Do you know who you are? Deep down in your core? When you wake up in the morning, do you know exactly what you are meant to do that day – or do you still grapple with the question, “What is my purpose?”
You know, I thought I would have found myself by the time I turned thirty. Though I have made huge recent strides in self-exploration, there are still days when I’m unsure of myself. As a child, my career aspirations changed with each grade. As a five-year-old, I wanted to be a teacher. A little while later, I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to be a writer in the third grade and in the fourth grade, I wanted to be a lawyer. I cannot even remember some of my other ideas.
Needless to say, I’m not one of those people who woke up on the first day of kindergarten with a twenty-year plan in mind.
Through a powerful experience in a prayer meeting, Eric knew he had a calling on his life to be a counselor when he was in the tenth grade. My oldest childhood friend has been on the same career path since she was in grade school. But, not me; I have changed from one interest to the next all of my life with only a couple consistent threads: a love of singing and a love of relationships.
Is This Really Me?
Until recently, I’ve believed myself to be an ISFJ (introvert, sensor, feeler, judger) on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (if you haven’t taken this personality test, I strongly recommend it). I am obviously introverted, make decisions based on my values, and primarily take in information via my five senses; but, my friends and family would argue that I do not fit the bill of a judger – organization, lists, need for closure, punctuality, detail orientation, etc. Why? Because I’m chronically late, I prefer seeing the big picture instead of each detail, and I hate feeling too tied down. Even proofreading my own written work for this blog drives me crazy! ~wink~
After years of looking at myself through an ISFJ lense, it was difficult to admit to being someone different – almost as if I had to say goodbye to myself in order to say hello to the real me. Yes, I was raised one way, but that does not mean I was destined to remain in that mold.
I fought it for years. Throughout those years, Eric would faithfully say, “You’re an ISFP” and I would argue! Finally, I surrendered… mostly.
No, Really… Is This Really Me?
Though I’ve enjoyed a greater sense of inner-freedom and congruence with myself since opening my mind and allowing myself to be happy with the real me, I still struggle with the newfound implications of who I am at times. Am I an artist? My personality type indicates that I should be an artist, but I don’t have artistic talents. Am I sure I know who I am?
Because of these pervading questions, I tend to waffle. Maybe I am an ISFJ after all. Maybe I’m not the free spirit I’ve recently embraced myself to be. Who am I and what am I supposed to do?! Why does nothing seem to fit me?!
Who Would I Be If I Had No Fear?
Then, one day I had the thought, “If you had no fear, who would you be?” The answer was clear. I’d be an ISFP. I’d dabble in all kinds of art. I’d embrace new experiences. I’d explore. I’d keep my options open and enjoy seeing where life takes me.
I hate being bound to schedules, even though the thought of them brings me a sense of familiarity and peace. They probably remind me of my childhood. ~smile~ And, unless I am determined to do so, I don’t naturally focus on details; but, let’s face it, the job market praises attention to detail and organization. To admit that I’m not gifted in those areas would be like saying I’m not a model citizen, right?
Fear has been a running theme in my life and I’m sure I’m in good company with a good number of you. How many of us are running after college majors, career fields, and even hobbies that suit our comfort zones more than our true selves? My fear of failing, hurting myself, or appearing foolish has held me back my entire life. I’ve let it nail me into a false personality – a safe one – that won’t require me to be as noticed or offer me as many chances to fail.
Now that I’m finally being honest with myself, I know if I had no fear I’d be creative, expressive, and free spirited. I’d explore the woods regardless of potential snake sightings. I’d take a painting class despite my current lack of skill. I’d train for a marathon even if my friends and family thought I was crazy. That’s who I really am.
Who are you? If you had no fear of failure, pain, or of letting people down, who would you be? What would you pursue? What hidden parts of your self would you set free? What are those ideas that have always excited you but you’ve never unleashed?
If you had no fear, who would you be? That’s who you were meant to be.
Have you experienced your true self?
(If you’re willing to invest into an even deeper look into yourself, check out the Learn Your Calling service Eric does for people – it is life-changing!)