How to Act on a Calling That Scares You

By Audrey Seymour

Do you feel a calling that’s been tugging more and more strongly on your heart and soul, yet totally spooks you at the same time? It’s that funny paradox — you wouldn’t be so moved by this calling unless it did involve something bigger than what you think you can do right now.

Climber going for his calling.When something feels this big, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed at what you imagine to be the magnitude of changes needed. Ultimately, honoring your calling is less about changing who you are and more about uncovering your true nature. It’s your concept of who you think you are that changes!

There is an abundance of options you may not have considered in how you honor that call that can make it much easier to move forward. We don’t all have to be Mother Theresa in order to do good in the world!

Expressing the higher purpose you came here to live does involve the transformation of your identity, yet you have choice as far as how much external change you want to make and how rapidly you want to make the change.

Imagine that you’ve gained enough clarity of purpose to be able to describe how you uplift others in a succinct sentence such as “I am meant to create beautiful environments” or “My gift is to shine the bright light of hope for those lost in dark despair.”

Next, imagine choosing how purposefully you want to live on a scale of 1 to 10.

If you were to choose a number between 1 and 3, it would mean that while it’s lovely to know your purpose, it’s not a good time for you to pursue it. Perhaps your company has transferred to a new state or new country, and you want to give yourself 6 months to get your family settled before you act on your purpose. Or, your mother needs hospice care, and that has to come first.

If you were to choose a number in the mid-range, it would mean that you would like to simply look for ways to bring more of your purpose into your current life and work situation. This may be the case if your work has many advantages and you just need to start offering more of your gifts and values in that setting.

If you feel your purposeful living rating is in the 8 to 10 range, you know that nothing is going to hold you back. You are willing to do whatever it takes – change jobs, change locations, change relationships – because nothing is more important to you right now than fulfilling the purpose that pulls you forward.

There is no one right way to pursue your purpose, and we sometimes forget that our daily personal lives are ultimately part of the fabric of our purpose as well as our service to others.

A client who was a real estate agent contacted me when he wanted to know his purpose and re-examine his career in preparation for welcoming his first child into the world.  He learned through our work that he was meant to bring peace into stressful situations.

As he reflected on what he loved about his work in real estate, he realized that the flexibility of his schedule would actually be perfect for him as a new Dad.  It would allow him to spend more time with his wife and child in those tender early months and years.

And then it struck him that as a real estate agent, one of his specialties had been to hold an anchor of peace and tranquility when his clients were stressing about all the details and changes they were experiencing. It made great sense to me because he had a very serene Buddha-like presence.

The only action this client had to take at this time was recommit to his business and re-brand himself in terms of the peace he brought to his clients. There was no disruption to his way of life. Instead, he felt like he was dropping more deeply into who he really was, and honoring it by how he expressed himself professionally.

Take a moment to reflect on how much detail you know about your higher purpose. What level of purposeful living makes sense for you right now?