Everyone of us is designed with purpose. Yet so many of us are in jobs we hate, living our days without fulfillment and chasing happiness in all the wrong places. That was me. And I wonder, is it you?
Most of my blog posts are filled with my journey of following my own dream. I've been super honest from the get go hoping that if someone out there feels exactly like I did/do, reads my blog and is inspired by my walk, well then all the vulnerability is completely worth it. I'll take down the walls so you won't have to build any more.
I know it doesn't take just one blog post, but it could be the very start that you need. Today, I want to dig into all the ways I prevented myself from starting a long time ago. My heart was burning with a dream, I was reading scripture that told me God had a plan and purpose for my life and I knew what I needed to do - take the first step. But the first step seemed so scary. So for two years I stood inside the boat with one foot in and one foot out, focusing on the wind and waves of what could happen if I failed, what others would think of me and how none of this made sense.
What exactly were those winds and waves?
I didn’t feel ready.
One of the most common dream killers is thinking there is a perfect time to chase our dreams. But the longer you wait for that perfect timing, the quicker your dream begins to die. Mark Batterson wrote in his book The Circle Maker, “If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting the rest of your life.” I wasn’t ready in 2015 and I sure wasn’t ready two years later in 2017. So, what made the difference? Honestly, I was not getting any younger and life began to pass me by. As I awaited the perfect timing I learned that delayed obedience is disobedience and I didn’t want to come to the end of my life and have God ask me what I did with the gifts and talents he gave me only to come up empty handed.
I didn’t have time.
I’m a mother, a wife, a friend. I have a job, I volunteer at church and any spare time is quickly used up. I felt so stretched that I had no idea how I would have time for a side hustle. I used time as an excuse, which is exactly what it was – an excuse! You must make time for your dream! Like I mentioned earlier, we are not getting any younger. Do you want to reach the end of your life with regret? Of course not. Learn to say no to things that don’t matter (as much) for the things that do. Aside from church, my marriage and my family, my dreams became a priority and guess what – there was time!
I didn’t know how.
I let lack of knowledge deter me many years, only to realize that even now, I still don’t know everything about business, building a brand, marketing, taxes, etc. I would say don’t start something without a firm foundation/vision, but truth be told, you don’t need to know everything upfront. I learned that God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. I really had to hold onto the truth that God would intervene with his strength where I came up weak. The moment I took the first step, God revealed the second.
I didn’t think I stood out among the crowd.
When I found the courage to make my first step, I was on cloud nine. God blessed my small beginnings and I could see it tangibly. But then I looked to my left and to my right and I noticed all these amazing established businesses, who had amazing product, beautiful photos and photogenic faces. I looked at my little and I began to shrink. At a women’s conference, I learned from Christy Wright that there is room for all of us. (Read my blog post Not Everyone Likes Ragu for more) I learned not to compare my seed with someone else’s bouquet. As Christy Wright said, "The job God has for you, the calling on your heart and the dream that keeps nagging at you—it’s a job that only you can do. There may be other people doing something similar, but that doesn’t take away from what God wants to do through you. So don’t give up on your calling or ignore your passions and talents just because you’ve been distracted by someone else stepping into theirs. Instead, press on and do what God has given you to do."
You have a decision to make.
Are you going to get out of the boat (with both feet) or not? Are you going to live the life God designed for you even though it's not easy, or are you going to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else go after their dreams?
I hope you say yes over and over again. We are dreamers, but we are also doers and that's how you live your life with passion and fulfillment knowing that the one who knew you before you were formed, so delicately created you with gifts and talents that only YOU can offer this world. Don't let yourself lose out of that calling and don't let the world lose out either.
I wasted several years, I don't want you to do the same.