Marilyn Atkinson is the Founder of Erickson Coaching International and originator of the Solution-Focused Coaching methodology. A former Registered Organizational Psychologist, Marilyn is an NLP Master Trainer and specialist in Ericksonian Communications. Since 1980s she has been helping leading global companies and leaders through Solution- Focused and Outcome-Oriented Coaching. Marilyn has authored eight books, including The Art & Science of Coaching trilogy (Inner Dynamics of Coaching, Step-by-Step Coaching & The Flow of Coaching).
How to Discover Your Personal Calling
We all have experienced a passionate purpose at various times in our lives. Perhaps you remember your joyful interest in specific games or events as a child or as a participant in a particular sport. You may remember playing a musical instrument or learning a craft that lit a fire in you so that you became intensely engaged.
Finding a passionate purpose in our vocation is exactly like this. We connect with a vision of possibility. It may not be original at the start. In fact, it may be thoroughly borrowed. Yet, as we pursue these passions, they start to become truly ours because we engage in it with all our being and come alive in the engagement. We discover subtle and beautiful ways to develop our work artfully. If we take it on as a craft worthy of mastery, our own life opens further in multiple ways, as if that creative pursuit has endowed us with innocence and blessing. By making this contribution, our lives become deeply meaningful.
Is coaching your calling? Discover how Solution-Focused coaching skills enable you to create transformational change in yourself and others.
How often are you focusing your mind on being who you want to be, doing what truly inspires you, or experiencing the results that you know you can produce? How much do your daily actions align with who you really are? How fully alive are you being on your own terms? How much do you wholeheartedly engage and enjoy each moment, no matter where you are or what you are doing? Whatever life looks like for you, the answers to these questions define how powerfully you play the game of life.
A key coaching concept is that any focus on mastery can gradually lead to a flow of meaning and joy in people’s lives. Mastery and self-development are essential ingredients for each one of us to build on our purpose and develop our hero’s journey, following our own heartfelt calling.
Below are seven simple steps you can use to help discover your own personal calling.
- Do It Once a Day
Condense your efforts into one major effort at a definite time each day, until you get a good grip on it. Decide that you will tolerate no distraction during this time, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Make this time sacrosanct and be willing to repeat it again and again.
- Ponder Your Life
Commit to the direction and response-ability for a personal calling and value this time as an opportunity to ponder (ask questions) about your life. What do I want? What makes me happy? What am I passionate about? You’re asking your unconscious mind these questions...let it respond. Sometimes this takes a while – an attuning period.
- Activate Your Inner Vision
During this time as for ideas about your personal calling. Look up into your visual field to activate inner vision. (It’s a good idea to imagine the images playing like a movie up on the wall in front of you.) Catch whatever visions or ideas are activated and begin to put attention on them. Ask more questions for the “next time”.
- Ask for Help
There is help available. Inner vision can take a while to activate. There are deep and purposeful technologies for aligning and re-gathering focus and peripheral vision together. Use your own necessity to know where, how, when and who to ask for help.
- Watch Your Unconscious Mind Begin to Work for You
Notice how your days begin to reflect your gathering energies towards attracting and enacting the elements of your personal calling, even if you don’t yet know a lot about the details. Life is calling you up on the telephone - your personal telephone. Sometimes the hardest part in responding to the need is simply to pick up the receiver...and then just listen. What do I really want? What is my unique contribution?
- Check In Daily
Be willing to promise the vision that you generate some of your stamina and fortitude. You also need to promise some time each day for checking your vision and for placing yourself in situations where opportunities can be maximized and help can be given.
- Then It’s Full-Tilt-Boogie
Put on your dancing shoes and get into the swing of it...because once you’ve connected with your personal calling, it’s full-tilt-boogie!
These steps will help to awaken your core values that align with your life’s purpose, vision, and mission. Consider that as you reach up toward new possibilities and gain stimulating ideas, your life’s purpose is calling you. A life calling is a powerful magnet to integrity. It lights up our alignment to vision. It has a continual resonance in our life that we naturally sense whether we understand it or not.
Even so, some people put off their calling because they perceive:
- That they are not wearing the right shoes for the journey and have to find the perfect pair before they can begin.
- That it is not the right season for the journey—yet they have said this every season for the past two, three, four, five years and longer.
- That they need permission to take the path and that no one will give it to them.
When you feel your purpose calling you, the most important thing you can do is move your feet and start moving in the direction of your calling. As soon as we do so, we start to connect authentically with our truest reality.
When you decide to live your purpose and go for what you really want, amazing things start to occur. We start to believe that the universe is in our corner; with this clarity of belief, anything is possible.