
Dreams, Purpose and Being Yourself
For the longest time, I thought purpose meant something big. Movie stars and celebrities have a purpose. The Dalai Lama has a purpose. The stay at home moms who came up with an ingenious idea and were now multi-millionaires have a purpose. But me? I had no desire to be famous, couldn’t up and leave everyone to serve the world and possessed no genius idea that would allow me to quit my job and roll in my money. Therefore, I had no purpose.
Yet eventually, through a lot of soul searching, I came to realize that as a society, we make purpose out to be this unattainable fantasy that only a select few are lucky enough to achieve. This belief could not be any further from the truth. Purpose doesn’t have to be loud or extravagant. It is not your role, your job or your title. Instead, purpose means to be unapologetically and authentically yourself. Those of us who don’t think we have one are those of us who can’t see around the other side of that rock pile because we continue to add rocks instead of taking them away.
In other words, every single one of us has a purpose. Yes, even you.
A Dream + Confidence = Living a Purpose Aligned Life
Your dreams and desires are clues that give you a pretty good idea of what your purpose is. Let me clarify that. YOUR dreams and desires, not the dreams and desires you have taken on that aren’t your own. And until you know exactly who you are behind a lifetime of conformity, you will not be clear on what your true purpose is. To live a purpose filled life you must first know with certainty who you really are.
When you have that certainty, the next step is to gain the confidence to take the steps necessary to move you forward to your end goal (your purpose/a life of meaning). Which is where the rockpile I have been referring to comes in. Each rock is a mental roadblock we have set for ourselves, starting in early childhood. As you continue to live your life, you are influenced by others and often change your behavior to fit their expectations. Identifying why you change who you are and knowing how to stop is key to finding your confidence.
So let’s talk about what these rocks are and what action you can take today to find your courage.
Your Mindset Needs Work
I use mindset as a broad category that encompasses fears, limiting beliefs and unclaimed shadows. Each fear you have is a rock on your pile and until you face them, no matter how hard you try to go around, you will end up right back where you started. If you think about it, everything can be traced back to mindset: success or failure. The first step with anything is acknowledgment and when you acknowledge that your mindset could use a bit of adjusting, you take a step closer to your purpose. Then you can start to identify what specifically is holding you hostage and finally, take action to remove these rocks out of your way.
We all have fears that hold us back. But what we don’t realize is often, these beliefs stem from ideas we formed as children yet we still operate from today. Each time we recognize our fears, find the root cause of our limiting beliefs and face parts of ourselves that we don’t like, we loosen the rocks. I have made it a bit easier to get started by creating two workbooks that are free for you:
You Don’t Know How to Manifest What You Desire
Once again, in order to manifest what you want, you must hold the unwavering belief that it will happen. This comes back to mindset and if you are holding onto ideas that aren’t doing you any favors (think it doesn’t work for you, don’t believe you are worthy, etc), you will always block what the universe is trying to give you.
You are a master manifestor, whether you believe it or not. Everything you think becomes reality as long as you believe it will. Think about your current life. How often do you say things like “it will never work for me” or “I’m not that lucky”? You believe these statements to be fact and are not surprised one bit when they happen. This is manifesting. Thinking a thought and believing it to be true. You can’t say I am going to win a million dollars tomorrow and expect to win a million dollars if deep down you know it isn’t ever going to happen. Manifesting requires belief.
Most of us focus exclusively on what we don’t want instead of what we do. Why not try something different today? Find one thing (I suggest to start small until you get the hang of it) and focus on what you would like to achieve. Then, take aligned action towards your goal. For example, when I first started out on Pinterest, my follower growth was slooooooooow. I decided I wanted to grow 50 people in a month, so I visualized that number every night while simultaneously actively writing and pinning. I focused on how I would feel when it happened and changed my thinking to believe it already happened (changing “I would like 50 new followers” to “I am so excited about my 50 new followers!”).
Guess what happened? I attracted 50 new followers in 10 DAYS. It works, people, you just need to know how to do it to get what you want.
You Think You Aren’t Creative
Creativity runs in all of us, whether you think so or not. I don’t know how many times I have heard people say “Oh, I’m just not creative” or “I wish I was as creative as you”. This is utter bs and while, yes, I agree that for some creativity flows easier than for others, we all have the same capability. Creativity is essential as it holds the uniqueness that makes you you.
Not surprisingly, the opinion you hold of your creative potential comes back to mindset. I used to think I was a terrible writer, so when a medium told me that I was going to have to start writing to live aligned with my purpose, I blew her off. Sure, I thought. I suck at this. Not going to happen. It wasn’t until I dug into where the belief came from that I was awful did I come to realize that I actually could write (and even enjoy it). My belief came from receiving “Cs” on all of my 10th grade English essays. Tenth grade was almost 30 years ago, yet I still operated on the fact that my writing was subpar.
Examine where your belief that you aren’t creative comes from. How can you rewrite this for your life today?
Redefine what you believe creativity to be. Sure, it can be art or drawing, but it also is so much more. Creativity is present in the way someone describes a sunset for those who can’t see it. It shows up in the seamstress who thought of a different way to place a button. A beekeeper who sees the potential in honeybees to combat climate change. The entrepreneur who combines yoga with business in corporate america. Throw out the standard definitions and come up with your own. Try new things and practice old ones. You never know where inspiration will flow.
Related Reading: How to Be Creative and Manifest Abundance
You Aren’t Listening to Your Intuition
Finally, if you don’t have a relationship with your intuition, you will never know which direction to take to live your purpose. Knowing who you authentically are, which comes from listening directly to your soul/higher self/intuition, is necessary to living in your truth.
Admit it or not, we all hear voices in our head, two in particular. One is most definitely louder than the other and is your Ego Voice. This is the voice that believes its job is to protect you from danger and keep you safe. Unfortunately, this is also the voice that is in large part responsible for keeping you stuck. The other, quieter and calmer voice, is your intuition. It’s the voice of your soul and the one with all of the answers. You have to work at hearing this voice because it is most often overpowered by your ego. The good news is it is fairly easy to do so as long as you are willing to practice.
Are you able to distinguish between your two voices? Pay attention as you go throughout your day and see if you can tell one from the other. Your body helps you out with this through physical reactions and makes it easier to succeed.
Ego: loud, emotional, noisy, angry, offended
Body Reaction to Ego: tightness in chest, knot in stomach, hot around the neck, shoulders around your ears
Intuition: quiet, calm, unemotional
Body Reaction to Intuition: peaceful, at ease, relaxed
Related Reading: How to Develop Your Intuition and Why It’s Important
Final Thoughts on Finding Your Confidence and Living Your Dream
I have always been fascinated with the idea of having a purpose. For most of my life, I have searched for meaning, believing it would finally come in the form of a job I loved or a man I married. When I finally learned that purpose was not an external entity outside of myself, I found hope in the possibilities available to me.
Purpose is and has always been to be yourself without apology or excuse. It is showing up real and unfiltered, standing up for what you believe in. Purpose is the inner drive each one of us possesses to make a difference in the world and exactly how we do that is what makes us unique. You don’t have to search for that genius idea or make yourself into someone you aren’t to be successful. Success is knowing who you are, what you stand for and having the courage to live in full, authentic self-expression every day of your life.
Proud introvert, intuitive entrepreneur, and spiritual activist. On a mission to embolden my fellow introverts to quietly change the world.