The Courage to Follow Your Calling
We each have a calling. It’s the drumbeat of your Soul, the pulsing energy that fires you up to pursue a particular path or direction. We gravitate towards our callings because it’s through living them that we unlock the experience of being our truest, most fulfilled selves. When we give ourselves permission to answer our callings, we give ourselves permission to live our richest, fullest lives. We call up the courage to surge forward into the unknown and try something we’ve never done before.
Courage, then, is the deciding factor when it comes to following your calling. You probably already know this, but I’ll say it anyway−following your calling is meant to expand you, nourish you, and purify you. Answering your calling is a daily commitment to whatever it takes to get where you’re headed, to make the necessary sacrifices so you can reap the rewards. A calling is a holy task assigned to you because you’re the best person to do it.
I’ll say that again: A calling is a holy task assigned to you because you’re the best person to do it.
That means the Universe didn’t screw it up giving you that calling. That means the Divine has your back and wants you to leap forward, bold and unafraid. That means you’re uniquely suited to the task ahead of you and you know enough to start right now with what you’ve got.
Like Tara Mohr says in her brilliant book Playing Big, you don’t have to have it all figured out before you pursue your calling. We think we need to have all skills in place before we begin or can be successful, but that’s false thinking. We’re meant to learn along the way because learning those skills is part of the calling. Instead of beating yourself up for what you don’t know or can’t do yet, focus on the learning process and give yourself the freedom to experiment with different approaches.
That said, it can still be scary to pursue your calling. While it’s a challenging experience, it shouldn’t feel heavy or overwhelming. If it’s either of those things, take a step back and see how your perspective may be skewing your feelings. Maybe you’re focused on what you don’t have, or the difficulty of learning something new, instead of why it’s important to start learning what you don’t know. Shifting your focus can shift your perception and your mood so you see things in a different, more favorable light.
Having the courage to follow your calling is simply having the courage to try something new, to experience something different, to trust the intangible and believe that your nebulous ideas can become reality. When you view your callings as soul assignments, you realize that you’re here to live out those assignments, and you walk a little taller knowing your unique purpose in the world.
So what are some ways you get the courage to pursue your calling?
Educate yourself on it.
Maybe you yearn to be an advocate for green energy and “eco-friendly everything.” Read up about it. See what other people in that space are up to and what speaks to you. Immerse yourself in the culture so you can take your place in it and share your thoughts in uniquely articulate ways. You have to get your toes wet before you learn how to swim. Dive in!
Write out your mission statement/manifesto.
You believe in this so strongly that you’re willing to devote your time, money, and effort to exploring and mastering it. Why is it so important to you? What do you hope to achieve by doing it? And what would keep you going even when things don’t go the way you want them to?
Take your time and craft something especially potent to you. Write it down in your truest, clearest voice and share it with the world. It can be a 1-page declaration. It can be a wall-sized poster. As long as every word is true to you and steeped in your values, you’ll have something powerful to guide your focus, intentions, energy, and actions. Ante up!
Start small and stay consistent.
You’ll get a lot more done if you do a little bit every day instead of waiting for huge floods of inspiration to hit you every once in a while. Daily actions keep your calling front of mind so you’re always getting closer to it with every step you take. Even if you feel yourself stuck or going backward, you’re still learning something useful to enhance your experience. Trust that everything is valuable as long as you keep moving forward.
When you decide on your daily actions, commit to staying consistent. Tweak your schedule to make room for your new commitments, and treat them as top priority. Since these are small daily actions, they don’t have to be elaborate rituals that eat up your time and energy. Keep it simple so it’s a no-brainer to do, as easy as brushing your teeth or making your first cup of coffee in the morning. Once you master the little things, you can gradually move on to bigger, more complex actions that catapult you forward.
Find your tribe and gather their support.
There’re other people who believe what you believe and want what you want. Where do these people gather online & offline? How can you recruit them to your cheerleader squad and sparkling posse? By going where they are and reaching out to them, that’s how.
Depending on your calling, your family and friends may or may not be your most ardent supporters. You need to be prepared for the latter so it doesn’t make you feel alone and misunderstood. Instead, seek out your tribe for the hand-holding and safe space you’ll need as you navigate the brand new world of following your calling.
Ask your friends and colleagues for places/people they can recommend to meet your needs. Do some online searching to cast your net wide. And if all else fails, you can always become a focal point for your tribe. Tell everyone you know what you’re up to and ask them to connect you to the like-minded people in their networks. Set your intention to find your tribe, and the Universe will deliver.
These aren’t the only ways you can pursue your calling, but they’re certainly helpful to get started. You want to be relaxed and alert as you do them so you all your actions are fueled by love, not fear.
As long as you stay mindful and intentional, you’ll find it easier to educate yourself on your calling, write down your mission statement/manifesto, start small & be consistent, and find your supportive tribe. Once you have these moving parts in place, answering your calling goes a whole lot smoother and life gets a whole lot easier.
Do you have a calling you’re aching to answer?
Declare it in the comments below.