Hello. I’m Diana Swillinger, and this is the Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode 20 Finding Your Passion.
DIANA: Hey. Hey. What’s happening, everybody? Welcome to another episode. Are you loving summer? I know it probably hasn’t turned out exactly how you plan, but there’s a lot to enjoy, right? Family, flowers, warm weather, grilling out. Maybe time at the lake, time at the ocean. Watermelon. I like watermelon. It’s one of my favorite summer things. Fall used to be my favorite season because I love the changing colors. I love warm sweaters and jeans and all the holidays approaching. But I have to admit, summer has moved into the number one spot. It’s pulled way ahead. Like summer has a big lead over all their seasons. For me now, I don’t know. I just like being outside as much as possible. I’ll even take the heat. It’s okay. So last week we talked about overwhelm in the Renew Your Mind Facebook community. That was the number one request for a podcast episode. In close. Second was finding your passion. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
But first, I will share an itunes review. Have you left me a review yet? You should totally go leave a review because I’ll read it on the air. I’ll read it on an episode. Wouldn’t that be fun? All right. The one I’m going to read today is from Megan M um D. She says this is by far one of the best podcast series out there. Diana speaks on real things that I know I needed to hear or things I had questions about. Her topics are relevant, and she even adds her own stories to them to show you. We are all going through things overall amazing topics for a ah, podcast series. If you get a chance, listen to them. Well, you’re already listening to this one, right? But go check out the other ones if you haven’t listened yet. I do build on top of other episodes, and I’m going to reference things that I said in the past one. So if you haven’t listened to them all, go back and check them out. And thank you so much, Megan, for listening. You’re the reason I do this podcast. Yes, you, Megan, and every other person just like you. We do need to know we’re all in this together. Life’s not always easy, but it can be better. It can feel better. We can do it better. We can be more satisfied. And sometimes we just need support and we need some extra insight so we can see things. We can’t see ourselves. One coach I know describes life coaching as, uh, showing people what’s going on in their own brain awareness. This is huge.
So let’s see if I can get you some more awareness today. And we’ll dive right in, see what’s going on in our brains when it comes to finding our passion. Some people might describe it as finding your purpose or living in God’s will. Finding your passion, however you describe it. We have this general idea that we’re made for a reason. I think we all believe this. We want it. We want to step into what our purpose or passion is, but we let all sorts of things get in the way, or we think it’s not the right time, or we make it too confusing or overwhelming.
So today I want to demystify it. I want to make it less of a big deal because I think we put it up on a pedestal in a way. Like, I have to find my purpose, I have to find my passion. And we can almost glorify it. Like, it’s this amazing, special thing that we must achieve if we’re going to amount to anything. Like, if we step into our passion and our purpose, the heavens are going to open up and all our life experiences are going to align. We won’t be confused about anything anymore. We’ll feel complete, we’ll feel whole, we’ll be satisfied, everyone will love us and life’s going to be perfect. All that does when we make it so magical is we put a ton of, uh, pressure on ourselves to get it right. M kind of like the same way we sometimes have the idea that there’s just one and only one soulmate for us, one person in the entire earth that we have to find, like a needle in a haystack, and we better get it right or we’re not going to marry the right person. We won’t live in the right place, we won’t produce the right kids, and we’re going to screw up God’s plan. Pressure. M pressure. Pressure.
So here’s the first thing we need to do. We need to get over ourselves. We are not God. We don’t have that much power to make everything right or to screw it all up. And that takes the fun out of it too. It really does. Because finding our passion can be fun. It can be a fun journey. If we lighten up, we can do that. We can trust that God already knows. He already knows what I’m going to do today, tomorrow, the next day. He already knows he’s got this. And after we take the drama out of it, we’ll relieve some pressure and then we can check in with ourselves and see why it is we want to connect with our passion. Think about that. I’d like to ask you, what is it you’re envisioning that your life will be like if you start doing life in a way that you feel connected to your passion. What do you think you’re going to feel? Mhm are you imagining that once that happens, you’ll feel fulfilled, satisfied? Maybe you’ll feel important or like you’re valued or worthy now because you’re offering the right thing in life. Or maybe you’ll feel complete. Imagine your life five years from now where you’re connected to your passion and the activities of all of your days align with it.
