How to Get Unstuck: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose
Hello all you beautiful souls!
It’s been a hot minute but let's just say it hasn’t been the easiest time for me lately. I would like to say I’ve handled it all with 100% grace and patience, but I mean, I had the next two years of my life planned out and here we are. There were some brutal moments where I had to work through that negative self talk that we all struggle with at times. In the end though guys, I think there is so much out there that we often forget to consider.#purpose #guidetopurpose #understanding #positivity
If you are new to my blog WELCOME! Here’s a quick recap for you--- I am a travel blogger #BackpackingBee looking for a way to help others and make an impact in the world. Previously, I had been accepted into the Peace Corps to teach English to high schoolers in Ethiopia. I was stoked, some people might’ve looked at me like I was insane but that only made me feel like I was doing the right thing. Months go by, and I get an update from my team regarding my training. I started working on what my lesson plans might look like and then I get a short message saying I didn’t receive my medical clearance. I did not get medical clearance for several reasons one of which regarding my previous health history struggling with depression and anxiety. While I understand the liability issue, I still get frustrated when someone sees this for anything other than what it could be if you are dealing with it in the best way- an asset, a strength , a reminder that you have been through something and will only aid others who might struggle with similar issues. Enter: the past few months of changing my plans, and trying to figure out just what my purpose in this world is, and here we are.
Here’s the thing about planning. I love it, but it doesn’t always love me. The universe, God, whomever or whatever you believe in usually has another way of going about things.
In learning from all of this I realized more about myself and kind of came up with this guide to gaining a deeper understanding of what you want in life, what you want to accomplish, and how you can go about doing just that.
1) Consider What You Value
Sit down and take a deep breathe, now close your eyes and think about 3 things in your life that make you happy, where do you find happiness? What do you value most?
When you actually sit down and put words to paper it becomes real, it becomes a priority because you are taking the time to do something. Often times we are told how setting goals are important and while they are, I have realized that more than anything your values are the crucial aspect in all of this. They are what make you stay calm when the next two years seem to be ripped out from under you. You take a breath and believe that deep into your very core this is what you are meant to do, so no matter what you will figure it out.
If you feel stuck, this is going to be the best way to get that feeling out. What you value is important to you, so you will spend the rest of your life fighting for it, being empowered by it, motivated by it, living true to it.
** Mine ended up being more like 5 values so its okay if you have more or less things you want to write down, there are no rules here.
2) Branching Each Value
I call it branching because after this step you might be overwhelmed with all the options you have going forward. Each opportunity is a different branch of choice, offering various blossoms of opportunity (I know, we’re getting deep with the metaphor here).
Each branch should look something like this:
(Value) Making a Difference —> Education —> Teaching
Make it however you want to make it obviously, and if anyone remembers having to do something like this in school it’s probably because you have. Anyone remember brain mapping?
(those were the good ole days).
Here’s why I think its important to overwhelm you with options rather than have you sit there and think there’s nothing for you. You’ll end up taking some job or opportunity you don’t even want, or that doesn’t even align with your values because you think you may not get the one you want. You limit yourself to thinking either there isn't opportunity for what you really want or that you just don't have the qualifications or are not capable of getting there. This is false.
I’ve realized that if you want something bad enough, you can work like hell to get it and you are capable of doing much more than you know or can even comprehend. If you’re given options that align with what you want in life, you just might be motivated enough to try and get it.
**Side note reminder: if one branch falls, it just wasn’t meant to be, but you can always look back to this piece of paper and see all the other branches you have waiting for you. And think about it, if our minds limit us, how many other opportunities are out there that you couldn't even think of.
3) Getting to the Root of the Problem
Negativity is always going to be an issue when it comes to self motivating and trying to get through a time in your life where you may feel stuck.
While I realize my friends played a huge role in helping me cure this negativity, I realize not everyone may have friends like mine, so I want to teach you methods that work for me.
