If you have been searching for your calling or personal vocation and still feel that you lack clarity, have you wondered how you can help yourself gain clarity in this process?
In this episode I talk about three reasons we struggle to gain clarity about our personal vocation - a lack of awareness of the scripts that influence our lives; a lack of knowledge about the unique design we have been given; and a lack of interior freedom to be authentic.
Watch the video (without praxis prompts) here.
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00:25 - Introduction
01:01 - 3 Things that Keep Us from Being Our Best Selves
01:26 - 1. Lack of Awareness of the Scripts that Influence Us
09:07 - 2. Lack of Awareness of My Own Traits & Design
13:17 - 3. Interior Freedom to Choose to be Me
20:27 - PRAXIS: Listen. Ponder. Act
24:07 - Conclusion
- As you listened to my sharing in this episode, was there anything that resonated with you?
- Which part was it that resonated with you?
- Which of the three reasons do you think is maybe most relevant to you at this point in your journey?
- Is it a lack of awareness of the scripts that influence how you live your life?
- Is it a lack of knowledge about yourself, your traits and design?
- Or are you really bumping up into a lack of interior freedom in your life?
- Take one concrete action towards either learning more about the scripts that influence your life.
- Do one thing to help yourself grow in interior freedom.
- Start considering what is it that's holding you back from daring to be who you are with a guide.
For full details of this reflection prompt, please see transcript.
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EPISODE 54 | 3 REASONS WE CAN'T FIND OUR CALLING
Freedom freedom, freedom – interior freedom. What's that interior freedom to respond to God's invitation? Interior freedom to say yes even when that yes might put us in opposition with what we have grown to value for comfort, for ease, you know? It's an ongoing process.
Welcome to Becoming Me, your podcast companion and coach in your journey to a more integrated and authentic self. I am your host, Ann Yeong, and I'm here to help you grow in self-discovery and wholeness. If you long to live a more authentic and integrated life and would like to hear honest insights about the rewards and challenges of this journey, then take a deep breath, relax, and listen on to Becoming Me.
[00:01:01] 3 THINGS THAT KEEP US FROM BEING OUR BEST SELVES
Okay, so, briefly, in this video, I want to talk about three things that keep us from really being most fully who we are and being our best selves, being our true selves. You know, being able to be the best gift that our persons and our life can be for the world. Okay, so, three things – just briefly.
[00:01:26] 1. LACK OF AWARENESS OF THE SCRIPTS THAT INFLUENCE US
First, it is our lack of awareness of the scripts that influence us. Okay, so, lack of awareness of the scripts that influence us. What do I mean? We don't grow up in a vacuum, right? So, from our earliest days we have caregivers, we have our families, our parents, we go to school – we have friends, peers, teachers – and we grew up in culture.
All of us have a specific culture; a society in which we grew up in. Maybe those of us who also belong to a particular religion or faith – there is culture there too. Okay, culture within a culture. There is a religious culture. And then there is this more specific culture of our country, our background, our race, et cetera, et cetera – all that creates an environment in which we grow up.
And every environment, with a blend of all these different factors, they have scripts, okay. There are certain values, certain assumptions, presuppositions that are not even necessarily conscious anymore, just because it is, you know, it's like the air that we breathe. Okay, or it's like the water that, you know, the fish swim in.
It's so much a part of us, we are not even aware of it. Now, those scripts tend to value some things more than others. So, for example, just the other day, I was having a conversation with a client, and we were going through her MBTI results – okay, so, the Myers Briggs Typology Index.
So, you know, whether she's an extrovert introvert. And we were just talking about how it's interesting that while both our parents or both our mothers were probably more introverted, they put a lot of value in extroversion – okay, when we are growing up – or I think I was sharing that, that was my experience with my upbringing.
And I think she was sharing that, that's how she did bring up her children, even though she herself is an introvert. Because, she says, it seems like people who don't speak up, people who don't put themselves out there, lose out. Right, so, I don't want my children to lose out. And so, I emphasize the importance and the value of speaking up, of going out there, putting herself out there – you know, taking more initiative, being more visible. Are all these things that she just said – are they valuable?
