4 Big Reasons Why You Should Be Focusing On Your Purpose Not Your Passion

4 Big Reasons Why You Should Be Focusing On Your Purpose Not Your Passion

Are you struggling to find your passion? Trust me, you're not alone. I spent years tried to figure out what the one thing that I loved doing was. And guess what? I still don't know what it is!

Yet, I've got a super clear direction in life, I feel like I'm reaching my potential and making the most out of my days. I'm doing all that and I don't know what my passion is! 

What I've come to realise is that you don't need to know what your ONE passion in life is, because you might be like me and not even have just one.

13 Inspiring Women Reveal Their Best Tips For Finding Career Direction In Your Twenties

13 Inspiring Women Reveal Their Best Tips For Finding Career Direction In Your Twenties
“Choose a job you’ll love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius

This quote has inspired thousands of people to find work that they love to do. But it has also caused many more people confusion, frustration, and anxiety. What are you meant to do if you want to find a job that you love, but have no idea how to choose one that’s right for you?

To get some answers, I reached out to 13 inspiring women who have found success in diverse fields from tech to activism, and asked them this question:

“Based on your own experience, what's one practical tip you'd give to a twenty-something woman trying to decide on her career direction?”

Here’s what they had to say:

The Complete Guide to Reconnecting With Your Dreams

The Complete Guide to Reconnecting With Your Dreams

Do you remember graduating school and feeling that excitement in your belly as you looked ahead at your life, and all of the incredible possibilities ahead of you? For me, it was like a mixture of Christmas morning and getting up early to go on a family holiday as a kid. 

When was the last time you felt like that about your future?

Maybe it’s been so long that you can’t remember that feeling. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve felt anything truly positive about your future at all. If that’s the case, remember, it can only get better. And it will.

How I Discovered My Biggest Passions: My 5 Step Formula

Picture this: It’s the end of 2014 and I’ve just got back from an amazing trip around Central America. I have no job and no plans. The rest of my life stretches out ahead of me like a blank canvas.

I keep hearing I need to follow my passion. I’ve got loads of ideas of what that might be, but I have no idea which one to actually choose. What if make the wrong decision? What if I pick something and end up regretting it further down the line? I’d only just about managed to pluck up the courage to leave my last job, I don’t want to be in that position again anytime soon.

In my reading, I come across the idea of a Play Project by John Williams. It’s where you test out a business idea in a short space of time to see if it works. I have a lightbulb moment. I could apply this strategy to finding my passion!

So I write down a list of all of my ideas and give myself a month to test each of them out. I end up writing a novella, learning how to draw, practicing Italian, passing an indoor climbing test and taking a yoga course!

But most importantly, I learn more about myself and what brings me joy. I learn that choosing a career you love isn’t all about following your passion, but knowing what you love to do sure makes it easier.

Over the last two years, I’ve refined this process and now I’m sharing it with you. It’s not about finding your one passion (if that even exists!) It’s about following your curiosity and exploring what you enjoy doing. This is the first step on my Escape Plan! Read all about that here. [link]

Let’s get started with this easy-to-follow 5 step formula.

Don’t forget to get your Escape Kit which includes The Passion Finder (an easy-to-use tool to guide you through this formula) here:

 

 

One. Write your Curiosity List

Carve out a bit of you-time for this one! I like to make a chai tea, get out my posh hardback notebook (lol) and snuggle up with a blanket on the sofa. Try and get yourself in a relaxed and inspired mood before you get started. Why not listen to your favourite song? Or watch an inspiring video first?

Once you’re feeling ready to go, write down a list of everything you’ve ever been curious about learning or trying. Try not to censor yourself. Get excited and let it all come out!

One thing I’m quite bad at is not writing things down because I’m scared of actually having to do them! I’ve found reminding yourself that this isn’t a to do list works for me. It’s just a place to gather your ideas, you don’t have to go out and do them right away.

My challenge for you now is to write down at least 20 items on your list.

 

Two. Tiny test

Got your 20 items? Woohoo! Add a splash of something stronger into that chai tea to celebrate haha!

Now the fun part begins… we take action and try stuff out!

But first, choose an item from your list. Make it the one that you feel really excited about (and maybe a little bit nervous!) I recommend going for that is quite easy to do just to get the ball rolling.

Got one? Great. Now I want you to choose a tiny way to find out more about it. This is about testing it out to see if it’s really for you. Here are some ideas:

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Record this step in The Passion Finder. Get it (and the rest of the Escape Kit) here:

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Three. Bigger test

How was that? Did you enjoy learning a little more about the topic?

Yes?

Great! It’s time to move on to the third part of this formula.

(By the way, if you found that you really aren’t as interested in this topic as you thought you would be, it’s totally fine to forget about it and go back to your curiousity list. Choose another item then repeat the second step of the formula with that. Ruling stuff out is cool!)

