Imagine a business built on what matters most to you, one inspired by creativity and connection. Where purpose leads to profit and wealth as measured not just by your bottom line, but by your higher self. Welcome to the Work Your Inner Wisdom podcast, where we connect the spiritual with the practical to create a holistic approach to entrepreneurship. Leave the hustle behind and let your intuition lead the way as you grow a successful fulfilling business and a joyful, radiant life.
Hello, my wise ones. And welcome back to the Work Your Inner Wisdom podcast. This is Lee Chaix McDonough and I am your host. And today's episode is actually kind of a part two, to be quite honest with you. I'm following up on some of the concepts that I talked about in episode 19, which was all about finding your purpose. Today's show is going to take that one step deeper. And we're going to look at what it means to actually say yes to your purpose. So once you have done the work to clarify what it is you are on this earth to be and to do, well, then you actually have to step up and step into it. And today we're going to uncover the most common blocks that I've seen in my clients and in myself, that keep us from really fully embracing our purpose. So given that this is a continuation of an earlier discussion, you might find it helpful if you haven't already listened to Episode 19, to go back and take a listen. It's certainly not a requirement, but it may put today's conversation into context. But just in case, I want to remind you of a couple key points from Episode 19. First, when we are talking about purpose, I think it's really tempting to think of it as this really grandiose, important, sacred “Oh, my deep life purpose.” you know? And don't get me wrong, it's absolutely sacred. And there's a great deal of meaning behind it. But I don't want us to feel like it has to be this super serious thing, that we can't bring a little bit of joy and fun and levity to it. I definitely want it to be exciting. And so that's the energy in the spirit that I am bringing to our conversation today. I also don't want us to think that our purpose is something that we are locked into. The fact of the matter is your purpose may evolve over time. And that makes sense because we as humans evolve over time. So as we're discussing your purpose, let's bear in mind that we're talking about your purpose today. And it's okay, if that looks different than maybe your purpose was five years ago. It's okay, if it looks different five years from now. Let's just really focus on the here and now and what you want to bring forth into the world.
Now in Episode 19, I went into great depth about five factors that can help us clarify what our purpose is. So if you need a little bit of help working through each of those five factors, remember, I created a free guide called Finding Your Purpose. And you can find that over in the Wisdom Library. So if you haven't already downloaded it, I would encourage you to go to workyourinnerwisdom.com/free. Go ahead and download it. Even if you haven't listened to Episode 19 yet, that's okay, I think you're still gonna find a lot of value to that guide. And it may actually inform some of what we talked about today. So head on over to workyourinnerwisdom.com/free, request access to the wisdom library, and pick up your copy of finding your purpose. After you've had the opportunity to take a look at that guide and go through the journal prompts and the exercises at the end, you are going to have the beginnings of a purpose statement. And so this purpose statement is going to be a distillation of what really matters to you in your life, how you want to show up the qualities that you embody and the change that you want to create in the world. So now we have this gorgeous purpose statement and it's time to say yes to it. It's time to step in and make it manifest and live it out. If only it were that easy, though, right? Because I think for many of us, if it were that easy, we would already be doing it. And we wouldn't be having these discussions about how to find our purpose and how to say yes to it. But the fact of the matter is, it's not always easy to say yes to our purpose. And what I have found, both in my clients’ lives and in my own, is that once we get clear on our purpose, we feel really empowered, we feel really motivated. And then we kind of move into this place where we feel blocked, or paralyzed or stuck. We know what it is we want and yet we're not taking action on it. And when I sat down and thought about the experiences that I'd had in my life, and the experiences that my clients have shared with me, I identified five key blocks that keep us from fully stepping into our purpose and saying yes to our life. So I want to go through each of those five blocks today, talk about what they are, why they happen, and what we can do about them. So if you're ready, let's do this.
