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What keeps you from doing your soul’s work?
Contrary to what our culture would have us think, we are not here to be cogs in the machine. I believe each of us has a purpose. I believe YOU have a purpose beyond just making enough money to get by. Your worth is not your work.
We are here to do the work that lights us up, that brings us joy and contentment, that makes us feel purposeful and fulfilled. For some of us it’s making art or music or some other creative pursuit. For others it’s helping people, easing the pain of others in some capacity. Maybe it’s raising children or growing a garden or hiking in the mountains.
You are here for a reason.
Despite this fact, many of us end up mostly doing other things that are NOT that reason. What is the obstacle that has you filling your days with other, lesser things? In my coaching work (and just in my life experience) I see three main reasons WHY.
Capitalism, in this case, is really just shorthand for any monetary system that requires that we devote most of our waking hours to meaningless tasks. Some of us have hit the jackpot and found work that pays enough and is also deeply fulfilling. Many of us work for money and hope to have enough free time to do the real work. Most of us, I’d venture to guess, struggle to get by financially and STILL struggle to find the time or energy to do the meaningful stuff.
Once you find the time and energy to get to work on your soul work, it’s often not as easy as you’d think to get started. In fact, it can be downright terrifying. Facing the blank canvas, the blinking cursor, the newborn baby is many people’s nightmare.
You can rely on this fear as a signal that, counterintuitively, you are on the right track. Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, describes it thusly:
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
This terror comes up because in order to do your soul’s work, your ego has to die a little, and it does not go quietly into the night. It kicks and screams and often prevents you from ever getting started.
If you’ve managed to get through the terror and actually put pen to paper or paint on canvas, you’ll likely feel the immediate and undeniable urge to organize your sock drawer by color and type approximately five minutes into getting to work.
I know this because I have done this and I have the sock drawer to prove it. Despite our best intentions, we self-sabotage our way out of actually doing the things we want to do. And before you know it, it’s Monday morning and time to go back to that meaningless but necessary job.
Learning to become “productive” enough to overcome these barriers might seem like selling out, but I actually think that productivity, when aimed at doing your soul work, can be deeply radical. If we get stuck in cycles of exhaustion, fear or self-sabotage, our soul work never gets done. We are worse for it and THE WORLD is worse for it.
Do these ring true for you?
Which of these three obstacles shows up most for you?
Want to learn to overcome these obstacles?
Get Shit Done is a six week course that teaches productivity skills for weirdos. This is not another listicle of productivity hacks or a corporate efficiency bootcamp. This is real-life strategy for how to get clear, take action and Get Shit Done.
CLICK HERE to learn more!
Registration closes September 15. Space is limited!