How are you going to feel? And I’m asking you this because I want to share a caution and an opportunity. And, um, I’m saying do this. Figure out what it is you want to feel, okay? But the caution in that is if you think identifying what you’re passionate about, and then if you participate in activities related to it, that it’s going to fix your life and you’re going to feel amazing, you might be wrong about that, because here’s what we know. It’s our thoughts that create our emotions. Our thoughts hitting some milestone or goal in your life or doing something, or achieving something, or aligning your activities with what you’re passionate about is not actually what’s going to make you feel amazing. Even at that point. Even if all that happens. And I’m not saying that’s bad to want that, that’s fine, let’s do it. We’re going to talk about how to do it.
But once we get to that point, it’s going to be your thoughts about the situation that are going to let you feel anything about it. If you feel satisfied, amazed, complete, enjoyment, valued, fulfilled, whatever it is, it’s going to be because of what you’re thinking. And that leads me to share the opportunity when you know what it is you want to feel, whatever it is you think you’re going to feel, or, uh, that you want to feel. When you finally figure out your passion, you don’t have to wait. You don’t have to wait until then to feel it. You can feel it now. You can choose thoughts today that let you feel complete or satisfied or valued, because you already are. You already are.
Finding your passion is not what’s going to create those feelings. It’s your thoughts about you, your thoughts about your relationship with God, your thoughts about his promises, your thoughts about how your life is amazing today. It’s going to create those feelings. So if you need some thoughts to help you feel good about it today, that’s where I’d love you to start the journey of finding your passion already feeling satisfied and fulfilled, here’s some thoughts you could try. I’m, um, figuring out my passion. I feel satisfying. You could think, now is a great time for me to explore my passion that m could feel exciting. You could think, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in my journey today and feel fulfilled.
God has this all figured out. You could think that and be content. You could think, I’ll keep taking the next step, and I’m on the right path, and you can feel satisfied and content and complete today. And when you do this, you are freeing yourself up to enjoy the journey of finding your passion. Okay, so I’m going to talk next about some obstacles that get in our way of finding passion. And then we’re going to talk about how you can actually explore finding your passion. So let’s get the obstacles out of the way. Here’s some of the ones I hear a lot. No time. I don’t have time. I’m too busy to figure out what I like. I have too many responsibilities. I don’t have time. And that’s fine. If you decide you don’t have time, you get to decide. Maybe today isn’t the right day. Maybe today you don’t have time. Maybe tomorrow you don’t have time. But maybe the day after that you do. But the bottom line is, we will make time for things that are important to us.
Just think about it. There’s so many things you’ve made time for in the past. You make time to go to your kids cross country meets. You make time to go to help your mom. You make time to go for a walk. You made time to volunteer at church. You made time to go to the grocery store when you were busy. If you care about something, you make time. And if you care about exploring your passion, you will make time. Maybe you have different priorities right now, but if finding your passion is something you want to be a priority for today, you can make time. I can do a different episode on how to make more time in your life, but really the short is just say no to the things that aren’t as high a priority as finding your passion. Okay, so that’s obstacle number one.
The next obstacle you might encounter is you’re afraid of what other people think. Maybe you know some of the things you feel passionate about, but if you tried them, you think other people might think it’s dumb or a waste of time or weird or they’ll judge you. We’ve talked about this before, though. What other people think is their business. It’s about them. Um, it’s not about you. So if you can let go of what other people think, that will be very freeing. It’s their business. Just get out of their business. You can’t control their thoughts. Just let go of it. This is when you know you’re valued and satisfied and you’re okay just because you’re you. You can let go of what other people think. You have important things to do to go find your passion and purpose. Don’t let this one get in the way. Okay, next obstacle is thinking. I don’t know.
Sometimes we throw ourselves an obstacle when we just we think about what we want to do. We think about how we could try, and then we’re like, uh, but I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know how to try. I can’t figure it out. I just don’t know what I care about. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know. That’s just you throwing an obstacle in your way every time you say, I don’t know. It’s a useless thought, it’s a sabotaging thought. Don’t use that thought. It’s not helpful. Instead, you could think, I’m going to figure it out, or think maybe I do know, and search your head for the answers. Or I don’t know this minute, but I’m going to figure it out because I care. All right, next obstacle could be we think it’s going to be uncomfortable. That’s legit, though, isn’t it?