In this part of the formula you are going to test out your potential passion in a slightly bigger way. It’s all about making a bit more of a commitment and getting more immersed in the activity.

Choose one of these ways:

 

Fill out The Passion Finder and get going :)

Get it with the rest of the Escape Kit here:

Four. Create

Let’s get creative baby!

(Remember you don’t have to continue with a topic if you’ve already found out that it’s not for you. Choose a different item from your curiosity list and repeat the formula with that. You’re narrowing your passions down like a boss!)

This is the next step. Rather than testing out the potential passion in a passive way, like learning about it or talking to others about it. It’s time to actually get out there and do it your way!

Choose from one of these creative ideas:

 

Sports can be a little bit different. If you can’t find a way to be creative with them, use this time to have a go at practising what you’ve learnt so far on your own:

Set aside some time and let your creativity flow. I’d love to see what you create! Send it to me at claudia[at]peacenpurpose[dot]com

 

Five. Reflect and review

You’ve completed the three tests, so now what?

This step is about reflecting on your experiences and reviewing how much you enjoyed trying the activity out. Is it one of your passions?

The Passion Finder shows you how to do this. Get your copy here (it’s free.)

Once you’ve completed The Passion Finder for this potential passion: 

  1.  Choose another item off your Curiosity List.
  2. Repeat the formula with that.
  3. Review the experience using The Passion Finder.
  4. Keep going until you’ve tested out the items that make you feel most excited. Try and do between 3-5. 

You’ll end up with a new range of passions you’re confident you enjoy! Keep pursuing them and ALWAYS follow your curiosity. I’ve learnt that following your curiosity is way more important that finding your one passion when it comes to discovering your purpose. You never know where it might lead …

“Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.” Steve Jobs

Read the rest of the Discover Your Purpose Series:

  1. How to Escape a Job you Hate and Find Purpose
  2. How I Discovered my Biggest Passions: My 5 Step Formula
  3. The Complete Guide to Reconnecting With Your Dreams
  4. 13 Inspiring Women Reveal Their Best Tips For Finding Career Direction In Your Twenties

How To Escape A Job You Hate & Find Purpose

I was working as a waitress at a cocktail bar 🎶

Well actually I wasn’t, I just wanted to get that song in your head haha!

Actually, I was working in a management job that I had landed straight after uni. It was a great opportunity. I had the chance to develop my leadership skills, meet lots of people and earn lots of money (hey!) Not bad right? 

That’s what I thought until I started the role. Almost immediately I knew it wasn’t for me, but I kept going. I thought that was what was expected of me. I really wanted to have made the right decision so I kept going. One year passed, then two. And even though each New Year I’d promise myself that this would be the year I quit and found a job that was more suited to me, I just kept on going!

Why was I so stuck?

  • I worked with some amazing people who are still my friends.

  • I had a really comfortable life out of work which I enjoyed.

  • I knew what I was doing and what I didn’t like. Better the devil you know right?

  • I was scared of failing at whatever I pursued instead.

  • And the biggie… I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do instead!

What about you? Take a minute just to note the reasons why you are still stuck in a job that you don’t enjoy. What are the payoffs that are keeping you there?

If one of them is,  “I’m not sure what I want to do instead” then read on because I’m sharing all of my secrets with you today! (Okay, not all of them) Just the one about how I managed to FINALLY get unstuck from that job I pretty much hated and start my journey towards work I love.

Don’t miss this! I’ve put together a cool Escape Kit to go along with this Discover Your Purpose series. It contains 3 awesome resources that will help you start your journey towards discovering your purpose today. Grab your kit here:

These are the 6 steps that will lead you from a job you don’t enjoy to being clear on the work that’s meaningful for you. (They are the exact steps that I took on this journey!)

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Step 1: Explore your passions

First things first, get clear on what you love to do.

If you keep hearing all this advice telling you to follow your passion but have no idea what that is, you’re not alone! You are human right? (Good, just checking) So there isn’t going to be just ONE thing that’s your passion. There are going to be many things, these will change over time and that’s okay!

Breath of fresh air: You don’t have to choose. You don’t have to stick to one passion for the rest of your life. So if you love snowboarding and street food, or working with kids and writing (hello me!) do both!

But you do need is to know what your passions are. The journey towards work you love is a journey of discovery and it starts with you.

But hey, you’re only young. How are you meant to know what your passions are when there’s still so much out there that you haven’t tried? I mean, what if those things are your passions?

 Well, start with what you know first. Take a few minutes now to write down your favourite activities, you know, the ones that make you feel pure joy when you do them.

