The Power of Purpose… or Fear

Aside from being Career Advisors, Danielle and I are also recent graduates still in the midst of exploring our own career paths. Needless to say, we are helping students from very unique vantage points. Fortunately, during our 10-month fellowship positions we have the opportunity to learn along with students: what we like, what we dislike, our strengths, and our weaknesses. We also get to discuss and reflect on our encounters with students as well as our own personal thoughts and experiences.

Most recently, Danielle and I discussed what allows or prevents some people from pursuing their dreams. We concluded that it boils down to purpose or fear – with no real happy medium. Either you are motivated by what you believe is your purpose in life, or you shy away because you are afraid of the unknown. And for a college student, recent graduate, or new professional in moratorium this fear is completely understandable.

I can attest to that fear as I embark on my new journey at Elon because before moving to North Carolina, I had ever lived outside of my home state. But while the thought of leaving was scary, it still just “felt right”. I didn’t do it because I was fearless; I did it because it was scarier for me to live a purposeless life.

My favorite quote from author Marianne Williamson captures this fear of professional futures perfectly. It states that, “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” She goes on to say that “it is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us”. Could it be that you really are as awesome and intelligent as your parents think you are? Were you also born with the same type of purpose-driven talents as the Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey’s of the world? 

As the new Career Advising Fellows for the Student Professional Development Center, Danielle and I are so happy to use our experiences to encourage students to explore the depths of their life’s purpose. We are honored to share our stories of mistakes and mishaps because we know that the only remedy to fear is 3 types of faith:

1.      Faith that there is no deadline for figuring life out because self-discovery is an ongoing process.
2.      Faith that where you are, is right where you are supposed to be.
3.      And faith that the Fellows are here to help!

We are so pleased with our decision to join the SPDC staff and really look forward to our time at Elon University!



Author: raynaanderson2

Career Advising Fellow, 2013-2014 Elon University, Student Professional Development Center Rayna's graduate degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs (HESA) and past graduate assistantship experience has prepared her for her current role in university Career Services. While her primary objective is to provide career development advice to students, Rayna is trained to also assist the general public with career & educational planning. Rayna strongly encourages the integration of the personal & professional selves, through extensive reflection and exploration. She believes that this integration can have very positive effects and she enjoys assisting others in developing the habits necessary to attain their desired personal, career and educational goals. Rayna's work is guided by her desire to equip and empower others with the skills needed to not only survive their college days, but to thrive in the days to come. Areas of Interest: General Career Development & Educational Planning Motivational Goal Setting Sustaining Work/Life Balance Career Services in Higher Education Positive Psychology in Career Development College & Career Planning for Marginalized Populations Diversity & Social Justice Education & Training Bachelor of Science- Health Studies, University of Louisiana at Monroe – 2010 Master of Arts- Education, Louisiana State University – 2013 Certified Professional Career Coach, PARW/CC – 2013

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