Some things in life you can let pass you by: the movie, the birthday, the business deal.
But other things if gone unchecked, may kill you. You’ll end up in a life you didn’t ask for, a career you don’t enjoy, with a restlessness that keeps you up at night. I know. That used to be me.I was trying to chart my own path and “figure out” life, all while living someone else’s vision of it. I hung on to the well-intentioned, but wrong advice of family and friends, and expectations hung over my head. Yecch. I was too scared to choose wrong and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. More importantly, I didn’t know how to choose. So I sat for months in what felt like uncertainty wrapped in barbed wire. Prickly. Painful. And the reason I had such a heavy heart was because since I was a kid, I’d known I was here for a reason. I knew I had a purpose bigger than just myself and I felt it I beyond a shadow of a doubt. But on my way to find that purpose, I got lost.
Still, I knew that my impact on the world could not end with me, eating Cheerios in my pajamas, in the middle of an existential crisis. So I made a decision right there to start living MY life. My vision of what could be. I stopped listening to other people and started finally listening to my intuition. At that moment, the instant I recognized my potential coursing through my veins, I unleashed what had been brewing inside. It brought resources to me so personal they felt wrong, and my life changed at such warp speed I didn’t know if it was real. It almost felt like…magic. I got into a coveted MBA program with one of the top business leaders in the world on an honest application, a prayer, and zero business experience. I landed a job with my idol photographer. I launched the magazine I’d dreamed about for years. I built relationships with people who’ve enriched my personal and business life. I’m building a business where I feel strengthened, fulfilled and that helps others. My friends are people I respect and who do breathtaking, important work. I’ve given up explaining it because it all sounds ridiculous. And it is. It is unbelievable, exhilarating, delightful, and ridiculous.
More than anything, it’s terrifying. Hold-on-tight scary. I’ve cried, battled, quit, started, quit again, failed, been mortified, cringed and wanted to drop into a hole in the ground more times in the last four years than in my entire life. There’s been an enormous amount of fear that has forced me out of my comfort zone and many moments where I’ve called people to say, “I can’t do this anymore. Not for one more second.” And then I did it for three more years and counting. I still have moments like this all the time.
I’m not telling this to scare you, but so you’ll look up, see what’s possible and run to the things that call out to you. And if you are scared, run faster.
Because when you’re moving toward your soul’s calling, expect MONSTER-sized challenges on the road ahead. That when you fall flat on your face once, twice, sixteen times, it’s a sign you’re on the right path. Since my obstacles doubled as I got closer to my dreams, since I couldn’t run even if I wanted to, I had to harness my fear to take advantage of the opportunities that came my way. I studied it, befriended it, decoded it, most of all, I used it to create a new life instead of letting it overwhelm me.
Your potential is your essence, the deepest part of you. It is the magic of potential that helped me change my life and it will do the same for you. You cannot let it slip away. You cannot leave here with the music still inside you. Because it’s possible for you to start creating your most exhilarating life right now – right this moment with the same magic I used – it’s just waiting for you to unlock it. You CAN build your best life – the one where you grow beyond what feels possible, where you face your fears, where you share with us your gifts and the stuff still inside of you. Will you share it with us already?
I hope so. Because it’s no coincidence that potential starts with the word POTENT.
It WILL change your life, but it doesn’t unleash itself.