Walking Boldly in your Purpose: I failed so I could win

My first work of art was displayed in my daycare for years. Our class was just introduced to finger paints and while the other toddlers in my class choose more abstract styles of painting; I choose to paint my favorite TV character, Clifford the Big Red Dog. The director hung the painting on display at the front of the preschool with me credited as the artist. I made a ritual of stopping to stare at my picture, and read my name with the word artist preceding it. I knew my passion was art and I was sure that it would be my career of choice. That is until my father told me, “You know baby girl, most artists starve their whole lives. And I know how much you like nice things.” As I admired the diamond necklace I was gifted for my twelfth birthday.

Journalism lit me up in my secondary school years. From being a host on the radio show freshman year to writing for the Allen Eagle newspaper and yearbook; a career in writing I was destined to have. I mean it made so much sense. I had always used my writing for entertainment for myself. In middle school I managed to amass a following of over ten thousand kids who waited on bated breath each week for the Degrassi fan fiction posts on my Nickelodeon forum. And to this very day I still have a closet full of old notebooks filled with short stories, fiction novels and poems. Although I stopped pursuing writing as a career when my journalism teacher kindly pulled me to the side one day after yearbook and told me that I was too smart to waste my life on a career in journalism. Apparently it’s a dying field and again most journalists starve for their craft.

It was time to get practical.

When I started college I was determined to be a doctor. I saw my pediatrician practice thriving, my 2.5 children, and doting husband right in my mind’s eye I just had to get through the mountain of schooling. And things were going well, my adoring boyfriend had plans of being my husband and we agreed on the idea of kids, I had a spot in the school of science with a major in biology, I was going to do it. I was going to make this whole “stable ordinary life” thing work.

Then I took chemistry, and plans changed because I mean have you taken chemistry?! I reevaluated my desire for medical school which involved a lot more chemistry, and decided that dentistry would be a better path for me. I mean sure it’s harder to get into dental school than medical school and of course there was more chemistry but I had a plan to live a rational life and I was going to stick to it but again plans changed. Are you catching the overall theme here?

I had to transfer schools.

Unfortunately I didn’t meet the requirements for the school of science and had to pick a place holder major until I could get my math requirement and apply to be a biology major again. So I picked Kinesiology, it had a medical track and I actually liked the description of the course material. I took my first introduction to human nutrition course and fell in love. Utilizing something as simple as how and what people ate to analyze the psychology behind the person opened up a whole new world to me. And I finished my math requirement but after taking Childhood Obesity, I knew I found the right fit and graduated with a bachelor of science in Kinesiolgy.

It was still a social degree but it was social science. Big difference (trust me.)

After graduating, the disappointment of adulthood set in. I found myself being underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked. I knew that whatever career path I choose throughout adolescence, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. The art gallery, magazine, and pediatrician practice were all goals I saw myself working towards after I established myself as an authority in those fields.

I had to make yet another change.

The only hope I had was to invest in myself, so I took a leap. I took certification courses, brushed up on my nutrition material, applied for business certificates, created a website and opened up business accounts. I utilized little pieces of my old dreams to breathe life into my new one. Entrepreneurship presented the opportunity to become the artist, writer, speaker and life changer I always wanted to be.

Whether it’s creating new graphics for my business marketing, writing for my blog and other publications, or working with my coaching and business clients; I am utilizing all the talents I already possessed to make my dreams come true.

My ambitions have come full circle. For so long I was sold the lie that in order to be successful I had to do work that was “sensible.” Sensible got me a job as a receptionist, making just enough money to pay for my monthly expenses and tuition to get a new “sensible career.”

Bold gave me purpose. Being bold enough to amplify my voice in the world gave me an audience. Being bold enough to build a business, gave me a career in a profession that feels like home. Being bold enough to enough to make peace with failure gave me a fire for success that I never knew.

And a realization that I failed so many times before so that I could win right now. I walk boldly in my purpose now, with my intuition, and life experience as my guide.

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

 

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