From Perfection to Purpose (3 Steps)

by Kristen on September 26, 2014

In my last blog post I shared some of my journey as I moved from perfection toward purpose. It hasn’t been easy. In the last several months, I’ve moved into a whole new level of letting go of perfection. I’ve let go of what I thought my business “should look like,” where it “should be by now,” and what my life “should look like by now.”

This month I sublet my New York City apartment to cut expenses while I restructure my business model. This was super hard for me – in “my perfect life” I have a fabulous NYC apartment and I’m engaged by now and wildly in love. And my business is in a place where I can work less and make more because I have the perfect team in place and the perfect business model.

Not what happened.

Instead, I’m reconfiguring my business model and my team (I knew I didn’t have the right people in place to really “go big.”) I’m recently single and not even dating (I knew we weren’t a complete match and I wasn’t willing to become a different person or ask him to either.) And my apartment is presently in someone else’s hands while I build a more aligned business model.

This is what I call an upgrade.

It was time for me to get a better vehicle for me to drive my purpose into the world. Removing situations that aren’t aligned is like trading in your old car so you can get a better one. This is how you #liveonpurpose.
(Click it to Tweet it.)

It’s important to me that I build something that allows me to give my purpose AND serves others by delivering what they need. Business coaching wasn’t it. And while branding is close, it allows me to only serve entrepreneurs. I know there’s something bigger here. And I’m taking this time to uncover what that is.
As part of “the work” there are tons of exercises I’ve done, friends I’ve received support from, meditations and journaling I’ve done. But I wanted to give you a sneak peak inside the 3-core On-Purpose Practices I learned that keep me moving forward and let me know I’m on track.

1. Practice Vulnerability.
When I was striving for perfection, I attracted a lot of clients and friends who expected that from me. In the process of letting them down I learned that at the root of perfectionism is not letting people see “the real me.” When I got vulnerable with clients they had room to go find the right person to help them. And when I got vulnerable with my friends, it meant they could actually be there for me.

Take action now: Pick 3 close family members or friends and tell them you want to figure out your purpose. And that you would love any reflection and feedback they have about what gift you bring to their lives.

2. Look for patterns.
Last December when I became clear that my current business model wasn’t aligned with my purpose, the thing that revealed it was writing out what I most wanted to teach and share. And looking for where and when I was MOST on fire in my business.W140530ClaireMorrisPhotography_100
A core belief I have purpose is that when you give it to the world, it will give fulfillment back to you

Take action now: Write down the list of things that have made you feel deeply fulfilled on a soul level over the course of your life. Ask one of the friends and family members you were vulnerable with to help you look for patterns. What feeling or experience do all of these have in common? THIS is what you’re here to help others have too.

3. Celebrate the good and the bad; past and present.
This week on twitter someone asked me about my biggest setback, how I got through it, and what inspired me to keep going. I know from having coached my clients around this that all of it – every hardship, every win, every part of my life experience — was designed so I can be the best I can be at giving my purpose to serve others.

Right now in my business, I’m in a transition that some may see as a “failure.” In fact I did too at the end of last year. But I know that when I celebrate the good and bad, past and present – the reality is that even this transition was designed for me to better give my purpose to the world.

Our ability to have our tribes trust us as we lead them through the places that scare them is reinforced by our ability to show them that these places aren’t only survivable but that there is thriving on the other side.

What profound shift might occur if instead believing “It’s all falling apart” you instead chose to believe “It’s all coming together. And this is what that feels like”?
(Click it to Tweet it.)

After I complete the purpose work with my clients, every single one of them knows that their “negative” experiences in life had to happen for them to be able to do their purpose in the world. I trust that it’s the same with me.

Take action now: Go back to a moment in your life that sucked for you. Take 10 minutes to journal about it. Write about how it made you stronger – and not only stronger – but THE ideal vessel for giving your purpose to the world. What did that experience uniquely design you to give and teach others?

I share this with you because I want you to see how “not perfect” things actually are for “successful” people behind the scenes. I know from conversations with my “successful” peers that they are no different than you or I when it comes to having a life that feels aligned with their purpose. The vulnerable truth here is that staying on purpose in your life and in your business is a practice. We’re not going to nail it every time. It’s trial and course-correct. I want you to know what it looks like “on the inside” so that you can be inspired to keep going as well.



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