I’ve spent a lot of time recently contemplating my fear responses versus stepping out in faith, following my dreams and purpose. One of the deeper realisations is that I lived “in fear” trying to live up to other people’s expectations, rather than living my personal truth.
So, today I want to talk about taking the steps to live from a place of faith and personal truth.
#1 – Knowing who I truly am
When I finally discovered who I am, what I am, and why I am – that essence of me – I found peace. While it feels like an evolving process, the longer I am in this, the better I recognise the journey is not one of “becoming”, so much as discovering and uncovering who I have always been!
It requires a lot of vulnerability. Particularly with myself – but also being open with others.
This is me.
Am I open to being rejected when I stop trying to live up to other people’s expectations? Are they rejecting me when I fail to live up to their expectations – or are they simply recognising that they never accepted me?
When I finally got in touch with who I truly am – instead of listening to my monkey mind and inner critic, I finally tuned into the voice of my inner wisdom, that wise self that lives deep within me. That’s the voice that encourages me to be the best expression of me being me.
#2 – What is my purpose?
Once I know who, what and why I am on this earth, I can start to live with integrity – focusing more attention and intention on my hopes, dreams and goals. For me, this has been the discovery of that purpose that is somehow bigger than me!
It has only been as I’ve recognised that I have something to bring to the world and for others, not just focusing on taking care of me, that I have had the trust and faith in myself to step up and get things done.
One of the questions that I battled with was how do I love expressing me? What do I love doing that comes easily for me?
Once I discovered that I started to find there was true fulfilment and enjoyment in getting things done. I stopped measuring myself according to what other people expected of me and started to use an internal measurement of “I am enough” when I am living this purpose.
#3 – How am I expressing my purpose?
One of my biggest lessons this year is that how and what are entirely different things. I’m learning to lean into this, little by little.
The “how” may shift and change – but the “what” remains firm. Many times, when I focus on what my purpose is, the “how” simply shows itself. This has become a lesson in trust and faith – in recognising that I might not know all of the steps to take – and that I should focus on what I do know and moving forward and then learning as I go.
I don’t have to know it all when I start!
Additionally, as with all plans – sometimes things will not go according to plan. Then, the plan needs to be modified. It’s not about changing or abandoning the goal or purpose – it’s adjusting the plan to come back into alignment with the purpose.
The most important lesson is organising my priorities – what I am working on – around expressing my purpose. Not simply working from a to-do list – but being intentional with what I put onto the list.
Are my goals aligned with my purpose and passions? If not, then I may need to revisit my goals and priorities.
#4 – Who supports me in working towards my purpose?
One of the hardest lessons in faith and trust has been separating those who love me from those who support me in achieving my hopes and dreams. People who love me may not necessarily be interested and supportive of my purpose.
And that’s okay.
It doesn’t matter who you are – you have a network of people around you. Some of those people may – or may not – be the right people to support who you are, your passions and your purpose. The right ones for this share these qualities:
- they know how to support you;
- they are interested in what you are doing, not just in you;
- you are supporting them in their hopes and dreams.
These are the people that will give you pep-talks and remind you of your priorities, purpose and vision if you get off-track. They will call you out if you head off course – allowing you to feel true to yourself and your purpose when called out. When they suggest alternatives courses of action, you will feel inspired to fulfil your dreams – not feel that you have to live up to their expectations of you. You are not people-pleasing, but rather refocusing that part of you that was drawn off track.
It is really important to have people around you that support you – like-minded and who love what you are trying to achieve, rather than to change you.
And it’s perfectly okay if those who love and support you – family and friends – don’t understand your purpose and passion. Faith and trust come from being true to what you have to offer this world – something that is bigger than you — bigger even than your family and friends.
#5 – Changing your perspective – Obstacles happen for you:
Finally – one of my biggest lessons in moving forward with faith has been a shift in my perspective. Things do not always go smoothly. There are challenges and obstacles along the way.
When I began to view obstacles from the perspective of “What if this were happening for me, rather than to me?”, opportunities and solutions appeared. The challenge remained the same. But by taking a different view of it – I could see more possibilities.
This is not necessarily a place of faith of “this is happening for me” – but rather taking the moment to ask “if this were happening for me, what would I see differently?”. This allows me to see the challenge from more angles. To notice the lessons and learning opportunities.
And somehow, to be grateful for the blessing of the lessons learned.
I’m still learning to choose faith and trust in myself. There is no magic wand or solutions: no miracle solution that makes the work suddenly happen.
“Sometimes, when we pray for miracles what we are really praying for is God to do the work that we are too afraid to take action about. Often, the miracle resides in us and we need to simply “be all in”, rather than standing on the fence waiting.”― Shannon L. Alder
Today, I choose to be my miracle, being “all in” in my life, my purpose and my goals.