Are You Avoiding your Life Purpose? - Christine Kane

glamourous-woman-white-textSomewhere along the way, we learn to avoid things that are uncomfortable.

“Hey look at this,” we think. “If I just stay here in the middle – away from the sharp edges – then I don’t get too banged up.”

Slowly, our passions and goals stop being about what we want to create or who we dream of becoming.

Slowly, our passions and goals become more about how to stay safe, or how to avoid the edges.

When the edges sneak up on us anyway – as they tend to do – then we find ways to soften them.

Conveniently, we live in a world that will jubilantly help us soften the edges.

We distract. We eat. We smoke. We drink a glass (or three) of wine before dinner. We become anti-anxiety, anti-depression, anti-mood. We watch hours of stuff that means nothing to us. We soften the edges.

And you know what?

It kinda works.

In the moment, we seem not to get bumped as hard.

Only problem is that as we lose the edges, we also lose the wisdom that the edges are designed to bring.

We lose the intuition that comes from the experience.

We lose the discovery of our own boundaries and preferences.

And we lose the joy that is a natural result of vulnerability, awareness, and energy.

All of this results in losing our awareness of our life purpose, our passion. We lose our clarity, too.

In other words, you can try your level best to stay smack dab in the middle, not bumping into the edges. But one day, it will occur to you that you have avoided so much more in the process. Including your own life.

I am lucky enough to work with some of the most amazing people on the planet in my Uplevel Academy masterminds. These are women and men who run their own businesses. They’re creative. They’re entrepreneurial. They shine. They have big breakthroughs and major victories.

And, of course, they hit edges along the way. (So does their coach!)

In fact, I don’t know a single successful person who doesn’t bump into edges on a regular basis.  It is always tempting to think, “If I’m truly living my purpose, shouldn’t it just always be easy?”

But that’s just that old story we’ve memorized well over the years, trying to keep us safe in the middle of the road, not failing – but never winning either.

If you are reading this, and you know in your heart that you have a big WHY, then welcome and bless your edges. After all, no one succeeds without them.  They are your teachers.

In the comments below, please share an “edge” that has been a great teacher to you – and has ultimately made you more successful!

  • Wendy

    I was laid off from my Director of Finance job in February 2010. I was petrified because it was at the tail end of what we’ve assigned in history as the “Great Recession”.

    I had been an accounting/IT professional for more than 25 years and I could do the work blindfolded…but I never finished my degree and I was bored to tears with that career.

    I was on FMLA leave and seeing a therapist just before I received the certified letter that I didn’t need to return to work. I got focused over the next 6 months and found a wonderful job doing the most fulfilling work I could find using my skill set…but 3 years later, I’m still not satisfied with the work I’m doing or the money I’m earning. It’s a good living but it ain’t me.

    Enter Christine Kane…

    I know EXACTLY where I’m going and I’m clear on what I need to build. Losing the job started me on this path of discovering what I love and what my purpose is. I’m excited to continue that journey in the UYL program.

    Aha’s and validation all over the place, baby!

  • Ramona King

    I’m really good at encouraging people to pursue their joys and desires. I met a woman from Nigeria in married student housing over 24 years ago. She was a great storyteller. I had heard about a National organization of storytellers and that there were tellers who performed at a fee. As much as I wanted to pursue this beyond my own acting (with cast members) I feared being on the stage alone. I encouraged her to look into it and consider performance as an additional source of income. She said she would only do it if I joined her. I did. I did it nervous. When she decided this was not something she would do anymore… I was going to quit. I had a daughter and another child on the way. I told a librarian friend about how much I loved performing on stage. My edge was going it alone…being vulnerable before hundreds and maybe thousands of people. …juggling stage performance with young children. I expected my librarian friend to be sympathetic…she’s seen me perform before… I thought she’d have compassionate words of wisdom. Instead she called me “coward”. Somehow at that moment my edge was a dare to prove her wrong. Maybe she was the person I needed to hear at that moment…maybe she spoke the truth about how I was approaching this. Perhaps I had come face to face with how I had been doing things. For years I would give advice or encourage people to do what they desired because secretly I wanted to do those things and so I’d watch to see if they’d succeed. Later I’d feel some resentment because it wasn’t me. She was right. Although, I hadn’t reasoned all this when she called me “coward”. I just thought “Girlfriend, you are SSSSoooooooo WRONG about me. …and I’m going to SHOW YOU!!!” I’ve been in performance for more than 20 years now. Though I’ve not come full circle to who I truly am in the world. My new edge is really big…. embracing the coward and letting her know that she is more than capable of doing the work. …that failure is a building tool for strong foundations …and that she doesn’t have to prove herself to anyone. …just do the work that feeds her soul and serves for the higher good of all. I’m looking forward to Christine Kane’s program UYL program to guide me through this big edge and the many more to come.

