I recently surveyed my Facebook group and email list and asked them what they were struggling most with. The number one answer was finding their passion and purpose. It’s a big question; one that stumps many of us for a few reasons:
- We are often told in childhood what other people think our purpose should be and we head off down a path that may not be our true purpose – for example, my father wanted me to be a judge, so I did a brief stint in law school while I was working on my PhD (I quickly decided law school was not for me). My mother, on the other hand, wanted me to be an artist. I ended up being a Psychologist, which surprised both of my parents!
- We often face societal expectations about what is or is not appropriate for us based on our gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or other labeling – For example, I learned that women should be pretty, know how to waltz, host a dinner party, and raise the kids. I also was told that, as a post-sexual revolution woman, I could do anything I set my mind to as long as I worked hard enough for it. I know a number of women who were raised with these dual expectations (you can be a great mother and a great President and do it all with a smile!). Unfortunately, I think these dual expectations led to a generation of women who felt “not enough” if they couldn’t manage to do it all (and who can really do it “all”, let alone do it all “perfectly” anyway?). In my 20s and 30s, I had the success at work part down, but often felt “not enough” when people learned that I didn’t have children and, in fact, couldn’t have them. It was though I felt I had to work harder to make up for my infertility (it makes no sense on the surface, but, subconsciously, that’s exactly what I did – pushed myself at work harder and harder until I dropped.)
- We think that once we find our true Purpose and live it, we’re done and everything will always work out as we want it to. – I firmly believe that we all have a Purpose, one thing that we were meant to do. However, I don’t believe that: 1) our destiny is set in stone, or 2) our Purpose won’t ever shift. We are not static be-ings, and life isn’t perfect. I think if we set up expectations on the notion that once we find our true Purpose, we will never have another problem, then we are setting ourselves up for failure. That might seem harsh, but hear me out. I see too many women (and men) who are searching for that one thing that is going to make them happy/ successful/ rich/ finally feel like they have “arrived.” They invest so much time and money into programs/ certifications/ advice from gurus hoping someone will tell them what to do and that this program/ certificate/ advice will be the one key that will unlock their door to happiness/ success/ wealth/ etc. I’m not saying that there aren’t some great programs out there and great coaches (I, for one, love coaching my clients!). There absolutely are and maybe you do need help to get to where you want to go. But here’s the deal: it has to be where YOU want to go, not where someone else told you that you need to go to “make it.” If you follow in someone else’s footsteps and use their “formula for success/happiness/wealth/etc.”, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would for you. Why? Because it has to feel like you; it has to resonate with you; it has to be in alignment with your Purpose, not theirs. If it does, awesome. Go for it! But if it doesn’t, maybe you should spend some time checking in with you on what you really want (more on this in the last paragraph)…
I think Meagan Ruppert put it best when she said:
Translation: I can’t tell you what your true purpose is, but you can. You asked for my help in finding your passion and purpose, in knowing what is truly in alignment with your Soul's calling, and I will help you. I invite you to join my Facebook group and take my 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose challenge. This is 5 days of reflection prompts, Facebook lives, and support from your Sisters on your path. Will we solve the world’s problems in 5 days? Probably not. But, you will likely gain more clarity on what it is that you are meant to do right here and right now. You’ll have my support and the support of your Sisters in finding what it is you need to make your goals happen. Then, I encourage you to re-do this challenge at least once a year, if not once a quarter, because, life happens, circumstances change, and as you evolve and grow, your Passion and Purpose usually grow with you. You can do this. We are here to help. Join us for the 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose Challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWellNourishedGoddess/