The Purpose Driven Life
I, like millions, watched Beyonce’ as she completely shut down Super Bowl XLVII this year. I was utterly amazed by her performance. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was so clear this beautiful, talented, strong, provocative woman is living within her purpose. She is at that kismet point when your passion, purpose and opportunity all intersect to create something otherworldly. While watching her strut all over the Super Dome stage, I said to myself, “Hmpf, so this is what it looks like when you are operating within your purpose.” It was really cool to see someone doing exactly what she was born to do. She is perfection not because she’s perfect, but because she is authentic.
Last night on her HBO documentary Life Is But A Dream, Beyonce’ shared her heart. She showed the world that she’s just like the rest of us. She experiences fear, anxiety, emptiness, exhaustion, frustration, anger and sorrow. She feels unsure at times. How crazy is that?! Beyonce’ feels unsure?! I think most of us believe that if we had her body, talent and weave there’d be no room for fear. But she’s human. And even though she is living what we view as the perfect life complete with money, a superstar husband with swag for days and people at her beck and call, she still experiences deeply vulnerable moments. It’s a lesson to us all to remember that public figures are people who are living within their dreams. They are no different than we are. That’s hard to imagine when you’re living Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston’s level of fame, but … look how those stories ended. It was their human moments that revealed the most about them. I’m honored by Beyonce’s decision to share her inner thoughts with everyone, particularly women.
When the documentary ended, I found myself extremely emotional. I ended up in a deep, five-hour, all night heart to heart with my husband about my own fear, anxiety, emptiness, exhaustion, frustration, anger and sorrow. Mostly we talked about my dreams and my fear that they’ll never come to fruition. Here’s a little insight into my … brain: I have a tendency not to speak out loud those things that I really want in this life. Let me explain what I mean by that. I know that words have power (the Good Book tells us that). When I speak my dreams aloud, several things happen that render me paralyzed:
- The responsibility to take steps to make the dream happen (i.e. doing the work necessary to help it all come to pass)
- The fear that I’ll be shamed if/when people are aware of my dreams and judge my ability to make them happen
- The fear that my dreams will come true … and what that will mean for my life and my relationships
I’ll give you a small example. I left a powerhouse public relations agency in 2010 after a very contemptuous relationship. I didn’t feel supported. I was a new mother and I needed the freedom and autonomy to be available to my family while still working within the field that I love. Not 30 days after leaving my job, I started Haley Communications Group. Now, most people would have shouted that from the rooftops. The more people who know, the greater opportunity to sign new clients and create new business opportunities, right? Not me. I hid it. I didn’t even create a Facebook page to announce until I had already been operating for over a year. Why? What if I failed? What if this was a big fluke and I made no money? What would people say about me if it turned out that I considered myself smart enough to run my own business, but in actuality my business was a big freaking flop? A pipe dream. That judgment and possibility of ridicule kept me silent. I can’t fail in front of people. I can’t bare that side of myself to people! I don’t want people to look at me and think, “Hmpf. I knew she was all talk. I figured it was all smoke and mirrors. She’s a pretty face. Nothing more. Moving on.” That fear of judgment keeps me up at night. It is the crossroad at which I constantly stand. Do I shout my dreams to the world and take the leap no matter what the result? No matter what people say? Or do I keep my dreams inside and keep pacing along in life at what I’m good at, but have absolutely no passion for?
One of my mentors once told me that I would be a force to be reckoned with when my purpose and passion align with the right opportunity. I couldn’t even receive his words because I’d already convinced myself that it’s not in the cards for me. I hadn’t even tried and had already counted myself out! How incredibly insecure!?! But that’s my truth. I count myself out without even trying. Judgment from others paralyzes me. Feeling ridicule or shame paralyzes me. I have all of these BIG dreams and goals of empowering women and using my voice to change the way we think about self and the way we love each other. But I have done nothing, and I do mean nothing, to operate within that purpose other than run my mouth to my friends. It makes me sad sometimes. I even get angry with myself sometimes. But fear is … seductive and comfortable. It speaks so much louder than my purpose most days. But recently, I’ve been feeling a little brave. I feel like it’s time to breakup with fear. We’ve been in a relationship for far too long. I’ve given fear my all and she’s given nothing in return. That ends now.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been different. I’ve always felt different from other people. I think differently. I consume information differently. I analyze information differently. I love differently. There’s been this … this … “thing” there that made me aware that I’m not quite like other women. I don’t say this to sound arrogant or “I’m better that you”. I say it to reveal that this “thing” has been percolating in my spirit since my very first memory in life. As the years have gone by, and my relationship with God has become more and more intimate, I now know that the feeling that I’ve been experiencing is the birth and development of my purpose. I was blessed to be awakened to it at an early age and I’ve spent years introspectively learning what marrying myself to my purpose would mean for my life. I’ve always been the type to apply for the “impossible” job and align myself with the “impossible” opportunities. Ironically, I’m fearless on paper. I applied for a job at Tyler Perry Studios every day for a year in hopes that I’d get a call back. I never did and ever so often, I still send in my info because like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket. I’m able to be fearless in many areas of my life, but not with my dreams. Crazy, right?!
Oprah often speaks about having the courage to dream. My husband says, “Shoot for the stars because even if you miss, you’ll land on the clouds … and that aint bad.” How many of you are allowing fear to cripple you? How many of you haven’t even taken the first step to your dreams because you’ve already counted yourself out? *raises hand* Well, no more.
Let today be the day you shout to the heavens ALL of those things that you want from this life. This life isn’t a dress rehearsal. If you leave tomorrow, will they play Beyonce’s “I Was Here” at your home going? What will people say about you? I’m afraid that my loved ones and colleagues will say, “She could’ve been something amazing. Wonder why she wasn’t?” Don’t give anyone the opportunity to say that about you. More importantly, don’t accept that for yourself. If Beyonce’ has insecurities even with her infinite, amazing stardom surely it’s okay that you do. The difference between us and her, is that fear doesn’t have the last word in her conversation.
Let’s start living this life with no regrets. Let’s kick fear in the balls and send it back to the pits of hell. Let’s go for it. ALL of it. Whatever it is, no matter how crazy it sounds, I’m with you. Tell me your dream and I’ll pray with you that God imparts the exact path to making it happen. What do you want from this life? I challenge you to stop telling yourself that you’re too old, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not talented enough, not unique enough. I’m here to tell you that YOU ARE ENOUGH. Write down your dreams and speak them aloud to yourself EVERY day. Words have power. The more you speak them, the more you tilt the universe towards you. The more you speak them, the more you believe them. The more you speak them, the more God reveals the path.
Fear no more. Go do the impossible. And if there is not one soul around to tell you that they believe in you, allow me the honor to be the first. Hear / feel me when I say:
I. Believe. In. You.
Love you. Mean it. ~AskThePRGirl
P.S. Life IS but a dream … but ONLY when you’re living in your purpose. 🙂