I was 22 with $300 in my bank account when I took the leap.
Fresh out of college and working for a local magazine publishing company in Pittsburgh, I was young and hungry, and my ambition was getting the best of me. I was working evenings and weekends, going above and beyond to exceed my and my employer’s expectations, inventing new roles for myself within my job and presumably trying to mine for the joy in quicksand. I knew that it was just a j-o-b, and I also knew that I always wanted to be an entrepreneur.
And yet, my fierce passion and determination to succeed in all that I did was burning me out, and I knew it wasn’t sustainable. I needed to find MY work. The “work” that felt like play, that felt energizing instead of depleting, and that fulfilled me on a soul level. Like many ambitious women, I’ve never been willing to settle for less than the best it could possibly be.
I had been vision-boarding since I was 15, scouring the self-help and spirituality section at bookstores since age 9, and attending angel readings and reiki circles with my mom since I can remember. In many ways in my life, I had been set up and prepared with the perfect elixir of desire, knowledge and confidence to pursue my deepest calling, just as we all are.
But the “what” and “how” were feeling murky, and my reality wasn’t matching up to the ridiculously big dream I felt bubbling up from my heart. I had just crashed my car during a Sunday morning wake-up call en route to yoga and knew that this meant something big had to change. I was going through the motions of my life instead of fully living it, and I didn’t feel I was contributing the full spectrum of my gifts and potential.
I knew I was meant for more and remembered that my favorite college professor had told me about one way to apply my passion and affinity for the field of positive psychology into a career path: coaching. I began researching ravenously, looking into certification programs and Googling other coaches to see what kinds of lifestyles they were living, services they were offering and reading their stories. I found a program I loved, signed up, and nine months later, decided to leave my j-o-b and go all-in with my business, trusting the phrase my mom always repeated, something about when you follow your calling the money will always appear – and it did.
Opportunities to share my message, new clients and inspired ideas came flooding in once I created the space for them and said “YES” to my calling to encourage and support ambitious women entrepreneurs to shift from hustle to flow through my coaching business.
Every woman I speak to has shared with me a yearning for something more, deeper and bigger than what she feels she can handle at the time. In other words, through the lens of her current reality, this big calling feels nearly impossible.
And yet, that’s the beauty of a calling. Callings invite us to leap, to trust, to grow. They also initiate us into our full power, potential and contribution. Within your calling lives all the energy you need to make it possible. You just have to answer the call. And the truth is, the world can’t afford to wait for you to come out of hiding, to share your gifts and to be a beacon of light for those whom you’re meant to serve, support and lead.
Why not make today the day you finally answer your calling and set your intention to be devoted to it, no matter what? It’s not that this act comes unaccompanied with fear, or self-doubt, or maybe even questioning whether we’re the women for the job.
But despite our natural human tendency and response to playing bigger in our lives, true fearlessness is a choice to be more loyal to the calling than to the fear that accompanies it. The fact that the fear is showing up for you in the first place signifies that the calling is the exact thing you must do. If it weren’t alive and buzzy with excitement, it wouldn’t be right for you, and it wouldn’t help you grow. And for the moments when the illusion of FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) has you in its grip, repeat this to yourself:
My calling is trustable.
My calling has chosen me for a beautifully specific reason.
I have been perfectly set up to carry the torch for my cause.
As I answer my calling, the resources I need are activated to make it possible.
Emily Cassel is a Leadership + Business Coach for ambitious and high-achieving women entrepreneurs across the globe. Through private coaching, a high-level mastermind, an on-site business accelerator, and live experiences, Emily helps women-owned businesses and their teams shift out of hustle mode and into a state of freedom, flow and fulfillment so that they can launch, scale and grow businesses that do good by doing well. Emily is also the host of the podcast Sexy Soulful Success, where she facilities visionary conversations with women entrepreneurs and leaders that redefine success and womanhood for modern-day change-making women. Learn more at www.emilycassel.com.