Are you struggling finding what your purpose in life is? Maybe you have a few life goals but it feels more like daydreaming?
If you are, I know the feeling. Trust me.
Growing up I felt like everyone around me knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives. It’s like they magically knew their purpose in life the moment they got out of their mother’s womb. They were going to be doctors, reporters, singers. While yes, I did have some ideas of my own but it was just jobs that sounded like they would be fun, you know?
I swear these girls had their aim in life. If they got anything less than an A when we were in middle school they would have a breakdown because they were scared it would impact their future. Moi, on the other hand, had no clue what I wanted to do and honestly didn’t pay much attention to school.
Even in my twenties I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I studied different majors and even took independent courses outside of school. I was searching for a sign to tell me what my purpose in life was. I ended up working in retail, finance, fashion, marketing. Jobs that I believed was expected of me and guess what, I didn’t like it at all. I constantly resisted it. Always questioning and pushing back. Sounds familiar?
We get so caught up with what we think we’re SUPPOSED to do that we never, or rarely, stop to ask ourselves- “what do I really want to do? Caught up with the expectations from family, friends and our community, we look at what everyone else is doing and we assume we should do the same.
Let’s call this thing the “should-box.”
It’s the box our society have put us in since we were young kids. Like when we are teenagers and have to pick a college and a degree. We have to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives before we’re even allowed to drink a glass of champagne to celebrate it. Like WHAT??! That’s a lot of pressure for someone just starting their life.
And as we finish school we’re told we need to work at least 40 hours a week in a 9 to 5 job and we need to have a 401k. We should also have benefits and someone we can report to, someone who tells us how we perform as human beings. You know, the whole package deal.
Now if you have a 9 to 5 job and you love it, GOOD. FOR. YOU. I’m not knocking it, at all.
But I want you to know that if you have that itch inside of you that you are supposed to do something different than what you’ve been taught- you’re not alone. I studied healing and personal development for almost a decade before I even considered it was something I could work with.
Here’s the thing, you are incredibly unique.
Your experiences and everything you’ve learned on the way is what makes you, you. You have an expertise in something. I don’t know what but I know there’s something that people turn to you for. Something that you’re drawn to without thinking much of it. And it doesn’t have to be some groundbreaking idea, your aim in life could simply be something you love doing and sharing with others. Point is, you’re an undiscovered expert at something!
My aha-moment was when I realized people kept turning to me for advice on how to get over things that they were going through or something that happened in their past. How to get over traumas, what to do with their relationships, how to feel better. Even asking me what I believed their purpose was or what jobs they should apply to.
People kept asking me, “How did YOU do it?”
It started in 2008 when I was raped. I’d turned twenty the same month and then as a freaky coincidence, a man I had previously dated and who’d spent the past couple of months stalking me, decided to brake into my studio apartment in the middle of the night just a couple of weeks after the assault.
Like the raped hadn’t been enough, after being chased with a knife by a man screaming “if I can’t have you then no one else can”- I was severely traumatized. I spent the first few months in paralysis, unable to fully function. Then, as my doctors started discussing my need for medications, I agreed but told them I would only use them to get out of the hole I was feeling.
It motivated me to fully immerse myself in anything related to healing and trauma. I researched, studied, took courses, classes and read any book I could get my hands on. Any method I could find, I would try, from western medicine to eastern medicine. from science to spirituality.
I was only on medication for a few months but it took me years to figure out what worked and to make sense of what was going on in my body.
But to be honest, it wasn’t until after I survived two years of domestic violence and had other women from the support group ask me to teach them, that it even clicked for me.
I started looking back at everything I’d overcome and I decided that there was no way I went through all of that for no reason. There must be a reason.
I also realized I could talk about healing and anything involved with personal transformation for hours straight without feeling exhausted. I would help anyone who asked me, giving them everything I could. But days when I had to teach two or three yoga classes a day I would feel so drained and depleted. And that wasn’t even a 9-5 job and I was still like, “don’t-talk-to-me-for-the-rest-of-the-day”- drained.
Do you have something like that, something you can completely immerse yourself with and it feels natural? It doesn’t suck out the energy out of you?
How about your friends and people around you- do they ask you for advice or your help? If so it’s because they see YOU as the expert in that subject.
Our traditional way of thinking is that an expert has to be someone who has a degree and a few awards under their belt. And don’t get me wrong, in some industries, it’s absolutely necessary to have the required training and education. But in general, I believe that our own experiences make us experts. Experts of our own experiences.
Think about it. When you’re really interested in something, you do all the research and try to learn everything about that subject. You probably have a lot of hands-on experience with it as well because it’s something you’ve applied in your own life. Or I hope you do!
As humans, we have a deep desire to feel significant. To help others and inspire the people around us. We want to feel fulfilled. But we also have fears that keep us standing still. Fears of judgment and failure of not being able to take care of ourselves. Even fear of humiliation. We don’t feel confident enough to believe in ourselves and listen to that voice inside of us. That inner voice that is telling us what we are naturally good at.
I like to think of everyone’s purpose in life is like their role in the ecosystem.
We all have our own strengths and visions that drives us, and they are very different from others. Something you love to do can be something that someone else hates to do, and vice versa. And that’s what’s so great!
Even people who are in the same industry as you or do something similar to what you do, is going to be completely different because their experiences are going to be so much different from yours. That’s what makes us so unique. So don’t get discouraged if someone else has the same aim in life as you. What matters is that you do it your way.
So I want to challenge you to stop saying- “what if.”
To stop expecting the worst.
Stop trying to have all the answers.
Yes, I get it. It’s scary and we have bills to pay. I’m not telling you to quit your job (unless that’s what you feel like you need to do) but you can start taking actions on the side and take any ideas that come to you for a test run. That’s how you get momentum because it gives your ideas that spark to keep going.
… I love to talk about?
… people turn to me for?
… I wish I could share with people?
You just have to start somewhere.
Don’t get lost in your mind trying to figure out all the how’s, see what steps you can start taking right now and THEN see where it leads to.
Just because you don’t know how or have it exactly mapped out doesn’t mean you should stand still and wait. You have to follow the breadcrumbs and see where they lead.
Take steps, even if they are baby steps.
You got this.
Here are some resources that can help you get some clarity and map out those baby steps:
The Vision Guide helps you find out what you want to see in your life and the reason why. The reason that will keep you going for it.
The Daily Rituals Workbook gets you clear on where you are spending your time and what you need to change to make time for those baby steps that will lead you to your purpose and vision.
I use them all the time, especially when I feel like I need to take a step back and get some perspective.
Let me know how you’re doing okay?