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5 Tips To Stop Feeling Stuck And Find Your Purpose In Life


0 - How Satisfied Are You At Work?

1 - Identify Your Personal Core Values (And Live By Them!)

2 - Explore Your Character Strengths

3 - Identify Your Skills & Talents

4 - What Sparks Your Joy?

5 - What Does The World Need?

6 - Do What You Love

How Satisfied Are You At Work?

You might be one of the one in three teachers who plans to resign in the next few years. Or maybe you are one of the 40% of workers currently thinking about quitting your job. Either way, chances are you are a hardworking professional who is fed up of feeling overworked and underappreciated.

The challenging events of the past two years has prompted people to think about whether they are satisfied with their current employment.

Pandemic-driven burnout, challenging working conditions, low workplace wellbeing and increased isolation, have lowered engagement, while Covid-related fears about health have led to people pondering the meaning of life and asking themselves whether they really are living to work, or working to live.

Coupled with the new opportunities that have arisen from more widely employed remote working conditions, many more are starting to think outside the box and wonder: how do I find my purpose in life?

If you are fed up with your job and are wondering how to find your purpose and passion in life, here are my top tips:

5 Top Tips To Finding Your Purpose and Direction in Life

1 - Identify Your Personal Core Values (And Live By Them!)

What matters most to you in life?

Often, when people find themselves feeling disconnected at work or frustrated and fed up with their career, it is because of a mis-match between their personal values and the core elements of their job.

Even if you have no conscious idea about what your values are, you will still recognise the feeling you get when your work doesn't align with your values. It's often described as a feeling that something is missing or just doesn't feel right; it's when your work doesn't energise or excite you.

What Are Personal Core Values?

Your personal core values are part of the moral code that guides your actions and defines who you are. They are what you consider important and the things that matter to your well-being and happiness.

These values are a kind of universal rule of conduct, or shared morality. Depending on what we hold dear in our lives and what we want to achieve and become, we may choose to adopt or value some of these morals over others. For example, I value kindness and compassion over fame and fortune.

Here's an example list of 40 common Personal Core Values.

Your values are expressed through your actions, words, and personality. And, more importantly, they create and shape the person you will become in the future. In a nutshell, they are you - who you are and what you stand for, and the main driver behind your choices and actions.

How Do Core Values Impact Your Work?

If one of your core values is Respect, and you feel your profession or role is no longer valued or appreciated, then you will begin to feel disheartened or disillusioned. If this lack of respect continues then it can lessen your enjoyment of the role and leave you feeling unfulfilled and questioning whether it is worth continuing this role. (This example is one that I have noticed comes up frequently when I speak to teachers.)

Knowing your values can help you shape your future, by making career choices that allow you to meet your needs either through your work or personal life, and feel like you are working towards your purpose in life.

They can be the difference between engaging, enjoyable, fulfilling work, and work that leaves you drained, disconnected and dreading Mondays.

Wondering what your values are? Why not take the easy option and download my complete guide to Identifying Your Values? It includes my list of 240 values to get you started and a guide to identifying and living your values.

2 - Explore Your Character Strengths

Do you know what your strengths are?

The second tip is to explore your personal strengths and lesser strengths. I'm not going to go into too much detail here as you can read more here about Why It's Important To Know Your Strengths.

Your strengths are a reflection of your brain development, skills and personality, so far in your life.

They comprise Character Strengths, "A pre-existing capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energizing to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance” (Linley, 2008), and Talent Strengths - which focus more on the skills that you have already developed.

How Does Knowing Your Strengths Help?

Understanding your strengths has extensive positive benefits across your life. These benefits include:

  • Increased probability of achieving goals

  • Stronger sense of life direction

  • Increased sense of vitality and motivation

  • Higher life satisfaction

  • Lower staff turnover within business

  • Increased workplace productivity

  • Increased self-awareness and discipline

  • Increased confidence and self-esteem

The fact is, that successful people are often more self-aware and face new challenges with confidence because they are clear about their skills and knowledge. They also play to their strengths and as such love what they do and feel more satisfied because they know they are good at it.

3 - Identify Your Skills & Talents

If you don't fit in where you are, you haven't found the right place yet.