(If you’d like to know, mine are hiking, writing, reading, wildlife spotting, going to the cinema and eating/trying food from around the world)

Right. So now you know your existing passions, it’s time to try out those things-that-you-think-you-might-love-but-don’t-know for-sure-because-you-haven’t-tried-them aka your Curiosity List. I’ll be showing you a step-by-step process for doing this in the next post in this Discover Your Purpose series. Until then click here to grab your FREE Escape Kit to get started with The Passion Finder tool (which takes you through this):

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Step 2: Reconnect with your dreams

Nine times out of ten you know, deep down, what you want to do with your life.

“Whaaat?” I hear you cry (If you’re even still here and haven’t clicked off the page in anger.) “I’m here because I don’t know what I want to do, I thought you got that!”

I do get it. Trust. And remember, this is just my experience okay? But when I look back on that horrible period of my life when I felt totally confused about my direction and future, I can see that actually I knew deep, down what I wanted to do. I had just buried those dreams so far down that I had lost touch with them.

The problem is to get through the uninspiring day-to-day work you face in a job you kinda hate, you’ve had no choice but to bury your dreams deep down. It’s like a survival mechanism for getting through each day.

That’s why once you reconnect with your dreams, this whole process will speed up. You’ll stop feeling so stuck. You’ll be more excited for the future and will have more awareness of how wrong for you your present job is.

So how do you reconnect with your biggest dreams?

A big part of this is to stop worrying about being “realistic.” Because really, what is realistic?

Do you think that 50 years ago people thought it was realistic to be able to see and speak your family member on the other side of the world in less than a second?

Do you think that 150 years ago it seemed realistic that one day millions of ordinary people would fly around the world in a metal box, thousands of metres up in the sky?

What about everyone having chocolate bar sized devices in their pockets that answer any question you ask in their own humanoid voice?!

Yeah, no one would have believed you if you had told them any of those things were going to happen. And if the inventors of any of the above had worried about being realistic well, we would be in a very different world today.

So please don't let fears that you’re being unrealistic hold you back as you reconnect with your dreams. Let your imagination go wild and really get excited about your future again.

I’ll be showing you exactly how to do this in the third post in Discover Your Purpose series. Until then click here to grab your FREE Escape Kit to get started with the Dream Big Workbook.

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Step 3: What’s so special about you?

Answer: Everything.

Seriously. This isn’t some millennial fantasy. Every one of us is completely unique. I mean, how many other people on the planet have the exact same experience, strengths, personality, skills and passions as you?

Yeah. NONE!

Even if you have an identical twin, your experiences of the world will be slightly different. And I’m sure other aspects of your personality would be too. You are 110% unique!

Why does this matter?

Well, personal branding is a hot topic these days. If you run with that idea you could think of yourself as having a USP (Unique Selling Point.) As I said, there is no one else on earth who has the exact combination of skills, strengths and experience as you. That is your USP.

The key to successfully finding work you love is to work out what your USP is, and how you can use it. 

Why? It all comes down to strengths. If you can identify your natural superpowers and then find work that uses them, you’ll:

  1. Be extremely successful in that role. You’ll be able to focus on develop your strengths and making them extraordinary assets.

  2. You’ll love working in that role because doing what you’re good at is inherently fun. Right? 

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Step 4: What brings you meaning?

True fulfillment doesn’t come from doing what you enjoy each day or living a life filled with everything you want. It comes from turning the focus away from yourself and on to answering the essential question, who can you help?

There’s a reason why  reflecting on meaning is step 4 and not step 1. Now you know what’s special about you, you can focus on the ways you can use your USP to make your own unique difference in the world.

But first, let’s take a look at the impact you want to make. We want to make sure that you’re working on something that you really care about so when things get tough you’ve still got the motivation to carry on. First off, take some time to really think about the answer to this question - who do you want to help?

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Step 5: What lifestyle do you want?

Create a lifestyle that you’ll thrive in.

It’s all too easy to get so caught up with finding purposeful work that you completely forget about the quality of the rest of your life.

Me? I’ve been there, done that. I absolutely was in love with my last job, inspiring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve. BUT it involved a daily commute of three hours to get there and back. Error!

I didn’t realise how much this daily journey would affect my entire life (and not in a good way) until I started doing it. It left me with little energy, little time to share with family and friends and an underlying resentment for the job.

I still would never, ever regret taking that job, but I learnt a valuable lesson - consider how you will create a lifestyle that will enable you to thrive! No matter who you decide to help, you’ll only be letting them down if you don’t look after yourself. It’s like that old oxygen mask analogy. When you’re listening to that safety briefing on a plane, they always say to put your oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else. Because if you’re struggling to survive, you’re not going to have much to give to others right?

The best way to get started with this (and most fun way!) is to create a  vision board. Think about:

What would you love to have your day to day life?

What environment would you best suit living in?

How would you ideally recharge in your free time?

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Step 6: Bring it all together

Create a clear vision for the work you want to do.

