What to do when you don’t know what you’re passionate about!
I hear often from women when asked what they’re passionate about,
‘I don’t really know but I wish I did!’
Thinking back just a few years, I was obsessed with figuring out what I should do with my life. I desperately wanted that feeling of excitement and purpose. I’d look at others who appeared so passionate about their jobs and wonder where they got the motivation. How did they figure that out? Because I honestly didn’t really know what I was passionate about. I mean I liked stuff, but I wouldn’t consider any of them a passion! Meanwhile, I was wishing away the days in my corporate job trying to dream up something that I would love. Something that I was really good at…and I wanted that something to be exciting. Not just organising things, spreadsheets or analysing stuff. Because although I was good at that, it certainly wasn’t filling up my happiness tank. No no I wanted something that I was ‘Passionate’ about! And the search was endless. I’d look on job websites constantly hoping that the perfect role would simply jump out of the screen at me. Surely if I looked for long enough, I’d find my thing…the thing that I was meant to be doing. The thing that I was brought to this planet for. One day it was just going to dawn on me. See I was pretty sure that I wanted to do something meaningful. I wanted to feel like I was contributing in a way that meant my life had a purpose. But how on earth was I going to find that thing that I was so passionate about, I would actually be excited to get out of bed for it every day? Well amazingly that day came, but not at all in the way I thought it would. It actually came via a series of wake up calls. The first of which was my marriage coming to an abrupt end. This was a rather large shake up that called me to seriously reassess the choices I was making. Starting with my relationship. But more than that, it called me to look at how I had designed my entire life. From where I was living, to the car I drove, to the friends in my life (or lack there of), to the way I spent my time, how I felt about myself, my career and quite literally where my life was headed.
This was an all-round wake up call. And boy did I listen.
Upon reflection, this wasn’t the first wake up call I’d had, but I wasn’t really listening before. I was ignoring them. The red flags. The endless hills I was pushing up. My own level of unhappiness. My lack of energy. Until I received the BIG wake up. Then I listened. I decided if I wanted something different, I better do something different. So I started making small changes in a few areas of my life – new suburb to live in, no car, new friends, saying yes to invitations, being kinder to myself, putting my health first! Within a short period of time, things began to change. I was having more fun, meeting new people, discovering who I really was, taking life less seriously! And before I knew it, I’d handed in my resignation to my corporate job for the very last time and was jumping into my own business. Two weeks after that I met a new love and my entire life went on a new trajectory. Now fast forward three years and here’s a few key lessons I’ve learnt about finding your passion and purpose:
1. Self connection is the key
Getting in touch with who you really are is the most important thing you can do. And don’t wait for the unpleasant wake up calls! Because once you get in touch, things will open up in your life in a way you can’t even imagine. Amazingly the things that you’re really interested in seem to emerge effortlessly.So how do you do this? My number one tool is meditation. This has quite simply changed my life. If only I had begun a practice earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of stress and anxiety! But there are other ways as well. Working with a life coach, self-development workshops, journaling each day and asking yourself questions… like why am I feeling this way? What am I reacting to? How do I really feel? Anything to turn your attention inwards and reflect on what is really going on for you.
2. Less distractions
We are absolute masters of distraction. Filling up every minute of our lives with everything from work to socialising to social media! We just don’t do down time well. The trouble with that is we don’t leave any space for reflection. Internal reflection. And this is where the real gems are. The ones that allow you to connect with your true self. Your innate nature. The part of you that doesn’t need Facebook or reality TV or recognition or achievement or success. The one that feels at peace with exactly where you are.If you never allow the time and space to connect with your true nature, you won’t be able to hear the guidance it offers. This is your inner wisdom. The voice that already knows and all you need to do is quiet the distractions and listen.
3. Focus on what’s really important
Boy did I not focus on what was really important! I was so caught up being and doing what I thought I ‘should be’ that I completely lost sight of what was really important. Including my own happiness! Fear was keeping me stuck. Fear of what others would think if I did or didn’t do this or that. Fear of what I would think if I did something different!Consider re-prioritising your life so you know at all times what the most important things are and then spend the majority of your time in those areas. This way you’ll feel fulfilled and happy with the direction you’re heading in.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff
I was a classic worrier! In fact I’d go so far as to say that I was an expert worrier. I was so good at worrying about what would happen in the future, that I was completely missing what was going on in the moment. My life was passing me by and all I could think about was the future!Now is the time, in fact now is the only time. Your past has already happened and your future doesn’t exist yet, so all you have is NOW. Make the most of it!
5. Have more fun
It’s amazing when you are light hearted and having more fun doing the things you enjoy (and they can be small things, like a good conversation or singing to your favourite song!), you actually attract more light heartedness into your life. Our energy is like for like. What we put out we attract. So don’t hold back, have more fun and see what things begin to open up in your life.
6. Get more sleep
So many studies have been done about the effects of getting enough sleep. And that means quality sleep. I was so sleep deprived for years that I didn’t have the physical or mental energy to connect the dots in my life. I couldn’t see the wood from the trees because my vision was so blurry in the sleepy forest! And as a kicker, my anxiety and depression were off the scale. I know now that these are intrinsically linked with sleep deprivation, so today, with 8 hours of sleep a night, I feel so much calmer and in control of my life. I can’t recommend this enough. So go forth, be bold and be brave.
Because your life is absolutely worth it!
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