When I was little, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher when I grew up. And then I wanted to be a dentist. I would lay my little sister down on the couch, shine a light right onto her little face, and I would pick at her teeth with a toothpick. It felt like my “call”.

When I was a teenager, I did well on the school debate team, and I wanted to be a lawyer.

I have always wanted to be a bagger at a grocery store. Now that we have bag-your-own options, I am living that dream.

When I got to college, I knew that I really wanted to be a mom someday, so I decided to study music – I could be a music teacher in my home, while raising my children.

And that is what I did. I taught piano in NYC for many years. I was good at what I did, and what I did fit perfectly into the life of a mother.

Now that my oldest is in high school and my “baby” is nearly five, I am wondering again, What do I want to do when I grow up? What is my “calling”? What is my purpose?

I heard this quote from Carl Jung recently:

“The greatest tragedy of the family is the unlived lives of the parents.”

C.J. Jung

I want my children to see me reach for my dreams. I want them to also see me fail, and try again, or try something new. I want them to see me respect myself, fulfilled, thoughtful and intentional. I want them to see me live my purpose with confidence – and not just for me and for my benefit, but I want them to see what they can expect of themselves in their own lives.

How do you live your purpose with confidence?

Maybe the first two steps should be to (1) find my purpose and (2) find my confidence. Right? I think those are two different things. We don’t have to know and live your purpose before you have confidence.

“Finding my purpose” I want to leave for tomorrow’s post. Brooke Snow has a brilliant episode on the topic that I want to cover in tomorrow’s post.

But, for today’s purposes, I am going to assert that my “purpose” is to love and serve God, and love and serve our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).

Let’s look at “finding my confidence”. What is confidence:

“A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”

Do I appreciate my own abilities or qualities? Do I trust my own abilities or qualities?

When I was 6 or 7, I trusted my ability to clean my sister’s teeth. I had seen it done before, and I felt it fell entirely in my skillset. I was a confident dentist because I didn’t know better. And was I of service to God? To others? Of course. Not a lot. But I was of course some service to others!

What if I had had no confidence and no skill. I’d be of no service. Even if I had skill, but no confidence. Minimal service. Right?

But with confidence in my abilities and qualities, and abilities or qualities to be confident in, I can offer the greatest service to God, to others, and to myself.

What skills, abilities or qualities do I now have?

  • I can play piano
  • I can make beautiful mosaics
  • I am highly organized
  • I keep a good journal (or five)
  • I am honest
  • I keep a clean home
  • I am a good mom and wife
  • I am a good cook
  • I can keep my promises to myself
  • I can keep my promises to others
  • I am a good friend
  • I am prayerful
  • I am consistent

Yes, these things are what I do. But what is my divine quality – my “true self”, in Brooke’s words?

“Your true self is your divine nature (or divine quality) created by God. Your true self knows truth. Your true self is who the Holy Ghost speaks to. Your true self recognizes the difference between light and dark. Your true self is your highest, best version of you. Your true self is love. Trust THIS self.”

Have confidence in THIS self.

“Trusting the negative voices around us, and the negative voices in our mind, including our own monkey brain, is easy. Have you noticed that? Believing that we are not good enough is, for whatever reason, easier than believing that we are good enough – it takes way less convincing. And those voices require no invitation…

But those are not the only voices we get to experience while trying to live our purpose. There are other voices that communicate with our true self. But those voices require effort to hear. That voice requires us to ‘ask… seek… knock…’.”

The Lord loves effort. And effort leads great people to fulfill their purpose – but only one step at a time, one moment after another, building trust with themselves.

I want to close with our prophet, President Russell M Nelson’s words on effort:

“Of course it’s hard. Everything to do with becoming more like the Savior is difficult. For example, when God wanted to give the Ten Commandments to Moses, where did He tell Moses to go? Up on top of a mountain, on the top of Mount Sinai. So Moses had to walk all the way up to the top of that mountain to get the Ten Commandments. Now, Heavenly Father could have said, ‘Moses, you start there, and I’ll start here, and I’ll meet you halfway.’ No, the Lord loves effort, because effort brings rewards that can’t come without it.”

President Russell M Nelson


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  1. […] DAY #222 TRUST YOURSELF […]

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