Whether your kids are heading off to college or you’re dealing with symptoms of menopause or trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, you’re facing a lot of unknowns, and it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels. Midlife is the most common time for people to start searching for purpose. The good news is that you've got everything you need to find it. Let's look at three common midlife transitions:
- After being a parent for two decades you’ve dealt with many changes, but this new phase is foreign. Your kids want to rush into adulthood and may pull away more than you're comfortable with in an attempt to prove their independence.
- Symptoms of menopause are different for everyone, which makes it hard to know what’s in store for you.
- If you’re trying to envision a life that doesn’t involve you sitting at a desk for nine hours a day, you might not have a clue how to spend so much time.
These situations are new to us, and we want to find out how others have solved them.
In general, our society encourages us to be “winners” in whatever we do, which leads us to chase our worth by comparing our results with everyone else’s. The problem with following everyone else is that we only see a fraction of why they are doing what they’re doing. Something that appears to be working for our friend may be causing problems that she doesn’t admit because she’s trying hard to look like a winner - oh, what a tangled web we weave! The best way to discover your purpose is to begin an adventure of inner exploration.
Your Life Purpose Lies Within. You Simply Need to Tap Into It
Searching for purpose needs to start from within. The idea of exploring your inner self can be unsettling. After all, life teaches us to compare ourselves outwardly to others; most people never stop to honor themselves by getting to know who they are.
All too often fear rears its ugly head, and thoughts of all the ways you don’t measure up flood your mind. It’s enough to make you lock the door to your inner world and throw away the key! I’m imploring you not to do that. As in many legends, the treasure you want lies beyond the dragon you have to slay.
Your dragon is only as fierce as the number of fearful thoughts you feed it. The more love and nurturing you show yourself, the more you tame the fear that cloaks itself as a fire-breathing reptile.
Reconnecting with yourself and claiming your inner power is the number one way to ensure that you choose the path that most resonates with you. Doing so allows you to remain vibrant and vital throughout your life. Don’t let fear to squelch the power radiating from within; harness it, and become unstoppable!
Harnessing your power sounds like a noble quest, but how do you go about doing that?
You Need a Proven Process
Passport to Purpose is a mini-course that guides you through the steps you need to take when your in the beginning phase of searching for purpose. In it, you’ll learn to:
- Stop Living Life on Autopilot - Going with the flow helps us get by in life, but you might not realize that it leads to living life on autopilot, which results in giving away our power. Step one helps you identify to what extent you’ve been living on autopilot and how to stop.
- Question Everything - When was the last time you sat down and assessed your life? This step takes you on a deep dive into your life assessment. It helps you identify why your life is the way it is now (good and bad), which opens up understanding about how you got to this point and how to move on.
- Set Your Destination - You've probably heard the saying, "If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there." This is where you set your destination so you can know where you're going. How do you want to be remembered? The answer to that question will help you set your destination.
- Reconnect With What Lights You Up - You were given likes and dislikes for a reason. They are like messengers guiding you through this thing called life. It's time to tap into your curiosity, explore, and start paying attention to what happens when you do. Searching for purpose is as easy as paying attention to signals within.
- Open Yourself Up - We receive messages all day in many different ways, but if we've become used to running on autopilot, we also start tuning them out. Are you paying attention? This journaling exercise will help you learn how to notice things that you’re missing out on.
- Turn Challenges Into Opportunities - Sometimes, we wish life was always smooth sailing with no storms or obstacles to overcome. The truth is, our experiences facing and overcoming challenges make us who we are, and they hold the key to our life purpose and who we can become.
- Believe! - Facing the unknown can shake us to the core, and learning to let go of who society says we're "supposed to be" isn't easy. To be able to make positive changes, you have to believe in yourself.
The Only Person Who Can Truly Know You is You
If you haven’t made friends with yourself yet, what’s stopping you? Trying to discover your life purpose without consulting your true nature and your dreams and desires is folly. Framing things as you “get to” go through a midlife transition helps get your mindset right. For example, you “get to” re-purpose your son’s room into the office you’ve always wanted, or you “get to” focus on your health, or figure out how to do what you’ve always dreamed of with your life. Midlife is when you have a chance to make your life exactly what you want it to be, and that’s exciting.
If you’ve ever gone against the ocean’s tide or a fast-moving river, you understand how difficult that is; going against your true nature is the same. Many people believe they know who they are without doing the work to explore and confirm their theories. If you’re living life according to a superficial understanding of who you are, you’re not in tune with your true nature, and you may be complicating your life unnecessarily. Doing this will attract obstacles designed to make you learn more about yourself - life’s sneaky that way!
If you don’t honor yourself by incorporating self-love and nurturing into your daily routine, life will create situations that require it. If you’ve ever had what seemed like unending bad luck where you kept getting sick or injured yourself just when you needed to be physically available, that’s a sign that you weren’t in tune with your needs, so life stepped in and made you “rest.”
Ignorance is Not Bliss
The bottom line is you can’t escape you! Before you begin searching for purpose, or making maningful decisions, take the time to remember who you used to be before life got complicated. You had big dreams and desires. For many of us, the way life plays out doesn't always match our dreams. Practicality says it’s silly to think you can do something so big and bold.
If there’s one thing reaching midlife has taught me, we only have this one life to live, and if we spend our time denying our dreams, we are limiting ourselves for no good reason. If you haven’t dared to live out loud yet, your time is now. Slay the dragon of fear, begin searching for purpose and see how quickly you can free yourself to reach new heights.
If you’d like some support on your journey, I invite you to join the Midlife to Best Life Community on Facebook. The community is your safe space on the internet to socialize with like-minded people, find support and accountability, and learn from featured speakers who have chosen to use their gifts to help people live their best lives. We can’t wait to welcome you inside.