I’m not going to lie, this final step can often be the trickiest.  But just by reading this article you’re at an advantage. Most people just jump into the process at this step and expect to be able to just know what they want to do next. (Don’t worry if this was you, it was me too! But we live and we learn!)

The great thing is that once you complete the first 5 steps, you’ll already have a much clearer idea about what you want to do next. Then it's then just about clarifying and testing out your ideas.

There you have it! That was the 6 Step Escape Plan that I used to discover my purpose and leave a job that I really didn’t enjoy. I’ll be teaching you how to follow each step in depth in my upcoming course, Discover Your Purpose Retreat. It’s going to be awesome! Right now, don’t forget to grab your FREE Escape Kit here:

 

You’ll get:

The Passion Finder - A practical discovery tool to help you get clear on your passions.

Dream Big Workbook- Packed with fun and inspiring exercises to reconnect you with your dreams.

The Escape Plan- A printable PDF Escape Plan that shows you your route out of the job you hate and into work with purpose.

Read the rest of the Discover Your Purpose Series:

  1. How to Escape a Job you Hate and Find Purpose
  2. How I Discovered my Biggest Passions: My 5 Step Formula
  3. The Complete Guide to Reconnecting With Your Dreams
  4. 13 Inspiring Women Reveal Their Best Tips For Finding Career Direction In Your Twenties

3 Things You Can Do When You're Feeling Stuck

3 Things You Can Do When You're Feeling Stuck

Ugh! There is nothing more frustrating than when half of you wants to move forward and make progress on your goals, but the other half of you is busy building a wall and putting barriers in your way.

Perhaps you can't decide what you want to do next. Perhaps you hold yourself back because you're worried about the consequences of making a change, what will others think? Will you like it? Or what if you fail?

I totally know how you feel! You're all pumped up ready to go but you have nowhere to channel that energy. Right now I'm feeling like this, not with my career, but with money.

To help both you and me, I've come up with three things that we can do right now to move past feeling stuck  and frustrated.

9 Mindset Shifts You Need to Make Before Choosing Your Path

9 Mindset Shifts You Need to Make Before Choosing Your Path

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right” Henry Ford

It’s easy to think that choosing your next career step is all about taking career aptitude tests, searching for job vacancies and filling out ever-growing application forms.

Yes, that does come into it, but not until way further down the line.

Before you even put pen to paper to explain why you’re great at teamwork, you need to do some work to shift your mindset (if you really want to choose a career that you’ll love.)

7 Life Changing Reasons Why You Should Choose A Path You Love

7 Life Changing Reasons Why You Should Choose A Path You Love

Choosing a path that you love can be a fun adventure. You embark on a journey where you get to meet cool new people and try exciting things. You also get to learn a lot about yourself.

Of course, there are also challenges along the way. Whether it’s overcoming your fears, juggling responsibilities or feeling unmotivated,  it is an adventure that takes a lot of determination to complete.

 However, I really believe that it’s worth finding that determination within yourself. Why? Doing so will change your life for the better!

Before I expand on 7 of the reasons why it will change your life, let me first define what I mean by “choosing a path you love.”

5 Reasons Why You Haven't Chosen Your Path Yet

5 Reasons Why You Haven't Chosen Your Path Yet

If you're feeling like you've lost your way and you're stuck in a job that doesn't inspire you there's a reason why. Something is holding you back from choosing a path, setting yourself a brilliant goal and working towards it.

For me, there was one big thing that that really held me back. It was something that kept me stuck where I was for years AND made me SO frustrated with myself.

The Ultimate Guide to your Comfort Zone (& Why it's Important for Choosing your Path)

The Ultimate Guide to your Comfort Zone (& Why it's Important for Choosing your Path)

o you want to change your life?

If so, why haven’t you already?

Chances are you feel really stuck where you are.

You want to change your life but don't know where to start. 

Maybe fear is holding you back. Perhaps you don't believe you can do it, you're worried about failing or you're scared about what other people think.

Out of 187 women I've surveyed, 43% said that fear was holding them back from choosing their career path. For some it was fear of failure, others fear of making the wrong decision.

This was exactly how I felt a few years ago when I wanted to quit my job. It took me years to make any progress forwards because I felt too comfortable where I was. But comfortable didn't equal happy!

I was 100% in my little comfort zone and REALLY didn't like to step out of it!

How to Choose Your Path by Following Your Curiosity (+ A Simple 5 Step Process to Follow)

How to Choose Your Path by Following Your Curiosity (+ A Simple 5 Step Process to Follow)

How do you feel about the start of a new year?

3 years ago, I celebrated the start of 2014 with excitement-tinged frustration. Yeah I was happy about having a fresh start but I just didn't have a clue about what I wanted to do with it!

I was desperate to make a big change in my life, particularly my career. I had so much energy ready and I remember how insanely frustrating it was to not to have anywhere to put it. I felt emotionally stuck.

