I know how that sounds. I remember thinking the same thing as I scribbled furiously in my journal after a call with my amazing coach.
We ended our session with me rambling on about what I’m feeling called to create with my work, how I’m being asked to develop things that meet people where they’re at — in the dark depths of life’s hard pockets — rather than talk over them or spiritually washing over the real, raw truths.
Every single time I start to explain where my work is going and how I’m shifting everything in my life and work, I get a little clearer. When I started feeling the nudge to take my feet off the wall and align with my truth in a way that I never have, I really wasn’t sure what I was doing. I had a sense, but I couldn’t weave together the right words and adjectives to have it lay out a clear path to start walking, let alone make sense to anyone else.
“I’m not trying to build a successful business,” I scribbled on the page. “I’m laying my life down in service of the work I’m here to do and the people I’m here to help.”
Oooooh, yes. That. A thousand times that.
I’m beginning to believe the difference between being another successful business owner and being a true leader in our industries around the things we’re most passionate about comes down to the exact thought that surfaced on the page in that moment. When we stop trying to control the outcome and other people and every aspect of our life and work.
When we stop focusing on the numbers and trying to bend and fold into something that someone else decided is “how we become successful.” When we stop defining success by the numbers and money and fame.
We become the leaders we aspire to be when we recognize that it’s about laying our lives down in service of the work we’re called to do.
I’ve always been purpose driven. Absolutely devoted to my calling. I’ve said time and time again that I exist in this life in service of very specific work. I care about people and making a difference… but I’m guilty of spending too much time focusing on building a successful business. Of worrying what others think and trying to reach a type of “success” just for the sake of reaching it because it’s what we all collectively decided matters.
The cracking open of this year, the shift at my core and in my work, all of this is because I’m being asked to step up in a bigger way.
It’s like the Universe showed up and said, “alright girl, are you willing to do what it takes to make the difference you were put here to make? Are you read to play the game for real?” And I’m learning that saying yes is one of the hardest and most challenging things we’ll ever do in this life.
It’s easier to stay focused on building a successful business.
It’s hard as hell to say yes to the call to become a true leader, to really lay down your life in service, take your feet off the wall, and allow something bigger than you to use you up in the name of service.
We like the word service. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. It makes us sound like we really care about people. And usually, like me, we do. But the more deeply you step into your work, the more you begin to see how hollow that word tends to be in our society. In the business building, online marketing, coaching worlds. Empty. Void of true meaning. Lacking actual energetic commitment in a way that truly serves.
To me, laying my life down in service of the work I’m here to do is bigger than I may ever understand. It’s about offering myself, my life, and my work up to the Universe, God, or the divine and saying, “use me up and spit me out, put me to work on your behalf to help others open and grow however they most need to.”
Use me up and spit me out.
Put me to work on your behalf.
Move through me for something bigger.
No matter what that means for me and my life.
It’s about surrender and devotion.
Knowing that I may be asked to let go of people and things I’m not ready to lose. That I may be challenged in ways which break my heart all over again. In ways that ask me to stretch and bend and tear through all that blocks me from being truthful and completely, utterly open. To let my business fail in ways it may need to so that I can serve more people. Really, truly serve them. To let go of the pieces my ego clings to, the popularity and big paydays. The nice car or perfect apartment.
I may lose followers and subscribers and even clients with this simple post. And it’s about to get way more real up in here beyond this. That’s okay. It’s perfect actually… because I’m not worrying about the numbers. I’m worrying about the work and being aligned as fully as is humanly possible. In offering myself and my life and work up in service of others.
And I think sometimes that means things need to get a little messy and unsteady first. That some things need to fall apart and burn to the ground to make space for what’s next. And I’m willing, wholeheartedly committed, to walk through whatever’s asked of me next.
How about you? Are you trying to build a successful business, or are you truly surrendering in service of the work and the people you’re here to help? I absolutely believe we can have both… but I know, without a shadow of a doubt that one has to happen before the two can stand side by side in our life story.