Do you want to find your passion and purpose in life? Do you feel stuck in your own head, over-analysing all of your options or lack of options, all the while getting nowhere? Oh believe me, I’ve been there – and now I coach women who are experiencing this exact problem.
Below are seven ways that you can get more clarity on your purpose in life.
Identify your PPRs
If you regularly read my blog posts, newsletters and articles you will know that I am a big believer in the importance of knowing your Personal Psychological Resources (PPRs). Your PPRs are the strengths and resources that you rely on to achieve your goals and to get through difficult periods in your life.
Knowing your PPRs can be a huge asset when trying to identify and pursue your purpose.
You can read more about PPRs and how to identify them here.
Get clear on what you do know
Our minds are often so clouded and confused when we think about the romantic notion of purpose that we forget how much we do know about about our desires.
It can help to get out your journal and do a free-flowing journal exercise on the topic. Don’t censor yourself – just let your thoughts and words flow freely onto the page without judgement.
Here are some prompts to get you started:
- What skills, qualities and talents do I have (Note: You can use the PPRs exercise to inform this)? How am I currently using these? How am I not using them? Which ones would I like to use more?
- What are my passions and interests? What do I absolutely love doing? What uplifts and inspires me? When do I feel my best and most joyful?
- Where do I currently feel like I am living purposefully? Where am I currently not feeling like I’m living purposefully?
- What do I currently like about my work? What do I not like about my work? What did I like and not like about my previous work?
- What do I know about my purpose? What do I not know (or am confused) about my purpose?
- If I was to design a course that helped me find my purpose, what units would it include?
I find that it is often interesting what comes out when we freely reflect on such topics.
We can often at the very least identify some options to start exploring or some action steps to start taking to test the waters or move towards a more purposeful life.
Ask yourself what you’d do if you knew you couldn’t fail
I have found that many of my clients often already have a good idea of what their purpose might be. They are just hesitant to say it out loud or to fully admit it to themselves incase it is unrealistic, unachievable, or puts them at risk of failure or embarrassment.
It can sometimes help to really explore this by doing another journal exercise using the following prompts:
- What would I try to do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
- What would I do if I was my most confident self?
- What would I do if I loved myself more?
- If I was my most confident self, what step would I take to find more clarity and direction around my purpose?
- If I was willing to take risks and invest in myself, what step would I take to find more clarity and direction around my purpose?
These questions will often make us realise that we have at least some idea of what our purpose is. We might not know how to get there or what to do exactly, but we often have a vague feeling around what we would like to do if it wasn’t so crazy or risky.
Ditch your head and follow your heart
I have found that we often get stuck around identifying our purpose because we spend so much time in our heads.
Thinking. Exploring the options. Analysing what could go wrong. Trying to figure out the plan or exact path or risk-free avenue that must be followed.
In doing this, we often find ourselves experiencing paralysis by analysis. You can read more about how to overcome paralysis by analysis here, but one great way is to tune out from your head for a while and tune in to your heart.
What intuitively feels like the right thing to do, even if logically is sounds absolutely crazy and super risky?
Reflect on your WHY, rather than always your WHAT and HOW
Sometimes we get so caught up in finding a label for what it is we want to do or be that we don’t take a step back and think about WHY.
For example, I didn’t know whether I wanted to be a psychologist, life coach, counsellor, police officer, or other professional. But when I stopped and thought about why I might want to be any of these things, I knew that I wanted to help people. Why did I want to help people? I wanted to help people feel safe, happy, healthy, and purposeful. I wanted them to realise how special they were and use this knowledge to build a life and body they loved.
It wasn’t until I started focusing on my WHY and taking steps with that focus in mind, that my WHAT and HOW started to become clearer.
You can watch a great video from Simon Sinek called “Start with Why” on this very topic below:
The thing that I find makes the biggest difference in finding clarity and direction on your passion and purpose, is to stop thinking and start acting.
Take steps NOW, even if they are uncertain and risky steps. What is one thing that you can do today to move toward finding more clarity on your purpose? What is one thing that you intuitively know that you need to do in order to find some clarity?
When we start acting, start doing things before we’re ready, and start taking steps in a direction (even when we’re not 100% sure it’s the right direction) – it can be amazing to see what doors open and close for us, and what clarity comes about as a result.
Thinking will often get us nowhere, but acting seems to get us somewhere.
Get help or support
My final tip would be to reach out for help.
Contact people who’s WHY aligns with your WHY. Research businesses and bloggers online who inspire you – and reach out and ask them how they got there. Consider investing in a life passion coach or other professional who will help you find your purpose – you are worth it!
I hope that these steps help you move closer to finding a life that makes you feel meaningful and purposeful. I’d love if you’d share in the comments below any further tips that you might have or which of these steps that you plan to try to find clarity on finding your ‘purpose’.
Let’s soar together,