In this episode:
Have you ever paused to consider if you're fully using your gifts and abilities? Do you pursue what you think is quote, right? What others want of you? Or do you go after what most fulfills your passions and desires? Today, Esther Littlefield and I talk about what it means to pursue the ideal life. Not perfect, not utopia, but ideal.
About Esther Littlefield:
Esther Littlefield is a marketing strategist and business coach for Christian women who are ready to stop feeling scattered and confused about how to grow their business online. She’s the host of the award-winning Christian Woman Leadership Podcast and the Christian Woman Business Podcast.
She is passionate about helping clients cut through the confusion, find clarity, and develop confidence in their marketing strategy so that they can focus on what will truly help them create a business (and life) they love.
Esther resides in Maine with her husband Scott, daughter KJ, Golden Retriever Allie, cats Daisy and Zoe, and two leopard geckos.
(Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)
Discussion Highlights from Pursue Your Ideal Life
- Does the fear of doing the wrong thing keep you from pursuing anything? Esther says, “I don't want to do the wrong thing. So I'm just gonna not do anything. But that almost never leads to a positive outcome. And so I've learned to start, again, through prayer and through discernment. Like if I sense that it's, if it's the God thing to do that it doesn't matter if on the outside, if other people disagree, or if it seems like it's not logical. A lot of times, that's the very thing that God is saying, hey, you need to do this, and it's going to be good.”
- Having support is important. “I wanted to have just a place for people to come a safe place to discuss those topics, to get support to ask questions because I know how valuable that can be,” Esther says. “When you're on the other end, and you're kind of looking for direction, and you're looking for support, and you feel like no one understands, you know, in your real life, having that group of online friends can be really exciting and encouraging.”
- I ended up doing things in my business that yes, might have made sense financially might have made sense, even again, from the outside world. But it didn't align with my gifts or with the life I wanted to live.
- Esther is passionate about helping people figure out these answers: What does your ideal life look like? How do you actually want to spend your time? How do you want to, you know, have your day be structured? How do you want? What type of work do you want to be doing?
- Asking a lot of those questions that are sometimes hard for us to answer because we don't we never actually took the time.
- Esther says that even in corporate jobs and other types of work, there's a cookie-cutter mentality: if you do this, and this, and this, then this is what you'll get. She says, “I'm just over that. I don't like that mentality. I don't think it works because I think every single one of us is unique. And I think that the way God designed us is unique.”
- We need to set up our lives in a way that reflects our personal goals, and not just fitting into a mold that other people are trying to teach us or tell us that it has to look like that.
- It's very hard to get clarity on some of your ideal life without taking the time to process and think and pray and look at your life. Esther says, “Look at what you're doing right now, you might already be living your ideal life.” Maybe you’re already part of what God has called you to do. But if you aren’t, Esther encourages you to evaluate and take steps.
- If you sense there needs to be a pivot or a change of direction, take that baby step. For Esther, it was saying, “Okay, I'm going to start. I'm going to go back to writing. I'm going to open up my blog.”
- Esther says, “The more I take those small risks and baby steps, the more I get confidence in, Oh, yeah, I am on the right track. This is where God is taking me this is, you know, because people will start to, to be blessed by what you're doing, and they'll start to tell you how it's impacting them. And that can just that can be so amazing to experience that.”
Quotes to Remember from Esther Littlefield
- It really started with that moment on the couch of saying, I don't really think that what I'm doing right now is the thing that I am designed for.
- I don't think you can go wrong if you start with just taking one step toward something that you sense God asking you to do.
- Pivots can always happen as you go forward. As long as you're moving. You can pivot.
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Michelle Rayburn 0:03
Have you ever paused to consider if you're fully using your gifts and abilities? Do you pursue what you think is quote, right? What others want of you? Or do you go after what most fulfills your passions and desires? Today, Esther Littlefield and I talk about what it means to pursue the ideal life. Not perfect, not utopia, but ideal.
