As a part of my participation in the recent Shift Charlotte event, I asked attendees to submit a question. By far, the most common question asked was:
How do I identify my true purpose in life?
Wow, that’s a big question! I recall wondering the same thing just a few years ago.
Living one’s life purpose is something many people ponder when living a more conscious life. If one is okay with status quo or is naturally at peace with whatever life hands out, he or she may never wonder this. And that’s certainly okay.
When choosing to live intentionally, it feels good to know that we are either living our life’s purpose or moving toward it. Maybe it’s a constant journey for some. Is it possible to be living our life’s purpose and not know it? Maybe!
I will say this, wherever we find ourselves in this exact moment, is a gift. If we don’t feel connected to our life’s purpose, we can use our current situation to gain clarity. So, let’s start with these 5 points:
- Our challenges always offer us a window into possibility if we so choose. When we find ourselves stuck in a rut—feeling anger, sadness, frustration, and more, we have the opportunity to discern that we don’t really like these feelings and we want something else for our lives. Bringing awareness to our negative patterns and limiting beliefs without judging ourselves is the first step to shift from an old pattern to a more fulfilling existence.
- It’s difficult to live our purpose if we don’t feel deserving of the good in life. One large block that can impede actualizing our purpose is a feeling of lack of self-worth. How can we be out in the world doing what makes our heart sing if we have a hidden or even exposed belief that we aren’t worthy of having what we want? Low self-worth was certainly a theme for me in the past, and it comes up regularly for clients while in individual sessions. As young children, we may have felt like our needs were a burden or felt shame in asking for what we really wanted. Either way, we are not serving anyone, including ourselves to continue to hold onto any belief of not deserving abundance in all areas.
- To move forward on your path, identify what makes you feel good! It may sound overly simplified, but try answering these questions, “What do you like to do? Who do you like to spend time with? What makes you feel good?” Make a list and see what is revealed. You may be surprised. If you always felt like serving others through an organization like the peace corp, but your favorite thing is reading and writing, maybe you want to start a blog with the focus on serving a particular population.
- Be gentle with yourself. Your revelation may not come right away, but it’s surely around the corner. When we fill our brains with thoughts of “I should do this” and “I could have done that” we are missing out on the powerful now moment. Maybe what we are currently involved in is helping to prepare us for our next step. If you’re sure it’s not, honor this knowing and release that activity from your life.
- Recognize the power within. We are all unique expressions of infinite possibility—powerfully creating in every moment. We’re either unconsciously and accidentally creating (through an old “story” or pattern) or consciously and intentionally creating. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between what we imagine and what we experience in “real life” so, bring up the feelings that go along with knowing and living your life’s purpose. You don’t have to actually know your purpose, just know how you would feel if you did know it. In other words, if you would feel clarity, peace and joy to know you were doing what you were placed here to do, powerfully imagine those feelings filling your body as you wake each morning and as you drift off to sleep each evening. Once the new feelings of clarity, peace and joy become more powerful than your old and automatic emotions, you create a new story for your life. And who knows, your purpose may just find you!