  • Dee

    Help, that’s all I can say. I am bored out of my mind, have been hating working in corporate for years.. I stayed because of being a single mother, I stayed because of financial responsibility even though staying has brought me misery, financial misery and shame.

    I hate doing these jobs, I watch the clock from 8:30am Monday until I can get out at 5pm.
    I’m tired, lost, feeling so trapped. Help.
    I’m alive when I’m with people, hurting, rejected forgotten people, I breathe, I bring joy.. I’m alive. My daughter is in college, she needs financial support, I have no savings, I live paycheck to the next half a paycheck. I cannot go on like this anymore.. I’m trapped, I’m not a young 20 something anymore, I sacrificed everything for my daughter and
    Now I want to live, to breath to simply be..

    I’m unhappy.. How can I live, how can I breathe?
    I’m just sooooo bored with routine.. So bored with monotony,
    I’m scared I will never live.


    • Stefanie

      I don’t have answers, but I want to encourage you. Change can happen. And sometimes it comes quickly and sometimes it comes in small measures. I hope you can spend time volunteering and be around people and things that make you feel alive. At that point you are living. And that can be a baby step to finding the life you want. Things rarely change when we don’t do anything differently. You can do it. Don’t ever count yourself out.

  • Nancy

    I’m living on the edge, right now! For as long as I can remember, I’ve held back and played it safe. I thought that being responsible meant keeping a steady job whether I was happy or not. Then about 5 years ago I began changing. Things began to matter to me. I began to matter to me. Change hasn’t happened overnight though, it’s been a journey and still is. Now instead of running from my fears, I’ve started walking towards them. Still with some trepidation but at least I’m willing to put my toe in the water. 🙂

  • Tracie Thompson

    For much of today I’ve been thinking about the author, Tom Clancy, who just passed away. I didn’t know until I heard it on the news this morning: he’d been an insurance salesman. Tom Clancy, insurance salesman.

    That fact sort of hit me over the head. If he’d seen himself as an insurance guy, that’s all he’d ever have been. And all these years I’ve been seeing myself as the person-who-doesn’t-have-things and the person-who-might-barely-make-it and so of course, I have very little and am barely holding on. Our culture does not expect insurance salesmen to become incredibly successful novelists, and it doesn’t expect artists to thrive both emotionally and financially. I’m starting to expect much better for myself, and am already hitting emotional edges with each forward step.

  • Alle L’Eveille

    Growing up I lived on the edge all the time—there was never a safety zone. I never knew when the rug would be pulled out from under me. But it didn’t make me afraid of the edge. It made me more determined to go to the edge but one of my own choosing.

    As an adult, I tried to create a safety zone. Unfortunately, it took many years to build trust and find a good partner to build a life with. In the intervening years, things were tough, sometimes it was lonely, but I pushed myself a lot into the uncomfortable.

    When I did UYL last year, it wasn’t so much about going to the edge as about peeling away the layers and stuff I had built up to protect myself over the years…I guess that’s an edge too, be accepting and open to the emotions. There’s always a new edge!

  • laurel

    First let me say thank you Christine for the inspiring work that you do. What an exciting journey I am about embark on. I have always considered my life separated into “chapters”. I have been feeling quite unfulfilled for a few years but unable to make a move to change anything as if I weren’t the one in control. Now I feel as if I am about to leap into the next chapter of my life. I am not a business owner right now but I have aspirations to start my own business within the next five years or so. I am a sponge for the direction. Yay!!!

  • Fiona Claire

    As a child all I wanted was to sing and perform – and I did! When I finished high school, I went to uni and started “real life”, suffered a few relationship breakups and lost all belief in my gift to sing and write songs. I got married and had two beautiful children and made a wonderful safe, secure home – that felt completely confining. I started to look for a new direction, but couldn’t find it. The edge showed when I crumbled with nerves when playing “Jingle Bells” on the piano for a bunch of 3 year olds!! One day I came home from a walk and wrote a song – and suddenly knew this was IT. The first time I played my own song in front of people I was desperate for them to love it, so vulnerable! Ten years have passed and I recently had a 5 night season at a renowned cabaret venue in Melbourne Australia of my own songs and stories, complete with myself on piano and two wonderful musicians and the audience loved it and asked for recordings. I have also recently presented a successful song writing course with great results and about to offer a second one. Edges are with me every day, sometimes they are embarrassing and ugly regarding my one fears, but now I know I can’t give in to them, I just have to ride them out. Currently I am using “walking” as a metaphor for the effortlessness needed to achieve success – I am “strolling persistently and enjoyably” to my
    goals! From over here in Australia, you are the only online coach that I have found to be continually inspiring and intelligent. Hope to get over and meet you one day – or maybe you will come over here? ( hint, hint )

  • Lissa Sandler-Founder Web Presence Academy

    I am a part of Christine’s UpLevel Gold Academy and I feel that I am now embracing the edges, even seeking them out. But that is because of Christine’s coaching and teaching. I have grown so much over the last year. But before I joined UpLevel your Business, attended the Live event in Atlanta and joined Gold Academy, I was only a half of my former self. Life had gotten me down, I had lost confidence and my life wasn’t going like I had intended. I didn’t know how to turn it around, I needed support. I found it in Christine and her academy.

