It may come as no surprise to you that the biggest obstacle in achieving any goal is fear. It manifests as fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and/or fear of change. The moment you approach challenges can easily turn into the single most defining moment of your life. The essence of who you currently are has much to do with that moment. The first time you encounter difficult situations, the question of what path you will gravitate to becomes clearer than ever before.
This blog will outline the power of overcoming obstacles, the women that have overcome them, and the work being done to ensure girls find the power to face their biggest giants in pursuit of purpose.
First off, ask yourself, "Will I walk the path of embracing the challenges when confronting obstacles? Or avoid them altogether?". Typically, the true answer to these questions has set the tone for many of the decisions that you have made or will make for the rest of your life. But much like the age-old battle of nature vs. nurture, what is innate may contradict what it takes to achieve "purpose".
I know you have heard the story about people on a journey towards what they feel they were born to do over and over again. Especially if you have seen any Disney movie, like, EVER! The main characters' tenacity and ability to overcome obstacles has always been the determining factor of what kind of story their life will lead. But here is the thing, every worthy storyline has its obstacles! One thing that is consistent is that an encounter with fear, doubt, and inadequacy is sure to make an appearance (which are all really one and the same if you ask me...).
However, the most powerful aspect of each storyline with this premise is the fact that their obstacle is always fear in different clothing and almost ALWAYS revealed information about their identity. Reece Robertson talks about pursuing "crazy" goals in his blog "If Your Goals Don't scare you...", he states you’re either rising or falling to the expectations and demands of your current situation. The fact is, your ability to overcome obstacles depends on how you respond to challenges. The first response to identifying challenges is often fear, but trust me, how we manage our next actions determines much more than you think.
Interestingly, what was stated about "fear" can also be said when you encounter the thing which you love. As Dan Cumberland said in a blog about purpose, "Your self-identity is a collection of stories. Those stories make you who you are, shape what you want, and dictate what is meaningful for you...". There are gradual habits that all lead to the realization that "THIS" is what you were born to do, "WHO" you were made to become, or "WHAT" you are passionate about. However, "becoming" is a tricky thing. Most people were made to believe that "love" or "passion" happened over time, but the real truth is that there was something more there all along. While building this "self-identity" through your collection of stories you may notice there is something that differentiated the first time you did the thing(s) you love and the first time you did other things. And consequentially, that same feeling stays around and grows.
Whatever it is that you are passionate about it comes easy for you, or was something you love growing into. A strong admiration drew you to it whether willingly or unwillingly. Something deep in your gut made you feel as though performing this "act" or "skill" was something you believed you can do for the rest of your life; You feel FULFILLED! Just like fear, the essence of who you turn out to be all boils down to your first encounter with this passion, and what we believe leads to purpose. Here, we call it your "FIRE".
These two dichotomies, or opposites, have co-existed throughout your entire life. One not knowing the whereabouts of the other. We treat this relationship as if they were made to be set apart; One Dr. Jekyll and the other Mr. Hyde. But what if I told you that they were created to collide? Your fear was created to act as a conduit to the perfect chaos, and your fire a roadmap through the debris of your story...all leading to one clear center, your purpose. Or according to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, your truth.
For lack of a better analogy, this relationship brings to mind the story of Moses and the burning bush in the third chapter of the Book of Exodus 3 & 4. Okaaay, Hear me out! On Mount Horeb, Moses encountered a bush that was on fire but did not burn. The fire called his name over and over again until it gained his attention. See, the bush in this story represents our FIRE or our passion. It acts as a beacon to our being and reminds us that there is something unique inside us that desires to be cultivated and developed.
However, like most of us would be, Moses was terrified! The funny thing with fear is that it is threatened by the fire; Because, not only does the fire dismantle fear, but it also invalidates it. A typical reaction to fear is "fight", "flight", or "freeze", but in this story, despite being in the midst of talking, burning, yet unconsumed bush, Moses was intrigued. My theory is that Moses was not only amazed by the fire but he also recognized a familiarity with it in comparison to himself.
The fire began to tell Moses information about his identity and that he was created for a specific and unique task. Even in the splendor of the moment, Moses replied with his fears! Does this sound familiar to you? How many times has our fire or passion called out to us in all its brilliance, and we replied with reasons we couldn't follow it and fulfill our purpose? We remind our passion of our imperfections or what we are not capable of when we should be reminding those same fears of our fire!
We all know the story of Moses and we have to admit the purpose that the fire told Moses he was meant to pursue and achieve would change the trajectory of his life and those connected to him! (Hint: This is not limited to Moses!) He was meant to lead a whole generation of his people out of 400-years of captivity. And to add to that, he spent most of his adulthood loving and living with the very people responsible. Yes, it was no small feat! Moses was afraid, and rightfully so since we all know certain encounters with change and challenges definitely evoke fear!
All of this brings me to believe that that fear is required, yes I said it, REQUIRED to do something greater and unravel purpose. Walking towards the direction of your fire you may encounter obstacles but you will unravel purpose! In the words of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf:
“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”
Much like myself, and maybe even you, Moses was struggling with his ability and capacity to lead. He was living comfortably with the very people who caused the problem he was created to solve, just like we live comfortably with fear at times. I know because this is my story too. I remember the first time I came upon founding TrueRose Incubator. I woke up in tears from my sleep with the idea because of the weight and urgency of a dream. Eleven years later is when TrueRose Inc. was eventually founded. My long journey is attributed to fear and feelings of inadequacy. So, I understand! I remember high school being a ball of anxiety too afraid to fully be myself, share my ideas, and walk in the purpose of my passions. Like Moses, I was living in fear, and I am still continuously introducing my fear to my fire every day reminding my fear that it is no match for the fire that has been lit inside of me in the form of dreams, purpose, and gifts.
With this Fear vs. Fire blog, we plan to dismantle the power of fear by exposing challenges for what they truly are which are building blocks for greater goals and greater purpose. We believe that in order to operate in our true collective potential everyone must know and be confident in their capacity to lead. In order to achieve this, it is our responsibility to use the tools given to strengthen and sharpen our experience with the world. TrueRose Incubator helps Black and Latinx girls identify passion, pursue purpose, and step in a position to become leaders trusting themselves to navigate the world well informed and well equipped.
To support us, leave us a comment about what you would like to see next, or how this blog has changed your perspective or impacted you. In addition, if you would like to get updates on what we are planning in the community subscribe to our email list below, and like and follow our Facebook and Instagram page!
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Who is TrueRose Incubator, Inc.
We provide the tools for Black and Latinx girls in the San Antonio community and beyond to starve out fear and incubate purpose.
We are a youth social services organization that believes in the power of representation, self-awareness, inspiration, self-efficacy, and education preparing girls to make well-informed and self-aware decisions about their futures.
We encourage our community to identify their passion, pursue their purpose, and step into position to lead.