Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life and felt you were supposed to take the proverbial road less traveled?
What if it's a wrong move?
What will others think?
Will I be respected if I pursue this?
What if I hate it later, can I save face?
You start to doubt yourself and wish someone would tell you what to do. If you're a person of faith, you wish God would write your whole future on a blackboard so the path is clear.
You feel torn and nervous. Do you have the guts to go after your dream?
Finding and following your voice takes courage, and there's a reason why.
When you determine to figure out who you are (and what your unique purpose is), you also determine that you're the one responsible for it.
And that can be scary.
Taking responsibility means:
You won't blame anyone else for the outcome.
You won't hide behind another person's dream unless you're called to it.
You may disappoint others.
You are willing to uphold and defend your unique voice.
A beautiful thing happens when you decide to take responsibility: you develop your inner strength and find out what you're made of. Competence rises to the surface, and you trust yourself in greater measure.
But how do you get past the fear and find your voice?
It helps to ask and answer these four questions:
Do I prefer to lean on the safety of stronger voices? If so, it's okay to recognize it and determine your voice is just as important. Listening to your spirit helps. While getting input is wise in a lot of instances, it doesn't have to trump the unique call you have. Assess other voices (yes), and then put them in their proper place.
Would I rather have comfort and the status quo? This is huge. Comfort is what many work for, but it can be the enemy of discovering a unique, individual path. Ask yourself if you'll regret not taking chances later. (That helps you move past your comfort zone.) You can always return to comfort down the road if you want, but moving forward with your unique calling takes working outside your comfort zone.
Do I care to find out who I am apart from others? The answer may be surprising. Many realize they'd rather let someone else inform who they are; it seems easier. Bosses, family, Pastors, etc. are wonderful guides, but each one of us has a unique call and purpose and it won't look like everyone else's.
Am I okay with failing if I don't make the right decision? Give yourself permission to reframe failure as a growth opportunity. Life is one huge adventure when this is your outlook.
Answering these questions helps you determine where you're at currently, and what thoughts need to change to move forward.
Taking responsibility for our lives can be scary at first, but it's the fastest track to finding our truest self.
Almost every man or woman who impacts their sphere of influence follows the unique call they were created for. They don't have a status quo mentality, they have a pioneer mindset.
And you can, too.