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5 Ways to Rediscover Your Purpose in Life

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Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer. But my quintessential Indian father thought that was a terrible idea, and well, so did everybody else I knew. Eventually, thanks to nasty teachers and being in the wrong stream (IT engineering), I resigned myself to having a purposeless existence. But after graduation, I could not bring myself to conform any longer. So I dove into the world of writing.

Soon, I discovered that my childhood dream was not something to be taken lightly. Over seven years, I figured out what I wanted to write and why. I even wrote two books and launched a blog. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was making a difference in the world. But then the pandemic came, and everything changed.

Suddenly, I began to feel that I was no longer following my purpose. My contribution to the world did not seem impactful enough. I tried to resist this stream of thought as I knew words are powerful, and mine had certainly helped people. Also, I did not want to rock the career boat after all my struggles. I hoped that this was only a phase brought on by the uncertainty of the pandemic. But as days turned into months, my thoughts remained the same. I took a deep breath and realized that I would have to rediscover my purpose all over again. 

The prospect of starting all over again was daunting. Plus, I had never heard of anyone needing to rediscover purpose. But on introspection and research, it became clear that this was normal, just not talked about as often as it should. As people change and evolve, so does their purpose. Once I accepted this fact, I set out to rediscover my purpose. I did it by following the steps below.  

1. Adopt a beginner’s mindset

As the term indicates, a beginner’s mindset is all about seeing things through the eyes of a beginner. In this context, you need to explore your interests and values as if you are doing it for the very first time. Disregard your likes, dislikes, biases, and opinions about yourself and the world in general. Let go of all your professional knowledge so that your mind is like a clean slate. 

This is easier said than done, but you need to get in this headspace. For example, I used to believe that writing is my sole purpose in life. Even when I was not feeling that way anymore, I found it hard not to cling to this belief. Once I let go of it, I felt like I had a world of possibilities. And I’m sure you will feel the same when you adopt a beginner’s mindset.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Allen Saunders

2. Take a couple of career tests

Now that you have a beginner’s mindset, this step should be easier for you. Pretend that you are a graduate student who has no idea what you want to do in life. Then go ahead and take a couple of career assessment tests. Take 3-5 tests and save the results of each. Each test will show you a bunch of careers that might be a good fit for you. Zero in on career choices that interest you and career choices that show up repeatedly. Make sure you focus on the change you want to make in the world instead of the usual ‘follow your passion’ cliche. 

Once you do this, you will have a list of potential careers that you are likely to excel in because you have the required aptitude. You are off to a great start! Now all you have to do is marry your strengths and interests. For this, you have to conduct substantial research on what each career involves regarding job responsibilities and how they align with your interests and personality. Doing so will help you further narrow down your list of professions. For example, if you are an introvert who dislikes attention, and one of your potential careers is actor, it’s not a good fit. Full disclosure: this is the only reason why I had to cross acting off my list. 

3. Write down what you want and what you don’t want

In my experience, career test results can be overwhelming. Like me, you are likely to get a long list of potential careers. Having too many choices can lead to anxiety, confusion, and analysis paralysis. I figured that the best way to deal with this issue is to write things down. So I made a list of things I want and a list of things I don’t want in my professional life.
One of the items on my ‘don’t want’ list stated that I don’t want to work with people with major mental health issues. And one of the items on my ‘want’ list stated that I want to help people with mental health issues. Only after I figured this out could I choose between counseling psychology and clinical psychology. 

4. Listen to your gut instinct

Once you complete the above steps, you should have one or two solid career options in front of you. When you can’t pick one, or if you have a longer list, you know who you should rely on, right? Your gut instinct. Even when you have all the data you need, your gut instinct is powerful and should not be ignored.

Towards the end of my evaluation, I was torn between becoming a counselor and a life coach. Both options change lives for the better. But my gut said I would be far more suited to the field of counseling than coaching. Plus, I always wanted to study psychology. So I have enrolled myself in a Master’s in Counseling Psychology. And now, I can’t wait for classes to begin! 

I hope this four-step process helps you rediscover your purpose in life. And once you do that, make sure you pursue it. Self-motivation helps and so does public accountability. I just did it by making this public declaration. Remember, no one has all the answers, and life is unpredictable. The wisest way to avoid regrets and succeed is to give everything your best shot.

Mahevash Shaikh is an author and freelance writer with a penchant for coffee, personal development, and self-awareness.She blogs about mental health and sociocultural issues at Mahevash Muses. You can connect with her on Instagram at mahevashmuses.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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