Are you doing it for you?

INTRODUCTION

Write tip or life tip? Sometimes when I stumble across a blog to re-share, it's a combination of both. Not surprising since writing teaches many life lessons--lessons I'm still learning. When I originally wrote this blog in July of 2010, I was two years away from landing an agent and receiving not one but three offers for my debut novel.

At the time, I was leaving PartyLite, a direct sales company, and doing so left me with a seriously heavy heart. As I say in the article, leaving felt like giving up. Like abandoning what I'd vowed to love forever. It meant leaving friends (our group was based 90 minutes away from where I lived, so I wouldn't be bumping into any of them on the street). It meant ending monthly get-togethers for sales trainings, and fun overnights that followed. The last six years of my life had been about building a business and working with a team of leaders, and catering to beloved customers who had become friends.

Despite the difficulty I had ultimately deciding to walk away, it felt incredible. It was like my gut, my soul, maybe even God Himself, was pushing me out of circumstances I'd outgrown. My stubborn brain just needed convincing.

When I reread the blog below, I was struck by this excerpt:

I wake excited to tackle the new goals I have each day. The writing, the blogging, the contact with other authors... I finally feel as if I am living out (at least in part) the passion that God knit into my soul.

As I write this, seven years later, I can't believe how true those sentences still are. And I was unpublished at that point! Yet I woke invigorated and excited to tackle all that was unfolding before me. If you find yourself totally turned on by writing, or any other hobby or passion, pause and ask yourself if this is your gut, your soul, or God Himself whispering to you that you should pursue it. Us humans are in a state of evolving, and evolving means change... Don't shy away from the hard stuff to get to the really good stuff.

Here's the blog, published in it's original entirety.

xoxo,

Jessica

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Originally published here under the title "A Recent Ah-ha! Moment"

I learned a very important lesson in a very unlikely place.

Oprah was doing an update on past guests and she had a woman on her show by the name of Kathrine Lee who had lost 175lbs. 8 years ago. Upon the update, Kathrine had gained her weight back and was in the process of losing it again. Here's the quote from her that slapped me upside the head:

Looking back, Kathrine says her biggest mistake was not losing the weight for herself. "I made it about everybody else. I was either doing it for them or to get a reaction from them," she says. "The obsession or the running to food got replaced with people's attention. It got replaced with the motivation of other people saying great job."

It struck me then, that I had been doing the same thing. Only, not with food.

In a past career, I got to the point where everything I was doing was to get the pat on the back or encouragement from my mentors and peers. A "good job" or a challenge issued was reason enough for me to put my head down and plow toward the goal. A goal that, in reality, I had outgrown. At one point I had wanted to achieve it; it blossomed in my heart and took hold of my life and propelled me forward... then one day, it was gone.

It's a lonely feeling to lose your drive and dreams. It makes you wonder who you are after you've abandoned the thing that defined you for so long. I had people tell me not to give up! To keep going! You can do it! Others said, "Ah, quit, you had a good run."

They were all well-meaning in their encouragement, with the best of intentions. But the friends' advice I appreciated most were the ones who said, "You can make this decision for yourself. You know what's in your heart. Follow and listen to your heart." And for that sage advice, I am thoroughly and forever grateful.

So, I followed my heart. Finally.

When I walked away, I did so under such pressure from myself. Part of me believed I had failed. Part of me believed I had given up. Another part of me screamed that because I'd sworn never to quit, that I was what I feared the most:

False.

The silver lining came when I had the courage to let go and allow it to become my past. And to my utter and complete suprise, I don't miss it. I remember so proudly saying, "I love what I do, I'll do this till I die!" Now I say, "Thank God it didn't have to come to that." ;)

I wake excited to tackle the new goals I have each day. The writing, the blogging, the contact with other authors... I finally feel as if I am living out (at least in part) the passion that God knit into my soul.

I truly felt the tug toward my former career. But now I feel the tug toward this new and exciting passion. Will I do it till I die? I'd like to say yes, but the truth is I have no idea what comes next. All I know is I'm going to do it until the dream dies in my heart. And hopefully, that will be never. But one things certain, I'm going to strive and work to follow my heart, rather than everyone else's idea of what I should be doing.

And that's hard for a people-pleaser like me. (*wink*)

For today,

Smile,Follow your heart, Feel Good, Pass it On