I did a podcast with John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire a while back, we talked about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, knowing your purpose and dealing with the fear of getting into alignment with your one true thing.
I told the story about me getting fired from being a 911 dispatcher and the pain of bouncing around while finding my true calling.
I am grateful for that interview because people reach out to me regularly to ask questions and share their fears around not finding their purpose in life.
The questions often center around whether we measure up or don’t.
There are a lot of commonalities through all walks of life. Some folks have big degrees–I call them Earthy Credentials–who still don’t feel good enough, and just as many without the fancy degrees who feel they must need an Earthly Credential to fulfill their life’s purpose.
Ugh. Life’s purpose. I’m hesitant to even call it that. I don’t want to make it seem like this magical elusive thing we are doomed to search and search for our entire lives.
Seems that whether you have the fancy degrees or not, we all seem to have places where we feel we just don’t measure up.
I’ve been asking people who write to me if I can share their questions with you here, and everyone said: YES, if it will help someone else – please share!
Can you relate to any of these questions?
“I feel so stuck, how do I know what my purpose is? And how do I get qualified to do it for a living?”
“What if I am not good enough? What if I am not X enough or Y enough, and what if that’s why I am not getting where I want to be?”
“I don’t have an MBA, I’m completely self-taught. I’m scared I’m not ‘expert’ enough.”
“I pursued the degree my father told me to, and you know what? He was right – it’s a good paying job but I am so miserable. Now what?”
“Even though I have some advanced degrees from great universities, I still feel not smart enough to do what others with the same degrees do.”
“I’m afraid I don’t have enough project experience or the right certifications to pitch myself as an expert.”
I get it, I’ve been there too and sometimes it still hits me.
I tried many different careers and felt like a fraud and an impostor. I pursued different degrees only to come up empty. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I paid off the last college loan from my early twenties when I thought I was going to be a doctor.
It can be so painful to pursue a direction thinking it’s the right one, only to find that it wasn’t. I know that place where I didn’t feel I had the chops or the courage, bravery, resilience required to get to where I wanted to be.
I know that place where I just don’t feel like I measure up.
I have to admit to you that even after I realized the stories were just stories, I continued to hang my hat on them, and so they became my excuses. My epiphany that it was just an ego story did not magically set me free. I believed and stayed stuck in the fear for a long time.
The stories (I’m a loser, I’ll never amount to anything, I am not good enough, I’m too old to go for what I want) didn’t feel real to my spirit though. My spirit knew that this kind of discomfort was pointing the way to transformation and if I did the inner work to address my fears, it would probably help me figure out my purpose.
I didn’t take action for a long time. I was scared (honestly, and I was comfortable in the old familiar discomfort).
If we begin to see these stories we tell ourselves as the obstacles which hold us back (I could also say give us permission to stay held back) we can break free. Obstacles are things life hands you to help you grow. You’re not meant to sit down and quit when you see one.
It starts with a tiny step. Like, training yourself to recognize the story you repeatedly hear inside your head as nothing more than a story. Instead of turning left when you hear it, this time you do something different.
Rather than obey the story that you don’t measure up, you get curious about what would make you feel like you do.
This one shift can bring a transformation which will set you free in all kinds of places where you are not today. Your sense of peace, ease, and freedom will be the best Return On Investment you could ever hope for.
It is never about the Earthly Credentials
Some people don’t believe me. They insist that it’s the letters after a person’s name which guarantees success. And yes, perhaps fancy titles do open doors and garner favor, but only up to a point.
If your heart isn’t open, and your fears and wounds aren’t healed, you’ll have an awkwardness about you that people eventually figure out…and all the degrees, certifications, subscribers and traffic can’t save you then.
Nope, Earthly Credentials cannot carry you where you now must travel. It’s about breaking free from the limiting beliefs that only people with a certain degree or the right kind of connections or a certain kind of bank balance have success in life.
True success is about your heart beating authentically, to your own rhythm.
It’s about you showing up and getting real. It’s about you moving forward courageously and doing what you feel called to do.
While the world can inspire you and advise you on particular parts of your journey, it is you who needs to carry the torch of knowing inside your heart.
What I wish for you is a life that feels easy and exciting, joyful yet peaceful, fun and rewarding with just the right amount of challenge to keep you on the growing edge. One where you learn to love and accept yourself and all your parts, even the ones you currently hate, while you keep expanding that capacity to live the life you always dreamed of.
If I can help you along on your journey, please get in touch. We’ll do this together!
Rock it like you mean it,
p.s. if you’d like to hear the podcast, it’s here.