Your life purpose: it’s something we all strive for and think about. Yet not everyone knows what theirs really is!
I talk a lot about finding your mission and purpose in life. But almost every time I do I get messages from people who are more than a little freaked out.
They don’t like their jobs. They don’t know their passion. Finding their life purpose seems about as realistic as suddenly gaining the ability to fly.
If that sounds like you, then please know that I get it. I deeply understand what it’s like to now know what you’re supposed to do in life, to feel confused and un-buoyed, to feel like everyone else has it figured out except you.
We truly are all here on Earth for our own individual reasons. We each have a specific mission to fulfill. That also means we’re not meant to have cookie-cutter goals and similar life ambitions.
The path to our life purpose is rarely as easy and straightforward as we’d like to believe! So this week I’m inspired to share my story along with a few tips on how to unravel your life purpose, your passion and your career (along with what the differences are).
My Life Purpose Story
Confession: I spent basically all of my twenties entirely confused and unsure of what to DO with myself and my life.
I was smart, wasn’t I? I was creative, wasn’t I? Then why didn’t any of that translate into a job I loved and the bank account to match?
I took the whole thing very personally. I look back now and can see exactly how miserable I was. But back then I was in denial. I put up a fake front. I pretended not to care. I wasted lots of time on things that didn’t matter in an attempt to forget the pain.
The one thing that started me on the journey to where I am now was listening to my heart.
I wanted to be an interior designer. So I went back to design school part-time and eventually finished my design diploma. I got a few different jobs in the industry. And even though that might seem like it’s MILES away from what I do now, it was a very important part of my journey to my life purpose.
When I worked with my design clients, I would walk into a home and read the space. I could see insecurities, anxieties and trauma. I could see how people were hiding from themselves and their best lives. And on rare occasions, I’d meet with someone living their very best life!
I was using design as a tool for inner transformation–until I realized it was the inner transformation I really wanted to help people with!
Design might not seem like it “fits” the story of a life coach! But following my heart made me realize exactly who I am and what I was meant to do. I just couldn’t not do what I do. ????
The biggest advice I can tell anyone who’s seeking their life purpose is to just keep listening to what your soul is telling you. Your journey may not be linear but almost no one’s life works that way! We’re not here to figure it all out in one snap of the wrist. It’s all a journey which means we have to become okay with the idea of becoming. Growing, exploring and trying things out is all just part of the process.
In other words, it’s very much okay to not have it all figured out right now! In fact, most of us don’t. Although I’m happy with where I am right now, who am I to say this is it? Life is funny and it keeps evolving and I keep evolving right along with it. There’s no way to predict where this will all end up and that’s a beautiful thing.
Your Life Purpose: Untangling Your Mission, Passion + Career
Your Life Purpose Part #1:
We’re all born with a mission here for our time here on Planet Earth! However, not everyone’s mission is as grand as inventing a cure for cancer or eliminating starvation in Africa. Our actual purpose is usually a lot more ephemeral! After all, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Our soul mission often has nothing to do with our career or schooling because we are so much bigger than that.
Your purpose is the thing you cannot help but do. It’s the underlying theme that comes up (in your jobs or elsewhere) over and over again. While we’d all love to know exactly what that is ahead of time, it usually takes us a while to notice! So try to look at it this way: if you can’t help but find it, then why stress about it? Take a deep breath and forgive yourself for not knowing everything. The journey really is just a beautiful part of life.
The truth is you’ll feel passion about a lot of things in life. However, not all of them will lead you to your purpose! But listening to your desires is how you unlock the mystery of you. If you don’t listen to what your soul is telling you, you’ll never find your true life purpose! So it’s key to create an ongoing dialogue with your own desires to make sure you’re forever moving in the right direction.
Your Life Purpose Part #2:
It’s all too easy to feel out of touch with your life purpose when you’re not in love with your job! Ideally, we’d all love to make money doing exactly what we love but that’s just not the reality for most people. One of the most important take-aways for you is to understand that career doesn’t always mesh with your life purpose. Life purpose is about something bigger but it isn’t necessarily something we can make a living from.
So if you’re not wildly thrilled with your current job or career, it’s still okay! Sometimes a job really is just a job! It doesn’t have to be a life-changing undertaking to still serve a purpose in your life (ie. putting food on the table).
Your Life Purpose Part #3:
How To Find Your Life Purpose
If you’ve just graduated from college and are feeling utterly confused, I get you. I remember the pressure to just figure it all out now and feeling like a space alien because I just didn’t know. Looking back this all seems so ridiculous! Of course someone with extremely limited work experience wouldn’t have that much of an idea of where to go. We all put far too much pressure on people to hurry up and figure it out while they’re still so very young.
So why not take the pressure off? It’s much easier (and ultimately more productive) to approach this whole life thing as one big experiment. Say yes to the job you’re not sure about because you can figure it out later. Follow your heart to the new city or country because you can always move back. So often we’re too afraid to make these big moves because we feel like we have to have it all figured out! (Newsflash: no one has it all figured out.) The only true way you’ll figure out if you like something or not is by trying it out.
With all that in mind, there’s also no such thing as failure. Again, the fear of being seen as a failure can be debilitating. But any thought that’s keeping you from moving forward in your life is ultimately unhealthy for you. When you understand that failures are really just learning experiences, you’re now free to fail your way to what’s right for you. There’s no need to feel guilt or shame as long as you just keep moving forward.
From my personal experience, I can reassure you that finding your purpose is not nearly as hard as you think it is! You’re probably doing exactly what you’re meant to do without even realizing it. It’s that idea or essence that you just can’t stay away from no matter what you do (for you that could be design or being a great support for people around you or writing or accounting). So don’t stress so much about it! What’s meant for you will never miss you! Feel free to play and experiment your way through life without all the added pressure of “figuring it out”.
Journal Prompts For Finding Your Life Purpose:
What sparks my curiosity?
What makes me feel envious?
What am I fascinated by?
What is my heart pushing me towards?
Which part of your life purpose and passion are you struggling with? Does your career happen to overlap with your purpose (or not)? How are you going to pursue finding what your soul is truly after?
I hope this post inspires you to get curious about your own dreams while also taking the pressure off! Good luck & thank you so much for reading!