If I could go back and give the 2014 me some advice, it would be to unabashedly follow my curiosity. I'd tell myself not to get caught up in always having to have a purpose and be productive but to relax, have fun and play around with what I'm interested in.

12 Unmissable Free Resources to Help You Choose Your Path

12 Unmissable Free Resources to Help You Choose Your Path

If you want to (finally) choose your path and get started on it in 2017, these 12 unmissable free resources will help you to make it happen!

The process I use to help people choose their paths is based on 6 key steps:

  1. Creating a daily routine that makes you happy.
  2. Identifying your strengths.
  3. Pinpointing what brings you joy.
  4. Researching how you can make the money you want to make.
  5. Working out what the world needs.
  6. Building up the confidence (and courage) that you need to put it all into action.

Once you’ve got all 6 of those going you're pretty much sorted! That’s why I’ve put together this list of resources based on these 6 steps. You can pick whichever step you feel you need to work on the most and start learning more.

I’ve also included an inspiring quote with each section because well, quotes are the just the best :)

Why Choosing Your Path in 2017 Will Benefit Us All

Why Choosing Your Path in 2017 Will Benefit Us All

After a scary 2016, 2017 is the year where I’m making my stand, living by my values and doing what I can to spread happiness and compassion.

 

If you too are feeling scared and angry about the state of the world then please join me. Let it be your personal motivation to push aside your fears (now is not the time for being scared) and make a positive change to your life and the lives of others.

 

It is time to choose your path and start making it happen. We all need you to be doing work that you enjoy, using your strengths and providing what the world needs. Not only will it make your life better but it will make ours better too.


Here’s how a) choosing a path with purpose will help and b) how using your strengths will help:

Don't Make These 11 Mistakes When Quitting Your Job

Don't Make These 11 Mistakes When Quitting Your Job
“Don't think about what can happen in a month. Don't think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.” - Eric Thomas

Back in 2014 I quit my job with out a plan. It was what I need to do to get my ass into gear and move forward with my life. I literally had no idea what job I was going to do next, just that I was going to spend time travelling in Costa Rica. 

Why I'm following my dreams (even though it's going to be scary, hard and I'll probably cry)

The reason you’re here, feeling confused and unsure of yourself and the direction you want to take your life is because deep down you want to do something extraordinary.

Something is quietly pulling you towards stepping out of line and standing out. A tiny part of you is excited about this. But most of you doesn't want want to stand out, it doesn't want to get any extra attention. This is the the sensible, social part of you that cares so much about what others think.

This part is trying to pull you back into line. It's trying to get you to blend back in with the rest of your friends and family.  It wants you to avoid that tense, worried feeling that you get when you see some of your friends or your family and are anxiously waiting for the dreaded question; “So what are you doing with your life?”

Ok, so they might just ask you, “How’s work?” but you KNOW that’s a loaded question. You feel like a big, fat liar when you answer, “yeah fine” when really it’s not, it’s absolutely f***king terrible! But still that's what you say as you push all the big dreamy plans you've got down to the deepest, darkest part of you in case they accidentally pop out and embarrass you by revealing what you're really thinking.

I mean, those big dreamy plans basically seem like fiction BUT there is a tiny part of you knows that you can make them a reality.

So why don't you?

Well,  the other part of you (you know the sensible, cares what people think and easily embarrassed part) is getting scared. She's trying to stamp those big dreamy plans out andburn them out and pleading, can't we just go back to normal? All she wants is to livea normal life where you aren't nervous of the question “How’s work?”

You’re here, trying to find your direction, feeling totally stuck, lost and confused because you can’t quite admit to yourself what your direction is. You’re looking for an easier solution. One that doesn’t involve changing something big in your life or having to explain to your friends and family what the hell it is you’re doing or having to invest a scary amount of money or time in yourself when really you should be visiting the bank to get a mortgage or getting a promotion at work so you can keep earning your age in money (that isn't just me that worries about this right???).

About every half hour you flit between

a) applying for that sensible job that pays your age in money (or more), gives you loads of training and keeps you trapped there in an invisible self-built prison until you’re way past 30 and too old to have any fun in your life (joking about that but that’s definitely what it feels like.)

AND

b) Dropping it all to follow your excitement, curiosity and sense of adventure to take a big risk and really, truly feel that for once you’re sucking the marrow out of life.

I mean to me on paper the decision seems obvious. YOLO and all that. But seriously, have you ever tried to step out of line???

Try staring down the barrel of a completely empty calendar, a bank account devoid of any incoming direct debits and the pressures of everyone you know and have ever met raining down like hell upon you then see how you feel! It’s certainly not all roses then!

This is moment that thousands turn and flee.

“Omg it’s just too much!” 

“What the hell was I thinking?!”

