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Don’t Give Up on Birthing Your Purpose

When you are in career transition toward purpose work, it is inevitable that you will experience obstacles and doubt. Your inner critic will get loud and tell you to give up. It won’t actually say, “give up,” but it will come up with what appears to be “good reasons” to stop pursuing your purpose work. This is totally normal.

Our inner critic is designed to keep us safe and secure. The problem is the inner critic does not have the ability to see possibility and the big picture. The inner critic does not have access to risk in service of your highest good. It wants to keep you safe, and it wants to keep you in a familiar experience. For example, you may be doing work you have done for years, but you are miserable. Your inner critic will be savvy enough to convince you that misery is better than living with the unknown of the future.

To convince you, your inner critic may say things like:

  • The pay is good.
  • The people I work with are amazing.
  • The commute is short.
  • The free lunch is so worth the misery of the work.
  • I understand the politics of this organization.

All the while, the work and/or the values of the organization do not align for you. You go home feeling drained and unsatisfied. You have glimmers that change is possible, but your inner critic keeps getting in your way.

When I first start working with clients, I tell them  to expect what I call “the dip.” The dip is when doubt and hopelessness come rearing their ugly heads. Here is the truth, you cannot argue with doubt and hopelessness. There is no coaching that inner critic. The best way to work through doubt and hopelessness is to connect with your WHY.

Your WHY is the voice in your head saying you could do more, be more, create more, and spend more time being authentically you. Your WHY is what taps into your internal motivation. Your WHY is what kicks you into gear  to take action.

If you feel called to do your purpose work, there is a reason. That reason is your WHY.  An excellent book to go deeper into connecting with your WHY is Simon Sinek’s best-selling book Start With Why.

If you feel connected to your WHY, then when you hit an obstacle or feel doubt, you can easily get back on track and keep taking steps toward change. Your WHY is intangible, but you know the old saying: our thinking creates our reality. Being connected with your WHY creates your motivation and your action.

My personal WHY is I want to see more women doing purpose-filled work that leaves them feeling satisfied and fulfilled, because as it has been said before, women on purpose will change the world.

What is your WHY? What do you want to do differently in your life and the world? What is that wise voice in your head telling you? Listen to the voice that tells you change is possible and ask yourself: What is the change I seek to make? The answer is your WHY. Write it down and then take the next steps to move yourself in that direction. You deserve it, and the world needs your contribution.