Like Joan of Arc, You Were Born to Make Your Difference

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, Uncategorized

I was shopping at the grocery store, when a quote on a card in the greeting card rack stopped me in my tracks

“I am not afraid,” it read. “I was born to do this.”

I stepped closer, to read the source of the quote, and was surprised to see that it was attributed to Joan of Arc– a heroine of France who led the French army to victory over the English at Orleans in 1430 when she was eighteen years old. She was ultimately burned at the stake by the English and canonized as a saint.

Joan of Arc was, to put it mildly, one brave lady, passionately committed to freeing France from England’s domination, which she considered her life’s purpose. I have no doubt that Joan of Arc went bravely to her fiery death knowing she’d done her best to fulfill that purpose.

Standing in the crowded grocery story, I marveled at how the words of a woman I never met, who had lived and died centuries before, could move me to the core. I turned to my husband, and pointed to the words on the greeting card: “That’s how I feel about what I’m here to do,” I said.

That’s also how I hope you feel about what you’re here to do. Because, like Joan of Arc, you were born to make your unique mark on the world. Whether that’s to build your own successful small business, lead your team to higher levels of productivity, raise caring and responsible kids, or write that book you’ve been longing to write, you were born to use your gifts to maximize your unique potential.

Identifying, and passionately committing to, your life’s purpose—what I call your soul role—matters. So does honing your talents and abilities and applying them to fulfilling that purpose. After all, no one can be you better than you; and no one can do what you’re here to do better than you.

That said, life is invariably going to throw challenges your way. You can choose to view those obstacles as impediments to your progress; or you can choose to view them as opportunities– opportunities to learn, grow, and find new ways to forge ahead. And, if you’re willing to plug into it, the force of your passionate purpose can stoke your bravery and push you up and over those challenges–just like Joan of Arc’s soul-role kept her moving forward in spite of incredible obstacles like being a young, woman leader in the male-dominated world of war.

“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” That’s what Joan of Arc said. That’s what she believed. And so do I, with all my heart.

And so, at the grocery story today, I pulled the card with St. Joan’s quote off the rack, dropped it into in my shopping cart, and took it home. It’s now perched on my desk, a reminder that what we’re here to do is more powerful than the fear that might stop us We’re braver than we think. And, like Joan of Arc, we were born to make our difference.

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