4 Things Holding You Back From Accepting Your True Purpose
A guide to overcoming distractions, fears, limiting beliefs, and your ego
Each of us came to this world with a special mission.
That’s why we are all so unique and our gifts so diverse.
Some people are great at bringing people together and creating community. Others can just see through someone and know how they feel, or what they need.
For me, it has always been about structure. I see everything in systems, processes, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions.
I have a coaching client who has a special gift for writing songs that touch the heart of millions. She is incredible at translating pain and suffering into art.
Another client of mine built a successful speaking career by breaking down complex concepts into their essence and extracting simple action steps. But I think his real superpower is creating so much astonishment in people that it spurs them into action. His audacity on stage is what leaves people feeling inspired to change.
All of us have a superpower.
And we are here to use it to make this world a better place. Help people on their path. Raise collective consciousness. Wake people up to their true power and purpose.
And if we do that, if we step into our full power and fulfill the mission we came here for, we will be rewarded with a life we never thought possible.
When we step up for the world, the universe steps up for us.
But stepping into our full power is not easy because there are four major blocks that hold us back.
When we live the life society expects from us (a well-paid job, a family, a nice house, a busy social life), chances are we will never wake up to our full purpose because we are simply too busy. A life full of responsibilities requires us to spend the free time we DO have de-stressing and recharging to keep it all up and running. That means we never actually have any time (or energy) to think about what actually matters in life.
Why am I here?
What do I really want from this life?
What makes my body, mind, and soul happy?
What would I do if I wasn’t so afraid?
How can I make my highest contribution to the world?
But there is a reason why we keep ourselves so busy: Dealing with these questions is extremely challenging. It brings up all these feelings that we work so hard to bury with our busy lives (and sometimes even alcohol, shopping, food, etc.).
Emptiness. Confusion. Dissatisfaction. Fear. Unworthiness. Inadequacy.
Unfortunately, there is only one way through the storm: Feel it. All of it. Because that’s how you will learn the lessons you need to step into your full power and truly help the world.
How to remove distractions
Start with creating space in your life just for yourself. To think, read, meditate, feel. I love taking an hour each morning to connect with myself. I journal about how I feel and see where it takes me. Sometimes I meditate or do 15 minutes of yoga, which helps me to fully focus on the moment and just be.
Even if it’s just a couple of minutes per day that you take out of the hustle and bustle, it will completely change your life. That’s really all you need to start because taking that time will help you become more self-aware. You will start to notice the things that don’t serve you — people, activities, obligations, things, thoughts, places, habits. You will start to proactively create your life instead of letting it be curated for you.
When I first decided to go after my dreams, quit my job and become a “soulpreneur” (entrepreneurs who build businesses based on their passions and gifts and create the life that makes their soul happy), I experienced all sorts of fear. Crippling fear.
Fear of Failure. Fear of Judgment. Fear of the Unknown. Fear of Success.
I experienced all of it.
Because our brain does not like changes. It prefers us to stay the same so we can be safe. Nature has gifted us with useful fears that are designed to protect us from real dangers — like lions and starvation. But in modern times, we rarely experience real dangers. Instead, most fears are destructive and hold us back from realising our true potential.
How to remove fear
First, we need to accept that fear is an inevitable and valuable part of our shared human nature. Thus, we cannot learn to be fearless, just to fear less. Here are a couple of powerful strategies I have used myself and with my coaching clients to take action despite the fear:
- Get to know your fear: Start by identifying how fear shows up in your life. For some people, fear hides behind procrastination or perfectionism. Others experience physical fear effects like a tightness in the chest, chronic pain, or recurring illnesses. Sometimes, fear is suppressed by destructive behaviour like excessive drinking, smoking, working, shopping, or eating. The next time you see this pattern show up in your life again, sit with your fear instead and feel it deeply. Ask yourself: “What am I actually afraid of?” Then go even deeper and ask yourself: “Why am I so afraid of this?” Are you actually afraid of not being able to pay rent or are you more afraid of what your friends will think if your business fails and you can’t pay your rent? And if that happens, how will that make you feel? What are you so afraid to feel? What are you so afraid to find out about yourself?
- Transform your fear into empowering energy: We can’t control the emotions that enter our mind, we can only control how we react to them. Thus, transforming fear is ultimately a daily practice. A daily practice of becoming aware of our fear, understanding and metabolising it, reframing it and letting it go. There are a few practices that I’ve found to be very powerful for that: journaling (try my four-step emotional release process here), breathing exercises (try the 4–7–8 technique here), tapping (check out Brad Yates on Youtube) and moving your body (getting your heart rate up relaxes your mind, lightens your mood and helps you to break out of the negative thought cycles of fear and worry).
