16 Things That Will Stop You From Meeting Your Purpose In Life

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Trial by error.  Each of these lessons below are stated from experience and hey, I’m an open book.  I hope you benefit from my mistakes and get a laugh out of it too.  Marc and I’s purpose in life is to impact the lives in Southeast Asia for good which led us to begin an international NGO in an underdeveloped country.  Everything I said in that last sentence, ate my lunch.  If you don’t get what I’m saying, it kicked my butt.  But, it taught us a lot as we are living out our purpose and overcoming MANY obstacles. Here are the 16 things you can do, to stop yourself from meeting your goals in life.  Trust me, they work.

Accept All Labels People Put On You

Labels can take away the potential for change.  Diagnosis for life, negative characteristics, flaws, labels are all lies because we are forever changing.

negativelabels

Why rejecting labels is important? I refused to accept a diagnosis about my mental health and choose to believe it was temporary.  I refuse to call my husband a pessimist and myself an optimist, knowing as circumstances change so does our perspective.  This was important in “getting back in the ring” when things got tough.

Compare Yourself To John, Dick, and Jane

“When I see ads on TV with smiling, happy housewives using a new cleaning product, the only thing I want to buy are the meds they must be on.”

Social media creates a picture perfect identity and I am constantly reminding my preteens of that.  In all seriousness, I can tell you that comparing yourself with others will create wasted emotional energy that will steal from your ability to move forward.  It will destroy potential friendships that could you attain more.  It can hurt those around you and create unnecessary bitterness and self hate. Don’t do it.

Broil in Bitterness

Why is forgiveness important for your success?  Bitterness in the heart only hurts us.  Hate and bitterness are contagious, harmful to those we love, and require great amount of emotional energy.  Hate in the heart must be dealt with before one can move on to their greatest potential.  Many believe that forgiveness is a feeling but actually it is a choice we make and sometimes that choice has to be made over and over again until the feeling comes along.

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” Alice Miller

My battle with bitterness led to my betterment.  Facing anger is brave.  I became more confident in my abilities to love when I chose to forgive.

Fight Those Who Reject You

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” Elbert Hubbard

Leaders will always be rejected by some.  This can be painful.  I recommend reading the book Leadership Pain: The Classroom For Growth.

The more we lead, the more we will experience rejection.  The more we speak out, the more we get criticized.  The more we do, the more we fail.  It’s just a number game.

The hard part is to learn to accept constructive criticism, reject negative criticism, and know the difference between the two.

Through prayer, meditation, and reading through the Bible, we have remained rooted in who we are, what we are called to do, and how we should be doing it.

Refuse To Work With Others

Team work is important; it helps to put the blame on someone else.

We all have an independent streak which can be used for good but independence to a fault will isolate you and lead to defeat.  “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Marc needs me and I need him.  Without each other, we could have never succeeded.  If you didn’t read my 40 reasons why, take a moment to read it here: 40 Reasons Why I Love Working With My Husband

Partner With Anybody And Everybody

You know that tingly little feeling you get when you like someone? That’s your common sense leaving your body.

I have seen bad partnerships and bad marriage choices that have ended in pain.  Two people without one heart, mind, and purpose.  We can love, forgive, and accept others but this does not mean that we need to bring all people into our inner circle.

“Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it.  Trust must be rebuilt over time.  Trust requires a track record.” Rick Warren.

Don’t Make Any Firm Decisions

I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not too sure.

Why is decisiveness important?  Leadership requires it and those who follow you are in great distress without it.  I use to work with a friend who I loved very much but he had a flaw.  He could never make a decision. At one point, this friend left the business for a year and did not put anyone else in charge.  He said that he didn’t want to hurt feelings.  While he was gone, the work struggled amidst lack of leadership, empowerment, and battles.  Confidence in your decision-making is a necessity to lead well.

Criticize Others

A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.

Who doesn’t hate working in a place with gossip, bullying, judgmental attitudes, rudeness, rolling of eyes, etc. But the worst part of it all is. . .

a. It’s highly contagious and self-destructive to all.  Boom. Done. Purpose not achieved, not with this group!

b. For all you holier than thou’s, this exists in all places that people exist. Churches and other ministries are not excluded.  Repent, change, be done with it! Enough said:)

c. It starts in the brain, that’s right, your thoughts boil until finally spewing over.  Do you think that you can keep that inside and pursue your goals?  I didn’t think so!

d. It’s just not any fun!

“We are psychologically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually hardwired for connection, love, and belonging.” Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Reject Your Leadership

After spending 16 years focused on the same goal, I can predict one thing for certain.  Leadership always changes.  Be patient not spiteful.

When my boss asked me who is the stupid one, me or him? I told him everyone knows he doesn’t hire stupid people.

