For those who have or are charting the course of purpose for their lives, I want to be honest with you. Knowing and living out your purpose isn't quick and easy business. In fact, it can be time consuming, requiring you to be vulnerable and honest with yourself. Putting words around the purpose you have in this life can feel like a heavy weight to bear. What if we get it wrong? What if we mess it up? What if we never figure it out? Friend, if you're willing to jump in the ring with me and wrestle with the question of purpose, I promise the work will be worth the effort of pushing past the fear to get there.
Since this work will require a lot of awareness and contemplation of who you are, what you want, and where you hope to be in life, let me start by sharing some tips that have helped me set the scene to do the work of self-reflection.
Create the environment. Think about what works best for you. Is it time alone in a quiet room in your house? Is it a corner of your local coffee shop fully equipped with caffeine and headphones? Is it out in nature or a space all to yourself? Think about the environment that works best for you to get quiet and reflect.
Be mindful. Let your mind be where your feet are, not drifting to all the competing thoughts and topics that distract you. Engage your senses and take in your space. How many sounds do you hear? What smells can you take in? What do you see? What do you feel? Are there any tastes? Focus on being present where you are.
Write it down. Reflect and document where you are and what you're thinking. This one is key for me in moments of self- reflection. If I'm not actively recording my thoughts, my mind runs. Writing it down helps me stay focused. It keeps me doing what I set out to do. So, journal it, keep a list on your phone, or create a voice memo to digitally record it. Find a way to document what you're thinking and processing.
Ask questions. Throughout the book you will have many opportunities to ask questions of yourself and be reflective. Let yourself be curious by considering answers to these various questions. Don't be afraid of a little self-reflection!
Get feedback from those you trust. It's important to ask the people you trust as wise sources to speak into your life. So, as you reflect, consider whose voices you can invite into the process. Let their input speak into your life, show you blind spots you can't see in yourself, and help you navigate through your own discoveries or struggles. These could be trusted friends, a family member, spouse, or even a counselor or life coach!
Ready to reduce stress and live out of intention? Get your copy of The Strength of Purpose: A Guide to Knowing and Living Your Reason for Being and the accompanying Handbook: The Strength of Purpose Handbook: A Guide for Crafting Purpose, Journaling Progress and Setting Goals To Live Your Reason for Being.