When people decide to change career, they often find themselves feeling stuck because their gut instinct is to stick to what they know. They find it difficult to imagine themselves in a different role and many end up feeling confused and disappointed, because at heart they know their current career path is not right for them.

One thing I ask my clients to do when exploring options, is to write down all their skills and talents, both at work and at home.

This includes hobbies, interests, things you do for fun, anything you are good at or at least, anything you can do that not everyone can. This may include a wide range of talents from appliqué, belly-dancing and gardening, to knitting, organising, and wood-turning.

You see, your purpose and direction in life may not be on the well-trodden roads, it may be off the beaten track, and to give yourself the best possible chance to identify it you need to explore every option available to you. So, make a big list and remember to include your more traditional work-place talents too.

You have a talent for public speaking or organising big family events at short notice? Write it down. You're number one at spreadsheets? Get it on the list!

Also include some of the things you do that aren't in your job description. For example, if you're the person at work everyone goes to because you're a good listener or you give great advice...pop it on the list!

4 - What Sparks Your Joy?

What is your dream job that you know you would love?

Ok, by now you should have a list of your values, your strengths and all your skills and talents. This is the easy bit.

Which skills and talents do you enjoy?

Ignore thoughts of salary and pensions right now and just focus on what makes you happy. What did you want to be when you were little? Has that dream changed? What was it about that role that appealed to you?

As children we often have greater self-awareness and are not yet plagued by fear or self-doubt, so feel free to imagine a world where anything is possible. Try to tap into that feeling, let all your self-doubt go and reconnect with your joy.

If you could do anything, and you knew you would be successful, what would it be?

Circle all the skills and talents you truly enjoy doing and could imagine yourself being happy to do in the future. Double check that they also align with your newly discovered personal values too.

5 - What Does The World Need?

Caring for animals, the environment and your community, as well as people can bring fulfilment.

OK, the last step. This isn't the final question at a beauty pageant. I'm not looking for 'world peace' as the answer; although that would be an admirable ambition! This is more about what do people need help with that they will also pay for.

Take a look at your circled talents and skills that align with your values. Which ones do you know people will pay for? Which ones do you think people might pay for?

That secret spreadsheet love of yours? A money-making opportunity. Yep, many people find them super-confusing and will pay a lot of money just so that they never have to go near one again.

If in doubt, try googling, you may be surprised at what comes up!

Now, in my experience, this process sometimes leads people to the conclusion that they need to retrain in order to do the work that brings them joy. This can make some feel uncomfortable and re-consider their choices. The most common reason cited is that working and training at the same time means that they won't be qualified for a year, two years, five years...

But I always ask them, so what?

So what if it takes 3 years to retrain? The time is going to pass anyway, why not spend it getting closer to achieving your goal of finding work that leaves you feeling fulfilled and happy?

Which path would you choose?

They way I see it, right now you stand at a cross-roads, where the easy path leads you plodding on in your current role, filled with frustration, dissatisfaction and potential burnout. The other, a harder less clear path, might be filled with challenges and obstacles but will allow you to grow, explore and feel like you are working towards a happier future.

It might take you a few years, and it might cost you to do it, but there are always solutions if you think creatively and are prepared to work hard.

I worked full-time as a teacher throughout my three-year MSc. Yes, it was hard and I was often exhausted, but now I get to spend my time helping people transform their lives, improve their wellbeing and build a stronger, more positive mindset.

Again, come back to your answer to the question, 'if you could do anything, and you knew you would be successful, what would it be?'

Maybe a better question is; if you knew you might fail, what would you do anyway if it meant you could be happy?

6 - Do What You Love

Sometimes, even with written guidance, trying to achieve big life changes on your own can feel daunting and it is easy to talk yourself out of things and put in a half-hearted effort.

That's why I would always recommend getting a coach to keep you on track, hold you accountable for your actions and check you are making progress.

My coaching program, Do What You Love, will support you through this whole process and help you create an action plan to keep you focused and on track.

Do What You Love' is designed to explore your strengths, values, skills, passions & dreams to help you gain clarity about what you really want (and don't want!) from life.

Working together, our sessions will enable you to identify a new pathway that fills you with excitement, motivation and joy without sacrificing your wellbeing!

Click the link to find out more: Do What You Love


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