By Alecia Rice
Q: I’m realizing that I have a gift for speaking & writing. I’m able to convey information with words in a way that is helpful & captivates, yet I’m stuck; I have this limiting belief that my value lies in conveying content that I’ve learned; almost as if I have to reference someone or something else. Do you have any tips for building confidence around the value of MY ideas, information, and experience? — Shy Captivating Speaker
A: Dear Shy Captivating Speaker,
I intimately understand your situation because I’ve been there. I still struggle with confidence off and on as I stretch myself into new situations.
If we never experience discomfort, then we’re probably playing in the safe zone. My best counsel is to start consciously putting yourself out there more, even if it’s just with baby steps.
As with so many things, we always feel a bit vulnerable and insecure when we have a paradigm shift and start to stretch out into something different than we’ve done before. It’s hard to feel confident doing something that’s new. When a muscle has been underused, we need to start exercising it, because a sense of empowerment and self-assurance generally rises with exposure.
Your confidence will build with practice over time…maybe even sooner than you think, once you see how often your content is passionately received by others.
Q: So many are suffering and struggling. I want to help, but I’m overwhelmed and finding it hard to decide where to make donations or put my energy. Any suggestions? — Good Samaritan
A: Dear Good Samaritan,
There are extensive needs out there, and it can be tricky to find a way to respond that makes us feel like we’re consciously making a difference. So many people are suffering from compassion fatigue, from continuous weather catastrophes, conflicts, and the oppression of people, piled on top of the “Us vs Them” landscape of politics, healthcare, racial inequality, sexism, education, etc. Phew! It’s difficult to simultaneously process it all and we’re often stranded and feel overwhelmed when trying to choose what to address.
We can’t possibly address them all, so it’s best to pick a few topics that tug at our hearts where we feel called to put our money, words and energy to effect change. These are our personal passion projects. I generally recommend keeping support local where we can see the direct impact upon the people in our community. An even better option for me lately is to be responsive to individuals, where the impact is more tangible and personalized. It’s more gratifying than pushing money into a mega-organization where few resources actually make it to the people we want to help.
Regardless of what we see on the surface that seems so very tragic, I have hope and faith that all that’s rising to the surface will cause us to eventually have conversations—not arguments like we’re currently having—to effect change. Often things have to get worse before they get better. I believe that all of this is leading us to a more enlightened place as we stumble and create our pathways through the seeming darkness.
Q: I feel like a compass without a direction. How do I find my purpose in life? — Lacking Purpose
A: Dear Lacking Purpose,
In the famous, simple words of Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss.”
You come programmed with passions that light the path you’re meant to walk. This is your first clue for direction and fulfillment.
Ask yourself what you’re good at. Is there something that you are or that you do that people ask for your help with? If so, that’s another clue. If you still come up empty, ask people who know you well what they think is special about you. You may get some reflections that surprise you.
I would also recommend that you meditate on this question. Don’t judge what arises regardless of how far-fetched it may seem. Honor all inspirations equally and simmer with them from there.
Our purpose in life is to love and find connection with people and nature. Regardless of anything else, if we are this, we are living our ultimate purpose.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective and clarity. She’s a personal advisor, speaker and gatherer of women. For perspective on life issues, you’re invited to text questions and comments to 681-321-1109. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.