- Take action despite the fear, step by step: It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and scared to start a big, life-changing project. But if we are afraid of something, the only way to move forward is to face the fear and do it anyway. And the more we take small action steps, the more we gain the confidence to take the next, bigger step. The key is to not obsess too much about having it all figured out and just starting with the easiest, first step we are confident to take. When my clients first come to me they usually worry so much about things like setting up a website, finding a name and defining “what they do.” But these things create so much pressure and lead to inaction because they lack the necessary clarity to execute them. The first step is not your website. The first step is not even to describe what you do. The first step is to create and to serve. Go out there and just help people with what you know. Help your friends or random people you meet. Share what you’ve learned on Instagram or write an article on Medium. Take all the pressure off and just serve and create. Don’t even worry too much about what comes back. Just see how it feels. That’s the first step.
3. Limiting Beliefs
Beliefs can be described as views we have about ourselves, others, and the world as a whole. They determine how we think things are and how they are supposed to be. In fact, how we see the world is determined by what we have decided to believe about it.
The sum of our beliefs, both positive ones and negative ones, make up our mindset and thus our idea of reality. Everything in life, from how we see things, how we feel about them, and how we react to them is determined by our subconscious belief system, which is at the core of who we are.
We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Sometimes these beliefs are empowering and sometimes these beliefs are extremely limiting. That’s when they become mental blocks that hold us back from achieving our full potential in life. They become the stories we tell ourselves about why we can’t do something and they become the negative self-talk that runs on repeat in our minds.
How to remove limitings beliefs
Identifying and transforming your self-limiting belief requires a lot of inner work. Here are a few powerful ways to overcome your subconscious mental blocks:
- Work with a mindset coach. It’s perfectly possible to overcome your limiting beliefs all by yourself, but working with a coach is usually a lot faster and more effective. We usually can’t see through our patterns clearly because they are such an integral part of who we are and just run on autopilot — but someone else, especially a qualified coach, might see these things instantly and can challenge you by asking the right questions and giving a few pointers.
- Journal on the following question: “Why is it not possible for me to achieve my dreams?” Let your thoughts flow on paper to come up with all the reasons that are limiting your success. It can also help to go through the most common limiting beliefs and see if they apply to you. Once you know your superficial reasons (e.g. “I can’t start my own business because I don’t have enough experience”), go deeper by asking yourself “WHY?” over and over again. This simple method helps you get to the root belief that is holding you back.
- Rephrase your limiting belief into an empowering belief and use it as an affirmation every day to reprogram your brain.
- Use tapping or energy editing to release limiting beliefs from your energy system.
Even though the Ego is like a little kid screaming “me, me, me” constantly, it actually is the enemy of any type of success.
The Ego makes us selfish and forces us to care more about our own needs (money!) than the needs of the people we serve. This leads to products and services that are created out of greed and scarcity rather than love and abundance. The result: they lack the quality necessary to create true transformation for the people that bought them.
The Ego makes us compare ourselves to others constantly. As a result, we feel better or worse depending on the aspect we were looking at. We might look at someone like Gabriel Bernstein, Ramit Sethi, Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo, or whoever you are looking up to in your industry — and think: “I could never be like them! I am not confident, pretty, educated, and gifted enough. I could never speak on stage, coach clients or write a book!” That’s when the Ego makes us feel smaller than we are and holds us back from stepping into our true purpose. It makes us forget that when we see others succeed it is actually a sign that we have that potential in us too. We are all human and everyone needs to start somewhere. When others succeed they help us see what is possible for us.
At the same time, the Ego bigs us up by telling us that we are better than others.
“Look at her outfit! I could never dress like this.”
“That blog post is so pathetic. Does he actually think somebody will read this?”
The Ego feeds off these lies and judgment so it can keep us small and separated from others. But that separation and small-mindedness holds us back from success in so many ways: First, it causes us to build up walls between ourselves and the rest of the world. The Ego is telling us: “You don’t need anyone. You can do this all yourself!”
But that’s a lie!
When we admit to ourselves that we need help and ask for it, that’s when all our unique gifts can come together to create something far more powerful than we could ever have created alone. Secondly, the judgment blocks us from fully showing up for others and truly serving them. True transformation can only happen in a judgment-free space. When we tear down the walls we’ve built and accept ourselves and others as the imperfectly perfect humans that we all are, that’s when we can truly step up and create real change in this world.
How to remove the Ego
Notice it and call it out (in your head). The more you practice mindfulness techniques like meditation and yoga, the more self-aware you will become and the more you will be able to differentiate your true self from your Ego talking.
Awareness is the first step. The second step is to truly understand that we are better off acting from a place of love rather than ego. That’s tricky because the Ego is terrified of dying, so it will do everything to convince you that it only wants the best for you. But once we see through the lies of the Ego, it becomes easy to choose to think and act differently.
Most people never wake up to what they are truly here to do in this lifetime. The distractions of their busy lives, fear, limiting beliefs, and the Ego keep them safe in their comfort zone, barely scratching the surface of their true potential. But when are ready and willing to peel away the layers that hold us back from our true power, we will find something at our core that changes our life forever: Our true purpose, innate gifts, and a life far more rewarding than we could ever dream of.
Now the only question that remains is: Are you ready to do the work?