Have you come to the realization that you are living a life according to others’ expectations? Full of compromises with your legacy out of your hands?
I sure did. In fact, I used to wake up in the middle of the night with a deep knowing that my life was not even close to what God had truly intended for me. For many years, I hid who I was truly meant to be, squashing any hope of living a life impacting others in a positive way. I was living a life full of regret and misery, trying to keep up the appearances of successful career, beautiful home and all around great wife and mother, and yet I was dying on the inside! Even more than that, I knew I was capable of impacting others in a BIG way. I was holding myself back.
How did I get there?
Trade-Offs! What are trade-offs? They are something you give (time, health, money, peace) in exchange for something you may want (love, approval) or something you don’t want (loneliness, boredom, low income). Most of the time, we are compromising “ US” to please others.
Why could trade-offs become a problem? The main problem is that it takes focus off what you really want as your intentional legacy. A legacy is the footprint of your life’s experiences. Being intentional is basing your life’s decisions on what you would like to see as your legacy instead of just letting life happen. The choices and decisions we make will impact our legacy in a positive way (a gift) or in a negative way (regrets). At some point in our life, usually in our late 40’s to early 60’s, we awaken to the fact that it might be time to move towards making our intentional legacy come true before time runs out.
How do you take back control?
How do you move from constantly trading-off? Make more conscious decisions based on who you want to become. Start being keenly aware if you are reacting to a crisis or if you are intentional about your decisions. That means start to get to know yourself better. To do this, make more time for self reflection and inner work. First, start a list of things you want to do. Then start of list of things you want less of. All the time remembering this is the season of your life to start moving into your intentional legacy.
The next thing you need to do is spend time building up your God-given gifts. These gifts are clues to what to use to put together your plan to build your legacy. Ask your most trusted mentors, friends and family what they think are your greatest gifts. Another clue to your gifts is how you love to spend your free time. What would you do or be if you had the time, health, money and circumstances?
For me, I had to leave my corporate job of 25 years and take a Big Pause. I went back to school for my coaching training and started a business. Many of my clients and friends who have left their jobs for something more say they were searching for more – more purpose, more contribution, more fun! Some work for a non-profit, many run a micro-business. And most have done some traveling!
This is YOUR season to shine!
Like me, you might be beating yourself up over not having that one big thing that will have an impact on the world. Always remember, this is the season of your life to really examine, pray, and experience new things! Don’t let trade-offs to continue to dominate your life! You have earned the right to take up the challenge that God has put on your heart, and know He has already given you all you need to accomplish that purpose!
If you would like to learn more about trade-offs, their traps and how you can climb out of their snare, check out our course info page by clicking here.