Recently, I've noticed there is a word that keeps coming up in the world of personal development. That word is 'Purpose'. But what does this word really mean and if we do know what it means, how do we find it? As a coach, these are two of the questions I most frequently get asked.
The one reason I decided to train as a life coach was I felt my life was lacking purpose. However, when I qualified from the Coaching Academy and started working as a coach, I noticed the question of ‘Purpose’ coming up again and again in my clients. In particular, they often talked about that familiar dread of the alarm clock going off in the morning and the accompanying feeling of ‘surely there must be more to life than this?’
As I become more experienced as a coach I started to seek out different approaches to help my clients achieve clarity. Consequently, my coaching style has become more ‘spiritual’ whereby I help clients to tap into their superconscious mind to enable the wisdom of their intuition to guide them to find answers, especially to do with finding their Purpose. In other words, dropping from their head to their heart.
“Through working with clients in this way I have discovered Purpose can be found in anything from our career to our role in life or even through the legacy we hope to leave when we are gone. Whatever it is, without this Purpose, true happiness is more likely elude us”.
I’ve also discovered that our Purpose doesn’t always speak loudly by shouting to us what it is we must do with our lives. Instead, it often starts off as a subtle whisper in our ear or a tickle in our heart. It is my job as a coach to help my clients to become more aware of this whisper and help them to truly listen to and decode what it is trying to say to them.
So, if our Purpose is so important, why do so many of us end up never finding it?
The truth is that many people are living a life that they thought they ought to live, following paths prescribed by others rather than doing what is truly right for them. They may have a nagging feeling they are not fulfilling their true Purpose but block this out through fear of change or appearing selfish...
It’s also true that when we are happy and fulfilled we can serve others far better than when we are feeling depleted. There is a saying, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ and that is certainly a guiding principle of self-love that can help us better serve our Purpose…
6 Steps to finding your true Purpose
1. Rediscover your passions. Ask yourself, what is it that lights you up and gives you joy? This can often reveal passions that have lain buried since childhood or have been set aside to accommodate life’s increasing obligations.
2. Identify what gives your life meaning. For example, is it helping and inspiring others? Or is it perhaps overcoming challenges or spending more time with those you love?
3. Our Purpose often lies at the place where our talents and our passions collide. So, what are your unique talents and gifts that you can give to the world? Are there any that you have been supressing for too long? Again, these are often things that are evident in our early years but then remain locked within the prison of obligation.
4. Get out of your head and into your heart. Ask yourself ‘what do I truly love?’ then write down the answers without judging or analysing what you write. Let your intuition guide you. This process is helped by putting the client into a state of ‘innocence’ where they can more easily tap into their superconscious mind, a place where they are not restrained by the barriers of the conscious mind which often manifest as fears and limiting beliefs. When we connect more deeply with our intuition, we start noticing subtle signs that can lead us to our Purpose.
5. Step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you just need to try new things to discover your gifts and what it is you truly love, which can lead to you literally stumbling upon your Purpose. What you find may surprise you!
6. Overcome your fear of change. Sometimes a client will gain clarity about their Purpose but are then terrified of actually taking the steps to make those changes. In this case, I will often start by asking them how they will feel if they got to a ripe old age but didn’t make those changes and never fulfilled their Purpose? This can provide a powerful insight that acts as a springboard to taking action.
I have found these steps to be very powerful and through practicing them myself I subsequently stumbled upon my own passion and gift for writing.
Writing my first book ‘Serendipity’s Secret’ has allowed me to reach people around the world. It has also enabled me to leave a legacy which is particularly important to me as I don’t have any children.
However, my second book, about a lost dog called Max (titled ‘Coaching your Calling’), focuses more on the techniques listed above, dropping from your head to your heart in order to find your Purpose.
Nowadays, it I come across anyone struggling with the feeling surely there must be more to life than this, I say to them ‘Maybe now is the time to finally listen to that whisper in your ear. It could be your Purpose asking to be heard...'
When I started my coaching journey with The Coaching Academy 5 years ago, little did I know just how much my life would change let alone those lives around me. In the words of Michael Jackson: "I'm starting with the man in the mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways and no message could have been any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change".