Yes, of course they are. Right, and for the same reason, my mom used to push me – I remember – or nudge me maybe, you know, to be more vocal, to be less shy about speaking up and being more confident in making my presence felt. By and large, our world today, they do tend to value extroverted qualities, for example. But that doesn't mean that introversion has no value.
And that was what I was talking to my client about, right. Introversion has great, great things to offer the world. For one, without the ability to go within, to reflect deeply, to stay sometimes a bit more still and reflect about, you know, our thoughts and our values – about maybe, you know, thinking about the deeper issues of the world.
All this requires us to kind of retreat inwards and not just always be a person of in-action, right. There needs to be reflection. Without introversion, there would be no depth to our action. So, for example, what's the point of always being able to speak up and make my presence felt if my presence doesn't really bring depth of value, insight, wisdom, for example? I mean, I'll just make a lot of noise, right?
Now, personally, I'm actually naturally an extroverted person. And I used to shun being alone. Also because of my – something else – my loneliness or my wounds. Okay, my brokenness caused me to really be afraid of being alone and having to face my own thoughts and my fears, for example.
But what I'm saying is that learning to turn inwards, for me, as an extrovert, gave me the capacity to make more impact when I do give voice to something, right. And not just impact for the sake of impact. I want to be able to give voice at something that I really have reflected about, that I have pondered about, you know. And if what I have pondered about is coming up, not just from just an afternoon of reflection, but an ongoing practice of living reflectively, then there is something of greater value that I can share.
Right, so, there's value to introversion just as there's value to extraversion. But like I said, by and large, the scripts around us tend to value some traits more than others. In this case, for example, extraversion more than introversion. And when we are not aware of that, what happens is sometimes we can just end up collectively being really, really busy and not really heading anywhere.
Right, so, when it comes to discerning or wanting to seek what is the purpose; the greater purpose of my life, or who am I and what is my life about – how can I be more specific and clear and confident that I am making choices in my life that is aligned to the person I was created it to be. I cannot do that without an awareness of what scripts I have inherited.
What I've been taught to value from my culture, from my family, you know, – everything; my society. Even my religious communities – because there always is some kind of bias because nobody lives in a vacuum, right? So, sometimes the more influential people will have their preferences communicated more clearly.
And then that becomes kind of like the collective script that we inherit. So, one, without an awareness of the scripts that we inherit, we would not be able to even begin to tell the difference between – this is what I've been taught is important or more important, versus is this really me – is this really the person that God created me to be.
Because there's always a chance – in fact, often, there are aspects of my design, my temperament, my motivational design, the spiritual gifts that I've been given, for example, that may not fit that societal script or even, you know, my familial script or even the script that my church community may value. So, if I don't have that awareness of the scripts that I've inherited – the scripts that are influencing my own formation and the way I think about things, I would be hampered in becoming more fully who I am. Okay, because I wouldn't even know if that's really me. So, that's first point.
[00:09:07] 2. LACK OF AWARENESS OF MY OWN TRAITS & DESIGN
Second point; what keeps me from becoming most fully myself would be a lack of awareness or a lack of knowledge of the traits – the design that I have, right? So, it's one thing to become aware of what the scripts are around me.
What, you know, what are the values and the preference that are more approved of, more celebrated in my family, in my community, in my society and culture. But if I don't know my own design, then knowing about the script or being aware of that script, isn't going to really help me become more fully who I am.
Right, so, and this is where a lot of reflection also needs to happen. Pondering, you know, reflectively looking at where – how do I thrive? Where do I thrive? Where is it that I'm most alive? And this influences not just what I do or what I offer others in terms of service. This influences the way that I'm energized, the way that I am nourished – best nourished, the way that I most deeply relate to other people, the way that I most deeply and effectively relate to God, even, right.
If I do not come to a greater understanding of what feeds me best or what can kind of situations, content, what kind of spirituality, for example, helps me to build myself and my relationships with important people in my life, and with God – then I can't really thrive either, right? So, there is a very important component of finding the data, finding ways of understanding who I am.