I encourage you to pause and ask yourself some questions and see, where am I at? Am I doing what I ideally want to do in life? Or is there something that I could change? Today, Esther is going to share a resource where you can go through that it's a downloadable PDF that you can print, and then you can sit and spend some time and really think through: what are my ideals and where's God leading me? So join me as we talk about that today.
You're listening to Life Repurposed, where you'll find practical biblical wisdom for everyday living, creative inspiration, and helpful resources. Grow your faith, improve your relationships, discover your purpose, and reach your goals with topics to encourage you to find hope amid the trashy stuff of life. Thanks for joining me today. I'm your host, Michelle Rayburn.
Esther Littlefield is a marketing strategist and business coach for Christian women who are ready to stop feeling scattered and confused about how to grow their business online. She's the host of the award-winning Christian women leadership podcast and the Christian woman business podcast. She's passionate about helping clients cut through the confusion, find clarity, and develop confidence in their marketing strategy. So they can focus on what will truly help them create a business and life they love. Esther resides in Maine with her husband, Scott, daughter KJ, her golden retriever, Allie, and cats Daisy and Zoe and two Leopard Geckos. Thank you so much, Esther, for sitting down to talk with me today.
Esther Littlefield 2:19
Well, thank you. I'm so glad to be here with you.
Michelle Rayburn 2:21
So I've been watching your comments in some of the groups that we're in and editor in common. One is a podcasters group, I've noticed that we have some personality similarities. And so when we get talking about Myers Briggs, or I think you shared something about strengths finders, I was like, oh, I really need to have a conversation with Esther.
Esther Littlefield 2:45
Oh, fun. I love talking about that stuff. And talking with people who have things in common. So that's fun. Yeah,
Michelle Rayburn 2:50
I don't want, you know, my podcast or my social media channels to be an echo chamber. But it is really nice to sit down and talk with somebody who is an achiever. And I think you've you're either INTJ or iINFJ or something. I vacillate between those two.
Esther Littlefield 3:08
ISTJ. I think that's my Myers Briggs. Yeah.
Michelle Rayburn 3:12
It's fun when introverts sit down and talk on a podcast because we're gonna get in and out, and it's gonna be short. Perfect. So you can relate as a fellow podcaster to the podcast life and trying to keep your family quiet. I can imagine when you're trying to record.
Esther Littlefield 3:30
Oh, definitely, yeah, I try to record most of the time when my family is not at home, my husband and my daughter. In fact, they were both home sick the other day, and I was like, oh, my word. I had all these podcasts stuff that I was gonna do. And I had to completely move it to a different day. And then when they're not home, I have a dog and two cats, and they often are actually the culprits that interrupt my show.
Michelle Rayburn 3:53
My husband works in camp ministry. And I think your husband's in ministry as well, right?
Yes, yeah. He's a pastor.
My husband gets days off during the week, and because he works a lot of weekends, so he doesn't always tell me which days taking off. So earlier this week, he said, I'm going to take Thursday off, and I'm going to work on stuff at home. It's like, okay, great. And he said, so this is the day I'm gonna get out the stuff and work on the floor in the basement. I'm like, okay, good. And my studio is in the basement. And then he said, “I'm gonna run the jackhammer.” Well, that'd be okay. Yeah. So he knows just tiptoe around to find something else to do until I'm done recording,
Right? Love it.
This episode is airing in January and I want to know, do you set resolutions or do you do like a goal setting day or anything like that at the beginning of your year?
Esther Littlefield 4:49
I do. I actually love talking about goal setting. I've just recorded two separate episodes for my two different podcasts all about goal setting. I don't really do resolutions, per se, but I do love taking that time to just sit down and reflect and dream and set goals. I usually do that kind of periodically during December and then I'll usually try to have a more of a bigger time, like at the end of December or the beginning of January, when I get a little bit more into the nitty gritty and sort of bring out my big pad of paper or, you know, or my planner and just kind of start to get things, you know, more solidified at that point.
Michelle Rayburn 5:29
Then do you go back and evaluate them later, in the year end of the year?
Esther Littlefield 5:34
I try to where I have a business, I try to do that quarterly. So like every, you know, every three months or so I try to check in on the goals. I'm not always consistent with that. But I do try to make sure that my big goals I have up on my wall beside me in my office so that I see them on a regular basis. So yeah, definitely.