“I thought it would be more fun, this isn’t more fun this is too scary and hard and I want my mum ahhhhh!”

Trust me, I turned and ran before. I just too scared. I made a compromise which wasn't a great decision BUT I've learnt so much and grown so much since then that I don’t regret it. I mean I look back and laugh because there was no way I was ready to face that gun back then.

But now I know my opponent, I'm back for Round Two AND I’m determined to keep on going no matter how close that gun gets to going off.

I’m listening to that tiny part of me that knows that I can make my big dreamy plans a reality and I’m going to keep following it no matter what. I know that’s the path of growth.

I’m making a commit to really live my life, to embrace the rough edges, the terrifying moments when I wake up in the dead of night with fear in the pit of my stomach. I’m going to keep on going through it all. I know I’ll get battered and bruised but out of it I’ll emerge stronger, knowing that I’ve given everything that I wanted to a try. I’m taking the risk.

I’d rather die poor, battered and bruised knowing that I pushed myself and made the most out of my short time on this earth than in luxury, well-fed but full of unfulfilled potential and regrets.

That's my decision. I'm not saying it's the right or the wrong one, it's just the path I'm choosing to take. Whether you make the same decision, it’s your’s to make and your’s to live with. But I’m guessing that, because you’re here and feeling this pull, you’re tempted to join me on this crazy, uncomfortable adventure. So let’s close our eyes, take a slightly choked breath, try not to cry and jump (while praying for a soft landing).

 

 

Reader Q&A: "Will I be able to find my direction?"

I'm back answering your questions! This week it's, "Will I be able to find my direction?"

You keep hearing all this talk telling you to do what you love, find work you enjoy, to work hard and then you can make anything you want happen.

But

a) Is it actually possible?

and

b) Will YOU be able to do it?

So first things first, is it actually possible to find work you enjoy?

YES! It is. Is the simple answer!

Obviously there will still be some days that are hard or stressful (because that's life and it would be boring without any challenges!) but you can definitely find a job that you enjoy, that plays to your strengths and that feels meaningful to you.

How do I know? From personal experience. By evaluating what I liked and didn't like about my previous jobs, looking at my strengths and getting clear on the impact I want to have on the world I was able to find a job I enjoy.

If can do it, then you definitely can too! Now, I know you probably hear that a lot online, but I'm being serious here.

"What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve" Napoleon Hill

The thing that's most likely to hold you back?

Yourself.

If you can't see yourself doing something, it's not going to happen. You won't work as hard as you need to. You'll hold yourself back from jumping on slightly scary opportunities that come your way.  And you'll worry that all your hard work is for nothing.

So how do you get yourself to believe that you'll really be able to do it?

Its all about visualisation!

By picturing yourself living the life you want to live everyday, it'll soon become a realistic reality instead of some far off fantasy.

Here's a quick step-by-step guide to visualisation.

1. Get clear on what you want to achieve. Do you want to wake up on a Monday morning happy to go to work? Do you want to be totally immersed in the flow of your work at 11am on a Tuesday? Or maybe it's being out and about meeting clients on a Thursday afternoon? Whatever signifies a job you'd enjoy, imagine that scene.

2. While you're imagining the scene, take the time to make it as real as possible. Engage your senses, imagine what you'd see, hear, smell, touch and feel in that situation. How do you want to feel when your there? Go in depth and make it so real you feel like you're really there. Spend a few minutes in this place.

3. Repeat it regularly. Visualisation is like exercise for the mind. Everyday (or twice a day) take a few minutes to do your visualisation. 

The more you do it, the more real and achievable the situation will seem. 

So yes, you will be able to find your direction but first you've got to turn that question into a confident statement you truly believe!  

Reader Q&A: "What is out there that I am able to do?"

Over the next few weeks I'll be answering YOUR questions about the single biggest challenges that are holding you back from choosing your direction.

First up is, "What is out there that I am able to do?"

This is really a two part question:

Part 1: What is out there?

Part 2: What am I able to do ?

Let's get to it!

1. What is out there?

When it comes to researching careers it can be tricky. In a way there's so much information out there but a lot of it doesn't keep up with our fast changing times!

Here are my two favourite websites that are good places to begin:

www.prospects.ac.uk (for graduate careers)

www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

I'd also recommend working through my free course, 7DAYSTODIRECTION to narrow down 3 career paths you're interested in. Then get really up to date information on careers in those areas by speaking to people who are actually doing them. Use your network, LinkedIn and contacting local companies to do this.

2. What am I able to do?

This bit of the question resonated with me. I know exactly how you feel!

If you're asking yourself "what am I able to do?" instead of "what would I enjoy?" or "what would I be really successful at?" then give yourself a break from trying to decide which direction your want to take your life. 

Instead, take some time to work on increasing your self-belief before you choose the direction you want to go in.

