BY: KEISHA JOHNSON
There was a point in my journey not long ago when the future seemed a bit cloudy and my confidence weighed precariously in the balance.
I was conflicted about my career focus and my readiness to return to the job market having been home for a few years with my child. If you’ve ever taken a long enough sabbatical or hiatus from work you may relate.
Rapid and unyielding shifts in technology had me concerned about how much ground had I lost in the three years. How much retooling may be necessary to be relevant in my field? Should I explore another industry? Will my overseas experience carry sufficient weight in a new country? Where do I fit?
The uncertainties fuelled a flood of insecurities and before long, my mind had worked itself into a frenzy. My confidence was shot and my language echoed alien to those who know me.
When the dust settled, I suggested to my husband that maybe I should join the Police Force. “They’re recruiting. I’m community focused. It’s an honorable service to my country. I could make a difference there, right?”
With clipped speech and a tone that smacked ‘enough of this foolishness’ he firmly asked, “Who is speaking into your ear?”
“Get out your vision board!” he then suggested. In other words, recalibrate and refocus on what you know is true of you.
Those words were a wake-up call that jolted me back to reality.
He was not suggesting that anything was inherently wrong with pursuing a new career in the force or any other field. He just knew who I am called and gifted to be at this time.
My vision board had this clearly mapped out. It was a roadmap and reminder of my passion, vision, mission and core strengths. I had invested the time and effort to have that clear focus. But the misstep I took was to park it out of sight during those years as a stay-at-home mom.
Yes, to everything there is a time and a season. As a stay-at-home mom, my priorities were quite different. But that season did not diminish my skills, cumulative experience, aptitude and passion for my career. Sometimes you need to be reminded of that.
External forces do not change who we are at our core unless we chose to allow their influences to change our belief about ourselves.
You may have heard it said before, it’s not what goes into a person that defiles them, but what comes out. My language sounded alien to those around me because it did not reflect what was known to be true of me.
That’s the danger of losing sight of your passion, vision, and mission. It makes you vulnerable to doubt and unbelief. These two vices lurk in the shadows of our minds eager to immobilize and derail at any opportunity.
They are constantly speaking, but it is up to us to silence them or script the story they tell. If we let hold of that rein, those two voices can quickly become a runaway train wreaking havoc on your present and future.
Our best defence against them is self-control to focus and believe what is true. Hence the reason for a vision board is to record what is true of you. And equally imperative as I have learned firsthand, is keeping those truths visible before you as a constant reminder.
So now in addition to my vision board which I have a picture of on my phone, my laptop, as well as displayed on a whiteboard in my office, I also display art with words of affirmation that agree with what’s true about me throughout my environment.
One you’ll find in my living room that I’ll leave you with says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”