Michelle Rayburn 5:57
I used to do like this whole day of planning. I think it started when I was doing my masters in ministry leadership, they made us do a day away and you set goals, and you spend a whole lot of time praying and reading the Word and everything. But then I realized that I like this creative pivoting that sometimes happens when I get a brilliant idea. And sometimes I have to pitch a goal. And as an achiever, it kills me because I was like, I was gonna do that thing. And now I'm not doing what I said I was gonna do. So how do you handle that when you decide to pivot mid year?
Esther Littlefield 6:30
Yeah, that's a great question. I, I'm less likely to get rid of a goal I, I have a struggle with letting go of a goal if I set it. So I get a little bit locked in. But it's something that God has been working on with me over the past few years. Because, you know, I mean, I know we're all sick of talking about it, but like 2020 really threw all my goals out the window. And so I really had to, like learn that, you know, sometimes it's okay for our goals to change. And maybe there is a new idea, maybe there is a new direction that I need to go. And just because it's not January 1 doesn't mean that we can't have, you know, a new direction to go. So it's a it's a work in progress for me on changing things up. But yeah, I think it's it's a matter of, if I sense that the thing I need to do I have to kind of do some surrendering of the thing that I thought it was going to do or achieved that year.
Michelle Rayburn 7:25
It's probably good to protect them, though. Because otherwise, you know, I know people who set goals and don't achieve any of them, because they see them as sort of I ideas but not ideals. So it's like, yeah, I think I'll do this because someone else is doing that this year.
Esther Littlefield 7:42
Right? Yeah, yeah, I think it's so important for us to make sure that the goals we're setting are actually things that align with what we're, you know, what we want our life to look like. What if we're in business, what our business should look, not just setting kind of, like you said, random goals or goals based on what other people are doing, because there's very low likelihood that we'll actually follow through on those.
Michelle Rayburn 8:03
A few years ago, I started switching it up to just write some “I will” statements, because somehow in my mind saying I will finish this book that I started writing or I will it makes it a little more like I'm making a promise to myself.
Esther Littlefield 8:18
Right. Yeah, that's a great idea. I love that. It's kind of like a commitment that you're setting for yourself. Yep.
Michelle Rayburn 8:24
Yeah. Yeah. Like you said, pivoting. I will pivot when I have to pivot because I don't know. I mean, I did have some goals in 2020 For how many events I was hoping to speak at. And I spoke at one. And then well, I attended a podcasters conference in Houston in February, and then after that, I didn't travel. I haven't been on an airplane since then. Wow. Yeah, I'm planning to get on one shortly after this airs. It'll be like my first trip in two years. So yeah, life has been different. But we don't want to keep talking about the pandemic. So I want to talk about your journey a little bit. One of the things you've said on your website is that you've been a leader all your life, but you didn't realize it until into your adulthood. Tell me a little bit more about that.
Esther Littlefield 9:15
Sure. Yeah. So I think that, you know, one of my earliest memories as a child, and I was a super shy, super reserved, like, I didn't talk to people unless they talked to me, like we're talking about introvert I was, you know, on the extreme end. I don't think I was necessarily you know, I don't think I necessarily have any super real mental health issues with it, but it was just like, I did not have any confidence or any ability to speak up for myself. But I could remember like walking around my yard as a maybe 10-year-old and I would be preaching sermons in my head. And I would just like I would you know, whether it was something I heard at church and then I was like, what didn't talk about all this other stuff. And I would just be having all these ideas and thoughts in my head. And then as I grew older, I started to be kind of put into leadership positions without realizing it. I was nominated to speak at my eighth-grade graduation. And then I ended up being the valedictorian in high school. So I ended up having to speak again and just leading different things in high school, and then in college. And so I was kind of just doing leadership things and being put into these roles, but never actually acknowledging and saying that I was a leader. And so it really wasn't until I was probably in my early 30s, that I started to recognize and actually identify myself as a leader. And because God started to show me like, look, this is the path you've been on. This is the gift I've given you. These are the things that I've entrusted to you. And you need to actually acknowledge them so that you can use them effectively.And so I started to really dig into more of my personality and my wiring and my experiences, and figure out how all those things fit together, and how I could best use them to walk out my purpose in my life.
