Personal Callings and Four Obstacles that Get in Our Way

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Last week, my friend Lisa and I talked shop over happy hour. As we sipped on summer themed cocktails our convo turned to personal callings.

We’re all called to things but we don’t always pursue them. Why? Let me count the ways: We think it’ll be hard, scary, fear of failure, fear of success – that thing called money.

I’m currently following a personal calling, a new chapter for my business and life (more on that next week) and I get how easy it is to turn the other way and ignore them.

Truth is, it wasn’t until the wildfire my community went through in December when I finally ditched all excuses and agreed with my inner voice that’d been growing the past year and said:

“OK, yes. It’s time. This is something I can’t not do!”

I’m sure you’ve had those breakdown/breakthrough life-changing moments too that wake you up, shake you up and inspire you to take a big leap and go after something calling you.

Maybe you went through a health scare or lost a loved one. Maybe you traveled to a new part of the world and saw a totally different way of living.

Whether sparked by delights or dark times, callings come and we can choose to either ignore or embrace them. Since I’m currently “in it” I thought I’d share with you an excerpt from the Introduction to one of my favorite books, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho and four obstacles that can get in our way when following a personal calling.

I’m loving these words and hope they’ll inspire and encourage you too!

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“We all need to be aware of our personal calling. What is a personal calling? Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend. However we don’t all have the courage to confront our own dream. Why?

There are four obstacles:

First we are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear, and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it’s still there.

If we have the courage to disinter dream, we are then faced by the second obstacle: love.

We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream.

We do not realize that love is just a further impetus, not something that will prevent us going forward.

We do not realize that those who genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey.

Once we have accepted that love is a stimulus, we come against the third obstacle: fear of the defeats we will meet on the path.

We who fight for our dream suffer far more when it doesn’t work out, because we cannot fall back on the old excuse: “Oh, well, I didn’t really want it anyways.”

We do want it and know that we have staked everything on it and that the path of the personal calling is no easier than any other path, except that our whole heart is in this journey.

When we first begin fighting for our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

So, why is it so important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people? 

Once we have overcome the defeats – and we always do – we are filled by a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life. Each day, each hour, is part of the good fight. We start to live with enthusiasm and pleasure.

Then comes the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the dream for which we fought all our lives.

Oscar Wilde said: “Each man kills the thing he loves.” And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either.

We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far.

This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest.

But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.”

– Paulo Coelho

Next week, I’ll share what’s been calling me and how it’s designed to serve you too.

I’m excited.

I’m nervous.

I’m ready to embrace this calling and do more to help the Soul of the World.

Love and smiles,



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