The first issue that I see keeping people from really stepping into their purpose is that they don't have a clear vision of what it is they really want. So they know kind of what their mission is in life. Now they have this really strong purpose, but it still feels a little vague, or a little out of reach. So here's an example: I was speaking with a client of mine, who told me that her purpose was that she knew in her soul, she was meant to be a force for good. She was on this earth to foster positive change in people's lives, and in her own. Which is great, right? I mean, that sounds really powerful. And it can really get behind that. But then when it came to “Okay, so what does that look like?” Then she was stuck. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her talents and her values and her perspective really drew her to serving other people and helping them achieve their potential. But what that looked like? She had no idea. Did she want to be a therapist? Did she want to be a coach? Did she want to be a parent? There are so many ways that we can create positive change in people's lives. So that as a vision is a good place to start. But we need to get even more specific to allow that to clarify our vision. So the questions that I asked her, and that I would ask you would be, let's say, “Okay, you want to be a force for good and to create positive change in the world? I love it. What does that positive change look like?” So let's get really specific on the desired outcome. Once we know, kind of, the desired outcome, then we can start talking about “How do you want to feel as you are creating that change?” Sometimes I think we start by focusing on what we want to do, we're gonna get to that in a second. But before we go to doing an action, let's stay a moment in the land of emotion for a minute, because a lot of times how we feel about something informs how we show up in the world. And so when we are clear about how we want to feel, then we can create the thoughts that support that feeling and we can influence the energy that we bring to whatever it is we want to do. So before we even talk about what we're going to do to create that positive change, let's get really clear on how we want to feel, and maybe even the emotions we would like to see in others that we are working with.
When I am talking about vision, I am talking about something that's big, and something that's bold. I mean, this should be like the end all be all of what you want, it should not be easily attainable. Okay? We are not goal setting right now. We are really thinking big and thinking broad and going for the ideal future. Okay. So my good friend and colleague, Natalie Gingrich has a fantastic podcast called The Ops Authority and she also has a guide that goes along with episode four of that podcast. And the guide is all about how to define or refine your mission, your vision and your values. So if you are getting stuck with getting clear on your vision, you might find her guide really helpful. She has some activities and journal prompts to kind of walk you through. But she also provides examples of vision statements from well known companies. So for example, Disney, their vision statement is to make people happy. Facebook's is to give people the power to share and make the world a more open and connected place. And Nike is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. And they stipulate that if you have a body, you are an athlete. So you can see that these vision statements are really broad, and they're really bold. And they are a description of what the ideal future would look like for this company. That's what I want you to think about when you're creating your vision statement, what is the ideal end result that you're working towards? So once you have your vision, then it becomes easier to say yes to your purpose. So that is the first block that I often see.
Now, the second block, in a way, is the next step after clarifying your vision. So you know your purpose, you've got your vision, then the block is “How do I do it? What's my strategy for moving forward?” So when I'm talking about strategy, I am talking about the big picture “how”. So the overarching “how” you want to achieve your vision. I'm not talking about the nuts and bolts, individual steps or actions that you're going to take to achieve it. That's more of a tactical approach and I think you need to have a strategy in place before you start getting wrapped up in “Okay, exactly what am I going to do to make this happen?” So the strategy is kind of like the outline that gets you going. So I will be honest with you, I love talking strategy. It just lights me up. I love thinking about big picture goals and linking them to people's vision. It just makes me so excited. It's one of the things I love most, working with my coaching clients. And it's probably not surprising for those of you who are familiar with the CliftonStrengthsFinder, one of my top five strengths is strategic. So make sense, right? So let's talk about some ways that you can clarify what your strategy is, so that we can get you moving towards your vision and really stepping into your purpose. One of my favorite activities to do is to reverse engineer your strategy. Okay, so let's start with the vision. Okay, I want you to really get a clear picture in your mind of what your ideal future looks like. Okay, you got it. Good. Now, I want you to imagine that you and I have a time machine. And I am able to set that time machine for 10 years from today. And you and I hop in that time machine and we get out. It's 10 years in the future. And I want you to tell me, what is different in your life 10 years from now, that would indicate you have achieved everything you've wanted. Okay, so we are really talking about, you've been able to accomplish everything. It's 10 years in the future, what does it look like? Okay, so we're really clarifying what your ideal future looks like. So we know in 10 years that you want it to look one way. So in order for that to happen in 10 years, what would your life need to look like in five years? And in order for your life to look like that in five years? What would it need to look like in three years, and then one year, and then six months, and three months, and even one month. So this is why I call it reverse engineering, we're starting with our ideal outcome, and we are working backwards, we are reverse engineering our strategy. So if you can get clear on what you want your life or business to look like at each one of those milestones, and then think about it in terms of, “Okay, if this is what I want, in 10 years, what is my five year point need to look like?” And get really clear on that, and then move to the three year point and so forth, then you are starting to create a structure around which you can build your ideal future. So at this point, I hope you realize that we still haven't talked about exactly how you are going to get there, right? We're still kind of keeping it big picture, we're talking about what it's going to look like and a little bit about generally what would need to happen in order to achieve that 10 year outcome, that five year outcome and so forth. But really, once we get down to kind of shorter terms, so six months, and then three months, and then one month, once we get to the six months, maybe the one year point, that's where we start talking tactics. That's where we can start exploring the specific action steps you need to take in your business over the next quarter, two quarters maybe the next year, in order to move you further down the road closer to your ideal future. But we can't do that if we don't know where you're going. Right. So first, we need to get a clear strategy, an ideal strategy of where you want to be, we work our way back. And then we start looking at the next best steps you can take today and over the next few weeks and few months to move you closer to your vision. And that is how we show up and say yes to our purpose through strategy.
Okay, so we've talked about vision, and we've talked about strategy. The third block that I often see is that we have a really limited perspective when it comes to finding opportunity to express our purpose. And what I mean by that is that we are conditioned to view success as the only good outcome. We think that if things don't go according to plan, if we don't do everything right, and if everything doesn't work out the way we want it to. If that doesn't happen, well, then it's not a success, and we're not living our purpose. And nothing could be further than the truth. The fact of the matter is, so often we find more opportunity when things don't go as planned than when they do. And if you head back to Episode 17, where I talk about the four F's of fear based action, and I share my story about my so called failed launch, then you will remember that it's all about how we look at quote unquote “failure.” And when things don't go well, when we are able to kind of roll with the punches, go with the flow and mine every experience for a life lesson then we can always find an opportunity to live our purpose. Things aren't always going to go the way we want them to. I mean, that's just life. But we can always seek the opportunity for growth. And we can always reframe an experience so that it supports our learning, our development, and perhaps even that thing that happened that we didn't want, or that we didn't expect, it may even lead us down a path for even greater success. So that's why I think if we are able to reshape our perspective of how we view opportunity, and how we view failure, then we really open ourselves up to finding more ways to live out our purpose. Really, what it comes down to, is the fact that saying yes to your purpose, requires flexibility and it requires resilience. It means being willing to hold on to our goals lightly so that we don't get too attached to the outcome. It means being open to change, and to adapting our goals and our approaches accordingly. And that is a tricky thing to do, because we've talked a lot about having a clear vision and having a clear strategy. And so we're tempted to take that vision and strategy and carve it in stone and follow it to the letter. And in a perfect world, we'd be able to do that. But things will come up that we don't anticipate and that we can't expect. And so we have to be adaptable in our business and in our life. And so that's why yes, I want you to have that vision and strategy. But I want you to hold it lightly. Because the more we grasp onto it and try to make it happen, well, then we bring that energy of force into it. And as we talked about in Episode 17, force is not going to support us as we are growing a business and a life that's rooted in our values. So we have to learn how to hold it lightly, and allow space for the unexpected. So remember that, in this process, your vision or your strategy may need to flex or even change a little bit in order to respond in the moment to these new opportunities. But even though your vision and your strategy may change, your purpose doesn't have to. Your purpose can remain the constant, even in a sea of change because it's rooted in your values. It's rooted in your strengths. It's rooted in the things that make you you.
