5 Ways You Refuse Your Calling (And What You Can Do About It)

Do you want to find your true calling and make it your day job or business?

I'm sure you, like most people, answered Yes. The problem is, The Voice of Yes inhabits your mind together with The Voice of No. And The Voice of No is the saboteur that adds "but" to every dream born in your head. So, you think: "Yes! I want to be/do X but...".


The Voice of No is what's making you refuse your calling. If you don't find a way to manage this resistant voice, you will not break through the patterns that are keeping you from making a living from your calling.

In my 14 years as a coach, I've noticed 5 common (but sometimes subtle and deceptive) ways that people refuse the call. As you read through this list, I invite you to consider your version so that you can begin to release the voice of the self-sabotaging inner critic and start to move in the direction of your dreams:

  • Not feeling ready for it: You study it. You want more information. You want an expert to study with. But, then again, perhaps you need to get that certificate or go back and get a master's degree. (This is one I've had to work with a lot in my life and it still comes up, but now I'm more aware of it and no longer believe it's telling me the truth.)
  • Waiting for "the right timing": While there is something to timing, most often our dreams are killed by excuses rather than obstacles. If you're stuck in a cycle of not working on your vision, it's time to get support. There's never a perfect time to take action, but action is the only thing that will really bring you closer to your dreams.
  • Settling for the consolation prize: This is the editor who gave up on her writing dreams, the art teacher who longs to be in her studio, the actor who becomes a voice coach. If the thing you're doing doesn't light you up, it's time to reconsider.
  • Trusting the "dream dampener": You finally decide to take action and share it with that one person who you know is going to go negative on your dream. Once you hear the litany of well-meaning reasons why you shouldn't go for it, you once again defer your dreams and kill that tiny bit of energy you mustered for change.
  • Not setting aside time to find your own calling: Filling your schedule with a lot of important activities that require your attention but make it impossible to focus on what is really calling you right now. I've had this come up with clients who have volunteer activities that keep them from what's calling them or say yes to the needs of loved ones when they're just barely treading water and need to channel that energy into their own calling.

It's painful to see patterns and to realize how these choices are actually robbing you from creating fulfillment in your work life. But the truth is that, if you aren't willing to squarely face them now and manage them, in 15 years you will still be stuck in the same cycle-- wasting time and energy, and feeling unfulfilled.

Try to get honest about your excuses in this moment.

I choose _____________ because I'm not willing to _____________.

Ex. I choose to volunteer for this project because I'm not willing to devote the 5 hours a week to a career transition out of my dysfunctional office gig.
Ex. I chose to research a new certification program because I'm not willing to market my business.
Ex. I choose to edit others writing full-time because I'm not willing to write the novel that I've been dreaming about.

Now, what's even more important, I invite you to just be curious about what you're choosing and let go of any judgment. You're doing the best you can. And let's face it... It's scary to take actions in service of your dreams. You will be outside your comfort zone and it can be threatening to the part of you that wants to feel familiarity and certainty.

But I can assure you, not taking action is even scarier because it means you'll find yourself in the exact same place 2...5....10+ years from now. If it's a place you don't like, there can be consequences even on the physical level.

What's the cost of refusing to say yes to "the call"?

Is it a pain in your body (a common one), frustration at yourself for selling out on your soul's longings? Wondering if you'll get to the end of your life and be filled with regret?

Your calling is worth your time and, in fact, it requires your loving attention and persistence. You deserve to be living it.


I also believe that, just as you are on a quest to find your calling, your calling is on a quest to find you. And each time you refuse the call in subtle ways, you lose a little bit of that spark that makes life worth living. That's why I invite you to consider one tiny action you can take today to propel yourself in the direction of your dreams. Your soul will thank you for it.

Terra Christoff helps smart women clarify their vision, find their true calling and do work that fills the soul. You can connect with her on Facebook.