Published on Havingtime.com
This week, on two separate occasions, two friends asked me the same question;
“What is your ‘why’?”
My reply to them both was the same; I know what it is, I just find it hard to sum it up into a sentence.
Which got me thinking – why couldn’t I?! Why couldn’t I give a clear, concise answer for my ‘why’; My purpose.
It’s not that I haven’t given it enough thought. I really have; I’ve changed my life beyond recognition to live true to it, yet I couldn’t articulate a neat little sentence to sum it up for my two awesome friends… or to myself.
I’ve reached an interesting milestone in my personal development; the realisation and complete acceptance that there is no turning back! I have left the safety of my cave and am half way towards the horizon, having waded through fogs, long nights and days to get here.
To have journeyed this far and turn back, finally just isn’t an option; despite the alternative being continuing to step into the unknown to truly live a life aligned to my ‘why’… and there is still so much more for me to learn.
When I left my metaphorical ‘cave’ I had forgotten who I was; what I enjoyed, what I was good at and what made me come alive. If I’d been asked the questions ‘what is my ‘why’’ back then, I wouldn’t have had a clue but felt a draw towards finding out and would often find myself thinking; there’s must be more to life.
I remember feeling completely lost not knowing where to start when I stumbled across a ‘what is your purpose’ questionnaire. I completed the questions and was given a series of statements which, at the time, meant very little to me. And so I came across a screenshot I’d taken of those statements recently and was completely stopped in my tracks!
The gist of it read:
“My imperative is to work directly with individuals to enable them to elevate their game by creating their environment and experiences; Building trust, exposing and teaching someone something new in order to uncover new insights and experiences”.
That is exactly my ‘why’! That is exactly what I am trying to build my life around right now. So it turns out I had a clear, concise answer to the question ‘what is my why’ all along.
My inner self already knew what my purpose was I just didn’t know how to really listen to myself.
You may still be in your ‘cave’, peering out every now and again wishing life, yourself, things were different. You may have stepped outside into the blinding light only to have retreated back into the comfort of the darkness (as I had done so for many years) or you may be closer to or have reached your horizon; a life true to your own purpose.
If you ever get the niggling feeling there must be more to life, and you’re not sure how to live a life that feels authentic – true to your own why here are a few things I remind myself of daily which might help;
#1 Reconnect and stay connected with yourself
Make it your number one priority to reconnect with yourself; read books, go on courses, write stuff down, find a coach – get to know, understand, love and accept yourself, exactly as you are and keep that learning going. Right now it feels like there’ll always be more to learn.
#2 Be Bold and Brave
Ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that can happen’. Understand your own fear and how it holds you back; if you’re scared of something, explore it until you know why. Try not to resist fear but instead, make friends with it and take it on the journey with you. Fear is a completely normal and natural feeling and response to something that is unknown; being able to recognise and understand your own fears, will make managing them a lot easier.
Once you get your fear to cooperate, trust me, you’ll realise it was just an illusion anyway.
#3 Be More Active
You have to actively walk towards your goal. Unfortunately, nothing is owed to you, despite any stories you might tell yourself to justify what you feel you rightly deserve; you have to actively go out and get what you want. Make new connections, learn from people you find interesting, ask for help. You may not be completely clear where you’re going – just start somewhere, get going somehow and let it evolve as it’s meant to.
#4 Be Kind to Your Mind
Take time to become mindful and meditate. Give your mind the space it deserves; it works so hard all day, every day – especially at a time of change, transformation or development. Sitting quietly and focussing on your breath for just a few moments each day will help you gain more clarity of your thoughts and emotions and will make it easier to deal with the setbacks and doubts that will inevitably be part of your journey.
#5 Truth and Trust
Speak, think and feel the only truth. Trust your intuition and be honest with yourself and others. Check in with yourself to make sure your decisions, choices, words and expressions are aligned with your inner truth; Try not to choose convenience or fear of it. A simple example of this would be getting offered a job that your gut tells you isn’t aligned to your purpose but you take it anyway because of the wage tag, or any other excuse you conjure up; the chances are you are stepping back into your cave.
Trust yourself and the process. Deep down, you already know your ‘why’. You just need to figure out the barriers you’ve built up against it, give yourself the head space to really listen to and completely accept your true self. You really are capable of anything when you are being yourself.