Peggy Marshall

Living into Your Passions


“Allow your passion to become your purpose and it will one day become your profession.”
-Gabrielle Bernstein

If I were sitting with you and asked “are you living into your passions”, what would your response be?  Would you be able to answer that question quickly and clearly or would you need time to think about it?  February is the month that we associate with love and passion and this blog will focus on how to live more deeply into our passions.

The first roadblock to living passionate is a variety of fears.  Sometimes we fear identifying and living into our passions because we believe that others will not accept us.  In working with a client recently this was a real belief for her.  She was living her parents view of who she was and what she should be doing with her career.  It was only when she was able to have a frank conversation with her parents about the direction she wanted to take her life and as well as the support needed from them that she was able to make movement toward alignment with her passions.

A second reason people don’t live into their passions is that they don’t actually think they can.  They have beliefs and limitations that block their ability to both identify and then live into passions.  Afraid of being disappointed if they cannot live passionately clients will often share with me all of the risks and roadblocks to successfully identifying what makes them come alive. This actually creates a downward cycle of not being able to believe in their own passions because others including the media have told them that it is not possible to live passionately.

Cheryl Richardson’s shares in “Take Time for Your Life”  that people face seven common obstacles that prevent them from living their best life which could include doing the work they love.  The list includes; difficulty putting self first, a schedule that does not reflect priorities, feeling drained by people or situations, living on Adrenalin, lack of a support community, and putting their spiritual well-being last.  We have already discussed lack of a support community so let’s reflect on the others.  There are individuals who are so focused on others’ dreams and successes that they don’t take the time to focus on their own.  They might even believe that it is selfish to spend time focusing on themselves when they are counted upon to support others.  Bill George in “True North” , Tom Rath in “Well Being”, and Peter Boren in “Rituals for Living”  all have models for identifying what lights up your passions as well as helping readers to evaluate the amount of time spent in these spaces.  These authors provide a great first step for thinking about what it means to live fully and passionately.  It is in giving yourself permission to take the time to reflect about where you are and where you want to go that underlying passions can emerge.  I strongly encourage you to download the ebook available with Peter Boren’s reference.  It is 28 pages of digging deeper into your own life to identify passions and what truly matters to the you.

Gay Hendricks  adds that many people function in a zone of excellence in which they perform their roles extremely well yet are not emotionally connected to the work. When we are in our zone of excellence we can be incredibly successful which is why it is called a “trap”.  I see this frequently when coaching clients.  When brainstorming with them, they continue to come back to something they are good at and even excel at despite feeling like something else is calling them.  Hendricks challenges us to move out of our zones of comfort and excellence into our zone of genius.  When we are in the zone of genius we are passionate about what we are doing and are drawing upon our many gifts and strengths.

Check your fears around living a passionate life and then build a plan for moving beyond them.  As a coach, I always recommend starting with the easiest or less life changing passion such as identifying a passion that can be turned into a hobby.  If you love art, take art classes, spend more time in museums, and engage in activities that fuel your passion.  It’s a small step in the direction of aligning your life with what you are most passionate about!

To Your Success!

Dr. Peggy