This week I caught up with an old colleague from academia. She does great research but was growing bored of her topic and starting to think about what was next.
While we were chatting she went a little off topic and spoke about having recently remembered her passion for social justice through the great examples of Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X.
I got chills.
I pointed out what she just said (the conversation had since moved swiftly along) and you could see a light go on in her whole body. Like it was flooded with electricity.
Her subconscious had just thrown out an amazing clue of where she wanted to go.
Once that spark ignited, her mind was racing and a whole new range of possibilities were fighting for air time in her brain.
It was exciting, to say the least (I have chills again remembering it)!
She is a natural change-maker, drawn to helping professions, yet it seemed she had started reaching for smaller changes than the ones she really wanted to go for. Not to detract from the wonderful things she has achieved - she's awesome - it's more about where she wants to go and what she wants to do.
Later in the conversation she admitted reluctantly that she'd always thought that she had something 'big' to do in the world.
Have you also had that thought whisper through your mind? That you might be able to live with your heart on fire doing something 'big' in this world?
I bet you have.
So what happened?
Well, I bet that your little 'helper', the one inside us all always scanning for danger, shuts it down toute suite.
As most of you reading are likely to have your basic needs well and truly met and hopefully are not in physical danger, this hyper-vigilant part of us focuses on potential social danger.
Heaven knows, it doesn't want you to get on anyone's bad side by not doing exactly what you've been told growing up, or subtly by those around you now. How dare you have big plans or even worse, actually start making them happen! You might make someone feel bad or not be good enough!
That 'helper' panics when you get big ideas. It might be concerned that you're getting grandiose and too big for your boots.
Rest assured, that deep knowing you have about being able to do something 'big' is not about being grandiose.
The ideas attached to a deep knowing tend to have a different quality about them that isn't all about the ego but about following a compelling yearning (i.e. it's not about getting a super yacht or becoming a billionaire).
They are usually about:
...changing your world in some way - like knowing you can heal from intergenerational trauma and not pass it onto your children, becoming totally you, all the time, no matter what.
...changing the whole world (why not!)- fighting for a particular group in need, getting into politics, contributing to a cause, bringing a new product or piece of art to the world, or starting a revolution!
...meeting another type of soul dream, like achieving a great challenge or meeting a big goal, like climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, mastering an instrument or speaking a language fluently.
So, what are your yearnings, no matter how 'far fetched' they may seem?
Start dreaming and now notice how fast your brain is to dismiss them as ridiculous, too hard or to bring out the big guns... the shame tapes we ALL have in our minds*:
"Who do you think you are?"
"You're not good enough"
We ALL have these tapes. Are you going to take them for the Truth? Or will you choose to light your heart on fire anyway?
Go get em tigers!
*If you're interested in learning more about shame tapes read about the American social work scholar Dr Brene Brown - these tapes come from interviewing over 10,000 people about shame. It isn't just you ;)
Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.