Okay, and there are also many different instruments out there. Sometimes, for example, strengths finder, you know, different ways of looking at our behaviour in groups and in group dynamics. You know you've heard of maybe the Myers Briggs, like I mentioned – that's one of the instruments that I've chosen to use to look at temperament and personality, motivational design, spiritual gifts.
So, learning about these things and not in silo – okay, so, not in silo, meaning it's not enough to just, oh, I have to know, oh, I have these strengths. Or this is what my temperament or personality is. Or this is what my motivation is. On their own, they don't do very much, do they? We need to see how these different things kind of like come together as clues about the person – the creature that I am, that God has designed.
Right, and we do that in a longer-term process of also coming to accept that this is me, right? Because a lack of acceptance – largely often also due to, let's say, the unconscious scripts that we have inherited – we may reject what is true about ourselves, because they do not line up with what other people want to see about us –
– or other people would prefer us to be right. So, but learning about, let's say, the design that we have in the context also, of growing and self-acceptance and deepening our experience of God's delight in us in the way that he has created us – that's also a very, very important aspect of becoming more, fully alive, more deeply human in the unique way that we were created.
Okay, so, learning about ourselves – the way we are designed. Okay, so, now we have the first point is being aware of the scripts that we inherit, right? So, if we don't have the awareness or the scripts that we inherit, that's going to prevent us from being more fully ourselves. Two: actually becoming aware and learning about the actual design that we have, right – how God created us to be; our uniqueness in the way that we move, think, connect with the world, connect with people, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:13:17] 3. INTERIOR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE TO BE ME
Third point that I just want to talk about in this video – what is it that prevents us from being more fully ourselves? Okay, the best and true self. Undergirding the earlier two points that I said, is ultimately this question; do I have of the interior freedom to choose to be aligned with the self that God created?
You know, do I have the interior freedom to be who I was created to be? Because even if I become more aware of the scripts around me, that I have inherited, you know – the influences around me, the preferences that people have for me, for example – even if I am aware of that. And even if I begin to be aware of, you know, the way that I'm created – even if I learn more about my motivational design in my personality, my temperament, and how I pray best and relate best.
If I do not have – and this is the third point – the interior freedom to choose to be true to the way I was created, I'm still not going to thrive. I'm still not going to be more fully the person, the human being that God created me to be. That would mean I would still not flourish – and isn't flourishing.
It's not just for me – because I'm not flourishing. It means that I am not pouring out my life, the gifts, the love that I am meant to pour out into the world in the best way – I mean the best, but also the most abundant way that I can. Because that's the way that God designed me to be a gift in the world.
Right, that's the me that God delights in, that He invites me to delight in, as well. And that is the me that God invites me to be unapologetic about being. If I do not have that freedom to choose to be this person, even, for example, when there's pushback from others because that's not the way things are done or that's not the way we want you to be, that's not how you're going to get ahead in the world, et cetera, et cetera – right.
If we cannot have the freedom to have the integrity to be who we are, the courage to be who we are, then we will still not thrive. How do we get that interior freedom? Well, that's the whole process of – that's a lifetime journey of the interior life, right?
I mean, that's what I'm trying to share about. And practically everything that I put out, right – in terms of content or in terms of my coaching, in terms of whatever I do teach – it's always something around how can I become clearer about who I am, about the influences in my life that may prevent me from being who I was created to be.
And how can I grow in that interior freedom so that I can be more authentic, right? More truly me. I can be more whole; actually my wholeness, or the degree in which I'm integrated and whole is also the degree often in which I can choose to be me. I'm able to have that freedom to choose to be me.
And that is couched in my personal redemption. You know, God setting me free – Christ, setting me free to live the life that He wants to live in me. Right, so, if you have been wondering, you know - a lot of people I know desire to know what is their call, for example, you know, what is their vocation – they want to know that, but then they can't actually make progress towards that.
If they're very honest, you know, with themselves, they'll find that I'm still clueless. I'm still feeling very overwhelmed about everything that I need to do from day to day. I still don't have greater clarity about who I am. I do not feel that I am living that abundant life that Christ said he came to give me. Why is that?
