Want to find your calling? What not to do. (And two things you must!)
We have this weird idea that what we’re really meant to be doing with our lives - our calling - will just appear to us one day in a flash of inspiration. Or that we should just know what it is and that there’s something wrong with us for not knowing.
What’s true about these ideas is that your life purpose will appear to you one day because it’s already inside of you. But because it’s all tangled up in who you are, your values, how you were raised, what you believe about the world, everything you’ve done with your life up until this point, it isn’t going to just fall into your lap one day. It’s hidden under a whole lot of shtuff that is no easy sh*t to wade through.
Bottom line: if you sit around waiting for an ‘aha’ moment, it may never come.
Personally, I also think that waiting around for the answer to appear is also a bit of an excuse for getting out of doing the hard work of self-reflection.
Digging deep into who you are and what you want is hard and the process is unclear at best. Better to hold onto the idea that your life purpose should just come to you magically.
Except what if it never does? That’s what the deepest part of you is secretly worried about (and why you’re reading this).
If you want to start taking effective action towards figuring out what you’re really meant to be doing with your life, I’ve got some suggestions.
But first, some things you need to stop doing ASAP:
1. Overanalyzing it to death.
I, like everyone else feeling disillusioned with life, definitely did my share of analyzing. I spent a lot of money on self-help books, downloaded a lot of worksheets and completed a lot of personality quizzes. These are all great strategies except, for the most part, they don’t really work. Sure, I learned some things about myself but nothing changed.
2. Thinking there is one right answer you just have to work hard enough to find.
There is this super unhelpful idea that we were all born to do just one thing. (Kind of like the idea that there is only one right person out there for everyone). This is just not true! Humans are dynamic. We have lots of skills and interests and you are free to pick the combination you want and change it whenever you want.
3. Worrying that you may never find it
Worry is negative energy. If you believe in the Law of Attraction then you know that if you worry you’ll never find your calling, you won’t.
So what can you do that will help?
Here are two of the hardest but most powerful steps you can take (and they’re not the easy, quick-fix answers you were probably looking for!):
2. Letting go of your need to control.
These are all about taking the pressure off. I’m not saying you don’t have to do any work at all (because then we’re stuck back at the idea that your purpose will just fall from the sky and fantasies don’t equal results) but when you put too much pressure on yourself to figure it out, you stifle all the channels that exist within you that give you access to the the things you need to explore in order to find your purpose. Huh?
The answer to your question: “what am I meant to be doing with my life?” already exists within you. Like I said, it’s tied up in your values, your natural talents or gifts, who you are and what your “why” is (i.e. your reason to get up in the morning). To examine all of these things in a loving, curious way requires a certain state of mind. One that is calm and confident - not panicked that you’re wasting every precious second if you don’t find it ASAP.
When your energy that was previously tied up with worry and trying to control is released it will be available to you to use for seeing opportunities you previously didn’t even know existed and trying them out!
So take a deep breath. Know that your true purpose is within you. Stay calm and curious. You’ve got this!