Are you feeling stuck and don't know what to do next in your career? It's time to forge your own path in life and find your authentic purpose. Here are 6 tips to get you started.
By Roksana Fraczek | Dream-Career
Photo: francepig via Canva
What is the point of living? This is a question that has been asked throughout the ages, and one that still plagues us today. Many people go through life without ever finding an answer to this question. We go through the motions day after day, year after year, never feeling fulfilled or satisfied. Or even worse, we stay in a job or career we hate because we think it's the only way to make a living.
We long for change but are too frightened to take that first step. We are scared of making a wrong move and failing. But we're also too afraid of pausing, looking inward, and asking questions like "who am I?", "what do I want?" or "what really matters to me?". We feel stuck.
We tell ourselves that we're not ready, that it's too early or too late, or that we don't have what it takes to make a difference. But the truth is, we're never going to be "ready." We're never going to have all the answers or know exactly what to do. All we can do is take the first step and trust we'll find the missing pieces along the way.
When we're held hostage by other people's version of success.
It is difficult to stay true to yourself if how you live is defined by other people. We are afraid of pursuing our dreams and get stuck at jobs that drain our energy because we don't want to disappoint our spouses or parents. We want to belong and get validated and so we try to fit into a mold that doesn't necessarily fit who we are.
We think that we need to have a certain job or title, make a certain amount of money, or achieve a certain social status to be happy and fulfilled. But even when we get there - it's still not enough. We also need to achieve greatness effortlessly and become successful overnight.
But what if there is no one-size-fits-all answer to success and we all need to define it for ourselves? What if by running away from who we really are we deprive ourselves of the only chance to lead a happy and fulfilling life?
It is only when you break free from other people's expectations and definitions of success that you can begin to hear your own voice. It is only when you stop looking for someone else's approval and dare to walk your own path that you can get closer to your purpose.
Because your purpose is unique to you. It's something that's connected to your unique gifts and talents. It's in those moments when your heart beats faster and you can't wait to get started on something. It's that feeling of being alive and in flow.
You won't find it in a book. It's nothing someone else can tell you. You need to pay attention to your own experience, get vulnerable, and be brave enough to follow your heart. You need to keep putting yourself in new situations and dare to confront your deepest fears to uncover what you're capable of, and yes, that can be very scary.
"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for" - John Shedd
Safety is one of the most important things to us humans. But is being comfortable what you're really meant for? Is it your nature to stay small, fit in, and compromise on what you deeply long for?
No. You are meant for more than that. And your whole being is constantly reminding you of that. Every time you feel frustrated or depleted; every time you have that itch to do something new or different, but you brush it off - that's your soul knocking on the door, trying to get your attention.
Maybe you want to start your own business, write a book, or shift your career to something that will bring you more joy and meaning in life. Maybe you are dreaming about a better life but you keep putting it off, telling yourself that you'll do it "someday." It's just that someday never comes and you're stuck exactly where you are.
I know how scary it can be to leave your comfort zone. But what's the price you pay for trying to fit into a role that sucks the life out of you? Just think about it for a second. Imagine yourself in 5, 10... 20 years from now. What will your career, health, family, and overall satisfaction in life look if nothing changes and things stay exactly how they are now?
You see, the problem is that we think it's about facing the unknown. We think that if we don't know what's going to happen, it's safer to sit and wait. But the truth is, staying where you are, feeling miserable, and not moving forward is the biggest risk of all.
We are often meant to do the things that scare us the most.
Many people think we find our purpose in life. That it's something that just dawns on us. But the truth is, your purpose is not something you find; it's something that you forge. It takes courage, curiosity, and creativity to forge your own path. Your purpose is what gets forged in the heat of your heart the moment you decide to engage with life.
You can't hide around waiting for it to strike you. You create it by taking action and making things happen. It's the result of your unique talents, passions, and experiences coming together to create something special that only you can offer. It's what you're meant to do in this world. And it doesn't have to be big or world-changing; it just has to be yours.
Your purpose is something that you're constantly creating, moment by moment, day by day. It's the sum total of your choices, actions, and thoughts. And it starts with a single decision - a decision to be true to yourself.
Your purpose is what awaits you once you've looked your fears in the eye. It's what becomes a part of you once you dared to embrace your emotions, values, and talents without striving for other people's approval. It's the reward you get for putting yourself out there, experimenting, and learning from your experience - both the good and the bad.
So, how can you forge your purpose?
Only when you're reconnected with yourself you can start living a life that is truly fulfilling – a life that is authentic and your own. Here are 6 ideas for how you can start.
1. Take some time to introspect.
It's difficult to see what you're meant to do in life when you're caught up in distractions and the day-to-day grind. That's why it's important to take some time out if you're feeling lost or stuck. Go on a trip by yourself, meditate, journal – do whatever it takes to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings.
2. Define your values.
Your values are the foundation of your purpose. They guide you in making decisions and help you stay motivated and focused. What is important to you? What do you believe in? When you're clear about your values, it's easier to find a career or business that aligns with them.
3. Define what success looks like to you.
For too long, we've been measuring success by someone else's standards. It's time to create your own definition of what success looks like to you. What does a successful life look like? What does a successful career look like? When you can answer these questions, you'll have a much better idea of what you need to do to get there.
4. Consider your experiences.
Your experiences – both good and bad – can be a great source of inspiration for your purpose. What has influenced you in your life? What issues make you upset? What are your hopes and dreams? Use these insights to help you figure out the direction for your life.
5. Find a thinking partner
It's difficult to see clearly when you're in the thick of things. That's why it can be helpful to talk to someone who can help you gain clarity and perspective. Find a trusted friend, family member, or coach that you can confide in and bounce ideas off of. A trained coach will know how to help you identify and clarify your values, explore your experiences, and define what success looks like to you. With their help, you can start moving in the right direction and forge your own path.
6. Take action
The most important thing is to take action. It's not enough to just think about your purpose or what you want to do with your life. You need to start making changes and taking steps towards a more fulfilling life.
"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life" - Steve Jobs
You only have one life to live. And it is your responsibility to make the most of it. Do not let your fears and doubts hold you back from being happy and fulfilled. Do not wait around and let other people define how you should live your life. Be brave and define it yourself. Be the author of your own life story. Take some time to introspect, define your values, and consider your experiences. And most importantly take action - no matter how small. Only then can you start living a life that is truly authentic and your own. Get started today and see where it takes you. You might just be surprised at what you're capable of.
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