Michelle Rayburn 11:15
Would you say that you had a picture of what a leader is? When you're thinking back? Did you have a different picture of what a leader is than what you do now?
Esther Littlefield 11:25
I'm not sure, I think that I just was, so I think I was so lacking confidence. I think that was really one of the big issues, I was really lacking any confidence. So even though I was doing those leadership things, I didn't have any confidence in the fact that I was actually good at them, or that I was actually wired that way or that that was the way God had designed me and that he gifted me in that. And so I don't know that I had a different picture of what a leader is, I think I just lacked the confidence to actually step out and say that that's what I wanted to be, or that's what I was in, you know, in those earlier seasons of my life, it took it took a lot of work a lot of time of God working on me to get me to the point of saying, You know what, it's okay to step out and say that and to, and to then even pursue the opportunities that he's given me to take that even further.
Michelle Rayburn 12:23
I've been in groups of people where it seems like the loudest person or the most domineering person is, it's like this charisma, where people gravitate towards that person as the leader. And off on the side, there's this really steady person with thoughtful questions, and someone who really has some wisdom to offer. And I noticed that in groups of people, we sometimes go to that loud person, we don't see that the real leader in the group is that steady person. How do you step into that when there's this person who's seemingly taking over?
Esther Littlefield 13:08
Yeah, that's so good. I think that, for me, the way that my leadership has played out has been, again, kind of that organic thing of like, just ending up in positions. But then, often it's been when I've had an idea or a thought or something that I feel like, you know, if I'm involved in a ministry at my church, or, or just something going on in my daughter's school, or something like that, and I have these ideas and these, these dreams, or these concepts that I think would help the organization or help the church or help, whatever it is. It's learning to just be okay with speaking up and sharing that and like you said, sometimes it's hard because there are those more boisterous people are more extroverted people that are going to naturally do that. For me, I had to develop my confidence, and start to learn how to use my voice more effectively and speak up and be okay. Like, even if that idea wasn't used, or even if someone didn't like my idea, you know, that's the other side of it is you're not always going to be liked as a leader. And so you have to get okay with that. But yeah, it's it's tricky. You don't want to overstep and I never want to overstep the person who is designated as the leader. So, in a meeting, if there is somebody who truly is, you know, they're the leader, I tried to respect their role and their position, but also offer my insights and offer my my ideas when I feel like it's appropriate to do so.
Michelle Rayburn 14:48
That can be hard to do, but the more we train ourselves to recognize that character of leadership that quality, then we become detectives, and looking for in other people. as well. So have you found yourself like spotting people who are like hidden leaders who are not stepping into their potential?
Esther Littlefield 15:07
Oh, definitely, definitely I love to just one of the things that I've done over the years is lead Bible studies at my church and women's, you know, small groups. And I love to sort of pull people out, like, encourage them to speak up, even if they seem to be hesitant. Because a lot of times it is those people that they don't know what they're not always the first to speak. But like you said, when they speak, they have amazing insights or amazing questions. And so sometimes they need a little bit of pushing and are a little bit of encouragement, not so much pushing, but encouragement to share those ideas. So I think that I try to be cognizant of that. And, and also, just, I think a good leader will try to allow people, everybody to share their ideas, like everybody to contribute to a group and you might find, okay, that person, just they're not really, you know, they're not really appearing to be a leader, but then you might find that one person that is and then you can sort of encourage them and work with them to help them grow as well.
Michelle Rayburn 16:10
Tell me a little bit more about your career journey, then how this leadership discovery changed that trajectory?