Because anytime we stretch ourselves, anytime we want to grow, anytime we want to try new things, anytime we want to improve our lives or ourselves, it comes with discomfort, does it not? There’s a quote that’s going around on the Internet for many years. I don’t know who said it, but it says everything you want is on the other side of discomfort. Okay, so you know how you fix this obstacle, the discomfort one? You just have to decide going for your passion, finding your passion, living in your purpose. It’s going to include embracing discomfort, okay? That’s just the way it is. There’s no magic pill to make discomfort go away. It’s part of the territory. If you want to improve your life in any way, you can do discomfort. I know you can. You know how I know you’ve done discomfort before. You’ve done uncomfortable before, and you survived. You can do it again. Other obstacles, there’s probably a lot more, but I’m just going to say two more, and I’m going to put them together because they overlap a little bit.
Perfectionism and fear, and both perfectionism and fear. I think when they sabotage you from doing what you want, they are rooted in what if questions. Like, what if I try something but it’s the wrong thing? What if I try something I think I’ll love and I hate it? What if I try something I feel passionate about but I suck at it? Or, uh, what if I go do something important but I screw it up? M, these kinds of fear based and perfectionistic questions will keep you paralyzed. You’ll want to explore what’s possible, but you just won’t do it because you’re afraid you’re not going to get it right. But that path is not useful. Like I was saying at the beginning, we can take the drama out of this. We can demystify it. We can think of it as a journey in our lives and not some big test that we have to get right or we’re going to screw up the destiny of all mankind. Or if not screwing up all mankind, at least we think we’re screwing up every person we come in contact with or for sure, our family. Let’s take the drama out.
We’re not that powerful. You’re not so powerful that you’re going to screw up God’s plan for you. He knows exactly what you’d be doing over every day before today. He knows you’d be listening to this podcast this very minute. He knows exactly what you’ll be doing tomorrow and the day after that. He’s got this. You’re not going to screw up his master plan. I promise you. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. And hate to break it to you, but there’s no perfect way. There’s no perfect way to do this. That’s the good news too, though. You can’t screw it up. And, uh, what is there to fear when this is God’s plan all along? When he knows what you would do yesterday, today, and tomorrow. No surprises. What are you screwing up? What are you afraid of? I’ve heard people say that God works all things together for good. Have you heard that? Yeah, I think it’s from the Bible. You’ve, uh, probably heard it. Why not just rest in that he works all things together for a good? There’s no benefit to piling on fear, drama and perfectionistic. Thoughts? All right, so now, with obstacles out of the way, what are you going to do? How are you going to find your passion? And maybe you’re rediscovering it. Maybe you had one before, but life changed and you’re rediscovering. Or you’re looking for your next passion. Whatever it is.
There is no cookie cutter plan that’s one size fits all that I’m going to give you. And you’re going to uncover your passion. It’s not how it works, but I can give you things that will help you lean into your own journey, which can be your own beautiful and fun journey of, uh, discovering what’s possible for you and what’s possible in your life. So, for the rest of this episode, this is what I have for you. I’m going to share three things. Three things that you can do to help you find your passion. First, ask yourself and ask others questions. Next, take action. And lastly, have fun with it. That’s the best one. Okay, so first, ask yourself and ask others. When you ask yourself, think of what matters to you in life. What’s your story? Where have you put your time and energy in the past? What are some beliefs that you have that you hold dear?
Beliefs about life or beliefs about people or values that you have? Who have you enjoyed interacting with most in the past? Where have you loved spending your time? You could ask too, if money was no object. Let’s just say you had all the money in your bank account you needed for the rest of your life and to pass on to all your heirs. How would you spend your time? Take an inventory of, uh, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you love to do. Your brain is going to naturally remember some of the most impactful and favorite moments in your life, and those will give you clues you can ask other people, too. This is really fun. When I was finishing up my leadership development classes a few years ago, one of the assignments that we were asked to do was question other people about the strengths that they saw in us. So kind of an evaluation from several other people. I asked a lot of people, too. I got a lot of responses. And this assignment pushed me to find out things from other people. It was so useful.
