Is the pressure to ‘find your purpose’ doing us a disservice?

find your purpose

 

I think all this hoo-ha about making sure you ‘find your purpose’ in life and ‘not settling for mediocre’ and ‘living your best life’ is doing us a all a disservice. (And in the spirit of FULL honesty I say this from the place of someone who has gone down that particular rabbit hole and then one day turned around and realised that being focused on that was actually making my life harder, not easier.)

 

We’re bombarded with it aren’t we?! The motivational quotes and memes on Facebook. The images of the ideal lifestyles that people are apparently living. The claims that people are making “SIX FIGURES” (why is is always 6 by the way?!) doing what they love because they started being their authentic selves. (If I hear the word authentic used one more time, I think I might just vomit).

 

Can we just stop a moment and admit a few truths here?

 

Your ‘purpose in life’ is not singular and changes throughout your life.

The thing you’re passionate about now, isn’t always going to feel good.

Asking your passion to make you money, sometimes just makes your passion just feel like a ‘job’ like everything else.

Mediocre is a personal judgement and often gets confused with ‘simple’. (What is mediocre for some, brings INCREDIBLE joy to others.)

 

The problem with trying to be ‘on purpose’ and always ‘following your passion’ is that it’s so incredibly future-focused. It often makes us feel UNHAPPIER because we never actually feel like we’ve arrived. We’re always looking for the next thing. Always judging and trying to make our lives, our purpose, better. It’s the modern version of saying ‘when I do this I’ll be happy’ or ‘if only…’

 

It keeps us on the hamster wheel of always trying to improve.

 

It often involves tying yourself up in knots doing everything to work out how you can leave behind a job that you don’t love (but pays well), for a passion that currently only makes you $100 per month.

 

It’s often finds us feeling overwhelmed by the numerous unfinished projects that litter the road behind us on the road to discovering our purpose.

 

It often means our days are filled with things we deem ‘productive’ and we beat ourselves up over anything that feels like ‘a waste of time’

 

Of course I’m generalising and it doesn’t have to be this way if you approach it with a different perspective, but most of the women who I talk to about feeling lost after becoming a Mum say they no longer know who they are or what they’re passionate about. When we nut down on that topic a little, the response is usually the same: they don’t know what their purpose is any more. 

 

I get it. Motherhood itself is often a hamster wheel of things that need to be done over and over again and it never really feels like you’re getting anywhere or achieving anything.  And then you compare your wiping snotty noses and piles of washing with what everyone else seems to be achieving on social media, it’s no wonder we end up feeling a little disheartened and lost.

 

BUT…

 

Why is no one brave enough to say that motherhood has given them purpose?

Why does it seem like it’s not enough anymore to feel forfilled by motherhood?

What if our purpose was just to be present for whatever is right in front of us?

What if our purpose was to HAVE passion, not to do ALL things we’re passionate about?

 

I think at the end of the day what most of us are actually seeking is that we want to feel is valued. Important. Worthy. Purposeful. 

 

Except we go about it the wrong way. We chase the things we believe to be our purpose rather than just creating that feeling of value for ourselves.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m about to go and quit all the things I do and love, and I don’t think you should either.

 

But I’d love if we could take a little pressure of ourselves, and each other (but mostly ourselves).

 

The only way to feel ‘on purpose’ is if YOU value you what you do and give. You have to find your own inherent worthiness that isn’t tied to a job, or a person or a lifestyle. Just you being rockin’ ol’ you.

 

Then everything else just gets to fall away and be ok, whatever you choose to do.

 

If you value yourself without conditions, everything else can just choices you happen to make, rather than being tied to how you feel about yourself.

 

You’ll know, it’s ALLL ok.

 

It’s ok if you’ve had a baby and left a career that you used to love, and now aren’t really sure if you want to go back.

It’s ok if you go to a job you don’t exactly love, but that pays the bills and allows you do have time to do the things you do love.

It’s ok if you enjoy just being at home with your kids.

It’s also ok if you love your job and are itching to get back before maternity leave finishes.

It’s ok if you struggle to balance all of the things in your life and you know you need to give more time to your little passion project, but you just can’t in this busy season.

It’s ok if the things in your life grow slowly and don’t go viral.

It’s ok if you haven’t worked out yet how to make your six figures while you sleep (or don’t sleep as the case with babies might be)

It’s ok to feel a little lost from time to time, all of us do.

It’s ok to find joy in the really simple stuff.

It’s ok to not know what your purpose is in life other than being here, getting up and doing all the things, all over again.

It’s ok as long as YOU know your value.

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