As a writer, and as a human being, I have struggled with believing in myself and my purpose many times over. Throughout my life I’ve doubted I had what it took to do a certain thing, or be a certain way. I kept thinking I needed more education, more time, more money, more something. I was wrong.
What I’ve learned is that what I have right now, today, is enough. The lessons I’ve learned just from living have taught me well. The reading I’ve done have helped educate me. My own intuition is usually spot on. It’s when I doubt my intuition that I stumble and fall. I have been talked and guilted into doing things I knew weren’t right for me. Why? Because I didn’t believe in myself and my purpose enough. I doubted my strength. I doubted any God-given talent I may have. I kept seeking the right fit for me. I listened to others who were also seeking their own path. I learned that’s okay. I learned from those experiences, with some tremendous take-aways for my life and my writing. I met people I would not have met otherwise. But more importantly, each stumble had me righting myself and realizing that my instincts, my intuition, were right. Each time I fell I came away more sure of who I am and where I’m supposed to be. These are all good things.
I used to wonder what my purpose on this earth was. Now I don’t. I know, just as I’ve honestly, deep down, always known, that I was born to communicate with others. My writing allows me to do that via the written word. My public speaking allows me to do it via verbal communication with others. My blog, website, and social networks allow me to do this via the written word and the world wide web.
When I write, I don’t start out thinking about what message I want to convey to readers. I write to tell a story. I write from the heart. It’s really only after the story is completely written that I realize the message, or theme that tends to run through each story. This theme tends to be one that speaks to the value of love and people. The value of connection to other people and our humanity is what really lies behind each of my stories. I believe we are all connected. I believe we all provide value to each other, and to the world at large. I believe we all teach and learn throughout our entire lives. My purpose, as I see it, is to share those beliefs through any medium available to me. My stories tend to be character driven. I enjoy focusing on the relationships that shape the characters, their conflicts, and triumphs. As I said, I don’t write with the purpose of conveying a hard message in mind. I guess my own innate beliefs permeate my writing on an unconscious level. Once I became aware of this, I was glad. It means it isn’t contrived. It doesn’t seem to matter whether my characters are fictional or based on real historical people. I visualize a story and I wonder who the characters are. I wonder how they would feel in certain situations. I wonder, “what if”.
I want to continue living the rest of my life that way. I want to live my life intent on connecting with other people. I want to teach and to learn and to understand as much as I can. I suppose that’s also what fuels my love of travel. For me, travel is about learning and connecting with new people in new places. It’s about discovery, and I like that.
I enjoy sitting in my little corner of the world and writing stories about people and places that might resonate with readers anywhere else in the world. To me, that’s the coolest thing possible.
Believing in yourself means listening to that little voice that whispers in your mind. It means trusting that voice and your instincts. When we’re honest with ourselves, we often know, instinctively, what’s right and what’s wrong. We sometimes get an instinctive sense of the character of people we meet. Ever meet someone new and felt an immediate affinity for them? Ever met someone and felt an immediate sense of distrust, or even fear, of that person? That’s instinct, and it’s often the truest piece of feedback you’ll ever receive.
Believing in your purpose starts with acknowledging that you have one. It’s about acknowledging that you are here on this earth for a reason. By being honest with yourself, and trusting yourself, you’ll know what that purpose is. Sometimes it takes a very long time to learn to trust yourself. It took me almost fifty years, and still I struggle some days.
Writing is hard. It requires the writer to trust that what they are sharing with the world is of value; that it brings something to other people they don’t have, or are seeking. It means accepting the multitude of rejections and keep on going. It means believing that every no is one step closer to a yes, or forging an independent path to getting the stories out there. It means learning, growing, and pushing the boundaries of comfort. It is the greatest leap of faith in yourself possible.
Whatever you do in life, you determine your own path. You make decisions that affect your future every single day. The beauty is that if you make a mistake, you CAN make a new start. The addict can get clean. The unhappy person can learn to be gentle with him/ herself and love. The person intent on gaining material wealth only can change and choose to re-connect with the people in their lives and give something back to the world. You get to choose your reaction to any given situation.
Believing in yourself and your life’s purpose is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the world around you.