What to do with my life? This is something many women find themselves wondering at one point or another, especially after having children. Kids tend to lift the veil and we find ourselves asking what is important in my life? What matters most to me? Am I living with purpose? Am I even happy? Am I being a role model for my children? Is this it or is there more?
Asking and answering these questions can lead us down the garden path of new changes, direction and discovery.
Here is the thing though…
When we are asking ourselves the famous question of ‘what to do with my life?’ sometimes we actually have no idea what the answer is. Quite often it takes a lot of soul-searching, uncomfortableness, awareness and time to figure it out.
Ask anyone for advice and they will most likely give you the good old ‘follow your passion’ line but what if you have NFI what your passion is? What if you’ve been trying to find your passion for years and are still drawing a blank? I speak to women in this position pretty much every day and what I have learned is it turns out just saying ‘find your passion’ isn’t actually the best advice because we don’t always know what it is and that is totally ok. Sometimes to get to our passion we need to workshop through a lot of shiz first.
Finding your passion and what you want to do in life isn’t actually always that simple, or even still on the flip side, I have seen it staring some people in the face but yet they were blind to it and that is ok, we all have blind spots.
Loads of people think that their passion will just magically appear one day out of the blue, but honestly, thinking along these lines is doing you a great disservice because the truth is, some people could wait forever and their passion never shows up and then life has passed us by.
You don’t just find your passion and then never have to work again, yo.
Just so you know, even when you do start your dream online business and realise that it’s your passion, it still feels like work sometimes. There are bits that are difficult and that will kick you in the guts and make you question why you chose this path, we have a saying around here at Business Jump which is, business is just as much a self-development journey as it is a business journey but even though there will be challenges and hard days, the good days of doing something that lights you up will always outweigh the bad.When you have the realisation that you don’t just stumble upon your passion you can be more aware and conscious of the signs and callings around you that are all trying to reveal the path you can follow.
For example, I spoke to a beautiful client before she signed up with us and she was saying to me that she had a few ideas on what type of business she would like to start but she really at the end of the day wasn’t sure what to do or what her passion was. We had a great chat about her interests, what she likes doing that feels good in her spare time, what she wanted out of business and what she also wanted out of life as I dug for clues and intel on what would be a great business idea for her. A lot of the time I can pick up on it before my clients even know.
Our conversation always came back to her interest in baking and cooking. It was the first topic out of a few that she mentioned when we chatted about her general interests, the tone of her voice lit up when she talked about it, she spoke about it with ease and flow, she said she had a massive sweet tooth and was obsessed about cooking and loved baking for family and friends.
But, still she wasn’t sure what her passion was…..
You know that feeling when you know something and you just want to excitedly scream it out to the person but you have to shut your mouth and gently guide them instead?
That is me, most days.
I feel like I have a sixth sense when it comes to knowing what type of business someone should start and I can always spot the trajectory of how they arrived to chatting with me. So while I was waiting for her to thought process everything, I FB stalked her and was blown away with what I saw.
Sister has an incredible gift.
Her newsfeed was full of her amazingly delicious cooking and baking photographs that she had cooked for her family and friends that made me want to eat it all and I almost got pissy that I couldn’t. That was the pulling power of her cooking.
It confirmed what my intuition was telling me – that she had a gift that she could use to wrap into an online business and do something she loved and create an income from it and I loved that was right in front of her but it hadn’t quite revealed itself.
Which is the way passion and life works sometimes, we all have blind spots and sometimes it takes someone else to help you see the unseen.
A fixed mindset might be stopping you.
This is because people have two kinds of mindsets – a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Tell someone with a growth mindset to find their passion and they will seek it out, trying new things in the process. However, if you tell someone with a fixed mindset to find their passion, research says that they will stick with what they already know, and hope to stumble upon it (the latter in regards to finding your passion doesn’t work like that sista)
One aspect of having a fixed mindset is believing that you are born with a permanent set of innate characteristics, traits, and skills, which are reasonably stable throughout your life. Finding your passion doesn’t just come to you, it comes from trying different things that might not always feel right, could come with uncertainty and should feel uncomfortable.
It doesn’t just appear like the baby snot stain on the shoulder of your good black jacket. Finding your passion comes from applying a growth mindset to everything you do and trying things even if you aren’t 100% sure.
You don’t just find your passion – it is better advice to talk about developing your passion.
One way to work out what your passion is, is to imagine you are given enough money to never need to work again. What would you choose to do with your life instead? This ‘if money was no object’ theory is a good place to start, but again, isn’t great advice for people with a fixed mindset.
The problem is that we only think of the jobs, skills, and pastimes that we are familiar with so you may only think of things that you have tried already. Then once you have cast your mind over what you already know about yourself and your world, you might conclude there is no great passion there.
And that is when many people stop looking for it.
The study uncovered a few interesting facts. People with fixed mindsets believe that their passions and interests are essential predestined, or already formed inside us and just need to be discovered. This kind of belief directly affects motivation, however.
Having a fixed mindset is more likely to restrict your interests to within the ones you have already encountered or experienced. It is more likely to dampen your enthusiasm for trying something new.
It is also more likely to put you off when you are faced with any difficulty finding that dream or passion. People with a fixed mindset are more likely to believe that once you are pursuing your passion, everything will be easy.
And when everything isn’t easy (and trust me, it won’t be!) people with a fixed mindset are more likely to quit, thinking that it apparently wasn’t the passion they were looking for, or that maybe there is no passion to be found.
Okay – so what can you take away from this? Here are some actionable steps:
- If you want to find your passion, you shouldn’t just look at what you already know or do things that feel good and safe. Think outside the box. Explore beyond your experiences and beyond traits or skills that you already suspected you had.
- Work / talk / engage with someone who can see your blind spots and offer a different perspective, options or opinion.
- Try things that are completely different to anything you’ve tried before. Do things that frighten you or that challenge and test you.
- Know that it can be normal to feel uncertain, overwhelmed and confused. In fact, these are all signs that your brain is getting ready to learn something new. Step into it, not away from it.
- Try new interests and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Your passion is not something pre-formed within you, and it won’t be just ‘found’ because more often than not, it needs to be developed.
- Starting with general interests can lead to your passion. It did for me. When I started Business Jump it was just a general interest that I had skills and expertise in. I had no idea that six-months in I was going to realise that not only was it my passion, but it was also my purpose.
- If you are burned out, depressed or low on energy focus on restoring yourself first before trying to push yourself into action.
- Think about the ‘if money was no object’ theory – what would you do if you didn’t have to trek along to your regular paying job? Start your search here – but keep exploring.
- Try new things and don’t give up if you don’t like them. Especially don’t give up if you enjoy them but aren’t instantly good at them. Keep trying.
So my advice is ‘Don’t just find your passion – go out there and create it!’
You are more likely to discover your passion this way, and much more likely to build a dream life and business out of it. You are much more likely to make it work.
Now you can stop wondering, ‘What to do with my life?’ and get started making your life happen.