These days, we have the world at our fingertips. There is so much that we have access to, so much to see, so much to learn from, and so. much. possibility.
What if you move in one direction and then miss out on an awesome opportunity?
You love SO many things- how could you choose just ONE??
You have a love for event planning and weddings but you also have had a dream of being a nurse ever since you can remember. You can’t just let that dream DIE… RIGHT??? You really love the charity and non-profit world, but you also have a deep love for graphic design and photography AND painting. You can’t find any opportunities that pair your passions up, so you settle for a job you aren’t excited about because you can’t decide where to focus your efforts.
Can you relate?
When you sign up for our email list, in the welcome email I ask you to reply and tell me one thing you’re struggling with. The thing I hear the most? “How can I choose one direction to head towards when I have so many different passions??”. If you’ve ever felt that, know that you’re NOT ALONE!!
Here’s the thing.
It’s SCARY to choose just one thing.
It takes COURAGE to focus.
It takes VALOR to put your other skills and desires on the back-burner and let one move towards the front.
Lucky for you, this quarter’s theme is VALOR. And I’m here today to talk about how to move from moving in a scattered direction with no purpose or intention, to a clear, intentional purposeful and focused one. It’s scary, yes, but you gotta be brave and step out. You with me??
This might seem counter intuitive, but the word “passionate” has been really watered down. When our culture thinks of “passion” we often think of what we enjoy, or what we’ve always dreamed about doing since we were little girls. We think of the things that tug at our heart. We think about what makes us cry and what makes us excited.
The word ”passion” comes from the Latin word pati, which actually means ‘to suffer.’
So instead of thinking about what you’re “passionate about” think instead, “what am I willing to suffer for?”
It may be a cause like “fighting human trafficking”- or it might be something as simple as “flexibility” or “creative freedom”. Running your own business and doing it with intention and purpose is very difficult. Whatever direction you head, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to bring times of loneliness, it’s going to stretch you. You’re going to suffer.
What you are willing to suffer for?
I was a Fine Arts major in college, and it was always sad for me to see students spend a ton of money on their art degree, when they had NO natural ability, and they weren’t putting in the really hard and time consuming work it takes to get better in an area they weren’t naturally skilled.
Ladies, I’m going to be real with you- just because you love something, doesn’t mean you’re good at it.
I believe every person on this earth is born with natural gifts and skills. There ARE things that you are good at- don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The thing to remember is, just because you love to do something, doesn’t mean you should pursue it as a career.
Hobby? TOTALLY. You like hand lettering? Make some cards for your friends and family- they will LOVE it! But don’t be like one of the singers on American Idol who spends so much time and money pursuing a career in singing, when they JUST DON’T HAVE THE TALENT to back up that hard work. What a waste of time!
Imagine if they spent that time pursuing something they were actually good at- if they embraced their own unique gifts and were real with themselves on their limitations. THINK of the impact they could have on the world!
How do you know if you’re good at something? Ask someone with a completely unbiased opinion, who you have no personal ties to. Send an honest person your website and ask them for a critique. Go up to someone on the street and show them your work (bonus: don’t tell them it’s yours). Do whatever you can to get an unbiased opinion and take it from there.
This being said, hard work will trump natural talent any day. There are plenty of naturally skilled people who get beat by someone who works their booty off. But I do believe that there needs to be a bit of natural skills already existing in order to truly succeed in a certain area. Not everyone is a singer. Not everyone is an entrepreneur.
You’re doing great. You’ve thought about what you’re willing to suffer for. You’ve thought about what you’re actually good at. Here’s where the VALOR comes in.
One of the pieces of advice I’m constantly telling people is this:
clarity comes from engagement.
You’re never going to figure out what direction to head if you just sit there thinking about it. That’s just plain stressful. You have to get out in the world, choose something to focus on, and ENGAGE.
Only from engagement can you revise, mold, sharpen and rebuild if you need to. But girl, you have to do something. It’s scary, I know, but where is the fun in life without a little risk? Have fun with it! Put yourself out there. If you fail, you’ll have a great story to tell later. I promise. It’s really not as big of a deal as you’re making it in your head.
Remember, your identity is not in your work. Your identity is in who you were created to be deep within your soul. You are a human being. You are enough. You are worthy and you are divinely crafted and shaped into the woman you are today. No matter what goes wrong in your work, no matter what venture you try and then fail at, no matter what area you succeed in, you’re the same human with the same amount of worth. If you take anything away from this blog post I want you to take that one away, got it?
You are not what you do.
Choosing one thing isn’t easy- but it’s not as hard as you’re making it either. All it takes is a little bravery.
Trust me, once you focus and engage, you’ll be able to refine and focus on an even deeper level. Sure, there’s a million things in the world that you could be doing, but you can’t do them all. Accept it and move on.
You’re the only person in the world who can do the things you do. You have unique gifts, skills and talents. Focus, and use them to make the world a better place.
YOU GOT THIS!!!
Happy Thursday lady friends.
Founder of Yellow Co.
Photo by Valerie Denise Photos