In her new book Own Your Everyday, Jordan Lee Dooley tackles some major misconceptions about purpose.
The author and speaker has more than a quarter million Instagram followers and knows what it takes to achieve your goals. However, as she recently explained to RELEVANT, trying to “find” your purpose and prioritizing your own desired outcome, might just jeopardize the impact God has called you to make.
Why did you want to write Own Your Everyday?
As I paid attention to what my readers and podcasts listeners and social media community were really asking, I found that there was this common recurring question and theme that was an underlying pain point. Pretty much the majority of questions I was getting from women in all seasons of life—whether it was a college girl or a recently married women or someone who’s been in the same job for six years and really not loving it—was, “How do I figure out what I’m supposed to do with my life? I thought I found my thing. I thought I loved my degree. I thought I loved my job, or I would love my job, but I’m actually really not loving it. Or “I’m in a season of transition and my husband and I just got married, and I’m trying to move or were moving and I’m feeling a little stuck and a little unsure of the next step.”
That’s just seemed to recur and recur, and really I think what the true question was that they were asking is, “How do I find my purpose? How do I find my thing?”
I’m very much about finding those things that bring you life, but I felt like it started to tip into this pressure to find something, figure it out and perform.
For the person that wants to figure these things out, what would your advice be to them?
I often want people to shift their mindset [when it comes to] “find my purpose” or “find my thing.” My first argument is, it’s not lost.
I think we have to get that first. We’re not going to find it if we get this awesome position or this great milestone or make this awesome achievement.
For me, especially as a believer, I believe my purpose is ingrained in me. I bring that to every position. I think the first step is always shifting my mindset there, so that way I’m not depending on these specific places. Instead, I’m bringing my significance that I’m made with to those specific places even if they don’t seem that awesome.
Part two of the book you talk about how to get “unstuck.” For someone in that situation, what would your advice to them be?
It can be really easy to feel stuck or unsure of the next best step. I think that’s really what being stuck is. It’s really this uncertainty and fear of messing up or failing. So, for me, I’ve found that usually when I get stuck, it’s my mindset, not my skill set, that holds me back.
Even if I was lacking a skill set, that’s not something I can’t learn …as long as I’m willing to be coachable. First, understand your beliefs. What are your beliefs? What are you really believing? Getting to the root of that is hard. That’s uncomfortable.
Let’s get to what are you really believing, because it’s most likely a mindset issue. If we get to a job that we don’t love and we feel stuck, it’s usually we’re believing that there aren’t other opportunities for us or that we might not have enough money to survive if we were to take a step outside of our comfort zone and try something else or that we’re not qualified for something else.
There’s actually a lot of subconscious beliefs that hold us back from taking the necessary action steps, so I often challenge anybody that asks that to really start looking at their mindset before they start looking at their skill set.
Could close by talking about the significance of Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps”?
What it’s meant to me and how it’s guided me in these last few years is I believe we are called and made to take action.
We can’t just sit around and hope that something is going land on a silver platter for us. But at the same time, there comes this point of working, giving your best and then just trusting Him with the rest.
I think a lot of us are striving to be the best, which is the wrong goal. There’s a difference between giving your best and trying to be the best.
I’ve had to learn the difference, especially as someone who wants to achieve and be the best and have full control. I’m such a control freak, and learning the action of what I can control and making sure I’m taking intentional action with those things and then trusting [Him with] everything that I can’t control—like the outcome.
I always say: impact over over outcome. I think that really applies to this verse, because we can plan all the things we want. We can plan book launches. We can plan our lives our and hope for for these outcomes. I heard this said at a conference not too long ago: “You’re going to get the outcome you wanted or the lesson you needed.” I think that really applies to this verse. It’s, “I can work and push and be very intentional with the actions that I take to get a certain desired outcome, but I have to trust that if that’s not the outcome, so long as impact was made and I showed up where I was, then it was still a purposeful endeavor. It was still worth pursuing. God still was glorified in it. He still got His way and impact was still made.”
For me, when I think about that verse, it’s really just give your best, trust Him with the rest and focus on impact over outcome.