    Now I am seeking out ways to challenge myself and dreaming big again. Today I am “all in” and taking risks and leaps everyday.

    I cannot wait to see where I am at in a year with my dreams and visions. At Christine’s Gold event she said that if you are feeling uncomfortable and fear about a big decision you are making, then you might be in exactly the right place for making big change, because making big change can be uncomfortable and to embrace that feeling, don’t be afraid of it. She said it much more eloquently but that is the gist of it. I haven’t looked back, like Christine says above…

    “It is always tempting to think, “If I’m truly living my purpose, shouldn’t it just always be easy?”

    But that’s just that old story we’ve memorized well over the years, trying to keep us safe in the middle of the road, not failing – but never winning either.”

    I want to win!

  • Greta Hillin

    I loved that middle ground that you talked about and for years I built me a little nest there and let the winds of life carry me where ever it thought I needed to be. That all changed when I moved to Weaverville and got connected with the Uplevel programs and decided to be the me that I was always meant to be. Getting out of the middle for me meant accepting that as long as I lived a life that didn’t require other people, I was never going to grow or become anything more that I already was; middle aged and boring. Opening The Knitting Diva has transformed my life and it all started when I reached out to that first person, my business manager Lorraine Chambers, and said “I need help.” Together, along with lots of others along the way who have shown up just when I needed their help, I am now living ‘on purpose.’ It may not look the way I used to dream about, but it is an amazing life and I wouldn’t change a thing! I

    I have a quote at the bottom of my emails that says, “The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be…because of all I may become…I will close my eyes and leap!” I am finally showing up and leaping!

  • Elizabeth Spevack, Founder – Heart and Soul Living

    Such a great article Christine! When I was growing up, I not only didn’t imagine myself being an entrepreneur – I didn’t think it was in me. I would go to university and then pursue the “normal” career path. What I didn’t expect was that somewhere along the way I would start to feel that something was missing from the work I was doing and like it wasn’t what I was meant to be doing…so I started really thinking about a career in coaching. And with 3 layoffs from “day jobs” when I started to veer too far from coaching, it started becoming clear that I would at least have to try this self-employed thing, and in the process I have thankfully found that I have grown SO much as a person in terms of choices I’ve made, vulnerability I’m willing to show and thank G-d so much more!

    • Christine Kane

      Beautifully put, Elizabeth! And so much truth to what you wrote!

  • Paula

    Years ago, during college, my first (and only) parachute jump was one of my life “edges”.
    I had always wanted to do this, so I enrolled in the weekend course. These were the days before you jumped tandem with an instructor.

    There was difference between me and others in the class – I had never flown in a plane. It was 2 thrills in one day! And bragging rights for years that I could say “I’ve flown but never landed.”

    The jump taught me that it isn’t always about being perfectly ready, but seizing the opportunity offered even when you are scared beyond belief.

  • Martina Wald

    Yeah, but…;) whats about effortlessness? What is the difference between “easy” and effortlessness?

    • Christine Kane

      Martina – Great question! Effortlessness means you aren’t STRUGGLING with it all anymore. AND… even when you are in a flow of effortlessness, you can still be navigating the “edges.” This is really the difference between “numbing it all out” and living at full force. Being numb doesn’t mean living effortlessly. it just means you’ve avoided the things that trigger you. Even effortlessness requires that you move through the challenges that arise!

      Make sense?

      • Martina Wald

        Oh my, I totally got it. I wished so much that effortlessness some day becomes easy. I wished that some day I would float through my life like a weightless feather. And you mean this is not going to happen???? Dam it. So I move on to another lesson from you: get comfortable being uncomfortable. Thank you, you wise woman. 🙂 You made my life a lot MORE easIER. 🙂

  • Nina

    When my marriage fell apart a couple of years ago, it ripped open the little cocoon I had been living in that I had used to protect me from all of life’s “edge’s”. I bounced from edge to edge there for a while and felt pretty banged up, and then I stopped and stabilized. I realized that I had not just survived, but that I felt alive and full of energy again. The cocoon was gone, and my butterfly wings were drying and the fresh air felt wonderful. God had not brought me through that time without a purpose, without needing me to wake up and do something more with my life! Thus the seeds of my new life, my new purpose were sown….. and then I discovered Christine…. and now I’m in Uplevel Your Life…. and the rest will be history! 😉