It happens to all of us- we think we know what God wants for us, where He wants us to go, and what our goals are, but then we wonder why we're doing something that isn't suited to us, and feel totally lost. We just follow everyone else down the same road we always go- and we can't always find a way out.
As for me, when I get into a rut, my thoughts run much like the internet search engines- I ask myself where I want to go and where God wants me to be, and I get a bazillion different options- much like a rat in a maze the size of a football field. And God doesn't always answer us. He likes us to work things out on our own sometimes- that's how we grow. A pain in the patookus, but there it is.
But how do we get back to where God wants us? We need to start looking at our passions. These are the things that God drives us to do- things we get excited about. It's hard to do a good job with the gifts God gave us if we have no passion- we might as well be zombies!
It took me a while to figure this out (the free ebook Flip The S.W.I.T.C.H. had a lot to do with it), but after a lot of soul searching (and talking to others about what they see) it came down to four things:
Making others laugh
Articulate (making sure I'm understood)
LOVE to talk!
The next thing I did was to write down the possibilities that used all four of these gifts. This is what I came up with:
Author/writer (for the talking, that would be book signings and radio spots)
Out of all of these, only one requires me to be on my behind. the other four require a major challenge! Why? Because I have serious trouble speaking in front of crowds. After speaking with others who do seminars for a living, I learned that they also fight their fears when speaking in public, so I was not alone. All I had to do was conquer my fear (or at least tame it), which is somewhere between bed-wetting and a near death experience. No biggie.
Yes it was scary, yes there was a fear of failure (not to mention success!), but when it came down to it, I felt I could do any of these things because I was passionate about doing them. And that's all that matters.
I've done things I liked doing. I've done things because I made money. But I've never done anything business-wise with my passions. Train yourself to use those passions in the business world first, and not let the money be the reason for doing it. If you do, passion will fly merrily out the window. Do it for free at first, get better at it, then the money will come. This is what the other experts have told me when I spoke with them. And since they're the ones with the money and not me (yet!), I'm going to listen!
Try making your own list. Take away all the barriers (oh, I can't do that because of this, my parents/husband/boss wants me to do this instead, etc.) and write down everything you're truly passionate about. What makes you excited when you think about it? What gets your juices flowing? Write it down, and then see what possibilities can be found using as many of them as possible. You might be surprised too!
If you asked me five years ago if I would consider speaking in any form, I would have said 'Not in a million years!' Now? Let's just say I'm looking into options to learn how to speak without fainting or stuttering like a jackhammer. And who knows? Maybe God can use me to teach His lessons through laughter!