2020 has brought a lot of change to many people. We have faced a global pandemic, a historic presidential election, wildfires, loss, and so much more. So many of the things we relied on as creature comforts have changed or gone away. Many, including myself, have experienced job loss. So much uncertainty can create fear, and rightly so. But during change, we can find ourselves. The incredible opportunity that change brings is the chance to re-examine our lives, our routines, and habits. We get a chance to evolve and edit our lives.
At the end of 2019, a dream was placed in my heart to step out on my own and start a career and life coaching business. I remember distinctly hearing a small voice say, “trust me.” I felt excited by this voice. I felt hope. And I started. I set up my website, email, and then I did nothing…
Well, that is not true. What I ended up doing was choosing fear. I allowed the circumstances of my life to dictate my next steps.
Let me back up a bit.
For years, my husband and I moved from city to city, building our careers and trying to prove we were smart, worthy, and successful. Both my husband and I did not go to college after high school like many our age. As a first-generation Latinx woman, my parents were unable to save for a college education. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to go to college after high school, I mean no one else in my family had a college education, except for one of my cousins who I was not close to, but always admired from afar.
College felt like a luxury. I was street smart, creative, and fearless (who isn’t at 18?) and I was going to be a famous make-up artist anyway, right?
Well, as one learns, a lot changes in life and I ended up deciding at 26 years old, that I would enroll in college after watching a commercial that promised to change my life. I took my first steps toward a life in law enforcement. I had always wanted to help people, especially in my community but I was not sure how. I figured that law enforcement was the best way. I signed all the documents and launched myself into student debt. I completed my A.S. Degree in Criminal Justice but quickly realized I did not want to pursue a career as a police officer.
I entered the Social Services arena and found a lot of joy helping many whose circumstances were out of their control. Some parts of this job were dangerous, especially when dealing with angry teenagers in the “system”. A mentor asked me what I was going to do with my life if I got injured in my line of work? I had never thought about it. In fact, I never thought about my future. I really did live day to day. I just sort of drifted into all things I did.
My parents never spoke to me about education or having a career path. They did not go to college, so they didn’t know what college involved. They built their lives working with their hands for a living, and it brought us an exceptionally good life. What I found out about myself was that I loved learning, and I loved a challenge. I decided to visit a local employment agency to get a job. Isn’t that how it works? You just sign up, and they give you a job? Well, at that time, that is what I thought it was. I entered the building and met with the Recruiter. She asked what skills I had. “I’m a fast learner, smart, and helpful.” She was kind not to laugh right into my face. “No, what technical skills do you have? Do you understand Excel, PowerPoint?” I did not, I was devastated. She gave me some skill tests to take home and I was determined to learn.
To my surprise a few days later I got a call asking if I would be the Office Coordinator, they liked my personality and my willingness to learn. I quickly said yes and leapt into the role. At the same time, the Market was crashing. Within a year our office closed, and I was laid off. I ended up going back to my previous company, and now with HR experience, I was offered an opportunity as a Training Manager. I was able to bridge the gap between staff members and corporate and create online trainings. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew these trainings were needed, and they needed to be automated.
I was scared every day that I wasn’t good enough, that I would fail, but I kept going. I had another mentor tell me to spread my wings and build my career. After all, I wasn’t 21 anymore. I was 28 and just starting out and I was feeling the pressure. I committed to myself that I would jump into every opportunity that came my way that offered me a chance to grow.
So, I took the leap, I grew my career quickly, and was given some amazing opportunities at amazing companies. During that time, my husband also changed his career and decided to launch his own business. We went from a two-income home to a one-income household, with soaring debt, and a baby on the way. I allowed the pressure to take its toll and wreck my health.
In 2018 I was recruited to a Cannabis Company in a totally new city, with amazing people. Once again, we took the leap, and off we went. This was an amazing company, and I was able to create a lot of change, but our industry lacked stability and many people had to be laid off. I was terrified. My husband wasn’t working, we had mounting debt, we were trying to buy a home. Yikes…
I prayed, I cried, and I asked God to help me. What am I to do? He said you need to have faith. Not crazy major faith. No, just faith as small as a Mustard Seed. Back to the rush of joy. I was on fire until I opened up the bills.
Then, I took the phone call from the recruiter. “We have a wonderful opportunity with a major retailer, we think you would be a perfect fit.”
I struggled and did not believe God would help me with The Mustard Seed Project. The bills were mounting. I was afraid. I went to the interview. Immediately, I did not feel aligned, but I pushed through anyway. I made concessions for the company, and their leadership, and I muscled through it anyway, just like I have with so many other things I have done. I took the job.
I knew this job would mean putting my dreams on hold, but I told myself that the money would help the family out of debt. It was selfish to follow my dreams and not provide in this substantial way. Well, all I can say is that when God calls you, he calls, you. He allows you to make your own decisions, but he has a way of bringing you back.
I lost that job in August 2020.
After a month of clearing my head, I decided I would face my fears and I would start The Mustard Seed Project. I would help people avoid the challenges I faced in my career and help them navigate the complex Talent Acquisition processes companies put in place to “find the right kind of people.” I would help people move their mountains.
The point I am trying to make is that life changes, we get scared. Fear has a powerful grip, but we can make changes. We can go after our dreams. I just turned 39, and here I am, living my true purpose. I am still scared, but I made a commitment that I would do it afraid. I will extend grace to myself and congratulate myself for all I have been through. No matter what, I am successful, not because of my status, but because I decided to follow my beliefs, my passion, and I found my purpose.
Ask yourself? What can I do with my one precious life? If you don’t feel aligned, and your soul feels sad and tired, it might be time to ask yourself - What if?
Yes. You might be scared.
But what if it works?
What if you make it?
What if you move your mountains?
I believe the power is inside of you. You have been skillfully and wonderfully made, and you have a purpose to fulfill. The world is better because you are in it. When you feel afraid, do it anyway. Take one small step towards your purpose and feel the momentum build. You can move your mountains!