Most of us have felt it at some point – that persistent sense that we were put on this earth for a higher reason. A gnawing inner voice reminding us that we have profound gifts lying dormant, waiting to be unleashed into the world in more impactful ways.

Yet so often, we allow doubts, fears, and justifications to keep us stuck operating at a fraction of our potential:

“I’m not ready.”
“I don’t have the right resources yet.”
“The timing isn’t perfect.”
“I’ll get around to it later when ___.”

But here’s the truth – if you spend your whole life waiting for the “perfect” chance to start leading the journey you were born for, you’ll race right past it while playing small.

Because real leadership has nothing to do with titles, roles, or others giving you a roadmap to follow. Those are just markers of accomplishment.

Authentic leadership begins with your decision to finally own the truth of your potential, to stop letting doubts and justifications steal one more day from the impact you’re meant to create.

It’s declaring to yourself: “If not me living out my fullest purpose and capabilities, then who? And if the timing hasn’t been right for years, then when?”

Those who change the world and leave a legacy don’t go looking for others’ permission or approval. They fully embrace the mantle of leader in their own lives first.

Consider some of the most iconic pioneers and visionaries:

  • Civil Rights leaders like Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela – they didn’t wait for society to grant them legitimacy before becoming the catalysts for justice.
  • Scientific trailblazers like the Wright Brothers, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein – they saw possibilities others missed and forged ahead without permission.
  • Cultural movement-makers like Susan B. Anthony, Harvey Milk, Maya Angelou – they sparked humanity’s evolution by expressing their whole, authentic selves proudly.

None of them looked to others to validate their role as leaders first. They saw an imbalance between the reality around them and their vision for something greater, then made a profound choice:

“If I don’t step up with conviction as my boldest self, who will?”

In that decision lived the seed of their true leadership. Not betting on someone else’s permission or perfect circumstances, but taking full responsibility for their potential – and doing the work to nurture it into an unstoppable force.

That’s ultimately what leadership demands – radical commitment to creating the impact only you were born to make. Not delaying until conditions are ideal, but putting one foot in front of the other every single day.

Because here’s the painful truth – playing it safe and postponing your journey in deference to “someday” virtually guarantees you’ll miss out on your magnificent calling.

As powerful as the tug of your inner voice pushing you towards meaningful work feels…so too are the doubts and hesitations trying to rationalize remaining stuck.

You have to actively choose what resonates louder every single day – honoring your divine gifts or continually making excuses.

There’s a reason it’s described as “answering” your calling. That persistent internal pull to share your talents isn’t just background noise – it’s a soulful invitation to finally lead the life you were meant for.