Follow Your Bliss Myths
by: Stacey Mayo
The term Follow Your Bliss was made famous by a book by the same name. People have generalized that statement to mean many things, some of which are inaccurate, so I thought I would give you the real skinny on this topic and dismantle some old myths.
Let me start by saying I think it is very important that you get in touch with and follow your passions. Life is too short to spend your time doing something that is not fulfilling, especially if you work 20-60 hours a week, year after year. And when you do what feels good, things flow more easily. All of this is true. I am a living example of it. When I coach people and they have breakthroughs and begin to create a life that they truly love, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Even after 10 years, it can bring tears to my eyes. Okay, so I am a little sappy. That’s okay. My life is very rewarding.
But here are some myths that I would like to dispel:
Myth #1: You cannot do what you love and make good money too.
If that’s true, then how come I am doing it? What about Oprah? What about Elton? Why not you? There are people in nearly every profession who are barely scraping by, others who are doing okay, and others who are highly successful and prosperous. You get to choose where you want to be on that scale. And the best way to get to the high end of the scale is to learn from people who have done it. Take a moment to think about who is already doing what you want to do and doing it successfully. How can you learn from them? Perhaps they teach a course or have written a book, or you could do an informational interview to learn more about how they did it. Maybe you could even hire them as your mentor coach. There are many ways. Choose the way that works best for you, but do it. Myth #2: To follow your bliss/purpose you have to be saintly like Mother Teresa.
Following your bliss means doing whatever you are passionate about. For some that is service, for others it is using their creative talents, for others it is pursuing adventures. It is different for everyone and there is not any one way it should look. What is important is that it lights YOU up. Stacy Allison, the first American woman to climb Mt. Everest, followed her bliss. There was nothing saintly about it but there was plenty of passion. About it, she said, “Climbing is where my spirit soars. When I am climbing, whether it’s a sheer rock cliff or a mountain, I belong in no other place. I am absolutely where I should be. It’s where I feel the most connected to this Earth and the most at peace, even if I’m in an absolutely dangerous challenging situation. “
Myth #3: If you follow your bliss, the money will follow
As stated in #1 above, you can create money in alignment with your passion but it just isn’t as simple as the statement above. You also have to know what your natural talents are and combine those with something you are passionate about and do it in a setting that is conducive to your personality. (If you don’t know what your natural talents are, you can take the free self-assessment at http://www.igetpaidtodothis.com/bookresources2.htm). Additionally you have to take inspired action and implement strategies in alignment with your dream and you need to be visible. Using the example of Stacy Allison again. She became very visible as a result of being the first American woman to climb Mt. Everest. As a result she was offered book deals, speaking engagements, etc. Over time, she honed her writing and speaking skills, which enabled her to make a living in alignment with something she was passionate about — climbing.
She also had to get past huge obstacles including an abusive marriage and a failed first attempt at climbing Mt. Everest. Something most people won’t tell you is that when you get on your path, all the old patterns and ways of doing things that no longer work for you will come up for you to heal or grow beyond so you can be the kind of person who can live out this dream. That is why getting support is so important.
Myth #4: If you follow your bliss, everything will be easy and just flow
This definitely has some truth to it. But again it is oversimplified. If you are doing what feels good to you AND do not have any doubts about your ability to succeed and are not worried about whether it will work or not, and don’t stress out when things don’t go perfectly according to your plan and timeline, et al THEN things will flow. You have to learn how to focus on what you want and not on what you don’t want and to manage stress differently so you can relax. When you do this, things happen with more ease and less effort. Learning how to do this is a journey, not a quick fix. Trust me on that. But it is oh so worth it.
So, what is the bottom line of this message?