This article was previously published on February 3, 2017.
To some, the sole aim in life is to find one’s passion and purpose. The intention is to live each day fulfilling that purpose, keeping that fire alive within the soul. The quest to find one’s purpose is often easy–but keeping it alive is sometimes a battle.
I came into my purpose a few years back after I was forced to reevaluate every fragment of my life, from my career to my relationships. It’s as if I simply fell into it. It’s hard to explain the journey to finding one’s purpose, but the feeling is quite distinct. It’s like being awake for the first time. Your life seems to make sense and is driven by this intense passion.
Indeed, finding your purpose is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It would be insane to let that feeling slip away, yet sometimes this occurs. I know because it happened to me.
What drives my soul is travel and wellness; however, by trade, I am a teacher. After living and traveling abroad for the past few years, I decided to move back to the U.S. on a whim in hopes of settling down and beginning a career as a health coach. Responsibilities took over, and I once again found myself in a teaching job to get me through. My purpose, once so clear and vivid, began to fade due to the demands of my teaching job.
Over the last few months, I could feel the emotional and physical changes in my body. I went from feeling invigorated and knowing what I wanted to barely recognizing myself. The changes were slow but extremely apparent in my daily life.
Here are some key signs you’re not living your purpose. You may feel…
When you find your purpose, a sense of contentment washes over you, putting you at ease. There is no questioning or lack of direction; all is well. I knew I was falling out of my purpose when I began to feel absolutely lost and question every decision I made upon returning home. I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that something was off. Essentially, something was off…I had veered right off my path. This is a major sign that you are not living your purpose. It’s your intuition kicking into high gear, sending signals to stop existing and start living.
Your body can sometimes reveal your true emotions before your mind does. My body made it pretty loud and clear I was not living my purpose via anxiety attacks. Up until this year, I have never had an anxiety attack and was taken aback by the frequency I was getting them. In the midst of an attack, I had such a clarifying moment: No one or thing should make you feel like you’re suffocating. Eliminate it quickly and find peace in all that you do.
A Lack of Energy
Have you ever felt like you have lost your spark? Perhaps you feel completely depleted? I began to feel this way pretty soon after settling into my new work and living situation. Just thinking about my job made me tired whereas before taking this job, I woke up every day excited about what I was going to accomplish. Your daily routine should excite you, bring you joy! You should never feel unmotivated or emotionally shattered by a job. If you wind up in that situation, however, seek what lights you up, what makes you want to jump out of bed every morning.
A Loss of Focus
With a lack of energy comes a lack of focus. Once so clear-headed and disciplined, I was now neglecting everything in my life that meant something to me: my health, my passions, and my goals. Suddenly, my intentions were obscured, and I was not honoring my truth. I wasn’t doing things that were enjoyable or helping me towards my goals. When you live more purposefully, however, you’re mindful about your actions, creating a universe that focuses on your ultimate happiness. Who would want to live any other way?
If any of these signs speak to you, then it could be time to reconnect to your purpose. Here’s how:
Shift Your Energy
Concentrate on what brings fulfillment and meaning to your life. If something is sucking the life out of you, it doesn’t belong in your life. Shift your energy away from anything negative and direct your energy towards situations in which you can be your best self.
Think back to the last time you felt truly happy and what you were doing. What was going on in your life? Who were the people you were surrounding yourself with? Ask yourself how you can start to incorporate those happy moments back into your life. This could be the very clue to regaining your purpose.
Make a Choice
Know that with whatever you do, you have a choice. You don’t have to be stuck doing something you don’t want to. If your heart yearns to be doing something else, then do it! Forget fear, forget judgment; you owe it to yourself to be completely content.
Acknowledge when it’s time for a change, whether big or small. Start making small, attainable goals like committing 20 minutes a day to your passion. Naturally, these small changes will compound, and your days will become less habit-driven and more purpose-driven. Lastly, change can be absolutely terrifying, but in the end, it is always worth it if it’s what you desire. I would have never found my purpose in the first place if I didn’t take a leap of faith and move across the world.
How do you stay committed to your life’s purpose?
Also by Jess: 7 Steps to a New Year of Self-Discovery
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