Transform yourself to transform the world.
—Grace Lee Boggs

Do you feel called to make a big change in the world or in your own life but doubt that you have what it takes?

You may feel called be to find work that feels more meaningful and fulfilling, to start a business or an organization that makes a difference in people’s lives, or to learn how to do your work in a way that sustains your passion and maximizes your impact.

Maybe you feel great pain around a problem or injustice in the world, and you want to do something to make a change.

Perhaps you long to bring beauty and joy into people’s lives.

Or to become the leader you need to be to manifest your big vision successfully.

In the face of a calling, it is absolutely normal to doubt that you have what it takes.

The fact that you sense that you’re not— yet— the person for the task is actually a good thing. You’re being honest with yourself.

On the surface, any calling is about creating external change— find a new career, start a business, find the holy grail— deep down, a calling is about becoming the person you’re called to be in this next phase of your life. Your calling will, indeed, require you to become a new person.

Becoming the person you’re called to be means two seemingly paradoxical things. On the one hand, it means becoming more fully your core, essential self. And, on the other, it means literally becoming a new person, a person who can rise to the challenge.

Who is the core, essential self, exactly?

Whether this core self is a distinct soul that lives on after we die, a unique manifestation of the energy and life and love that flow through all things, or a state we tap into, I don’t know. What I do believe is that you, me, none of us, was born with any notion of good or bad or right or wrong. You were born free from judgment. When you were happy, you cooed. When you were upset, you cried. When you were fascinated by something, you stared at it for as long as you wanted without worrying whether it thought you were weird. Bad hair days did not exist.

No matter how covered up by judgments and limiting beliefs it may have become, this unconditional love and acceptance endures. It is your birthright. It is who you truly are. Deep down, you still have a part of you who loves you exactly as you are and exactly as you are not, who knows what to do even when you don’t know what to do, who is pure awareness and is connected to all that is. When we tune into this energy and listen to the guidance that arises from it, we are capable of co-creating great change in the world.

The Buddhists say that speaking about the essential consciousness is like a finger pointing to the moon. The finger can point the way, but it can never actually touch it.  Our essential nature cannot be described but only experienced. I don’t ask you not to believe or disbelieve me, but rather to engage in the practices I share so that you can experience this loving, aware presence firsthand.

And, what does it mean to become the person who is capable of rising to the challenge?

Becoming a new person entails including and transcending the person you’ve considered yourself to be. For example, if you have a strong inner People Pleaser, you probably need to learn how to say no. If you’ve been stuck in your Perfectionist, you’ll need to learn how to allow yourself to fail and pick yourself back up again. If you’ve been a high Achiever, you may need to learn how to collaborate more effectively or to take time to savor life.

When most people are stuck, it’s not because they don’t know what steps they need to take. It’s because they need to develop the habits, strengths, and skills they need to be successful. To follow your calling, you must let go of attachment to habits and identities that hold you back and developing new capacities, mindsets, and ways of being that will allow you to meet the challenge at hand.

Take my client, Angie, for example. She was the district manager of what was to become the first recreational marijuana dispensary in the region, and she faced the daunting task of onboarding forty people in one month. She faced explosive growth at work, and she was working and speaking at a pace which mirrored the pace of the change she was facing. As a result, she struggled to communicate clearly and confidently with her staff.

To support her new calling, Angie made a commitment to trusting herself, slowed down, and stopped second-guessing herself. At the end of our work together, she said, “I’m a different leader and a person who pauses now.” She knew in her bones that she was up for the challenge.

So, what does all this mean for you?

I invite you to grab a piece of paper and a pen and take five to ten minutes to write down some thoughts. First, get comfortable in your body.

If your inner Judge comes up in response to the following questions, notice it. Then, connect with the part of yourself who loves you, exactly as you are and exactly as you are not. Respond to the questions from the place of a compassionate witness.

Then, free write your responses to the following questions—

  • What am I longing to create or do in this next phase of my life? (Your next phase may be the next couple of hours, days, weeks, months, or years. Your choice.)
  • What will I need to learn in order to rise to this challenge?
  • Who will I need to become to rise to this challenge?
  • What is my next step towards learning how to be this person?

I’d love to hear from you!

What are you needing to learn? Who are you needing to become in this next phase of your life?

Please share in the comments section below, and I will be sure to respond.

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