Be Pessimistic

“In Business and in life, the reasonable optimist will win every time.” The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Change the phrase “I have to” into “I get to” and you will find it makes a world of difference in your day. Remember, how we experience the world is shaped by our mindset. 

  • I have get to go to work.
  • I have get to wash my families clothes.
  • I have get to drive a car in traffic.
  • I have get to cook for my family.
  • I have get to pick my kids up from school.
  • My to do get to do list.

Cut Into Your Sleep So You Can “Be More Productive”

If you haven’t yet, pick this book up!  Arianna Huffington will eloquently convince you to change your sleep habits now!  Personally, I hurt myself very bad from not getting enough sleep.  I believe adequate sleep could have helped prevent a period of depression and anxiety in my life.  I’ve shared some quotes below from this book.

“Many of the genes affected by lack of sleep are involved in processing stress and regulating our immune system.”

“Once I started getting 7-8 hours of sleep, it became easier to meditate, exercise, and make wiser decisions.”

“Sleep makes us better at our jobs while simultaneously reminding us that we are more than our jobs.”

Believe Your Morality Doesn’t Affect Your Success

Temptation to believe that our own trip-ups will not harm others or be discovered by others is an age-old lie.  We found that as we were on the path to attaining our goals, we would be tempted to compromise our moral code, who we wanted to be.  Looking back, if we had tripped in those moments, we would not be anywhere near to meeting the goals and purpose in our lives.

That being said, there have been tearful confessions in our family with apologies, forgiveness, and moving forward together that was necessary.  To sweep any temptation under the rug, is to arrogantly say, I will not fall.  Neither of us have ever regretted the open confession we have had in our 20 years of marriage.

Don’t Sacrifice Your Desires

Any goal achieved without sacrifice is worthless.  Any gift given without sacrifice has little value.  Our greatest achievements are due to our greatest sacrifices.  The more we give, the more we get back.  Do you believe this?  Live like it.  Give away more than you get.  I promise you that you can depend on God for everything.

The “I deserve it” mentality will only set you back.  If we give reluctantly, we become bitter and mad.  Often in our times of difficulty or when funding has been short, we have felt that anger saying “I’ve worked hard, and I deserve to get what I need.”

Choose to sacrifice and give freely without expectations but in hope.

We have sacrificed many things in our life but the blessed part is that God has provided all we need.  We are not financially rich but what we’ve given in money has come back with contentment, happiness, joy, fulfillment, love, and other things that you can’t put a price tag on.

Quit If You Don’t Succeed

“The next time you face a daunting challenge, think to yourself, “In order for me to resolve this issue, I will have to fail nine times, but on the tenth attempt, I will be successful.” This attitude frees you and allows you to think creatively without fear of failure, because you understand that learning from failure is a forward step toward success.”  The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger

You will want to quit!  I wish somebody would have told me that!  I wish I believed it when someone probably told me that!  But, guess what secret I know now.  The greatest moment comes after you jump that hurdle.  When all you want to say is “I quit, I give up, I’m exhausted, I did my best, its all I can do,” is when you realize that your goals are not your own but they are divinely His!  He wants to achieve good things through me and he will overcome because my goals are His goals.

Don’t Forgive Yourself

I am a nobody, nobody is perfect, therefore I am perfect. You are perfect.  You are perfectly you with all of your mistakes you’ve learned from, all of your weaknesses you’ve smudged into your career, and all of your successes that came from realizing your weaknesses.

I hate guilt and shame.  I love conviction from God because He is slow to anger and speaks with love.  Guilt and shame are damaging and discouraging.  Fight it and don’t accept it.  Unreasonable guilt and shame can destroy a person inside out leading to depression:

“A study using data from 108 studies with 22,411 participants found that shame and unreasonable guilt (guilt in which one feels an inflated sense of responsibility for events that they could not control, and more general guilt which is not specifically linked to a certain situation) were similarly linked to depressive symptoms.” (1)

Decide It Is Not Worth It

Success comes when “The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.” Zig Ziglar

Every couple of years, this is what you will hear us say “Is it worth it?  All this work.  All the sacrifice.  Should we quit?  Are we really heading anywhere or making a difference?  Have the hurdles become too difficult?  Do we have enough energy to move forward?” Discouragement comes.

What trait is the greatest predictor of success according to research?  Grit, courage in difficulty, perseverance through pain.  To attain high goals in life and fulfill your purpose, it will hurt.  But, this is the life without regret.  Let’s do it together!

(Continue to follow my blog to read more about defining and developing your grit.)

brooke with gorilla
Why did I include this picture?  I just thought it was funny!

If you saw a good joke here, I may have made it up but most likely it came from http://www.onelinefun.com!

  1. Kim, S., Thibodeau, R., & Jorgensen, R. S. (2011). Shame, guilt, and depressive symptoms: A meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 137, 68-96.
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