You deserve move than just a job that you are able to do. Everyone has their own unique combination of strengths including you!

Self-belief is something I've been working on personally.  Here are some suggestions for how to increase your self-belief that have worked for me:

  1. Affirmations

A positive statement said in the present tense that changes your thought patterns in the moment.

E.g. I believe in myself and I trust my ability to make a positive difference to other people's lives.

2. Visualisations

These work well when done regularly. Maybe you could do one every morning when you wake up or at night before you go to bed?

One that I've used in the past for a specific situation is closing my eyes and imagining myself walking into a room full of new people. I see myself feeling calm and excited to find out about them (instead of nervous and out of place!). Adding the positive emotions you want to feel in the situation you're visualising is really important. 

3. Positive self-talk

I bet you are your own worst critic. This is both the easiest and hardest thing to stop doing! It's easy because it's 100% under your control but it's hard because you're so stuck in a routine with it! Mediation has helped me to become more aware of my thoughts and affirmations are great for repeating when you're stuck in a negative thought pattern.

4. Do something you've said you were always going to do.

Whether it's writing a novel, baking your mum a suprise cake or going bungee jumping, doing something you've said you're always going to do will help you to start to positively change your perceptions of yourself and your capabilities.

5. Be true to your word (even to yourself)

This really affects your self-esteem. If you say you're going to go for a run after work and then make an excuse to yourself and back out of it, you'll gradually stop believing in yourself.

If you know that you won't go for a run then don't say it. If on the other hand you want to, say and do it! By backing out you'll be letting yourself down twice (both your body's health and your belief in yourself.)

6. Do something a little bit out of your comfort zone.

This will build your self belief by growing your confidence and helping you change the way you see yourself. How often do you think "oh I'm not someone who could do that?"  By stepping out of your comfort zone (especially when it's something you don't see yourself doing)  you'll become a person whodoes do the things you though you couldn't do. You'll realisehow much your mind has been holding you back from achieving your full potential!

7. Share your dreams with your most supportive friends and family members.

(And don't EVER share them with anyone who won't be excited, helpful and caring towards them until they are no longer dreams but seriously achievable goals).

They'll show you that they believe you can do it (whatever it is!) and this will spur you on to actually believing that you can do it too!

Keep repeating these 7 steps until you're asking "what would I enjoy doing?" Instead of "what I am able to do?"

Reader Q&A: "What's important when it comes to choosing a direction?"

It's time again to help you face one of the things that's holding you back. This week I'll be answering, "What's important when it comes to choosing a direction?" Let's get straight to it!

When it comes to choosing your direction there are 4 important steps you need to take.

1. Knowing yourself

What? The first step is all about evaluating who you are, what you enjoy as well as what your strengths and values are.

Why? Getting to know yourself is important as it will give you a clear idea of what types of career and lifestyle will suit you. It'll allow you to evaluate your life so far and use it to move forward and create a day-in-day life that's perfect for you.

How? Check out my 7DAYSTODIRECTION course for an indepth lesson on getting to know yourself.

I've also created this workbook for you!

2. Create a vision of the lifestyle you want

 "Cat: Where are you going? Alice: Which way should I go? Cat: That depends on where you are going. Alice: I don’t know. Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go." Lewis Carroll

What? The second step is all about getting a clear picture of what you want your life to be like. How do you want to feel? What do you want to do? Where do you want to be?

Why? Having a clear vision of what you want your future to be like will help you work out which direction you need to take to get there. You'll also be able to see which parts of your vision you can start including in your life now.

How? In my free course there's a whole lesson about creating a vision board but my favourite way is to create a vision board on Pinterest. Set a time limit, create a new board and pin pins that inspire you onto it.

3. Taking action + overcoming your fears

What? The third step is to actually take some action towards those dreams on your vision board. 

Why? There's no point reflecting on yourself and dreaming about a future if you never do anything about it. Overcoming your fears is a key part of this because if your dreams were easy and within your comfort zone, you probably would have done them already!

The reason why this is step 3 and not step 4 is that you need to take action to get clear on your direction. Don't wait until you have a detailed action plan to start taking action. Instead, take some action before you feel ready, get clear on whether you like it or not, then set your big goals and create your action plan.

How? DO something that helps you learn more about the career or paths you're considering. Whether it's taking a class, creating your own project or doing some volunteering just get started. 

4.Setting goals and creating an action plan

What? Once you're clear on the career you want and the lifestyle you want to live, it's time to set some goals and create an action plan to make them happen.

Why? Setting goals gives you a laser sharp focus when it comes to choosing how to spend your time. The action plan will keep you on track so that you achieve your goals within the deadline you set yourself.

How? Set a clear, measurable goal then decide when you want to have achieved it by. Write out all the steps you need to take to be able to achieve that goal. Then schedule them in between today and your deadline. 

