6 Surefire Ways To Move Closer Toward Your True Purpose In Life
So many of us are looking for happiness outside of ourselves. I know because I did for decades, and it resulted in clinical depression, anxiety, addictions, and eating disorders. Back then, I wanted so badly to find my purpose—that one specific thing that would make me feel complete. But the more I looked for it, the harder it was to find.
I realize now that I had it backward. In order to discover our true purpose and find more meaning, joy, and unconditional love, we need to start by looking within. Your true purpose isn't something outside of you or something you need to go and find. It isn't about doing more but rather about being more of who you really are.
Give yourself permission to show up more in all areas of your life, and uncover your true purpose in the process, with these tips:
1. Identify your core values.
The foundation is key. Focus on what you care about and value most in life. When do you feel like your best self and what are you doing? For example, if you feel like your best self when you're painting, then ask yourself what it is about creating art that you love. Perhaps you will uncover that you enjoy being expressive. Therefore your value is "creative expression."
2. Give yourself permission to be you.
Ask yourself, what have you always wanted to do but haven't given yourself permission to do? When I asked this of myself years ago, in that moment, like a racehorse out of the gate, my inner voice said, travel the world for an entire year. This was a dream in my heart for decades. Why not go for it? What dream is in your heart? It's time to give yourself permission to start to move toward it.
3. Transmute fear into faith.
After identifying my big dream, I asked myself, Why am I not doing that? Why was I putting my dreams on hold? Did my life need to look a certain way before I could live out my ideal life? The only thing holding me back was fear of the unknown and excuses I told myself that kept me playing small.
Look at excuses and address them by turning them into positive statements. So "I don’t know if it will work out," turns into "What if I succeed and am more fulfilled than I ever thought possible?" Or "Who am I to go after what I want?" turns into "I was born to do this." You have the power to live out your dreams and be who you are meant to be, but it starts with turning your fear into faith.
4. Create your ideal vision.
If you feel stuck with trying identifying your purpose, ask yourself, if time, money, and energy weren't a factor, what would you want to do? The answer can reveal what is in your heart. For me, I sat down and pulled out my pen and paper. I started to create my ideal vision—my own yearlong journey around the world. And just like that, I made the shift from talking about it to actually doing something about it. So often we talk about wanting to change. We think about it and say we will do it, but year after year, nothing really changes. The truth is, nothing will ever change until you decide to make it happen.
5. Relax on the journey.
When it comes to living our true purpose, we have to stop trying to define it. We are more than what we do for a living. We are so much bigger than our job titles. You are infinite love, and expressing that is your true purpose. Give yourself permission to be more you by living intentionally and being present in each moment. Instead of trying to figure it all out, be more relaxed in the journey and watch how things transform for you.
6. Seek joy.
When we say we want to find our purpose, what we are really craving is to live more on purpose. We want a life full of meaning, connection, and joy. And the best way to do this is to tap into your intuition, the inner guide and voice within you. The one that says, This feels good; this is right; yes, more of this, please. Do more of what makes you happy.
Focus on what brings you joy and let your intuition guide you. The rest will follow, and all will be in the right order.
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment including The Self-Love Experiment and Adventures for Your Soul, Joy Seeker, and Unshakable Inner Peace Oracle card deck, and the forthcoming book Return to You. She has a B.A. in journalism and communications from the University of Oregon. As an international life coach, speaker, and retreat leader, she helps people awaken and align with their true selves so they can live their highest potential.
She's been named top 100 Women to Watch in wellness by mindbodygreen, alongside Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kris Carr and Gabriel Bernstein, and was listed as of the freshest voices in mental health and wellness by Chicken Soup for The Women's Soul. She's been named one of Entrepreneurs Must-Follow Instagram Accounts for Inspiration and Top Facebook Accounts for Daily Motivation by Mind Body Green.
Her website Playwiththeworld.com has been names top 75 Personal development websites and top 100 self-help websites by the institute for the Psychology of Eating. She's an international life coach and author mentor, and a full time world traveler with a home base in Portland, Oregon with her best friend, her Golden Retriever Chance, who she flew to China to Rescue.