Creatively inspiring you to follow your dreams.

Month: April 2011

The Truth About Fear

The Truth About Fear

Tweet {flickr photo by: stuant63} The Scary Truth About Fear I have to confess something… You may try to hide from it, avoid it and do nothing so that it wouldn’t find you. But no matter what you or don’t do… Fear never goes away. […]

Callings Group Event

Callings Group Event

Tweet {flickr photo by: Coach O.} Want to Be a Part of an Exciting New Challenge? A few weeks ago I attended a talk by Callings author Gregg Levoy. If you are a TIB blog reader, you know that I can’t stop talking about that […]

Finding Your Calling, Part 2

Finding Your Calling, Part 2

{flickr photo by Callt_o}

6 Proven Tips for Finding Your Calling

Author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life Gregg Levoy gave a talk a few weeks ago in Mountain View about his book and finding your purpose. This is part 2 of the talk. Part 1 can be read here.

He asked people how they interpreted random events as proof they had found their calling. Here are their answers:

1. Repeat visits.

One person said they knew that they had found their calling because it kept coming back and never went away.

Have you ever had something happen to you and it happened over and over again?

About a decade ago, I was sitting on the floor in Borders’s career section desperate and lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up and I felt I was old enough to know by now. It was a frustrating experience. But in time I started to get signs. I heard about a new program in psychology from a friend. Then, I found an ad in the paper on a class teaching a course related to that program. I began hearing and seeing psychology everywhere. Eventually I got it and enrolled in the MA program in Counseling Psychology.

2. Multiple angles.

It came from all different directions. That’s what another person said. Have you ever had a reoccurring dream and read a book about something and then got feedback from a friend about it later? That’s called clustering and Levoy said it happens where dots begins to form in different areas of your life. And all you need to do is begin connecting them.

It happened to me when I was reading this book. Several times. On one occasion, I went to a cottage in Point Reyes for the weekend. I noticed a sign on the gate door. We passed it every time we left. It was a quote from Annie Dillard that said, “How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives.”

Now I hadn’t ever heard of Annie Dillard, but I took a picture of the sign because I thought it was a nice quote.

Moments later while I was in the cottage, I read that same exact quote from the same exact person.

The next day, we were in the town’s bookstore and guess what I saw? A book by author Annie Dillard.

What was the “sign” in that situation? It was a reminder to me that I needed to slow down and be conscious of how I was spending my time. It was a wake up call. One that only came to me several days later.

3. Intuition.

Have you ever done something that “just felt right” in your soul?

Maybe you took a class that really moved you or you read something or heard a talk that you really connected with. Those are all signs from your intuition, your gut instinct that you are on the right path. Keep taking steps in that direction (kind of like playing “hot and cold” as a kid). Go closer to the events that feel hot and move away from the things that feel cold and you will discover your calling sooner than later.

4. Scared poop-less.

One person said that they knew they were on the right path because it “scared the daylight’s out of” them. Levoy said,”If a path feels safe and easy you’re probably not on the right path.”

I used to think that if things were easy then that meant you were where you were supposed to be. I think that’s because I was too scared to do anything risky.

In reflection, however, anything that ever scared me (being on a radio show), anything that forced me to look deep inside myself and pull out the courage I didn’t know I had (being on TV), was where real growth occurred. It’s where one step lead to another step and that move led to my dreams.

You will not live an authentic life. You will not live the life of your dreams unless you take big risks. Life demands your courage. Your dreams can only become a reality when you step up to the plate. You have it in there. But first you must work on your courage.

5. Find your answers in the results.

A lot of times we don’t know we are on the right path until we know. You can’t sit in your house and dream big dreams, then do nothing about them. My theory is that successful people got where they are because they tried. They failed as hard as they succeeded. But they were successful because they didn’t stop.

Levoy said to take a step toward your dreams and pay attention. Think about how you feel at every corner, every step, every action and inaction. Use the experience as an experiment and you will eventually find the answers you are looking for.

There is no perfect formula for finding your dreams. A lot of it is trial and error. Most of it is learning to be mindful, to pay attention, to listen to what you already knew when you were a kid.

The hardest part of finding your calling is not in discovering it. It is in rediscovering it and then working through the fear to get to it.

This is a extensive topic so I will be writing part 3, which is all about fear. Stay tuned for that in an upcoming post.

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Everything You Need to Know About Finding Your Calling, Part I

Everything You Need to Know About Finding Your Calling, Part I

Tweet {flickr photo by: Brittany ((Halo))} If someone asked you right now what you want to be when you grow up, what would you say? Would you laugh nervously trying to buy time before an answer came? Would you smile and tell them that what […]

Calling All Groupies: Here’s Your Chance to Participate

Calling All Groupies: Here’s Your Chance to Participate

Tweet {flickr photo: Bob.Fornal} If you want to participate in our Callings group, comment below if you would like to participate as the focal person or a group member. This is the first time I’m attempting this, but I’m excited about the possibilities. There are […]

Fear is a Common Denominator in Following Your Calling

Fear is a Common Denominator in Following Your Calling

{flickr by: KOREphotos}

There is so much I want to say about the talk I went to last night with author Gregg Levoy. But before I get into that, I wanted to share something else with you.

Part of the 2 hours and 30 min of the talk on callings was an audience participation activity.

We got into groups of 8 and chose a focal person-someone who had a problem and needed help getting answers.

Each member of the group had the task of listening and then asking questions. But there was a catch. No devil advocate questions. No advice giving. Purely curious questions without an intention to move or change the person’s mind.

Would you have a hard time doing that?

How Fear Can Prevent You From Moving Forward

Okay back to the story. One of the things I noticed was that our focal person was beyond anything else, scared to move forward. If she took a step in any one direction, she would be potentially closing the door to another one. Not knowing the result of her choices paralyzed her. Believing that she was not reaching the expectations she had for herself at her age paralyzed her.

Sadly, it is not one’s talents or lack of talents and opportunities that most often prevents someone from following their dreams.

It is the belief that they can’t.

Part of the process of moving forward is bringing into conscious the fears and negativity that’s filling our thoughts. Those thoughts drive our actions and inactions. But it is possible to get through them. Sometimes we just need others to point it out to us.

Have a Question on How You Should Pursue Your Calling?

I thought we could bring this same activity to our group here and/or on Facebook. This would be great for those who have a question about following their dreams. Questions like should I take this opportunity? Should I quit my job and start working on being self-employed? It will take a brave soul, but if people are willing to be courageous and compassionate, it could be fun and helpful too. Let me know what you think. Comment below if you are interested in either giving questions or being our focal person with a question.

It helped the focal person in our group realized her negative thinking and fear was holding her back from her dreams.

This activity might help uncover your own obstacles too.

Good luck fellow dreamers!



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Friday Reflections and a Life Changing Freebie

Friday Reflections and a Life Changing Freebie

Tweet Yesterday, I wrote about synchronicities. And I just had another BIG one last night! By now, you probably know that I am a huge fan of author Gregg Levoy’s book Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life. If you had any doubt, here are […]

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