8 Ways to Step Into Your Power and Draw your Own Life Map
"I went WITHIN, I reconnected to my dreams, to the things that called me, to MY purpose"
I spent the majority of my life looking outside of myself to determine my trajectory. I looked to my parents, my older sister, my friends, school, society, you name it, to figure out the next right step to take. I was the girl who asked everyone else what they thought about my choices or decisions. It was almost as if I was asking for some sort of permission to proceed forward or validation that I was making the right choice. I was a good student, worker, daughter, and friend. I always strived to do the “right” thing, and the times I didn’t, I immediately course-corrected.
Listen, I was far from a saint. But I was, for the most part, a rule follower and adhered to what was expected of me. I willingly traversed the safe, almost predictable path before me, using the voice and outer expectation of others as my compass. I was responsible and let the idea of what others thought I should be doing superseded the small, still voice inside of me that wanted something different. That voice yearned for adventure. That voice wanted to go away to school, study abroad, help others, save the world and knew I was here to do BIG things. But I allowed that voice to be silenced so that I could more fully hear the outer world around me that I believed surely knew better. So, I took the map that was handed to me.
Following someone else’s map or idea of what your journey should look like may work for some time, but more likely than not, like me, you will reach a point in your life when you wake up and realize that the life you have been living isn’t your own. This happened to me well into my first job out of college. I was excited and content in my job, but as the years went by I lost my spark. I worked for someone who didn’t see my value and as a woman and mother in a male-dominated industry, I was made to feel less than. I had taken the safe sales job when I had majored in broadcast journalism, and all the while, I felt called to something but wasn’t sure what that something was. The feeling was a constant nagging, that grew louder into outward dissatisfaction with my job, and it roared when I couldn’t push myself any further to continue working somewhere I knew I no longer belonged and had to make a different choice. I could no longer ignore what life was trying to tell me.
Following a failed promotion, I finally realized that I was, in essence, following a generic map of life. A map that told me which path to take, what terrains to avoid, where the perceived treasures were hidden, that I thought would lead me on a perfect journey to this magical place of arriving. It hadn’t, and I was miserable because I had listened to everyone else but myself.
So, I took a big step into unknown territory and left my job. More importantly, I went WITHIN, I reconnected to my dreams, to the things that called me, to MY purpose. I found myself outside of what I “should” be doing and started focusing on what lit me up. I focused on where the breadcrumbs in my life had been leading me, the skills at which I was naturally good, and the deep-seated desires in my heart that yearned to help others and be of service to the world. I slowly shut off all the outside noise and started listening to my own inner voice again. It beckoned me to, “remember who you are.”
In all of this, there was a reclaiming of power, a power I had so willingly given up to everyone else in deciding what they thought was best for me. I am in no way blaming as I made choices that were meant to keep me safe, unexposed, quiet, and, quite frankly, small. I also realized that any advice I had been given was truly rooted in love and perceived safety. I started creating my own map to traverse, baby step by baby step. The path led me to life coaching and using my gifts in helping those I serve. More importantly, it led me to me, the authentic, true me, the me that I’m here to be.
The reality is that no one is going to hand you “your” map. They will attempt to hand you a copy of theirs, society’s, or an idea of what yours should look like, but none of those is yours. You create your own map for every step you take. You don’t have to wait to be out of college or have everything figured out before you start it. It’s like having a blank canvas and painting it layer by layer, section by section. The scenery only appears as you step into it. The best time to start it is now.
So how do you create your own map? The one that lights you up, the one that has been planted in your heart, the one that only you can traverse.
Well, let’s start by listening to our own hearts. This isn’t to say that you don’t take the wisdom learned from those who came before you. This is taking those nuggets of wisdom, lessons learned, and finding your own truth and way forward with that wisdom. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without knowing that you need a parachute, would you? Good. While I won’t even attempt to hand you your map, I will offer you some guidance in creating your own.
Creating Your Own Map
1. Get Still & listen
Clear your head and sit with the silence. This is how we train ourselves to hear those whispers of our hearts before they become unbearable roars.
2. Trust Your Body
Feel into whichever decision lays before you. Can you imagine each choice and feel into it? Does your body tense up? Do you feel light and expansive? Our body holds more wisdom than we give it credit for. Learn to follow its cues. It only works if you get out of your head, into your heart, and body.
3. Summon the Courage to Honor your Truth & Speak It When Necessary
Do you really want to study art, but your family has a long tradition of medicine? Does pursuing art feel like what you’re being guided to? When you think of pursuing this path are you filled with joy? Share your truth with those you love even if they don’t agree because it’s worth a conversation.
4. Have Fun Paving your Own Path
Traversing the unknown is scary but so is living your life for everyone else, but you. Life’s a journey so have fun and create it.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Redirect or Change Course When Necessary
Every single step we take leads us closer to where we need to be. Sometimes we’re given small steppingstones to get there that doesn’t make any sense until we look back, detours and all.
6. Perceived Failure is Only Feedback
Things won’t always work out for you in the way you anticipated. They’re not supposed to. You get to learn from what you did and choose to go about it differently the next time.
7. Be True to YOU, the Real, Authentic TRUE YOU
Not the mask or roles you play to be accepted or loved. Be the YOU, you came here to be because no one else can do it for you.
8. Always Use your Heart as Your Compass
Believe it or not, your heart knows the way.
I hope you tap into your courage to create your own map before you. I hope you have the will to forge a new path for yourself if you feel like the one you’re on isn’t yours. I hope you know you are needed in all your glory for the good of all. I hope you learn to trust your innermost compass and allow it to direct your life. Create your map because it’s fun and that way, it’s also yours.
Compass Rose International inspires young women to connect to their greatest potential, dreams, and passions. Our programming gives them a means of calibrating back to their True North, and to show up unapologetically as purpose-driven leaders.