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It's International Women's Day, an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments women have made and advocate gender equality.
I'd like to take a twist on this and ask you, ladies (and gents), "Do you feel like there is something more you should be doing with your life?"
Before you answer, please let me explain what I mean...
Before starting at FatWallet, I was a home business owner working almost exclusively with women since 2005 and I was a Girl Scout leader from 2002-2011. I'm amazed and humbled by the greatness I've seen in the women around me in all areas of my life; my daughters, grandmothers, mom, mother-in-law, sister, friends and coworkers. The insight, talent, compassion, and strength inside each of them, if harnessed, would be a power beyond measure. But more often than not,
We go through our lives looking for meaning, wanting to make a difference, and feeling like there is something more we could or should be doing with our lives. We have dreams we don't act on and callings we ignore.
Here we are living in a peaceful country, with an abundance of resources at our fingertips, and the power to communicate our message across the globe with the click of a mouse. And yet we remain quiet, hiding behind our busy lives, avoiding the risks involved with facing our fears of inadequacy.
It's heartbreaking to me that only a small number of people take the risk to push past their fears to leave a legacy compared to the number of people with a dream.
There are times in our lives when the excitement or the pain gets strong enough that we make the plans and take some action toward achieving our goals, but for many or most of us, insecurities and self doubt end up holding us back. We get so far and then we hit the panic point where we instinctively pull back instead of pushing past our fears.
How are you making a difference in your family, your community, and your profession? If you feel like you were meant for something more, but you're not sure what that looks like for you, here are some questions to help you turn your dream into a mission and then into a movement.
1. What are your strengths?
Action Step: Make a list of your traits and strengths. If you're struggling with that, make a list of things you lose track of time doing, and the thing that make you feel alive inside. What gifts and skills do you possess that could help others?
2. What is your mission?
Action Step: A coach once helped me get clear on my mission by asking me to answer one or both of the following questions, "What breaks your heart? and What pisses you off?" You won't be able to follow through on something you don't feel passionate about.
3. What obstacles will you face?
Action Step: Think about the past experiences you have and figure out what stopped you from following through. Being aware of when, throughout the process of growth you typically pull back, and what feelings instigated your retreat, will help you to be able to push past it in the future.
4. Who can help you?
Action Step: Make a list of your "social equity." Who do you know who can help you acquire the resources, networking opportunities, or skills necessary to help you turn your mission into a movement? In addition to your "social equity" it is very helpful to find a life coach, colleague or someone who will hold you accountable and point out where you're not playing full out can be helpful to push past the terror barrier. :)
5. What is your reward?
Action Step: Figure out why do you want to make a difference. What is your reward for success? Make a list of all the benefits to succeeding in your mission. Add to the list as you achieve some of these benefits and think of new ones.
So back to my question, "Do you feel like there is something more you should be doing with your life?" Is there a dream inside of you that's dying or a calling you've been ignoring? Maybe today is the day to change that.
Share your mission in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Maybe we can help turn your mission into a movement!
Happy International Women's Day!
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