Your mind takes in everything throughout the day, each thought truly matters so first, what is important here is if you do have a negative thought, be aware of when it happens. You’re human, so these are bound to happen but it's realizing when they do occur and shutting them down right away that ends up making a difference.
If you have a thought about whether you’re not doing enough, whether you’re enough, or something along the lines of “I should be doing ____ by now” I want you to say this OUT LOUD.
I am doing incredible.
I have a purpose in this world.
Because get this. You are doing incredible. When you break it down, you are not doing as bad as you may think. You are breathing, you are alive, you are healthy, you have people who care about you. You are not alone. You are loved. Whether you believe it or not these are true.
And you do have a purpose in this world. You maybe haven't found it yet, but you are finding joy in life and if you’re ever in doubt of your purpose I mean, look at the paper you just wrote out. There is a reason why these things fuel that fire of yours. There are no coincidences when it comes to these things.
This is never an easy feat, and it's something I am always reminding myself to work on. But that's the point I guess, we are never perfect and there is always something to improve on. Something I realized however, is patience relies heavily on the self talk. You are going to be less patient with yourself when you're going through something and this just feeds the negativity and how you speak to yourself or how you see yourself. In order to steer away from this, I think about the "80 year- old -self me".
The 80 year-old-self me is kind of the concept I created that helps me make big life decisions, helps me shut down my negativity and helps me realize how much time I truly have in life and never to take it for granted. She keeps me balanced. With big decisions, I think well would 80 year old Bianca look back and regret not taking this opportunity or would she have faith in something else that aligns better with my values?
To shut down negativity and remember to be patient, I look to my 80 year old self and think about how young I truly am. Everyone says it -- things like "you have the rest of your life to figure it out-- don't worry." I never really like these comments because 1) everyone's always saying it so we just don't even listen anymore am I right? 2) in our generation, there is pressure. Whether we like it or not. Pressure from our families, from society and from ourselves to have it figured out, to do something incredible because we are at the age of incredible opportunity.
Rather than saying what everyone else says, I'm going to say yes it would be dope if we could all do something by the time we're like 5 years old but realistically, this doesn't happen to everyone.
In order to see this in a positive light, look at your values and all those branches again and think about your 80 year old self. Would he/she care about doing something by the time your 15, 20, or 30? Probably not. Realistically, the only thing that's gonna matter to my 80 year old Bianca is did I fulfill my purpose, did I live through my values, do I have regrets?
I'm going to have goals for myself each year still and keep striving to use my time wisely, but through all of it I'm going to be patient with myself because life is going to go at its own pace. I can make up my mind on how that "should" go but at the end of the day, life has its own plan. The most important thing to look at when it comes to time is whether you'll regret it. Will you regret looking at the time constantly on your life and stressing yourself out more than anything? Probs.
Like I said: change is constant, and the more you get comfortable with this fact the better you become at just loving even the toughest of struggles. Because it means you are growing, you are changing and it is beautiful. Finding happiness in your purpose means growth. Means always wanting to be a better person and striving to be happy with yourself, to be proud and increase that self love.
I wanted to leave it on this last concept because I think growth is crucial to living the life you want to live. If I met someone in life who didn't want to improve themselves, didn't want to be the best version of themselves, well that would be a red flag for me not sure about you guys.
Growth is the road to transformation.
Personally, I motivate myself to positive growth through vision boards and taking people that I might aspire to be like, perhaps qualities I wish I had and then break it down to what it is about them that I feel I could take from this. So rather than getting jealous or looking at what others have and wanting it for yourself you're taking note of what it is that you feel you should work on to be the best version of you. To make yourself happy with YOU.
I never believe in saying things like "Aw that's awesome, I wish I could ______ "(do what you do, be like you, etc.) I've stopped saying these things because I realized I was limiting that potential growth. I was saying that I wish I could do something that I always had the power of being able to do, and as humans we do this often without thinking. Our thoughts are often set to limit what we are capable of doing because we think we can only do so much. This is a fallacy and I want to be sure I'm clear here when I say that you are capable of doing anything and everything.
Anything and everything.