For as long as I can remember I’ve had an overwhelming feeling that I was put on this earth for a reason, and that this reason had something to do with my work. Despite this certainty, I was unable to identify what this purposeful work was exactly. I had so many interests and passions that it was impossible to know which path to take. Psychology? Theology? Sociology? Philosophy? Criminology? Social Justice? Writing? Reading? Observing? Serving? Protecting? Creating?
I felt torn between passions and lived in a state of analysis paralysis for years. Do you feel like this too? If so, I hope that by sharing the steps I took to get out of it below helps you in some way also.
Stop thinking, start doing
“Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” – Marie Forleo.
Starting to act, rather than just think, was the game changing factor for me.
I had historically spent so much time in my head, or on Google, searching through and weighing up my options, confused about which path to take and door to open. This didn’t change until the day that I realised this approach wasn’t working and that I needed to do something different. What did I do? I opened one of those doors, despite the fear and uncertainty.
I took an action. I stopped thinking and I started doing. I had to choose a direction. Right or wrong, I wouldn’t know until I started doing.
Step out of your head, and toward your heart
“Listen to your head. Thank her for having your back. Be mindful of what she has to say. Then follow your heart.” – Naomi Arnold
When I decided to stop thinking and to start doing, I didn’t know how. How do I choose which door to open? The analysis paralysis would take the reigns again. It was in this moment that I decided to do a little (or rather what turned out to be a big) experiment. Ditch the head. Follow the heart.
This was a big deal for me and radically different to anything I had ever done before. What resulted? This girl who worked for the Australian Government and who thought she’d pursue academia, decided to enrol in a course run by the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. A website full of pink and heart-centred words. So incredibly different to anything I would ever even consider before. My head gave me a number of reasons for why it was a risky choice. The financial investment. A life coach… no, a Beautiful You life coach… it sounded so up in the clouds to me… who would take me seriously?
Well, as it turns out, that when you take yourself and your work seriously, most people will too. And the money I spent was made back through clients shortly after graduating. It ended up being the best career decision I have ever made to date. The best door I have ever opened.
If I had of followed my head, I would have never enrolled. Instead, I listened to my heart – something about the course ‘felt’ right and so I did it.
Enjoy the journey and trust in the destination
“Where you are right now is exactly where you need to be at this time, to best learn and teach your lesson.” – Helen Jacobs
The other conscious decision I made on my quest for purpose as a multi-passionate person was to focus on enjoying the exploration and letting go of the outcome.
Oh. My. Goodness. This. Was. Difficult. I like to be super organised and controlled – letting go and surrendering was not in my nature. With hindsight, I can now see that it is one of the things that I needed to do most, in order to move forward.
It was time to trust that things would fall into place when they were meant to – but to at the same time commit to opening doors, moving forward in some way, and making a conscious effort to enjoy the exploration and findings along the way.
Have a long term and short term vision
“Keep the big dream in mind, but don’t let it paralyse you. Focus on one element of it, one door, and one step at a time in moving forward.” – Naomi Arnold
Another activity that really helped me was to paint myself a long term vision – and a short term vision.
The long term vision had gaps in it, but was around piecing together many of my passions into one big and prosperous business. Now if I had of waited until I had the qualifications and confidence to open this epic business, I would have never done it.
Instead, I decided to also draw a short term vision – one that focused on one of my ‘arms’ or interests and to pursue that until I was ready to take on the next one. I am still doing this today – targeting one arm at a time and mastering it on my website and in my service – before adding another arm to the picture.
Redefine your interpretation of purpose
“Often, purpose is confused with job, career or role, but this is now always the case. Find your truth, your unique talents and skills and share them with whomever is in front of you right now. This is your purpose, on whatever scale, shape or form you are presented with at this time.” – Helen Jacobs, The Little Sage
As I was pursuing one ‘arm’ of my business or focusing on opening one door at a time – I had to remember to be open about my interpretation of purpose. To me, purpose wasn’t about having a meaningful career alone – but sometimes when I was so focussed on this pursuit, I’d need to remind myself of the broader meaning of living a passionate and purposeful life.
When I focused on being present in the moment, and actively looking for ways to live passionately and purposefully in the current moment, the more ‘in tune’ and ‘on purpose’ I felt.
Prioritise self care and me time
“Self care is just as important as every item on your To Do list.’ – Naomi Arnold
I believe that you are much more likely to be inspired and to have moments of clarity and insight, when you are taking care of yourself and taking time out to just be. For this reason, I believe that self care and me time are essentials in the pursuit of purpose.
I truly hope that this post helps you in some way.
Let’s soar together,