If you are anything like me, there are certain topics that you feel so passionately about that you have to hold yourself back when they come up in conversation. These are the topics that you always have an opinion on, that you want everyone to hear about and that you return to again and again. These are the topics that bring out the best in you and sometimes the worst. In coaching, we call these soapbox topics and the good news is that there is a legitimate reason to get on your soapbox!
Let me tell you why.
Exploring the topics that really matter to you and bring out your passion give you big clues to your life purpose. As well as telling you a lot about your identity and your values, these soapbox topics often carry a powerful message that you want to bring to the world. We call this your Life Message.
As Destiny Coaching Ministries Founder, Tina Southgate says: ‘No one else can give the world your
Life Message like you do. When you speak your Life Message, others believe the message because it is born from your experience and your encounters with God, and it is your testimony of who God is and what He can do.
Your Life Message is not just expressed through words, it is expressed through the way you structure your life, the way you live, the way you love and the decisions you make. Your Life Message may be shortened to a simple, short phrase but when you unpack these, it is pregnant with meaning.’
Let me give you an example of one of my soapbox topics: The diet industry. I could spend hours telling you everything that riles me about the diet industry – for me it represents a culture where individuals are told to follow a set of rules, regulations and formulas to lose weight rather than learn to trust themselves and their relationship with God. The Life Message under this is that ‘we can trust the Truth inside of us’ – this may seem very simple, but within these words is my own journey of finding the still small voice of God through letting go of rules and learning to trust Him through developing an intimate relationship with Him. Now I feel passionately that people need to find their ‘Truth’ by getting to know God intimately to experience true freedom.
This is one of the reasons I am a coach; I believe passionately that if you give people space and time and ask the right questions, they will encounter God and find the answers for themselves, which I believe is a much more powerful motivator than being told what to do.
Here are four reasons it has been helpful to know my Life Messages:
1 I have the greatest impact for God when I am imparting my core life messages
2 I can understand and design a lifestyle that fits my call and my life messages
3 It helps me to understand a key part of my life purpose.
4 It gives me focus.
If you want to discover a life message, why not start by journaling on the following
questions and look to see if you can see a theme emerging:
What makes you mad/angry?
What is it that you see on the news that makes you want to shout at the TV?
What topics do you find yourself unable to stop yourself, engage with or giving your point of view on?
What would you speak to the prime minister about if you only had 15 mins?
Alternatively, find someone who is willing to listen to you enlarge on your ‘soapbox
topic’ for 10 mins. At the end of this time, have a look at the key themes that
came out and see if you can see what one message came out strongest, this is
likely to be a Life Message. You most probably have a number of life messages
but start with identifying the one message that seems most evident and resonates
the most with you.
Write down your Life Message and ask yourself what one action you could take to help you use this going forward.