How To Figure Out Your Calling In Life
As we wrap 2020, many of you are reflecting on the ups and downs of this year and setting intentions for 2021. You are wondering how to hone in on the best way to spend your time and talents, to achieve the feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment that you crave. You, my friend, are yearning to discover your calling.
I know this because I’ve been there and often revisit this spiritual place often. Also, hi, it’s me Praise. Here’s my elevator pitch of my calling aka my personal brand statement aka my purpose: to honor God by inspiring people to live inspiring lives with beauty, humor, and authenticity. One way I live out my purpose is by being the founder and lead photographer here at ComePlum, a photo studio for go-getter women who are impacting the world because we know that women who are resourced, empowered, and confident cause their communities to flourish.
My journey to knowing this calling was a messy one. It’s not as put together as it is now. Going back to the 2013 version of myself, I see a woman who thought that she should pursue a career in the non-profit sector but soon became burnt out, sick, and depressed. In a moment that felt like defeat, I moved back to my hometown to Orlando to recover. In that space, I was able to be still and listen. I asked God, “I feel close to dead. Can you remind me of a time when I did not feel like this, when was the time that I really felt alive?”
And from there, I surge of invigoration came when I realized that what made me come alive was: make pretty things while loving people well. I started doing a photo fellowship in Kenya and being inspired by the jewelry artisans and small business owners there, I was encouraged to move back to San Francisco and start my own small art business.
I didn’t go to business school, I didn’t know a lot of other small business owners – I just started. I figured out little things (thanks Google) and rode the waves. As I did that, God kept showing up, providing me with the next right thing. The 2013 me could not handle the knowledge of what 2021 me is doing now. I think my brain would have exploded. The more I look back, He gave me just enough knowledge. “Our purpose is not an elevator. It’s not immediate, it’s a staircase. And all we need is the next right step.”
My journey of discovering my calling has taken a lifetime.
Here’s a bit of cheatsheet, frameworks, and resources to help you with your discovery:
Being self-aware is something we will always grow and do. And being self-aware is one of the most attractive things. Know yourself so that you can lead yourself, and so that you can lead others well. Because knowing yourself is others-focused, too.
You probably know your strengths and weaknesses, but those who care for you can give you deeper insights into your giftings. I sent out a questionnaire to a dozen people to ask them what they see in me and the responses I received, LIT. ME. UP! It’s not only helpful for you to help discern your calling, but also as a pick me up! My friend Stephanie Wong of the Bright Collective who I borrowed this idea from calls this a hype sheet. We need all the hype we can get going into this new year, ya feelz?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can talk to people IRL, over the phone, write an email, or send out a questionnaire/google form (see mine here). I suggest you poll to 3-5 trusted people asking them these questions:
This isn’t a magic formula. This won’t give you all the answers but I hope it provides some “aha” moments to push you toward your next right step. Do you feel like you know your calling for this season of your life? Leave it in the comments below!
A few recommended resources:
Photos by Praise, Lead Photographer at ComePlum for RecRoom