How to choose your career (and leave yourself room to change later on)

If you're trying to decide on your dream career, you probably fall into one of two camps:

1) You want to find a perfect career that will last you a lifetime.

2) You want to fill your life with things you love and experience as much of life as you can.

If you're in camp 1, your process to deciding your dream career will be a little different to camp 2. You'll want to spend as much time as possible researching careers and the opportunities they offer for development.

You don't just want to be considering the first job you're going to do, but also what you can be doing in that field in 30 years time. You'll want to test out those roles that lie further down the line before you make the commitment (especially if they require a big investment to get qualified.)

On the other hand, if you're in camp 2 you'll want your next job to be one that paves the way for an exciting and varied career.

You'll need to focus on finding jobs that allow you to both use your strengths everyday AND give you the opportunity to develop  transferable skills for future roles.

Doing this will help you in two ways:

1) You'll get invaluable experience using your strengths (which is perfect because you should always choose a job that uses them.)

2) You'll have a strong set of transferable  skills to take with you to your next role. This will give you a versatile starting ground for your career. It'll make it easier for you to change careers and between industries when you want to.

Here are some essential transferable skills that you'll want to develop:

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Written communication
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiation
  • Problem solving
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Time management

To get an idea of which ones you need to focus on, rate yourself out of 5 for each. 1 means you find it hard, 5 means you're great at it. Then focus on developing the ones with the lowest ratings.

So there you go!  If you're looking for a versatile and effective place to start your dream career (with room to change later on) look for a job that:

  • Uses your strengths
  • Allows you to develop transferable skills

Two steps to start reaching your potential in your twenties

Do you ever find yourself instantly dismissing an idea for a goal or dreambecause you "know for a fact" that you could never actually achieve it?

You don't even begin to think about how you could do it and just ignore it and move on to the next thought.

Are there loads of things you can't see yourself doing because you (assume that you) don't have the skills, talent or courage to do them?

I know that's been true for me for a while. There's a certain level of success and adventure that I can see for myself. Then, because of lack of self belief there's stuff that I wouldn't even consider.

Well, I watched this talk a few weeks ago that totally changed my perspective on this. You have to watch it too! It's by Chelsea Dinsmore from Live Your Legend.

It's a beautiful, inspiring and emotional talk with so much to take away. There are so many lessons to be learned that I'm sure what sticks with you will be different to what stuck with me.

For me, a tiny phrase that Chelsea said in the middle of the talk really had an impact. It's shifted my thinking significantly when it comes to exciting ideas, bigger goals and harder challenges. Instead of not even considering them, I've started thinking..

"What if I could?"

This phrase in Chelsea's talk has inspired me to look at the ideas I have and what other people are achieving in a totally different way. Instead of briefly thinking "oh that'd be cool to do" or "I'd love to do that" and then ignoring it completely, I catch the thought and ask myself the question...what if I could?

Right after watching Chelsea's talk I created myself a "What if I could?" list. I packed it full of all the goals and ideas that have been floating around in my brain for years but that I never thought I could actually do.

"What if I could?" takes away the pressure of yet another item on your to do list and adds, as Chelsea talks about, an element of curiosity.

I already thought that curiosity is an essential part of finding your direction.

Now I can see that it's also an essential part of reaching your full potential.

I'm excited to put this into practice and be a living example of putting Chelsea's lessons into practice and asking "what if I could?"

To do this I'm starting a What if I Could? Challenge! (I find things so much more fun when they've got a name!)

12 dreams 12 months...what if I could?

Dreams:

  1. Solo long distance hike
  2. Man vs mountain
  3. US creative entrepreneur conference
  4. Fluent in Spanish
  5. Be in nature everyday (by living in countryside)
  6. Learn to surf
  7. Go SUP everyday (by living near a river)
  8. Have a positive impact on the Earth (nature/environment) 
  9. Work for myself full time
  10. Be debt free
  11. Understand Buddhism
  12. Volunteer to conserve nature a tropical environment

There's a few things I need to sort out before I get started (like actually doing some exercise!) so I'm going to kick off the challenge in January. I'll keep you updated! 

Why not start reaching your potential?

1. Watch Chelsea's talk

2. Write your own "What if I could?" List. Remember to just be curious about the things you put down, you don't have to do them, they are just ideas. You can be curious about whether you can actually do them.

Seriously, imagine- what if you could?!

Extra note:

Really interestingly, I'm reading Gandhi's autobiography at the moment and I noticed that this is so similar to the way he approached his life. He saw everything as a series of experiments.

When you think about it, this is such an brilliant way to live! It takes away any possible fear of failure because you're just experimenting. You're doing the experiment and observing the results. You don't have fixed expectations of the outcome of your experiment so you're more open to just seeing what happens. You're focusing on the process and not the result!