Esther Littlefield 16:17
Yeah, yeah. So I went to school for social work. So I went to college, got my degree, graduated, went right into social work. That was what I knew I wanted to do from when I was young. And, you know, kind of followed that path of like, this is the right thing to do. And got to a point I and then through that career, I also started this side business and was doing kind of a network marketing type of business to earn some extra money on the side. And was in that those two fields for over 10 years and got to a point where I was actually completely burned out, I had stepped back from the social work, but I was still doing the network marketing. And that was my primary source of income. And I was just completely burned out. And I, I had a moment where I was talking to God, and I was journaling. And I realized, like, I am not actually doing any of the things that light me up, that get me excited, that use my gifts. That dream of writing was not I wasn't pursuing the writing that I thought I would do. And I was kind of just like, What am I doing with my life? I had one of those moments of, you know, what am I doing with my life? And why am I doing these things, and I just kind of made up, I wouldn't say pretty fast. But within a month or two, I had basically quit my, my network marketing business, I just kind of stopped doing everything in that business, and shifted into pursuing an entirely different path, which was really moving into the world of online business. And I went into more writing and blogging, and then that has that has brought me down to a whole different journey of going into being a service provider, and then focusing on podcasting. And now I work with women in coaching and helping them grow online businesses. So it's been kind of this weird journey. But it really started with that moment on the couch of saying, I don't really think that what I'm doing right now is the thing that I am designed for, you know, or what I what I am designed to do that where I can make the biggest impact or serve with my gifts in the best way. So yeah, that's the short version.
Michelle Rayburn 18:31
I had a little bit of a similar story in that I started out as a registered nurse did my four-year degree in that. And then while I was in the middle of that career, and I didn't stay in it very long, I realized the same thing. It's like I this is not what I think I want to do, even though this is where the money is. It's like, okay, now what do I do? So what do you say to that person who's come to that realization, they're sitting in their pajamas right now, and they're listening to us talk? And they're thinking, I don't want to be doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life.
Esther Littlefield 19:01
Yeah, yeah. You know it. For me, what I started to do and what helped me to make these decisions was to really start to, well, a couple things, I started to really investigate how I was wired, what I thought were my gifts, what were the things that I thought I could do, and just sort of exploring all the options that I had, and praying, you know, praying about it, asking God for guidance. And then I think it comes down to just making a decision, like making a decision to pursue something, and it doesn't mean that you have to quit your full-time job or just stop doing all the things because that's not always wise to do, you know, at the time, we did have my husband had a job and we had another he had a business so there was other resources. You know, it wasn't like if I stopped my business, it was just everything was done. And so, I think you have The use of wisdom, but I think you also have to make that decision of like, I'm going to step out and start trying something different. And seeing where that takes me, you know, and what I started out doing. It looks entirely different now. But it was doing something that I really was passionate about, and that I felt like was something that I was meant to do that God had called me to do. And so I don't think you can go wrong if you start with that with just taking one step towards something that you sense God asking you to do.
Michelle Rayburn 20:40
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. Classic Marriage: Staying in Love as Your Odometer Climbs. In your marriage, breakdowns, meltdowns, and blowups aren’t a big surprise along life’s road. There will be moments where you haul yourselves back to the relationship garage for repairs. But like a trusty old truck, your classic marriage has lasting value. In Classic Marriage, you’ll find inspiration, honesty, and humor from the front seat of thirty-plus years of adventure with Michelle and Phil Rayburn. They share their story along with tips to get under the hood and keep your marriage going for the long haul. Work on your communication with tune-up questions in every chapter. Plus, Phil adds his witty commentary in pop-up comments throughout the book. The multi-award-winning Christian marriage book has been endorsed by many top relationship experts and counselors. Learn more at ClassicMarriageBook.com
Esther you talk about doing the quote unquote, right thing you mentioned that just a few minutes ago. Do you think that's what stops a lot of people is like I I don't think I can do this? Because I don't know if it's the right thing?
