THIS is why your WHY matters.
To be honest with you, I can still remember it as though it were a recent thing. That sense of ‘Monday morning’ dread… but every day. Except Friday night and Saturday of course. Saturday was the day where the world seemed to make sense again and the overwhelm and anxiety didn’t cloud the way I was thinking and feeling like it seemed to Sunday through Friday.
I grappled and wrestled for years, and I mean YEARS with whether or not this was just how everyone felt. I presumed that this was the norm.
To feel stifled, unsupported and as though you didn’t ‘fit’.
But (thank the LORD!) I wasn’t raised to quit. And so I knew that ‘hard’ didn’t mean ‘stop. (Quite honestly I feel like that’s also part of the reason I’m a successful business owner but that’s another story for another day.)
In fact, I tried to dive deeper in my search for meaning and purpose in my profession.
I met with my pastor, I emailed some high profile Christians – all for the stamp of approval and the ‘this is what happens to everyone with a job – suck it up.’ But it never came.
I had friends who LOVED teaching. They were supported, they were stretched, they were thriving. But me? Not so.
And for years I thought the problem resided with me. In me.
And so I DID more. Because that’s where I felt that purpose and validation were hiding – in the doing.
But church commitments, work commitments and everything in between led to burn out and an anxiety and depression diagnosis.
So I took the tablets and things were better for a while I guess… But there was still something missing. Still something which didn’t feel as though it ‘fit’. Still something I couldn’t shake.
And I prayed. Oh, how I prayed.
I prayed through tears, I prayed on my own, I prayed with loved ones. And the feeling lingered.
But so did the ‘just suck it up Naomi’.
Even though, five or six years in I was starting to get suspicious. I mean, was this just MY LIFE now? Was this just how it was meant to be moving forward?
‘More stuff’ I thought. ‘That will fix it.’ As though I hadn’t learned from the last time and where that led. But I couldn’t possibly understand why this wasn’t working for ME when it seemed to work so well for everyone else.
I mean, I PRAYED. I did the things a ‘good Christian girl’ was meant to do. And silence. And more tears. Probably more emails and questions and search for validation that my feelings were just what everyone went through.
I decided it must be because I need to be ‘more qualified’, ‘more established’. And so the research into my PHD began. I’d study alternative education. Because although the job and the support I received (or lack thereof) was tearing me apart internally, I LOVED the students I worked with (and the small team of 3 women I had directly around me who understood purpose & potential over pay check too.)
I loved the potential I saw in those students. The ones that had been removed from ‘the mainstream school’ because they didn’t ‘fit’. Their behaviour, their attendance, a mixture of both perhaps. But no one actually taking the time to get to know THEM, of course. If that had happened, perhaps they wouldn’t actually have been there in the first place.
Anyway, on reflection, maybe I saw a bit of me in each of them as they struggled to grapple with why they couldn’t just bypass the standardised testing which everyone else seemed to be filtered into.
So the PHD… (AKA the standardised testing I thought would finally validate me.)
I bought some books, asked some PHD friends, made a shortlist of institutions I could apply to. “I’ll do this on my own.” I mused. I wasn’t getting the answers to me questions – not the ones I wanted anyway. And so naturally, I decided I’d be some kind of martyr and get MORE qualifications in something I wasn’t even thriving in because THAT’S when the breakthrough would appear.
I mean, I had the blog, the YouTube channel. I shared that stuff online sure. I did that for FUN, for release, to feel more like ‘me’. But that wasn’t ‘real’ (or so I thought.) In fact, I distinctly remember having a conversation with one of my teacher friends who said something like “I can’t imagine doing this until I’m 60… it’s just a shame we can’t get paid for doing the things we love.”
Of COURSE I agreed. There was absolutely NO WAY (or so I thought) that me, a 20 something at the time from south London who had only ever known high school teaching by way of profession and women’s groups & youth work by way of ministry, could SUDDENLY emerge as someone with PURPOSE in pole position and make a living from it.
Those two words are some of my favourites.
Because clearly He had other ideas and so after 7 years of being seemingly ignored, overlooked for promotions I was told I was qualified for, not even given a proper job description for a number of years and just generally made to feel as though ‘sucking it up’ was the only way I’d win… God released me from it.
I clearly wasn’t getting the internal hints He’d been dropping into my soul and perhaps I didn’t have the trust or faith in Him enough to take the leap into the unknown without knowing what came next.
So God was gracious and gave me a part-time job at the church we were about to move to, and working part-time for the first time in my life meant me having the time to start my business alongside it.
And I finally started doing the work I was created for.
Which meant I left the part-time job and went full-time in my business. I wasn’t going to make the mistake of not trusting the internal nudges a second time.
I say of that so that when I tell you my ‘why’ in some rehearsed one liner, you’ll ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHY.
I see you – wondering if it will EVER happen for you. Not because you’re chasing a paycheck (although that will come of course. Because… purpose.) but because you CRAVE to do the thing you were CREATED for and wonder if you’ll ever see a way.
I see you – working late into the night on your ‘hobby’ or ‘side hustle’ in between the 9-5 you wish you could leave and the family you so desperately want to provide a better life for.
I see you – Seeking validation or approval or SOMETHING to say that you DO fit into the mould that the world told you that you needed to be a part of in order to ‘get ahead’ and so now you’re doing all the things to prove your soul wrong and them right even though you’re burnt out beyond belief.
And you’re why I’m here.
I’m here to tell you to STOP ignoring the cry of your heart and the call of your soul.
I’m here to tell you it’s OKAY if you don’t ‘fit’ anything which is currently presented before you.
I’m here to tell you to SURRENDER the struggle and the fight to ‘get to the top’ of a ladder you shouldn’t even be climbing.
You were made for more.
And THAT is why I will not stop. You are my God-given assignment. I know that full well. So whether you believe me now or hear me later, I’ll still be here.
With a WHY like that, there’s nothing else I possibly CAN do.
And that’s WHY we’re talking about YOUR WHY today LIVE on my FB business page. Tune in at 4:30pm BST | 11:30am Eastern | 8:30am Pacific so that we can talk about it. Click the button below to go there now and like, follow & turn notifications on ahead of time.
The world is waiting for your work.
P.S. Have you heard? I've opened an extended payment plan for my 6-month group coaching and mastermind experience 'Building Beyond The Building'. I've done this because of everything I've just shared with you. Yes, my business is technically my 'job' but that's not how it FEELS and so I'm not DOING THIS for some particular amount of money per month (although the money always comes of course) I'm doing this to mobilise you for Kingdom business in the way God intended and so if you need a helping hand getting into BBTB, you've got it. Click the banner below to learn more.