So the fourth block that I see a lot is almost the flip side of what we just discussed, instead of being limited in how we view opportunity. The fourth block I see that keeps us from saying yes to our purpose is that we're too busy saying yes to everything else. And this is kind of the shadow side of entrepreneurial energy. Because as entrepreneurs, we just view the world differently, we really do see opportunities where others don't. And as a result, we see so many possibilities. And sometimes we want to do them all. And what I've learned, and this hasn't always come easy to me. But that sometimes we have to say no, in order to say yes. Sometimes we have to say no to the wrong thing, or at least the less right thing in order to say yes to the right thing. So this is why it's important that we think about narrowing the scope and staying focused on our true purpose and our vision. Because when we say yes to everything, it dilutes our vision, and we get off track. This is one reason why in marketing, we talk a lot about creating a niche or a niche, vulgar acceptable, creating a niche and your business. So being really clear about who you specifically serve, and how you serve them. And I know for a lot of people creating a niche feels a little scary, because it means saying no to the wrong clients in order to say yes to the right ones. But it's so important because once we are clear on who we're serving, and how we're serving them, it becomes so much easier for them to find us and for us to find them. Because we're not spending too much time trying to be everything to everyone. When we can get really specific and show up for our people. It leads to greater conversion rates and greater success in our business. So it's the same philosophy. We have to learn when to say no, in order to say yes. So I mentioned that this is not something that I'm historically very good at. I have a tendency of saying yes, because I really do want to show up and support people and do everything I can. But I'm learning especially as a business owner, and as I'm growing my business and scaling some of my projects. I have to be singularly focused on what I'm doing. And I have to know when to say no. Because if I don't, if I say yes to everything, then I scatter my energy. And I scatter my focus and I'm not able to show up fully for my business, for my family, or for myself. And I had to put this into practice last week. So a colleague of mine reached out and let me know that there was a conference going on. And I think they lost their afternoon speaker. And would I be able to come and talk at this conference, be a speaker, and talk about leadership and networking and women in business. And the conference was in like, eight days. And so there was this huge part of me that wanted to say, yes, that wanted to say, “I will stop everything, and I will show up and I will do the best presentation on women and business and leadership and networking that you've ever seen.” But the fact of the matter is, had I said yes to that, then it would have meant saying no to everything else I'm doing in my business, it would have meant saying no to recording this podcast today, because I would be too busy prepping for a 90 minute talk. It would mean possibly saying no to new clients who wanted to connect, it would mean saying no to my family, because I would be spending, you know, evenings and weekends preparing for this talk. And so I realized that if I were going to say yes to the speaking opportunity, it would require me to say no to things that I have already prioritized. And so I knew as badly as I wanted to support this organization, and as excited as I was by the opportunity to get out there and speak to this audience, I had to say no, because it would have taken me off course, and would have actually moved me further back farther away from my vision, and it was out of alignment with my strategic action plan for the quarter. So I said no, it was really hard. You know, I'm not gonna lie to you, it was really hard to say no. And there is a part of me that's wondering, “Oh, do they, you know, do they not like me? Are they angry with me?” But the fact of the matter is, this is why it's so important to be really clear about what we want and how we want to go about achieving it. And I knew that as great as this conference is, and as wonderful an opportunity as it could have been, it was not the right opportunity for me right now. I had to say no to it, in order to say yes to my business and to my family.
Okay, so we've discussed four blocks that keep us from really fully showing up and saying yes, to our purpose. The fifth and final one, we're going to talk mindset, my friends, because the one that I see most often and the one that really I struggle with most often is getting caught up in negative self-talk. I see so many talented entrepreneurs who are afraid to go all in on their purpose, because it means stepping way outside of their comfort zones. It means up leveling in a way that they've never done before. Those of you who have read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, which by the way, I highly recommend. It was one of those books that I bought, and it sat on my Kindle for years. And finally, earlier this year, I read it and I was kicking myself for not having read it earlier. It's that good. But Gay Hendricks talks about how many of us get caught in our zone of excellence. So we're doing really wonderful work. And we are excellent at what we do. But we hit a ceiling. And that ceiling keeps us from moving into our zone of genius. That zone where we are able to create new things and think innovatively really stretch ourselves and move past simply what we're good at, and pass simply what we enjoy, and really into our deep soul work, our life's purpose. But the thing is moving from our zone of excellence to our zone of genius can feel