I believe that in sharing our stories of discovering and following our passions, we will motivate others to do the same. Enjoy, and share this article with a friend.
We are all born with a passion in our hearts. Since birth, a passion has been forming, and it is a gift given to each of us.
As we grow through childhood, we find talents and skills that we naturally excel at and love. These talents seem as though they are woven into our DNA, and that we will possess them for the rest of our lives.
And then, life gets in the way.
We find ourselves running a race that is incredibly difficult to win. Our dreams and talents get pushed to the far corners of our minds and hearts. We follow the world’s standards of “success” and align our goals with society’s goals. Most of us do this without even realizing it.
Take my sister Katie for instance. From a young age, she always had a passion for styling hair and doing makeup. She had a knack for making other women feel good about themselves, and loving them through her talents. By the time she graduated high school, she had to make a decision about her passion.
“I always had these passing thoughts in high school about a future in styling,” explains Katie. “But as soon as I voiced these desires to others, they were shut down.” People could not appreciate Katie’s talents because they did not match a typical life path.
So despite her passion, Katie continued education at a nearby community college. In those first few months, she became discouraged and unhappy.
“I felt a stirring in my soul. I knew that the route I chose was not the right one for me. I had to trust the passion that God placed within me all along.” With a lot of support from family and a great deal of courage, Katie decided to enroll in cosmetology school.
“I had to trust the passion that God placed within me all along.”
Now, Katie will tell you that embracing her passion was the best decision. She is now starting up her own styling business where she highlights women’s natural beauty with hair and make up styling.
When asked if she had any advice for embracing a passion, she said, “Number one is to believe that your passion and talent was placed within you for a reason.”
“Number two is to realize that no one else is living your life for you. Taking a leap of faith is scary, but truly important, and life-changing in the best way.”
Another young person embracing their passion and pursuing it as a career is Nikki. She trained in classical ballet her entire childhood, and after high school, fell victim to a similar situation as Katie.
“I knew I had two choices: one was the ‘logical’ choice, or what everyone was telling me was the best choice, and the other was one that made my heart leap for joy,” says Nikki. “It was either go to college to become a lawyer or doctor, like most of my family, or try dancing professionally.”
While there is certainly nothing wrong with being a lawyer or a doctor (the world needs them too!), Nikki knew it was wrong for her.
“It would be more challenging and unnatural to fit society’s mold than it would to live aligned with my talents and gifts.”
Just weeks before graduation, Nikki decided to send out audition tapes to dance companies not only in the United States, but all around the world. A dance company in Amsterdam, Netherlands reached out with an acceptance letter to be on of their apprentices.
If it hadn’t been for Nikki embracing her passion, she would have suppressed such a special gift. Not only is her talent a gift for herself, but a gift for others who get to watch her dance.
“I see the joy that this art-form brings to so many people, and I remember that is why I have stuck with it,” she exclaims. “I don’t know where I would be without dance.”
The best piece of advice Nikki shared for embracing your passion is to remember what you loved doing as a child. If you can find a way to transfer that into adult life, and make a career of it, then you are set.
“Remember what you loved doing as a child. Then make a career of it.”
So, what sets your soul on fire? Is there a passion you have lying dormant in your heart? If so, remember that while not an easy or fast process, discovering and embracing that passion is worth it, fulfilling, and will positively change your life.
All it takes is one little leap of faith. You never know where that will take you. Trust, and believe that God has placed this passion within you for a reason.
Follow Katie’s Hair and Make-up journey @kestylist on Instagram
You can follow Nikki’s dance journey @nikki_newyork on Instagram