It seems more and more these days, you can see advertisements for ‘finding your calling’ or ‘following your heart’. That can be both confusing and disheartening if you don’t know what that means, or maybe you know what it means but you don’t know what to do about it.
I totally get it! I can recall many conversations with my Dad, on long car trips, discussing what I wanted to do with my life. The dream took many forms over the years, but the soul of the idea ‘to help women’ always remained the same. But even so, it took me A LONG TIME to figure it out. Truly, it took a time of crisis in my life for me to actually sit down and figure out what the heck it all meant and what I was going to do about it.
Because I know how frustrating it all can be, I would like to share some steps I took to get to where I am today, and hopefully some of them will speak to you!
Steps to Finding your Passion:
- Look Back: When I started looking back at what made me tick, what made me excited over all the years of my life, it was not really all that hard to find my passion.
- Start with your childhood years, seriously. Think back to what gave you joy during your elementary, middle and high school years.
Was it music, books, sports, games, being outside, making things?
- Write all of those things down
- Now looking at all of those things. Is there a deeper meaning to it?
For example, I loved being outside, reading, and playing sports. Doesn’t seem to exciting, but when I started to look deeper, I loved reading about strong female characters and people overcoming adversity. I loved being outside because it brought me so much joy and peace and sense of freedom. I loved being on a team because a) I am crazy competitive, but b) I got such joy out of encouraging teammates to succeed. So looking deeper, I truly enjoyed finding joy in life and encouraging women to be the best and strongest version of themselves, while being free from rules. Easy right?!
- Meditate: This is probably one of the ‘hardest’ things on the list, but it doesn’t have to be. Meditation can come in many different forms. The truest form of meditation is to sit, be still, with closed eyes (Very bare definition) While I believe this to be the best form of meditation, many people gain great benefits from moving meditation, mindful meditation, or working meditation (losing yourself in work such as painting or cleaning or raking…where you have no thoughts and time passes quickly). Meditation doesn’t have to be for an hour either. Just start small, like 8 minutes, and make it a habit. Then you can increase slowly from there if you want!
Here are some great resources listed below:
- Apps on the phone are a wonderful tool:
- The mindfulness app
- A great book to get started is:
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Pennman
- Apps on the phone are a wonderful tool:
- Ignore Other People: STOP PEOPLE PLEASING…STOP THE MADDNES!!!
OK, now THIS is probably the hardest item on the list.
We all let other’s opinions on what we should do or should be or what road we should go down, influence us. Generally, we like to make people happy. It’s very difficult not to get caught up in it. Most of us don’t like to disappoint others, and it’s easier to just let other’s opinion guide us.
You might be thinking ‘I do what I want’ or ‘I don’t let other’s opinions guide me’, but take a closer look. If you were to quit your job today, who do you think about telling? What do you think their reaction would be? How do you think that would make you feel? Do you care?…Probably at least a little! That’s human nature. BUT, in order to fully follow your passion in this life, you have to do what matters to YOU and only YOU.
Now, saying all this, I want to make it very clear, that your intentions have to be pure and good, and I am not saying ignore other people if you are going to hurt them in the process. As a mom, I know things get a little hairy when you are responsible for little people, but if your intentions are good and for the betterment of others, you will be an encouragement to those closest to you.
- Prayer: This step isn’t for everyone, but prayer is another form of meditation and reflection. Spending time in prayer can really help break down walls that might be hindering you. It can help remove doubt and fear and that hamster-wheel of negative self-talk.
- Journal: As above, writing things down can be such a great clarifier. Things will come out through your pen that will surprise you. And if you have never journaled before, don’t let it deter or scare you. It’s not difficult and you don’t have to write long two page entries every day! There are many different ways to journal such as:
- Stream of conscience: you sit down and write anything that comes to mind. Just the words. It does not have to make sense or be complete sentences. You can write until you get tired, or set a timer and write until the timer goes off.
- Length or Time Journaling: You set a minimum time limit or length and you just write until that limit is reached. That limit can be thirty seconds, thirty minutes, two lines, or two pages…there really are only the rules you make.
- Journal Prompts: Here you journal each day based off of a given prompt. You can find these prompts through a simple Google search. And it is fairly easy to find prompts that fit your own special needs. Most of them are free, but there are also great options that cost a little money. Pinterest is another great source for finding prompts!
- 5,4,3,2,1: When all else fails, you can always fall back to this simple method. Especially on those days when you just don’t feel like writing, or thinking, or you are just plain worn out. You write 5 things you can see around you, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. Simple as that!!
- Take Action: All of the above are wonderful ways to get ideas flowing, and become more specific on your passion road. However, if we do nothing but think and ponder and ruminate, we will never actual get out there and DO. Also, once you actually START doing, you might find your passion grows, matures or changes. It’s amazing how much life ebbs and flows, and your passion has the ability to do the same thing. Let it!
Some ways to take action:
- Make a list: list small achievable tasks that are not overwhelming, but (THIS IS KEY) actually move you towards the direction of your passion. And start checking them off.
- Create a morning routine and stick to it. Make part of your routine checking off 1 item from your list! See how fast you make progress!!
- Just GO! Get off your behind, out of your house and just DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!!!
- Go do the damn thing!!