really scary. Because we are moving out of our comfort zone. We're moving past the things that we've mastered. And we're moving into new territory. And oftentimes when we do that, we are putting ourselves out there in a very different way. And when we do that, that makes us vulnerable. And as we've talked about on past episodes of this podcast, when we are in a vulnerable position, our mind kicks in to keep us safe. The mind goes into overdrive and it does everything and anything it can to rein us in and keep us safe. And one of the ways it does that is by filling us with self doubt. So that negative self talk that keeps us stuck that paralyzes us and that we buy into so easily. And for me, this is where impostor syndrome comes in. Imposter syndrome is really the main kind of internal struggle I have with saying yes to my purpose. And I'm sure many of you can relate to this, you know when the mind just starts questioning and saying “Who am I to do this? I'm no expert, people are gonna think I'm a fraud. I have nothing new to say I'm derivative or unoriginal. There are other people out there already doing it and doing it better than me.” And there's a real fear that I'm going to embarrass myself, I'm going to be ridiculed by others, I'm going to be shamed, I will look like a fool, that I will be found out as the fraud that I am. Hello, impostor syndrome. So this is when I have to catch myself in the act. This is when I have to remind myself that these are the stories that my mind is creating, to keep me from moving forward. I have to really examine them and ask myself how much truth is there here? Like, do I really need to be safe right now? Or is this just my mind trying to rein me in and have me be in the center of the herd so that I don't get pushed to the outskirts and eaten by the wolves. Now, I know that sounds dire. But like, I will say that to myself, and I'll say it with a little bit of humor, because I want to remind myself that this is just the mind's old trick. And when I see it as a protective story, then I'm able to disconnect from it and I can keep moving forward. There is a wonderful quote by Barbara Corcoran, you may know her from Shark Tank. If you ever need inspiration, by the way, just go to that woman's Twitter feed. And I will tell you will have all the inspiration you need to keep going, you know, for weeks. But there was this one quote that she shared, and she tweeted, “We are all slow to learn that we are far more capable than we think we are.” And it's so true. It takes us so long to stand firm in the knowledge that we can do this. And so if someone like Barbara Corcoran can say “We – we all go through this, we've all been there.” Well, I'm in pretty good company, if Barbara Corcoran experiences this too. But it's just so inspiring to think that like we are not alone, we are all in this together. She also wrote, “It took me 20 years to set myself free and kill that little voice inside that whispers ‘Don't go there. You can't do it. Don't take the chance.’ And look where it brought me.” And seriously, she is one of the most successful women in business right now. So if Barbara Corcoran deals with impostor syndrome, and that negative self talk, honestly, it normalizes the fact that I do too. And I can look to her for inspiration and think it's not a problem, that I'm having these thoughts unless I allow them to stop me. The thoughts themselves are not the problem. It's the action that I take as a result, and I don't want to let them stop me anymore. This is especially important with the thought that there's other people out there already doing it better than you. Let me just talk to that point a little bit. There might be other people out there who are doing the same type of thing you do. If you're a coach. Yes, there are other coaches out there. If you're a small business owner, there's – you've probably got a competitor out there. So yes, other people are doing it, but they are not doing it like you, because what you bring is vital and unique. And I believe that someone out there is waiting for the way you do it. They are waiting for your process, your approach, your viewpoint. They are waiting for you. Do not withhold yourself from them, they need you. So no, no one out there is doing it like you because you're not out there doing it. So get out there and do it.
Okay, friends, we talked about the five things that keep us from saying yes and going all in on our life's purpose: no clear vision, no clear strategy, a limited view of opportunity, saying yes to everything and getting caught up in the negative self-talk. So I think it's time for us to head into the Make It Work moment.
This week's Make It Work moment is brought to you by the Clarity Summit. So the Clarity Summit is a five day event, especially designed for intuitive helpers, healers and coaches who are ready to grow their businesses. During the summit, you are going to learn practical business strategies and resources directly from over 18 industry leaders. And I'm so excited about the panel of experts we have lined up. It includes Reina Pomeroy, Natalie Gingrich, Andrea Jones, Allison Puryear, Lou Blaser, Megan Hale, Melody Wilding, I mean, the list goes on and on. And we are covering so much from business growth to audience building. From social media strategy to mindset mastery the Clarity Summit will cover the basics of creating and growing a profitable and fulfilling business. And at the end, I will be hosting a very special masterclass that takes a deep dive into an aligned approach to the art of coaching. It's going to be great. And the best part is that it is free, there is absolutely zero cost to attend the summit, which means there's absolutely zero reason not to sign up. So head on over to claritysummit.com now, and confirm your free registration. That's claritysummit.com, sign up, and I will see you at the summit.
