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Ep #50

Finding Your Purpose

Renegades, I can’t believe we’ve made it to 50 episodes. The process to get here, well, it has felt a lot like what I lovingly refer to as the river of suck. I’ve been frustrated, doubtful, insecure, challenged, with a few moments of pride and relief mixed in. I’ve questioned why I keep showing up.

You see, I’ve been toying with the idea of purpose and meaning in my life lately. You might find meaning in being a parent, running a business, having a podcast, or contributing to the world in some other way. But I’m here to tell you none of those things give you meaning. Your thoughts do. 

In this week’s episode, I’m sharing where I find purpose and meaning in my life and why I continue to show up for this podcast week after week. I invite you to investigate where you’re finding meaning in your life and question why it brings you meaning. I’ll be pulling back the veil on the think-feel-act cycle, the decision to find meaning, and some lessons I learned over 50 episodes of this show that I think will help you inquire, seek, and reveal for yourself.

What You Will Discover:

  • What reaching 50 episodes of this show means to me.
  • My compelling reasons for doing this podcast. 
  • Why humans are obsessed with finding purpose.
  • How and where to find purpose and meaning.
  • What happens when you focus on not having a purpose.
  • A few lessons I’ve learned over 50 episodes.

Resources Mentioned:

Enjoy the Show?

As I was writing this episode, I found myself thinking about the process I’ve been going through to get here. It’s what I lovingly refer to as the river of suck. I’ve been frustrated. Doubtful. Insecure. Challenged. Combined with fewer moments of relief and pride. It has been a more negative emotional experience than positive one. Sometimes I find myself consumed in overwhelm - actually in the beginning I was consumed with confusion. And let me tell you something. Overwhelm and confusion pretend to be useful; just like worry but they are not. What they are is self-indulgent feelings that prevent you from doing things like making decisions or feeling negative emotions. I could record an entire podcast on these 2 feelings.
But I digress. Recording this podcast the last 20 weeks has brought up all my drama.

And you know what; that is exactly why I’m doing it. Each week I find myself facing this task that has felt daunting and until this shit gets easy, I’m not walking. I’m not giving up.

I literally have to remind myself every week why I’m doing this. My compelling reasons. Not reason. But reasons, Renegades.
I’m doing it because I feel compelled to share my experience or observation of it in hopes that it will resonate with one other person. Perhaps make their experience feel less isolated and alone. For me to make sense of, research different applications and discover new ways to process our human experience. To contribute and produce content that is cohesive, entertaining and relatable.

Each week I manage to glean meaning and purpose out of my work.

And that Renegades, is my goal. To pursue the things in life that have meaning and give me a sense of purpose.

The topic of meaning and purpose of life is one that I notice humans marinate in, too. We are low key obsessed with it as if it’s the holy grail. An elixir that if drank, will transform us from the human experience to a more heaven on earth experience.

Many people are conscious of the fact that they want to make an impact, create and contribute something to the world.

But sometimes Renegades, I feel like we use this idea of meaning and purpose as a way to reinforce our beliefs that we aren’t doing enough and aren’t good enough.
We have this habit of focusing on all they ways we aren’t living a purposeful and meaningful life, rather than how we are. We question our contribution to the world.

We look at the roles we fill at work and question its purpose. We look at our relationships and doubt their meaning.

You know what I think? I think we I think we over romanticize this idea of finding purpose and meaning. We have these grandiose expectations of what it might feel like or be like and so when we are in the middle of a career or marriage and it isn’t feeling how you imagined you think, this isn’t my purpose. This isn’t meaningful.
I’m failing them. They are failing me. I’m failing at life.

We forget that even the most meaningful work will have very basic days. Hard ones. Boring ones. That knowing your purpose in this world doesn’t leave you in a constant state of euphoria but instead still experiencing days where you doubt what you’re doing and question if this is the direction.

We use all of this information to inform us on why we should leave. Pursue something new. Be different. Change.

The last few years I found myself deep in thought about my purpose and the things I find meaningful; For the first time in my adult life, I’m about to exit the role of full time mother, which I’ve been doing since I was 20 and embark on a life that is more, well to simplify it, independent.

Let me just tell you, it has been a mind-fuck y’all.

I’ve had a hard time letting go of this role because the more I reflect on who I had to become to be the mother my children needed and my commitment to seeing it through, the more in awe with myself I am. I’ve never given 20 years to anything. Especially something that almost broke me. And this idea of seeing something through doesn’t only apply to parenting. I’m talking about anything you show up today after day even on the days you don’t think you can. Coming back, day after day even though you can’t comprehend how you are going to get through it… In sickness and health. Til the death do you part kind of commitment.

I found myself thinking that this is the most meaningful thing I’ll ever do. Raise kids. That this must have been my purpose and nothing I do after will compare. Which led me to thinking, I want more kids. I want to start over. This is my purpose. It was actually very depressing albeit a necessary part of my grieving.

I told myself a coaching business and podcast would pale in comparison. That nothing will ever have the kind of meaning or purpose that I found in raising kids.

Talk about dramatic, right?

