As an empowerment coach for women one of the most common questions I get asked is 'how do I find my purpose?'. I know just how frustrating the process can be! So today I want to share with you 5 powerful steps that you can take today that will help you get closer to finding your purpose.
I would like to preface the post with the notion that in life we don't just have 1 purpose, we actually have many different purposes. These can include being a parent if you have children, maybe you run a business, have a job, hobbies or any other type of responsibilities. Many of us spend our lives looking for our one purpose without even realising how many amazing different purposes we are actually fulfilling every day!
1. Get clear on your values
Getting clear on your values is the first most important step we must take in order to find our purpose. It sounds simple and most coaching clients tend to want to skip this step, however it is actually really important because if we aren't clear on our values we can't live from an aligned place. Alignment really is key, and we will explore this in more detail shortly but first if I asked you what your top 3 values are could you list them without giving it too much thought? And if I asked you to reflect on your relationships, job, hobbies etc. do they align with your current experience of life or are there gaps?
If you find there are gaps then now you have the opportunity to make a plan to bridge the gaps. Taking this first step has been a really important step for me when I started my journey to finding my purpose. At the time I was in a very toxic relationship and toxic work environment and it became apparent to me that most of the way I was living my life wasn't in alignment with my values at all! Once I had the awareness and understanding of how I was living my life and what my values actually were I was able to then take action and make changes to live more aligned to my values. It wasn't easy and it did take time to make the changes, but I was able to take aligned committed action from an empowered place rather than staying a victim to my circumstances.
2. Get In Alignment
My clients always ask me 'but Jasmin how do I get into alignment?'. I get it, if you are living a life completely out of alignment to your values and beliefs it can be difficult to know where to start to make necessary changes. As I mentioned in step 1 the first thing that you need to do is get very clear with your values. Having a list of 5-10 main values is a good start, you don't want to write down too many and then feel overwhelmed. But you might find it easier to brainstorm a big list and refine down from there if that's easier for you.
The next part of getting into the alignment process is to take stock of all the areas of your life and see if your values are congruent with your life. Ask yourself 'am I living this value each and every day? Does my life allow me to live in alignment with this value?'. If you find that there are gaps between your life and your values then it's time to write a list of the areas of your life that need attention. This will help you to get clear on what areas you need to focus on and what you need to do in order to get into alignment.
For example one of my values was having a good regular sleep routine, yet I was working in the hotel industry working shift work that included mainly afternoon and evening work where I was working till 11pm at night! My sleep routine was non existent and I was struggling with health problems which were affected by a high stress, shift work job. Once I was really clear on this misalignment I started taking the steps to find a different job that would provide me with the lifestyle I valued that allowed regular routine sleep. Now making these changes didn't happen overnight, however by gaining clarity and awareness I was able to create an action plan to start to make new choices and feel empowered that I was actually in control of my life.
The quickest way to block yourself from finding your purpose is not getting out there and experimenting with different hobbies and activities. For most of us finding our purpose doesn't just come to us by sitting around waiting for it to find us. The path is laid out to us as we navigate life and experience the journey. By actively living life and taking purposeful action we live life experiencing exactly what we need in order to continue to grow and learn. As I mentioned before we are actually always on purpose, even if we are out of alignment because there are always nuggets of wisdom that we learn from all our experiences in life. Also by being out of alignment we learn how to live life so that we are in alignment with our values and beliefs.
4. Increase Your Skills
Get out there and join a meetup group, start playing a sport, try a creative art class, read non fiction books on different life topics, volunteer at a charity or events, try creative writing or public speaking! You will be amazed at how many different things you can try to draw from and be inspired. Everything that we do in life has a purpose and a specific lesson or skill that we learn in the process. Having said that don't feel like you have to strategically take up new hobbies to build your skills, but I do agree that the more you upskill in different areas of your life the more well rounded you will become as a person and that is going to put you ahead in all areas of your life!
5. Connect the Dots
I truly believe that we are always being guided on our life journey and there is no such thing as a coincidence! We are always being guided and shown the way forward in our life, but it is up to us to listen to the signs and connect the dots. In year 5 in Primary School I started learning to play the cello purely because a friend had asked me if I would be willing to learn- the teacher needed 2 students to run the lessons and so I said yes. I had my mind set on learning the clarinet or violin but I decided to take a chance and try the cello and wow what a journey it was! I continued playing cello quite seriously for over 10 years all through school. I played in orchestras, performed in front of hundreds of people as a solo cellist, collaborated with bands and played rock and pop songs, all from taking that first step! While I decided not to take it professionally when I left school I now know that those years of experience performing have helped me in the work that I now do coaching and speaking to groups of women. Don't ever underestimate the opportunities that come your way, as you won't always know where that opportunity may lead you in the future!
To help you connect the dots of your life experiences ask yourself these questions.
How have my life experiences helped me become the person I am today?
What skills and lessons have I learned from these experiences?
What is my soul calling for me to do next?
What is going to help me grow and evolve and take my life to the next level?