What’s your purpose? Does that question make you cringe? I feel ya!
When the idea of finding purpose comes up many of us start to sweat and wonder if we measure up. Our minds wander to our jobs, our education, our hobbies… and all of the things we do.
And for many of us, we may find ourselves wanting (or feeling completely lost).
But what if things could be different? What if our purpose isn’t really what we’ve been led to believe? What if it comes from a completely different place?
If the idea of finding your purpose makes you cringe, if you’re feeling like you’ll never find it, or if you’ve recently lost your way, keep reading! Finding purpose might be a little easier than you think…
I Always Thought I Knew My Purpose
My entire life I thought I knew what I had been placed on this earth to do. I was going to dedicate my life to animals. The exact ‘what’ changed as I grew up – Veterinarian, Zoologist, Wildlife Rehabilitator… You name it, I’ve dreamed of it. And I even succeeded to some degree, working as a zookeeper apprentice, animal care provider and pet nutrition specialist… I spent years of my young life working in a field that I loved.
I even studied Zookeeping and Aquarium Technology and pursued a degree in Sciences with a Biology major in University. Seriously, I was in it to win it.
I knew it my heart that this was what I was made for. Feeling as if I knew what I was meant to do with my life brought me a ton of comfort.
Enter Graves Disease! Surprise, surprise, life had other plans.
I stubbornly fought against my diagnosis for months, even taking on a new job that would allow me to learn more about farm animals. Nothing was going to stop me. Or so I thought…
But life isn’t like that sometimes. Ignoring what my body was trying so desperately to tell me didn’t benefit me at all. Instead, things got worse. I could barely walk around the block by the time my doctor placed me on sick leave. And I had to accept that I wouldn’t be able to return to such a physically demanding job. It wasn’t an easy pill to swallow.
It felt like I had lost my purpose. As you can probably guess, my heart was broken and I suddenly felt like I had no value.
Until I thought I had found a new purpose…
After tons of healing and a huge lifestyle change, I created Health-Esteem. This website became my solace. Using my experiences to help inspire and help others live healthier lives was refreshing and uplifting. The fear of finding purpose again receded and I felt at home.
But then I relapsed and had to take a huge step back in order to heal. And all those negative feelings came rushing back. To be blunt… it really sucked.
And there’s a reason for that:
I had fallen for the idea that my purpose was found outside of myself. A trap many of us find ourselves caught in.
The truth is that…
Your Purpose Should Come From Within
We are all led to believe that finding purpose means seeking something outside of ourselves. Whether it be a career path, a volunteer project, a hobby… our purpose is meant to be something we do. An external list of accomplishments we need to achieve in order to feel like we have real value.
But there’s a problem with this idea…
When your purpose exists outside of yourself it can be taken away (if it’s ever even found at all). By a layoff, a health problem, a change of heart…
Life is a long, often random and unpredictable adventure. Things are going to change constantly, which can leave you feeling without a purpose fairly often. And that feeling… that soul-crushing pain of “losing your purpose” can really pack a painful punch. One that might make you feel pretty freaking depleted and down in the dumps.
Which is a shame, because inevitable changes in life really shouldn’t leave us feeling like we’ve lost our value. Feeling worthless isn’t good for our well-being after all.
But your purpose truly has nothing to do with what you do! It’s all about who you are.
Related: The Myth of Finding Your Purpose
What if your purpose is instead found within you? You see – if your purpose is internal, you’ll still accomplish a ton of incredible things! But you won’t need to worry about finding purpose (or losing it) because it’s right there inside you, always. And you can take it with you on all of your amazing adventures. And it can grow and change with you.
Re-framing the idea of finding purpose and ensuring that it comes from within is incredibly freeing. It releases the pressures of having to find the perfect job. Or the stress caused by creating and sticking to impossible resolutions. Or having the “perfect” body (I’m sure we’ve all felt that dang pressure).
My favourite part? Finding an internal purposes helps us find our way towards self-acceptance. There’s no need to accomplish something serious to be of value. You’re pretty awesome and deserve self-acceptance right now as you are. And you are always enough!
Need Helping Finding Purpose from Within?
Here are a few ideas:
What if your purpose is to fall in love with your beautiful self? To discover yourself, befriend yourself and use your newfound knowledge of all of your fantasticness to be the awesome you that you are! Imagine all the goodness you’ll be able to put out into the world when you’re being so kind and nurturing towards yourself.
What if your purpose is to learn to feed and treat your body with kindness? To help yourself heal and to inspire others through your commitment to your own well-being?
What if your purpose were to discover your own unique interests and indulge them? Even if they aren’t mainstream or “cool”. What if you acknowledge and be proud of the passions that make you who you are and thus be a role model for anyone who needs to feel safe and free to accept their unique selves too?
See how an internal purpose not only frees you from the idea that your value exists outside of yourself… it also puts a ton of good out into the world. Total win!
These ideas (and more) can all apply to many external activities, and make you feel so much better about your awesome self.
Even as jobs and hobbies come and go, these internal purposes will never stray. Because they’re inside of you gorgeous. And nothing can take that away.
Doesn’t this sound more freeing than tying your purpose to something external? It’s been such a huge relief personally. Now I am free of that ache that comes along with losing your way and feeling purposeless. Because I know that that never means that I have no purpose or meaning. It’s always right there, inside of me, burning bright. And it’s in you too.
Now it’s your turn: Have you ever looked at finding your purpose this way? Are you excited to give it a go? Tell me what one of your purposes is in the comments. I can’t wait to read them!
Health and love,
Thought of the day: Your purpose is to be your wonderful self.
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