The flip side is that it wouldn’t be fair of me to compare anything I start now, the meaning and purpose that is, to what parenting has meant to me. And not because I think parenting is the most important task someone can take on. I don’t. The reason is this; I've found meaning and purpose in parenting because I’m able to look back and gather 20 years of evidence telling me I’m committed. I’m dedicated. I can do hard things. I can overcome myself. I can give my word. I’m loyal. That even after an exhausting day of working I can get food on the table, make sure everyone is showered and start again the next day when the sun comes up. I contributed. I created. I fucked up and failed more times than I care to admit. I learned to forgive myself and others. So many times. I learned unconditional love- for myself.

All that is to say, if I want to find meaning and purpose in my next venture, all I need to do is 1. change my thinking and 2 commit.

We find meaning and purpose in what we do by how we choose to think about it.
It’s not the actual job that gives you meaning and purpose, it’s your thinking about it.

This goes for all of you. Everything always comes back to the thinking feeling action cycle, Renegades.

I’ll admit; I didn’t see my purpose in parenting or the meaning in it for a very long time. I could barely see straight I was so in it.

I want to invite each of you to consider what purpose means to you? And where you find meaning?
Not anyone else. Just you? If no one never knew what you did each day, would you be able to say it was meaningful or are you waiting for the world to see and tell you? I can guarantee you, if you stop and look at your life, you can find meaning. You know why? Because it all comes from your thinking. You get to decide what makes you feel meaningful or purposeful. Not me. Not Instagram. Not your neighbors. Not your family. You.

I want to urge you to direct your brain and tell it how and where you have purpose and meaning.
I decided this week after realizing this, that there is no reason for me to wait 20 years to say what I’m doing is meaningful or purposeful. I’m going to choose each day to believe that what I’m doing has meaning and purpose.
This podcast? My life coaching business? Guiding and advising two young adults. Walking and feeding Frenchie’s? Overcoming my human nature and showing up when things are uncomfortable? Talking with and being with my friends and family? Spending time alone. It’s all Meaningful. Purposeful. Fuck, I can find meaning out of slow rolling my morning if you’ll let me.

Don’t over think it. I mean, seriously. Each day when you wake up tell yourself you have meaning. That what you do has a purpose. And look for it in all areas of your life. The power of auto suggestion is not to be fucked with Renegades. The more you think about not having a purpose or your living a life with no meaning the more you will do and become that. It’s really that simple.
Change your thinking and you will change your life.

I’d like to wrap up today with a few lessons I’ve learned over the last 50 episodes of overcoming myself to podcast each week.

1. How to be an employee and entrepreneur. THIS is a HUGE lesson for me Renegades. Look. It’s always been easier for me to be in charge. To walk in a room and start calling out orders- stacking demands- one after the other. My kids have made a point to bring this to my attention over the years. I know my employees struggled with it. But it wasn’t until I became my own employee that I really saw firsthand what that’s like AND how stressful it can be to work for me. I’ve learned to slow my roll and set myself up for success. Make it easy on the employee that is me to produce the best results which means, my entrepreneur self needs to give my employee self space. To work at her own pace. If you are running your own business and also doing the work, are you setting yourself up for success?

2. I can do hard things. Obvs I didn’t come up with this concept. We’ve all heard it and it’s 100% true. Not only can you, you want to. The hard things get us out of our conditioning. I hear from my clients, friends and my brain all the time; it’s hard for me to do this. To figure this out. Marketing is hard for me. Learning new things is hard. Putting myself out there is hard. So what? Let it be hard and do it anyway.

3. Discomfort is the currency to your dreams. Another classic being passed around the self-help world. I still struggle to hit send each week I record an episode. Some weeks I have to force myself to listen to my episodes because I’m highly critical. To talk about it- god forbid praise my work. To market it. It brings up some uncomfortable feelings. What if it falls flat and I fail? Feeling embarrassed that I said that one thing or talked too much in an interview. All the uncomfortable feelings are required if you are going to chase your dreams. Get used to them being along for the ride. The more you practice feeling them, the easier they get. Dan Sullivan teaches the 4 C’s. When you make a commitment you have to have courage because you are about to feel allllll the feelings. This shows you that you are capable of experiencing them resulting in confidence. When you master the art of the 4C’s, there is nothing you aren’t willing to try.

4. B- work Waiting to produce perfection? That will never happen. Not with your inner critic. Each week I question Was it cohesive? Was it good enough? Did that make sense? Maybe I should have… and I hit send. If what I’m saying and doing now will resonate with just one person, then I’ve done my job. I literally have to remind myself each week it’s not my job to provide all the answers.

5. Neutrality. How many listens, shares, texts or comments? Not my business. I’m not making them mean anything. So many of you are afraid that if you don’t have a big following or get all the likes and comments that people will think you are not real or successful. Someone recently told me “you really do put yourself out there emotionally for all to see” I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or criticism and it doesn’t matter. I told him my work is an observation of my experience and what others think of it, is up to them. My job is to contribute authentically and let you experience however you’d like.
6. I have a great voice. Who knew? It’s questionable if some of you are tuning in for the concepts or my calming coo and that’s fine by me. I’m tempted to start applying for voice overs. This is why we do the work Renegades. You never know where it will take you!

I do know this. I’m grateful that I have an opportunity each week to talk to you - it gives me purpose to expand, explore and educate myself. And there is no lack of meaning in life when we are pursuing things that will stretch us.

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