How to Get What You Want in Life/Finding my Purpose
My name is Jessica. I am a 25 year old recent college grad from Arkansas. Since my graduation, I have been working as a secretary for a local church. This isn't exactly what I had in mind for my first "real" job, but, with the tough economy, it was literally the only thing I could find.
Despite having a job, a nice family and group of friends who support me, and a generally "good" life, I feel like something is missing. Inside, I have always felt I was meant to do something, but I have been unable to discern what it is I am supposed to do with my life. This intense feeling of not being complete (for lack of a better word) is very bothersome and makes me feel trapped. I then get in a cycle of feeling guilty for wanting more, when my life is already so blessed. I often begin to worry that this feeling of wanting more is just myself being narcissistic.
How do I find what's missing? How can I find my true purpose?
I would greatly appreciate your feedback on the matter. Thanks so much!
Jessica, it would be wonderful if I could give you a clear instruction in a sentence or two that would fill in what you say is missing, and what is your true purpose... but (you knew that was coming) I am not able to do that.
What I offer instead are some suggestions that could help you clarify what may be missing, and lead you closer to a purpose. That being said, I suggest you consider that you may have more than one purpose and even when you find one of them, you will be led toward another and another. That is my experience anyway. I knew very clearly at 13 a purpose and by 17 I had attained it, and was led on to more. I lost my way a couple of times, and found a way to refocus etc. I simply point this out so that you consider accepting that it's unlikely there's a 'magic switch' to flick and instantly be where and who you want to be.
Anyway, here are some techniques that may be useful, and questions you can ask yourself:
1) The feeling that you are meant to do something can be quite useful. Find a place and time where you may sit quietly and focus on this feeling, bringing it to your consciousness. By being conscious of the feeling you allow inklings or faint stirrings of clarity to show up. When you do this I suspect you will find a bunch of yabuts come along too. (i.e. Ya, but... I'd have to move. Ya, but... I'm not educated enough. Ya, but... my parents/friends/partner/community won't approve. Ya, but... it would be scary to be/do that. Ya, but... I don't have enough money.) Get the idea?
2) When the yabuts come up, gently acknowledge them one at a time with some kind of phrase/statement such as "Thank you for bringing that up. I know you are trying to help me. I appreciate your concern, but I am going to put that aside for the time being. Right now I am just going for clarity, I'm choosing not to deal with obstacles. I'll get back to you."
3) When you have handled the yabuts and set them aside, ask yourself "Are any of these concerns enough to keep me from being/doing what I know is my path?" (Ask this question even if you don't quite know your path, the answer may very well help anyway.) If the answer is "no" then you can begin to direct our thoughts and actions toward your path. If the answer is "Yes, this will stop me."
You have more work to do.
4) Keep in mind, for the moment you are simply communicating with yourself. I find that acting like I am actually having a conversation I with me, does work and tends to bring more clarity. If you get the answer "Yes, this will stop me."
it is time for you to work on what is not absolutely clear to you, what you have not yet resolved, or handled in your life, either internally or externally. An unresolved issue can/will keep you stuck.
5) The truth is, for most of us, this can be scary to do... but you must be really honest with yourself about what it is that stops you, and what drives you. You are not working with just a wish (Oh, I wish I could find a charming prince and live happily ever after). It must be a real purpose, with real energy, real honesty. Something you are willing to take action about, even if you think it will be uncomfortable or scary. When you choose to be honest with yourself you will find uncomfortable, scary, and not nice things come up. This is where your feeling of not being complete is coming from. That is what makes the trap you feel, and the guilt for wanting more. It is easy to dismiss this stuff as selfishness or narcissism, because that is easier than dealing with the uncomfortable, scary, or not-nice things about yourself. Being guilty about narcissism or selfishness is wasted energy, because regardless of how bad you can make yourself feel, that energy will never bring you to what is missing, or your path or your purpose.
No one else can find your true purpose for you. Some coaching and exploring with another trusted person can certainly be helpful and even fun, but only you will "know" when you are on your way to fulfillment and purpose. Hope this was helpful.