Very often, even when people are putting in the effort to get to know God better, to deepen their prayer life and all these are wonderful things – wonder, wonderful things. And they are important aspects of the journey, right? Why they can't get that clarity? It's because of the three points that I've just mentioned.
Okay, no one's guiding them, or they don't know how to become more aware of the scripts that influence them. They don't know how to go about systematically learning about the person that they are – that they were created to be. Because that's going to give you real data when you need to discern about is something for me or not.
Right, I need to have something to compare it with – the invitation or the call versus the person that I am getting clearer about who I am, right. An ongoing, consistent development of understanding of who I am. And three, of course, all these are of the points. They can't really be exercised if I do not grow in freedom.
Freedom freedom, freedom – interior freedom. What's that interior freedom to respond to God's invitation? Interior freedom to say yes even when that yes might put us in opposition with what we have grown to value for comfort, for ease, you know? It's an ongoing process. It is not immediate. So, I want to really emphasize that there is no one retreat or one process or program that can bring us from beginning to the finished product – no. It's a lifelong process. But there can be good and very helpful tools that we can pick up to help us learn about this.
And that would require not just the tools of faith and spirituality and religion, but also understanding more about psychology – about trauma, about our wounds, about how our families of origin and everything in our upbringing influence and shape us, and often distort us and distort our image of God, and distort our relationship with God and with others.
You know, and somehow all of that – all of that in a process. So, I hope that this video has helped you to get maybe a little bit clearer as to why you may be lacking momentum in discerning who you really are or discerning, you know, kind of like what's your place in the world and the call that God has really given you.
And I'm not talking just about a generic – am I called to be married or a religious or a priest – but really that personal vocation, right? That unique, unrepeatable, gift of love that you; your whole person and whole life, your whole life story is meant to offer the world and the kingdom of God.
[00:20:27] PRAXIS: LISTEN. PONDER. ACT.
Here are the practice prompts for this episode. One: Listen – as you listened to this episode, was there a particular part that really resonated with you? Which part was that?
Two: Ponder – in this episode, I talked about three reasons why we could be having difficulty finding our calling. Which of these three reasons do you think is maybe most relevant to you at this point in your journey? Is it a lack of awareness of the scripts that influence your decisions and how you live your life? Is it a lack of knowledge about yourself? – About the way that God designed you. Or are you really bumping up into a lack of interior freedom in your life?
Three: Act – now, based on your answer to the previous question, I invite you to take one concrete action towards either learning a bit more about the scripts that influence your life – or becoming more conscious of that. Or 2: invest in some resource, some program or some coaching that helps you learn a bit more about the way you are uniquely designed.
Or 3: do one thing to help yourself grow in interior freedom. Now, of course, to do this, to grow into your freedom, presupposes that you also grow in awareness of what it is that is keeping you unfree. Now, personally, this is a question that I have never sought to try and answer purely on my own because we cannot see what we cannot see.
We often do not know what we do not know, right? It's similar to the first point about the live scripts that are operating, you know, in our life, without our full consciousness. So, but we can often at least acknowledge that we experience that we are not free and we can begin to look at the reasons why.
So, I invite you to maybe start considering with the reasons why, or what is it that's holding you back from daring to be who you are, and then consider, in order to go a little deeper, asking this question with a guide, okay? Whether that is a spiritual guide or a mental health professional, or, you know, a therapist or a mentor or a spiritual companion who has mature the journey.
This is a question that you will have to keep considering and keep coming back to. So, that's it for this episode, I hope that it has reminded you of why it is that you are on the interior journey and why it is that we talk about what we talk about on this podcast. Now, this episode is actually the audio tracked from a video that I made. And if you would like to watch that video. You can find the link in the show notes below.
hank you for listening to Becoming Me, where new episodes drop every first and third Wednesdays of the month. Remember, the most important thing about making this journey is to keep taking steps in the right direction. No matter how small those steps might be, and no matter where you might be in your life right now, it is always possible to begin.
The world would be a poorer place without you becoming more fully alive. Don't forget to visit my website at becomingmepodcast.com and to subscribe to my newsletter as well as to this podcast. Until the next episode, Happy becoming!