Esther Littlefield 22:11
Yeah. Yes, I think that's a huge issue for some personalities especially. I think that for me, that was that was probably the biggest issue was for so long, I thought I was doing the thing that everybody else expected me to do. Or that was the right thing that the thing that made sense, you know, and then when I took this turn and did something totally different, it didn't look on the outside, like it was the right thing to do. And even now, as I make decisions in my journey, there's times when I think oh man that doesn't, I don't know for sure if this is the right thing, right? So sometimes that can hold me back. Because I think well, what if this is the wrong thing? I don't want to do the wrong thing. So I'm just gonna not do anything. But that almost never leads to a positive outcome. And so I've learned to start, again, through prayer and through discernment. Like if I sense that it's, if it's the God thing to do that it doesn't matter if on the outside, if other people disagree, or if it seems like it's not logical. A lot of times, that's the very thing that God is saying, hey, you need to do this, and it's going to be good.
Michelle Rayburn 23:24
And we can always iterate.
Esther Littlefield 23:27
Yeah. Yeah, and that's what you know, after I just said, Okay, I'm gonna start writing, I'm gonna start blogging, and I started learning all the things about online business and all that. It was like, a year and a half later, I was really not making the money that I needed to make. And so I was like, Alright, I gotta do something. And so I pivoted. I pivoted into being able to be a service provider. And I still was pursuing the writing and doing that as well. But I found another way to use the skills and shift into something that would support us at that moment in time. And so yeah, pivots can always happen as you go forward. As long as you're moving. You can pivot.
Michelle Rayburn 24:09
Yeah, where did you find the support? Then when you did launch in this new direction? Was it your husband or family friends? Where did you find the most support to say you can do this, Esther?
Esther Littlefield 24:22
Yeah. I am very grateful. My husband has always been super supportive of my crazy ideas. And so that's been great. So yeah, it was definitely him saying, I think you can do this, I believe in you, you know, I support you. And each of the times I've made a step or a pivot, that's I have found that to be true. I also had at the time a group of gals that I was meeting with for a Bible study at the church. And I just that was a great support network to have just, you know, none of them really understood what I was doing. Because they didn't go into anything with online Business or blogging or things like that, but they, they cheered me on. And they encouraged me. And I've had that. And my sister was also a big cheerleader because she and I like to dream about these things a lot. And so she was another one that supported me.
Michelle Rayburn 25:14
It can be hard to find the support, my husband, like yours has been totally on board with everything I do. But he's not a writer, he's not a creative. And so I'm just this kind of odd person that he loves. So let's go with this. But in real life, it's hard. I don't have in real life in person, creative friends who do your writing and speaking and things like that. So the online community has really been where I have found my connections. And I know you have an online community. Tell us a little bit more about how you've provided that place for people to get support and connection.
Esther Littlefield 25:51
Okay, yeah. And I'm glad you brought that up, because I didn't mention that. But really, once I took that step of saying, Okay, I'm gonna start doing blogging and things like that I did dive right into Facebook groups, and I started developing relationships. And those relationships, for sure, became some of my biggest support. During that first couple years, and even now, I'm still friends with a lot of the people that I met in the very beginning, which is so amazing. So yeah, for that very reason. What I found was a lot of the groups I was in were not faith based. And, and as a faith-based person, myself, when I started my podcast, I was like, okay, I want to have a group that's connected to my podcast topic and connected to the things that I'm passionate about. And so that's, I started one group for that. And then I started a second group more business focused, when I started my second podcast. So they're kind of two separate topics, but connected. And I wanted to have just a place for people to come a safe place to discuss those topics, to get support to ask questions, because I know how valuable that can be. When you're on the other end, and you're kind of looking for direction, and you're looking for support, and you feel like no one understands, you know, in your real life, having that group of online friends can be really exciting and encouraging.
Michelle Rayburn 27:11
Yeah, over the years, I've also met people at conferences, and then made connections. So now I have friends, I can email and text and that kind of thing. So again, they're virtual, but they're not quite in my real life in where I live. But like the online community, because I can reach out to people who, you know, maybe we differ on some things, but we have some other things in common. One of the things that you've developed is a lot of resources. In fact, you have courses and things like that, that help people, but you have a free resource that I want to talk about, because it has, it really summarizes what we've been talking about so far and creating the ideal life. But tell me a little bit about what it is and why you created this worksheet.
