Do you feel that you are stuck? trapped? or just going through the motions?
After talking to a lot of different people about what they want out of life, I find the most common answer is ‘I don’t know.’ As we get older, we take on more responsibilities; a house, a mortgage, a partner, children etc and even though all of these things can enrich our lives in beautiful ways, sometimes, we can lose a little bit of ourselves in looking after everyone else and forget what we want out of life.
In both my role as coach and teacher, I have seen how people from any age can feel unsure on what they want in life. In our youth, the education system is there to push us to think about the future job which will ensure financial stability. Some of us get very excited at this stage as we truly find our ‘calling’ but there are some of us who fall into a route without feeling 100% engaged. Once we have finished our education and start to work, most of us stop thinking about the future and we start to settle into a routine. After all, we have achieved what school wanted us to, we have the job. If we do stop to think about our happiness and future, we have no idea what that actually looks like anymore. We weren’t told about after. So what can you do to get clear on what you want your future to look like?
Firstly, let’s re-connect with who you are. How long has it been since you reflected on where you are in life and what you want your future to look like? A lot of people get to a certain point in their life and then stop reflecting and stop thinking about what they want their future to look like.
Here are some questions to get you thinking and reflecting
- Imagine your ideal day. You are doing something which makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning. What is that activity?
- What have been your most enjoyable achievements to date?
- If you could try one new thing, it would be…
- If you could have one wish come true, what would it be?
- Are you happier on your own or with other people? Do you know why?
- What do you look forward to everyday?
- If you weren’t scared of failing, what would you do?
- Who inspires you? Why do you admire them?
This is really a warm up activity to get you thinking about you again. It is not selfish to think of yourself. Remember if you are not at your best, how can you give your best to any project or person?
Write down your answers and read through what you have written. Does anything stand out to you? Make your heart beat a bit faster? Highlight or circle those key words especially if they are words or activities which pop up for more than one answer.
Now, let’s look at your values. Imagine it is 10 years in the future and I have asked your loved ones to tell me what they most admire about you, what would you want them to say? For example, I did this with a client recently and her two answers were ‘I am important in their lives’ and ‘I make a difference’.
We can then look at your answers from the first activity and cross reference them. If you have reading as one of the key words from your first activity and one of your values is to share your knowledge then you can start to look at books where you are learning something which you can then share. This then leads to further reflections on how you will share this information etc. You will find that you will need to play around with the different routes and you will need to reflect on which ones feel right but you are aiming for your most common answers from activity 1 to compliment your values from activity 2.
Once you have written down some ideas where your ideas compliment your values, now you need to put some goals down with time frames so you keep yourself accountable. Here is a flow chart with the key term being on reading:
Again, this will take work and reflection but the buzz you will be feeling as you work towards something you a, enjoy and b, lives up to your values of who you are and how you would like to be seen, is worth it. The more you do these kind of activities, the more positive your future will feel as you take back the control.
My own personal journey of finding my own clarity has taken 2 years. There was a lot of trial and error as I worked out who I was, what I wanted and how I could best live my values. I am sure that a lot of people looked at me as though I was crazy as I tried a lot of different activities but I perservered, I kept tweaking, kept reflecting and as I did this, more opportunities came my way and then, not necessarily, all of a sudden but everything just started to click into place. I am still very much on a journey as I believe we all are but I now have the clarity to set myself goals which I know are in line with the future that I want for myself and my family.
As you go through your own journey, you will feel fear, uncertainty and panic that you are somehow messing up your life. A sort of ‘it wasn’t a great life but it was an okay one and now I have completely rocked the boat, what have I done?’ kind of moment. This is normal and this is the tough bit where you need to stay strong. You started out on this journey because you weren’t living anymore, you were existing. You wanted to make a change because you felt a soul yearning ache to make a change and find something more. Look at it from this angle whenever you come across your own fears and doubts. Any choice you make will never be a mistake as you will learn something. It might be instantaneous and you feel an instant win or it might take you down a few different paths before the lesson becomes clear and you feel the win BUT you will get there and you will do whatever you believe you can do. The power for change is completely within you and nobody else.
Let me know how you get on.