Walking in my purpose: Taking my first steps
Venturing into something new is sometimes scary, and I can relate. I tend to stick to what I am familiar with most times.
I eat the same meals even when there are other options, I like to sit at the same spot (or a few others) in the co-working space, and I hang out at similar places. Once I figure out that something works for me, it usually takes a lot of effort to try something new. For you, it may be different, but for some others, you have a similar experience to mine. And that’s why taking your first steps to accomplish something new can be challenging.
Walking in your purpose is TOO BIG and could be SO IMPACTFUL for you to throw away the idea because you feel uncomfortable about doing something. I hope to guide you through this article on how you can navigate this crucial phase of your journey.
At this point, I’d like to believe you have a good sense of what your purpose is (start here if you haven’t already). Congratulations on coming this far. Guess what? It’s time to take your first steps.
Before you begin walking in your purpose, or if you have started already, I’d like to ask you to pause and ask yourself these three questions, and then TAKE ACTION.
- What are my intentions?
- What do I see?
- What do I have in my hand?
Let’s take a deeper look at each question.
What are my intentions?
Here, you are assessing your heart and your motives for what you want to do.
Why do I really want to be an artist? Is it because I see an artist with 5 million followers on Instagram?
You may feel led to carry out certain tasks or solve certain problems but your reasons for pursuing it becomes self-centered. You have begun to think about the riches, fame, respect, etc. that you can attain rather than thinking about the lives that you are equipped to transform.
I am not implying that attaining riches or getting attention for your work is bad, in fact, it is a blessed thing. However, that should not be the focus for you. Your heart should not be centered on how you can achieve more for yourself but rather on others and honoring God.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Prov 4:23 (NLT)
It is important to pause and think about your innermost intentions because it determines the course you take, right or wrong.
What do I see?
Do you know that what you see in your mind (your vision) is much more powerful than what is physically in front of you? If you want to change your world, change what you see in your mind.
What you see can become your reality.
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
- Arthur Schopenhauer
When you think about your purpose and the vision God has laid in your heart, what do you see?
For example, if you are thinking about being a poet, close your eyes and see yourself reading your poem to a large congregation. See your book being bought by parents for their children and these children feeling empowered, or loved. See it!
In Jeremiah 1:10, God told Jeremiah -
See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Do not be limited by what is physically in front of you — news about economic recession, no money in the bank account, no one to link you up with people in power who can help, or too many established competitors in the space. While these challenges may be very real, see beyond them.
After Lot had departed, the LORD said to Abram, “Now lift up your eyes from the place where you are, and look to the north and south and east and west, for all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring forever. (Genesis 13:14–15).
If you are wondering, how can I take start picturing my dreams coming to life? It’s easy.
First having kinda discovered what your purpose is, think about what kind of impact you want to have. Think very very big here, if you want to create an alternate universe feel free :-).
Next, picture it in your mind. Picture your dream happening when you wake up. Picture it when you are alone, picture it when you lie on your bed to rest for the night. As these pictures come to mind, be careful not to dismiss any image because sometimes it may seem too big for someone like you. Rather, accept it and keep on picturing it.
Let your vision be a compass for your first steps and every step you take in actualizing the purpose of God for your life.
What do you have in your hand?
You may have no idea where to start and you think you do not have the resources or time to venture into what you want to be doing. If that’s the case then I want you to think about what is in your hand? This means thinking about what you have available to you today, then doing something with it toward your goals and dreams.
What you have in your hand could be a physical instrument such as a laptop, mobile phone, or physical space. Alternatively, it could be an intangible resource such as time or ideas. Whatever it is, do something with it.
For me, when I thought about my purpose, which is empowering and supporting young people to live fulfilling lives and achieve their dreams, I thought of how I can begin to carry this out. I had the opportunity to meet with a group of young adults once a month and now I am attempting to write articles like this to get them available to readers like you hoping that you are inspired and informed to take action.
For a young boy who dreams to be a footballer, it could be taking time out to practice in a field often after school or during the weekend. For a mother who wants to become an artist, it could be creating some artwork while her toddler is at daycare or at home playing with toys.
Think about what you have in YOUR hand and do something with it. Avoid the idea of trying to push it off till later in life because Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Having gained clarity on your intentions (hopefully they are great), You have envisioned what you’d like to achieve and what resources you have available to you today, it’s time to take action.
A few pointers as you take your first steps:
- IGNORE your fears: The reality is that you are going to feel a bit scared about venturing into something new. If you believe you are called to do something, go for it even though you feel afraid because there are people waiting to receive and be transformed through what you offer. Don’t wait, do it afraid!
- You do not need to be confident (in yourself), anchor your confidence in God. It’s okay if you aren’t confident in yourself. The right kind of confidence you need will come from trying something out, failing, and still getting back up, as well as your accomplishments along the way.
- Be okay with imperfection: You may not do things right and you will have to change direction a few times (I know I have), but you would be better off because you would have learned something along the way. Imagine if Anna decides she wants to be a writer in 2021 and because she feels she isn’t good at writing, she puts that off for a year, and may at some point dump the dream entirely. Also imagine if Anna had started writing poorly in 2022 but she kept going and now, a year later, she is a much better writer.
- You can’t control the outcome, what you have control over is the effort and your attitude towards your work. As Marcus Rashford puts it in his book: “You are a champion: How to be the best you can be”, let your measure of success be you putting in your best effort, not what the outcome is.
- Think of the SMALLEST step you can take, and take it TODAY. Yes, today. Schedule a meeting, pick a course to take, tell a friend or mentor about your goals, create a plan, and write out your dreams. If your first step seems too big, it probably is. Try breaking it down into smaller steps and take action today.
In my earlier article The Discovery of Purpose, I wrote about “Row and Pray”. And as a reminder, don’t wait till you have everything figured out. Row and Pray! This means taking action in the direction you believe is best for achieving your purpose and keep on praying to God as you embark on your journey.
There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly? — Erin Hanson