Esther Littlefield 27:57
Okay, sure. Yeah, so it's an ideal life and business guide. And I really designed it primarily for someone who is looking at starting a business, but it could be used, you know, a lot of it could be used, even if you're not going to start a business. Because what happened for me is I shared that beginning part of the story of going into the blogging, and then I pivoted into being a service provider, which meant I was starting to take clients and serve clients. And what happened when I created that business was I filled up with clients super fast, I ended up having a lot of clients, because of the previous time I had been building all those relationships, it was pretty easy for me to get those clients and start serving people. And then but six months into it, I was like, oh, my goodness, I cannot handle it. Like I don't have any free time. Like I'm working all day, every day. I'm I had no, there was no balance anywhere. And I was just going crazy. And then just a couple other times in my journey, I ended up doing things in my business that yes, might have made sense financially might have made sense, even again, from the outside world. But it didn't align with my gifts or with the life I wanted to live. And so I have really become passionate about helping people figure out first, what does your ideal life look like? How do you actually want to spend your time? How do you want to, you know, have your day be structured? How do you want? What type of work do you want to be doing? And asking a lot of those questions that are sometimes hard for us to answer because we don't we never actually took the time. Like before we went to college maybe to just sit down and think what would I love to do? Like we just had that pressure? I think when we were younger to just like boom, you got to make a decision and get to go get that degree. And you don't even know anything when you're right 18 or 19 You don't know what take.
Michelle Rayburn 29:50
A life assessment. It's gonna tell you what you're supposed to do.
Esther Littlefield 29:55
Yeah, you have no idea and so, you know, so the guide really is designed To help someone, answer some of the types of questions that I think will, will get you dreaming and get you thinking about what things could be in an ideal world. And that doesn't mean that it's going to happen overnight. But for me, when I started going through some of that, and started to reassess where I was at, and, and the things I was doing in my business that I had created, you know, that I had designed, I realized I hadn't been intentional along the way. And so I decided to start being intentional and making pivots and making changes that then have brought me much, much closer to where I want to be in my life and how I'm spending my time and in even the type of work I'm doing. So that's, that's what the guide is for. And I talk about it a lot, because I see so many people, especially in the online space, and that may not be everybody that's listening. But even in corporate jobs and other types of work, I think there's just sort of this, like cookie cutter mentality, like, if you do this, and this and this, then this is what you'll get. And I'm just over that. I don't like that mentality. I don't think it works, because I think every single one of us is unique. And I think that the way God designed us is unique. And our lives all are different, right? And so for me right now, the way my life is structured is probably going to look different, you know, five years from now, when my daughter is getting ready to move out of our home, like there's a lot that can change. And so we need to set up our lives in a way that that reflects our personal goals, and not just fitting into a mold that other people are trying to teach us or tell us that it has to look like that.
Michelle Rayburn 31:44
It does affect more than just business to or career like in an ideal world, what would I want my day to look like? Or and not like? What's the word, not like perfect world, we're talking ideal. And that the most suited for your gifts, the most suited for your bio rhythms when you like to get up and when you go to bed and all of that kind of thing. But in an ideal world, I don't, I no longer want to walk around the grocery store to pick up groceries, I realized, in an ideal world, I want to pick them out sitting on my couch with my laptop, and I want to just drive to the store and have someone put them in my car. So that's an ideal. I've changed in the last few years. Yeah, don't waste that time.
Esther Littlefield 32:28
Right, right. Whereas there's other people who like they love that they actually enjoy going to the grocery, right? I don't understand it. But there are those people. Yeah. So yeah, that might be different.
Michelle Rayburn 32:39
People can get your resource, then at Estherlittlefield.com/ideal. And I'll link to that in the show notes as well. But listener, if you're looking for Esther's website, it really is just like the name Esther and the word little and field – her last name is Littlefield. And so if you just type that in, and you can find that, but I'll definitely link to that. This resource is one that people can print out and take it when they're sitting down and doing a little bit of reflecting and thinking about what they'd really like. And then setting some goals. The ideal week, the ideal year, there's scheduling commitments, all of that kind of thing you cover in there. That's an excellent resource.