The answers I got were things like, I’m a great encourager. Diana’s a strong communicator. She has great insight. They told me things like that and things I needed to hear to show me the weight of my passion and help me uncover it. I kind of knew this stuff. Nothing surprised me necessarily, but it emboldened me. It encouraged me, and it kind of pecked away at the fear that, well, maybe I think I’m good at this, but what if I’m not? So I had more conversations. I started telling people that I wanted to start my own business. I was just talking with people, asking around. People heard I was interested in starting my own business. And one person said, you should consider becoming a counselor. And he said, you have great insight. That would be very helpful to people. I was like, what? Really surprised me, but I needed to take inventory of that and consider it. The next week, I was talking to somebody else about starting a business, and he said, have you considered being a life coach? I was like, no, I have not. Is that even a real job? And he thought it would be a perfect career for me. And my massage therapist told me that I would make a great life coach. I was like, what the what all ah. Because I was willing to talk about possibilities and try new things, and I was willing to expose my interest in exploring having my own business. People spoke up and spoke into me.
My story, plus what everybody else saw in me, is exactly what helped me uncover my passion. And now I do what I love. I love my job. And guess what? It was really uncomfortable to step out and grow in this way. I had fear. I had doubt, and I did it anyway because stepping into my passion was important to me. I made time for it. I prioritized it. I brought the discomfort with me, and I went for it. Okay, the next thing you can do, I said, take action. You know what? I always talk about our thoughts, but take action. Let’s get out of your head for just a second here. You’re not going to figure out what you’re passionate about by sitting at home and thinking you got to go out and try things. I remember this one time I thought I would make a great youth group adult leader at my church. I’m like, yeah, I would totally be good at that. I used to have ideas that I was going to become a high school English teacher, and I didn’t pursue it, so I thought, oh, this is perfect. I should just go work with teens at the church. Obviously, this is my passion.
So I went to the youth group one night, and I volunteered, and I tried it, and that was the one and only night I volunteered with my youth group. I love teens, but that was not my passion. That was not my cup of tea. I tried it, and I learned, and that helped me direct my path. It took me in different directions. You got to go try stuff. What is it you want to try and just see? Is this for me or not? If you think you want to be a missionary, try going on a short term mission sometime when Coronavirus is over. See if you like it. How does it feel? You think you want to open a flower shop? Go talk to some flower shop owners. Offer to help for a day for free. Go have coffee with them. Um, ask them questions. Give it a try. You think you want to write a book? Start blogging. Write a chapter. Write a short story. Give it a try. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you’ll hate it. What do you think you might like? Horses, beaches, numbers? Research.
My husband says he wants to do research. He’s passionate about that. Anytime I need some help with research, I give it to him. He’s passionate about it. I’m not. I’m like, I need a new washing machine. Tell me the best three, and then I’ll pick one. He is passionate about research. I’m not. And, before I became a life coach, I mentored and coached people, and I tried it. I wanted to see if I was good at it and if I loved it. And I was really good at it, and I really loved it. And then I enrolled in the certification courses. What do you want to try? Who can you connect with? Who can you interview? Who can you shadow? Where can you volunteer? Take a class, go somewhere. Go try it. Go do something. You’re not going to figure it out sitting at home. Lastly, step three. Have fun. Life is dramatic enough, really. You don’t need to add drama to figuring out what you would love to do. This can be fun, not a burden. A few years ago, I was reading a book by Lara Casey. I think it’s Lara, Lara, Lara. L-A-R-A lara Casey’s book called Make It Happen. And she wrote about finding your purpose. And she wrote two super short sentences about finding your purpose. Love God. Serve people. Doesn’t that sound fun? That puts a lot of meaning into it, too. It puts purpose into the journey. Of finding your passion outside of yourself. It makes it not all about you. And maybe that’s less scary.
Just love God and serve people. If your heart’s in the right place, you’re not going to screw this up. You can enjoy it. And I really believe if you have that perspective, the rest is going to fall into place. Don’t focus on the closed doors. Don’t dwell on the missed opportunities of the past. Stop thinking it’s too hard or overwhelming or it’s so important. For sure you’re going to screw it up. You’re not going to screw up being you. It’s not possible. You’re exactly where you should be. Focus on what is possible. Be curious. Explore. Try things out. And for Pete’s sake, lighten up. Have some fun. You can enjoy this amazing adventure, okay? And by the way, just in case you didn’t know this, I want you to know you got this. You got this. And I’m cheering you on. All right, y’all, that’s it for today. I will catch you next week. Take care.
As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. Uh, I teach thought um, management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resource sources or a free coaching call.