Why Most People Never Discover Their Calling in Life

How to get yourself unstuck

Photo by Uroš Jovičić on Unsplash

We’re expected to figure out what we want to do for the rest of our lives by the time we graduate high school.

Parents usually first tell you to do what makes you happy, but if you decide to become an artist or choose any other career that’s risky, they start telling you to get a job that’s more safe and stable instead.

They do this because they’re your parents and they probably don’t want you to starve to death. They probably don’t want you living with them the rest of your life either.

All this to say, it’s not easy to figure life out and become the crazy successful person you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

Your calling is very hard to discover. It would be much easier if our lives came with a manual that clearly showed you what your passions and talents are with instructions on what to do with them.

The harsh reality is it doesn’t, so you probably ended up settling for a life that really doesn’t fulfill you.

So why exactly are most of us stuck in our lives only existing rather than living with purpose?

Here are four of the biggest reasons preventing you from living out your calling and bringing out your fullest potential.

1. You’re Afraid of Stepping Into Uncertainty.

“A hero is someone who voluntarily walks into the unknown”
— Tom Hanks

The biggest block to your own growth is fear and the thing you fear most are things where you are not sure of the outcome.

It’s that never ending list of what if’s.

“What if you fail?”
“What if people will think less of you?”
“What if you go broke?”

All this fear makes you freeze and as a result, you never grow.

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

It’s having the audacity to step into the unknown to always be learning and growing that will help you discover your calling and find the path you were meant to walk down.

When we were children, we had a natural tendency to be curious. We’d ask tons of questions to our parents and soak up all that knowledge.

Once we grow up, we want to believe we’ve seen enough things and know all there is to know. Once you are in this mindset though, you pretty much will be the same person you are today 30 years from now. This is not a good thing.

Letting curiosity take you into the unknown are the reasons why some of the greatest innovations came into existence. There are so many things that can be learned, so why not let our curiosity take the wheel again?

2. You Don’t Create Enough of The Safe Spaces You Need.

We’re constantly bombarded with messages that tells us we need to look, act, or be a certain way in order to be happy and successful.

The average person gets exposed to over 5,000 advertisements a day and most of these messages are total bullcrap.

It’s all of these false promises given to us that causes us to portray ourselves in a way we think others want us to be so that we can fit in. The sad part is many of us find ways to fit in, but we never actually feel like we belong.

Belonging is not fitting in. In fact, fitting in is the greatest barrier to belonging. Fitting in, I’ve discovered during the past decade of research, is assessing situations and groups of people, then twisting yourself into a human pretzel in order to get them to let you hang out with them. Belonging is something else entirely — it’s showing up and letting yourself be seen and known as you really are
— Brene Brown

I struggled a lot with shame for most of my life and it severely lowered my sense of self worth. My desperation to be accepted and acknowledged caused me to spend most of my life portraying a different version of myself depending on the people I was with.

There were times I would go out on a Saturday with my high school friends late into the night getting drunk and go to church on Sunday morning to lead worship for my church friends.

It wasn’t until an amazing mentor entered into my life that I finally learned what it felt like to feel safe and connect with myself and my purpose.

Shame is an obstruction that blurs your capability of seeing who you truly are.

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash

Until we stand up for ourselves and create more spaces in our lives where we feel secure enough to let our walls down, we can never gain the clarity to see our own unique identity and calling.

3. You’ve Stopped Searching For it And Given up.

80 percent of success is showing up.
— Woody Allen

When I was in pharmacy school, about half of the students drop out of the program halfway through the curriculum.

I was consistently getting a C average, but I just kept showing up to the exams and managed to pass. I even failed one class, but I just showed up for the makeup class and barely passed and it got me the credits I needed.

I was barely keeping my head above water, but somehow I managed to graduate.

This was when it hit me.

Simply showing up is a huge step to help you achieve success.

The majority of the students who dropped out probably could have graduated too if they just kept going.

Photo taken from imgur

When it comes to your calling, most of us never discover it because we give up halfway and stop showing up to look for it.

Maybe it’s because a lot of us expect it to be more easily found, but the reality is it takes patience and hard work until one day, the whispers in our hearts turn into a loud and clear voice that finally connects us with the lives we are meant to live.

If you knew there was invaluable treasure at the other end of a long and tough journey, wouldn’t you still go?

Then why give up on figuring out what makes you come alive and turn it into your daily lifestyle?

4. You’re trying to Live Someone Else’s Life

Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash

During junior high school, I remember when I was going to my weekly youth group meeting, there was a staff member who played the guitar amazingly well. Everyone looked up to him and admired him for his great skills.

I wanted the same kind of acknowledgement so I begged him to teach me for months until he finally gave in and agreed to it.

My problem though, was I really only wanted to learn so I can stop being a nobody and get people to like me. I was interested in the social results it would bring, not the actual act of playing music.

I got pretty decent at the guitar, but when people complimented me, it didn’t really feel as good as I’d hoped because at the end of the day, playing guitar wasn’t something I loved as much as true guitarists did.

I was still very unfulfilled and the main reason for this was I was too busy trying to live someone else’s life, not my own.

Most of our time on social media are spent comparing our own lives to those of others and it has amplified our envy more than ever. We spend more time trying to be like other people rather than invest in our genuine selves.

While it’s ok to be inspired by others and emulate them, our calling stays buried if we only imitate them.

Fight at All Costs to Learn Where Your Passions and Talents Intersect

Jeff Goins gave a beautiful definition in his book, The Art of Work, explaining how to find your calling:

“Find what you love and what the world needs, then combine them”

Passion is more than just this burning feeling inside of you. It’s a foundation that is rooted deep into your heart. It’s what makes you who you are and when you are not cultivating it well, you become depressed and miserable.

It’s this passion that calls you into the extraordinary life you were created to live and through you talents and skill, you can begin to take the bold action of living out your calling.

Your calling isn’t some step-by-step formula. It’s a compass that points your life towards the right destination and it’s your responsibility to figure out how you will get there.

It’s a messy process of digging deeper and deeper within yourself. You’ll fail plenty of times, but it’s all those failures that will point you in the right direction.

So roll those sleeves up and get your hands dirty because it’s time to get digging.

It’ll be worth it in the end. I promise.


Want Some Practical Action Steps to Help You Discover Your Calling?

You can download my free guide, Four Steps to Instantly Jumpstart Your Best Life Ever, to learn more about how and what to do next.