Esther Littlefield 33:20
Thank you. Yeah. And I actually have a couple of podcast episodes that go along with it, too. I think if somebody grabs that resource, I link those episodes up if they want to take a listen to those two, this sort of walk you through the process as well.
Michelle Rayburn 33:33
Yeah, I'll look for those so that I can link those in the show notes to Yeah, I want to think about the listener who then has been part of this conversation with us. What do you want to say to that listener? Who's trying to figure out? Am I using my gifts to the fullest? What is my ideal? What is your message directly to that person, Esther?
Esther Littlefield 33:55
Hmm, yeah. I think I would just encourage you to spend some time like you said, Michelle, in reflection and prayer. I think that was really where I started to get clarity on some of these things. It's very hard to get clarity on some of this without taking the time to process and think and pray and look at your life. Look at what you're doing right now, you might already be living your ideal life. And you don't need to change anything, you know, like, you might already be using your gifts and you just don't even realize it because they're so your gifts are so natural to you that you don't even recognize that you're using them in your job. You're using them at your church, you're using them in your work, whatever it is. So I think that spending that time in reflection is step one. And then I think step two is just if you sense there needs to be a pivot or a change of direction to take that baby step. For me it was saying, Okay, I'm going to start. I'm going to go back to writing. I'm going to open up my blog. I'm going to revamped my blog and start writing again. And that was step one. And then you know, God kept leading me all the next steps to different things that that now have brought me to where I am. So, yeah, I think that would be my encouragement is to step out and as you do that, you will gain confidence as you take action. That's, that's what I've found in my life too is that the more I take those small risks and baby steps, the more I get confidence in Oh, yeah, I am on the right track. This is where God is taking me this is, you know, because people will start to, to be blessed by what you're doing, and they'll start to tell you how it's impacting them. And that can just that can be so amazing to experience that.
Michelle Rayburn 35:46
It sounds as if you're saying the first step is the hardest step.
Esther Littlefield 35:51
For sure it is it's especially scary if you are you know, if you haven't ever done anything like this before, like if you've never stepped out of quote unquote, your comfort zone or the path that you thought was the right path. You know, that definitely can be scary. But yeah, it can also be a lot of fun.
Michelle Rayburn 36:11
So listen, friend, Esther and I are here to say today that you can do this. We know that God has equipped you and given you gifts, and we know that he is right there with you and you take that first bold step. So send a message to either Esther or me when you see this episode, come out on social media Esther's on Instagram the most. So be sure to let us know I took us up because we want to cheer you on. Yeah, definitely. Thank you so much for being here. I love that you took some time out to share your heart with my audience.
Esther Littlefield 36:43
Thank you for having me, Michelle, I really appreciate it.
Michelle Rayburn 36:51
You will find the links mentioned in this episode in the show notes at MichelleRayburn.com/126. And then I'll have a link to Esther little fields website where you can get that ideal worksheet, the links to those podcasts that she talked about and other resources that she mentioned. She has a lot of things that she didn't mention in the show. One of the things I love about Esther is that she's not like overly promotional. So she's not jumping in there trying to sell us on something. But she has some fabulous courses out there on podcasting, and on creating a social media community on using Pinterest on building a business on leadership, she has a lot of them. So if you're looking for really practical resources, I encourage you to look for the Esther Littlefield Academy as well. And she always prices them reasonably. And then also includes some bonuses in there and extra things. I'm only telling you this because I've already purchased two of her courses and I'm not a course purchasing kind of person. I'm not one who picks up something and then just never uses it and that kind of thing. I really thought about it and realize that she has some valuable resources. So I encourage you to check those out. Thank you so much for being here today. I'm looking forward to having you again next week. I'll be back with a solo episode. You've been listening to Life Repurposed with Michelle Rayburn. Check out tips, resources and inspiration at Michelle rayburn.com. To get the show notes for this episode. Each week I share links to everything mentioned in the episode, graphics you can share and guest quotes. I also invite you to join the Life Repurposed Facebook community for weekly conversation with others on the journey of discovering the repurposed life. Before you go: which friend needs to hear this episode. share a link with a note to invite them to listen and thank you for listening too.
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