Gym was always my lowest grade and I never played a sport. Someone would hurl a ball, any kind of ball to my face, and I would go into catatonic shock. No matter the size of the ball, no matter the game; a tennis ball, a baseball, a football, or a basketball would turn into a comet flying at the speed of light to my frozen body. I never knew what to do to guard myself. And, that fear alone was paralyzing.
Give me a stage or a podium and I shine. Give me a court or a field and I shut down. When people ask whether or not I played a sport, I frown and say, “No, I was never a sports girl.” The truth is I have bad performance anxiety. If I am not confident in my ability to complete a task perfectly, I won’t do it. I never played tennis because I wasn't sure that I had Serena Williams’s skills. I never played basketball because I wasn't sure I would turn into Lisa Leslie on the court. If I wasn’t going to be an Olympian, then, sports were not for me.
Lately,walking in my purpose has warranted the same response. When God revealed my purpose last year, I was so confident that everything would just fall in place. I mean, it always has. If it was my area of expertise, then I dominated. So naturally, I assumed that my purpose walk would be the same. Let me be the first to tell you, “ WALKING IN YOUR PURPOSE IS HARD.”
You may have the tools and skills to live a purpose-driven life, but you will struggle to figure it out. There is no Serena Williams-ing your life’s purpose on the first try. And, maybe you already know this. Maybe, you played basketball and understood the time needed to learn to dribble and knock down three-pointers. Maybe, you played football and was tackled so many times, knowing how to get back up after a hard fall is a no-brainer. But, what about the rest of us? How do we overcome the anxiety shrouded by failure and the lack of patience?
This blog is my first step in my purpose walk. Since I started in November, there have been interruption after interruption and distraction after distraction. If I don’t get a certain response to a blog, I start to doubt myself. If I don’t write in a few weeks, I get discouraged. Performance anxiety rears it’s ugly head and a mental catatonic shock isn’t far behind. It takes a lot of pep talks and team huddles to keep me going. My pep talks sound a lot like this:
“This is YOUR purpose; no one else’s.”
“Perfection is not purpose, but your purpose is perfect.”
“There’s no game clock. Time is not running out.”
“You won once you started.”
When I remind myself of those things, I am able to pull back out my laptop and write. I am able to take a meeting with another creative. I am able to believe in what I am doing. My hope is that I am writing to someone that needs to read those four things. Perhaps, you are in the midst of your purpose walk and you are feeling a bit discouraged. Remember that your purpose walk is tailored to you.