So for this week's Make It Work moment, I want you to think about the five blocks that I've described in today's episode. And I want you to choose one that really resonates most with you. I think it's important that we take an objective look at our personal Achilles heel, if you will, the block that we are most susceptible to. Because when it comes to saying yes to our purpose, we need to be aware of the obstacles that we might face. So I want you to think about which one of the five blocks you are most likely to encounter as you step into your purpose. And then I want you to put into practice some of the suggestions I have for each one. So if not having a clear vision is where you struggle, I want you to clarify what your ideal outcome looks like. And you may find it helpful to go look at the vision statements of some of your favorite companies to see if they inspire you. If you're feeling a little lost when it comes to strategy, I want you to use that reverse engineering technique. I want you to imagine that you are time traveling ahead 10 years, I want you to describe what life looks like 10 years from now, knowing that you've accomplished everything that you've wanted. And then I want you to work backwards. Now you can do this on your own and journaling is a great way to do this. You may also find it helpful to work with a coach or a trusted colleague. But try that reverse engineering approach. And let me know how that goes. Now, if you are someone that has a hard time finding opportunity, when things don't work out the way you want, then your challenge is to work on mentally reframing how you view failure. Now, I want to say that if you are disappointed if you are angry or upset that things don't go the way you planned. That's okay. Every emotion is welcome here. So start by acknowledging the emotions, give yourself permission to feel angry or disappointed, or however it is you feel. But we can't stay in that emotional state, we have to honor that emotion, and then we have to release it. And we have to look for the lesson. So take a little time to process those emotions. Your intuition is going to guide you on that. But don't stay stuck there. Once you have honored and released those emotions, it's time to look for the lesson. And it's time to look for the opportunity. Now if you're someone who has a tendency to say yes to everything, I want to encourage you to create a personal litmus test. And what I use are three qualities, values, vision and strategy. So if someone asks me to do something, or if I come across a really interesting opportunity, I need to ask myself, “Is this in alignment with my values? Is it aligned with my vision? And is it consistent with my strategy? If a single one of those is no, then the answer is no. Now, if it's three yeses, then I need to look at my calendar and my current obligations and see if it's feasible. But if my values, my vision and my strategy are not on board, it is a hard no. So that's my litmus test, you are welcome to borrow it or create your own. But having something to measure the opportunities and the requests against, I think is really helpful, so that you know when to say yes, and when to say no. And that final block imposter syndrome. If this is something that plagues you. Remember that this is simply the mind doing its job out of love and self protection. And then we distance ourselves from those thoughts. And if you need help doing that, I'm going to encourage you to check out Episode 15. That's the one about the six ways that we sabotage ourselves. There's some really good information in there about how to create space and separate our identity from our thoughts and emotions. Because once we've done that, we can then reconnect with our purpose and take the next step. And of course, if you need some inspiration, check out Barbara Corcoran Twitter thread. It is amazing.
So after you have selected which of the five blocks you are most susceptible to, I want you to try out one of those strategies I've just described. And then come share your experience over the Work Your Inner Wisdom Facebook community. Every week I have an episode thread where you can share your questions and your comments. I would love to see you over there so you can head to workyourinnerwisdom.com/community and that will take you straight to our Facebook group. If you need help clarifying your purpose. Don't forget I've got that free guide all about finding your purpose over at the Wisdom Library. So just head on over to workyourinnerwisdom.com/free and you can download your copy of Finding Your Purpose today.
So I have to tell you one of the best parts about having a podcast is interacting with listeners and getting to hear about their experiences listening to the show, and trying out some of the things that we talked about. So if you'd like to connect with me, the best way you can do that is over on Instagram, I'm @LCMcDonough. So that's @ L-C-M-C-D-O-N-O-U-G-H. So come find me because I would love to connect with you over there. All right, my friends. That brings us to the end of this episode of the Work Your Inner Wisdom podcast. As always, it has been such a pleasure to spend this time with you today. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough and until next time, let your inner wisdom lead the way.