It starts when we’re young, just learning how to string sentences together. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” they question us, eagerly waiting to hear what cute answer we’ll come up with.
But the inquiry doesn’t stop as we grow up – it just becomes a more pressured process. Everyone around us wants to know how to classify us so they can better understand us – and the easiest way is often through the job we will pursue.
But our jobs don’t define us.
As you can imagine, this conversation drives me crazy. We are so much more than our job – we are creatures that thrive when we are aligned with our purpose, not necessarily the role that gives us our paychecks. I also think putting the pressure of “figuring out” your life’s purpose on the shoulders of young people is unfair when we offer very few tools and processes to assist them in tapping into that knowing.
One of the most common reasons that my clients seek me out for private coaching is that they feel that they’ve failed – they’ve reached their mid-20s, mid-30s, mid-40s and don’t feel like they’ve ever accomplished this first daunting task of naming their purpose.
Their perceived failure in turn tanks their confidence and holds them back from jumping into the active creation of their life.
Remember this: “figuring out your purpose” isn’t a gate you must pass through before you’re allowed to live. Don’t make it into an obstacle that you obsess over and use to distract yourself from being happy, now.
I’m sharing with you today 5 ways you can align with your life’s purpose every. Single. Day. Even if you don’t know consciously what that purpose is. Practice living in alignment and be open to observing patterns that might draw you into a more clear understanding of the purpose, rather than continuing to bang your head against the wall.
Confused by the word alignment? I know it can be a little life-coach jargon-y. When I use the word alignment I’m talking about the holistic feel of your daily life. Our goal when we’re looking to get ourselves into alignment is to figure out what feels good, how we work best, and what we desire, and then to create a day that encapsulates those things as much as possible. It’s about being fully in tune with your body, mind and spirit and being willing to adjust your course throughout the day to attend to your needs.
Decide on how you want to feel, right now – and name 2 things that make you feel that way in your daily life. Notice that the emphasis is on your experience – not an accomplishment! You don’t need to know your life end goal to recognize that you want to feel more peaceful and accomplished, now. Do more of those two things! This can start as a very simple process, and get more specific as you start to experiment with different feelings.
Figure out how your brain and mind work. Start identifying what time of day you do your best work, when you are feeling least energetic, and how much sleep allows you to perform at your best. Everyone is different, and that’s part of why the traditional 9-5 doesn’t work for many of us. Resources like Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel Amen and When by Daniel Pink can help you start on this journey. You need to know your unique make up in order to start shifting your daily experience to align with it!
Journal. I know that I sound like a broken record, but journalling is the number one tool my clients use to uncover their growth edges between sessions. Focus on journalling with the intention of recording your experience – what made today beautiful? Where could I shift things tomorrow to feel better?
Try on a life’s purpose. Let this be a fun experiment. If you have in mind 5-1500 different ideas of what your life’s purpose or your career path could be (they don’t have to be one and the same, but for many people they’re intertwined!) start by trying one of them on at a time. Put yourself in the space of that career or purpose early in the morning, and make all of your decisions throughout the day from that place. If you were trying on the role of travel blogger, for example – you wouldn’t grab breakfast at home. You’d probably grab a bite on your way out the door, find a cute cafe to work in, get a power hour or two of creative work done, and see some sites in the afternoon. You can try this lifestyle on on a Saturday and instantly feel whether it’s the experience itself you’re drawn to, or the imagined glamour of the role.
Identify other power leaks in your life and resolve them. I mentioned earlier that the life purpose question tends to dominate our whole life – and it often feels like we need to solve it before we can address other, smaller things. Not true! In fact, the more you neatly resolve other conflicts in your life the more open you are to getting clear downloads about what comes next. So make a list! Where in your life are you feeling out of integrity with what you want? If you hate getting dressed in the morning because your clothes don’t fit or don’t express your current self, look at options to revamp the wardrobe! If you feel like you aren’t connecting with family and friends often enough, plug it into your calendar. Do anything you can to resolve ongoing power leaks – it will boost your confidence, help you act in alignment, and also give you ownership back over your experience.
Which of these alignment tricks are you going to try?! Be sure to follow the conversation on instagram @lauraweldy and tell me which ones you’re incorporating!