Building a career around your passion — that’s the dream for so many of us, right? While it may be the goal and the vision, the secret to actually getting there isn’t always shared. What we all need is an actionable plan.
Koya Webb is a wellness visionary, author of Let Your Fears Make You Fierce, and founder of Get Loved Up, a conscious community that practices daily self-care and makes healthy living a priority to promote healing, social justice, and spiritual connection. She leads her students from feeling lost, confused and unfulfilled to find their purpose and pursue it with confidence.
I’m so eager to dig into the topics of wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality, and how they play into the search for purpose and alignment of career and passion. And because this is Goal Digger, Koya will share the actionable steps to get there. It’s such a pleasure to share the mic with her.
In this conversation, Koya walks through her childhood, growing up in a cramped household with three brothers and her parents. Athletics got her out of the house, and she thrived in track and field. The sport led her to a college scholarship, but everything changed sophomore year. An injury in her back stopped her track career before it really got started.
“I thought my career was over,” Koya told me, “What am I going to do with my life? I didn’t have a plan B at all. So I went into depression and I was crying in classes and my teacher sent me to the counselor and the counselor sent me to a yoga class.”
Koya remembered feeling like she didn’t fit into the class. She couldn’t do all the poses, her body was tight from years of intense training. Koya explained, “The teacher saw me struggling and she’s like, Koya, I want you to just breathe.”
That yoga teacher gave her full permission to breathe and do what felt good, not worry about perfect poses or keeping up with others. She spent a year in her yoga practice, and actually ended up back as a track athlete. It felt like she had her life back… Until another injury sent her off the track and onto her mat, this time as a yoga teacher.
Passion to Career
Koya’s identity shift from possible Olympic track athlete to a yoga teacher and studio owner, author, and more, began when she started to follow what made her happy. That’s the first step in aligning your purpose and passion with your career, she says, “The first step is just acknowledging what you like.” That means not comparing yourself to others who do the things you like.
“We just take away the joy when we do that, we’re comparing ourselves to other people and that just takes away the joy. So if you can do what you’re passionate about without comparing yourself, without trying to think about the numbers in the beginning, it’s really about figuring out if this really is a passion or if it’s something I saw someone else doing that I like,” Koya explained. “You have to vet different things you’re passionate about.”
From there, you need to immerse yourself in that thing, Koya says, “Start doing it, immerse yourself in it, study it, read about it, write about it, be about it, and then see if you still have that passion or if you’re exhausted after the first three months.”
Exhausted? Vet something else. Still as passionate, or even more so, after that process? Dive into the community of that thing you love.
Koya expands further on this process in the full conversation, so hit play to hear the full action plan to explore the passion you can turn into a career.
Discipline is Important
Discipline is important when it comes to pursuing a passion that you can turn into a career, but sometimes the most challenging area that requires discipline is how we care for ourselves and the boundaries we set around work and rest.
“Even though this feels good and this feels real good, and I get high off of service, I also get exhausted. I also need to fill my cup so I don’t become depleted and resentful. So I had to learn and I did learn the hard way by many days and years of exhaustion. I kept hitting the wall of exhaustion, kept hitting the wall of overwhelm until I said, Koya, you are doing a disservice to your community,” she explained.
Koya learned to get serious and disciplined about the things that fill her cup and help her recharge so she can better serve her community.