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The 5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Uncover Your Purpose

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For many years in my life, I fell into the trap of thinking that if I search externally, my purpose would come to me. It began during my junior year of college, when I saw most of my peers preparing themselves for interviews with consulting firms with the hopes of landing a summer internship, which would then convert into a full-time offer before senior year.

I thought that consulting was a good option based on its popularity on campus, in addition to how the consulting firms marketed themselves, “Consulting is like a continuation of your liberal arts degree. You’ll get a breadth of experiences across sectors and you’ll get a depth of knowledge by diving into each of your projects.”

At the beginning of my senior year, I landed a full-time offer as a consultant and I was over the moon! As a first-generation, low-income college graduate from an immigrant family, I was going to make more money than my parents and achieve upward mobility. However, it didn’t take long for the excitement to wear off when I discovered the monotony of my job. A year and a half later, I left my job and shortly afterwards, I took a sabbatical to work in Italy for a few months.

I had very high expectations for my sabbatical – I very much believed that working abroad, being surrounded by different people and living in a new environment would lead me to, one day, wake up and magically know my purpose. Spoiler alert: It didn’t! Although, I will say, the experience helped me realize what I enjoy, what I don’t enjoy and that my problems/existential questions will follow me, wherever I go, even if I’m halfway across the world.

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” – Viktor Frankl

With these experiences, I’ve learned that uncovering our purpose is more about turning inward – tuning into our inner guidance, something that is always available to us, if we’re able to quiet our minds and listen. I’ve also come to realize that our purpose encompasses much more than just our careers. Living our purpose means living intentionally – engaging in meaningful and worthwhile pursuits, both in and outside of work. When we can contribute to those around us in ways that feel true to us, we are then able to feel a deep sense of contentment and fulfillment that is hard to find elsewhere.

When you have a moment to access that quiet space within you, I invite you to reflect on the following questions to uncover your purpose:

1. WHO do you admire?

When you admire people, it’s usually because they embody certain qualities. Whatever qualities you see in the people you admire are qualities that already exist within you. Perhaps they just need to be given some attention and cultivated so that you feel like you are embodying those same qualities in your everyday life.

2. WHAT makes you happy?

Go and do the things that make you feel happy! (Even if it feels like you’re not being “productive.”) When we let our minds rest and feel happier, new ways of thinking are available to us. For example: I love being out in nature. One day, I went on a solo 2+ hour walk on a trail without listening to podcasts/music, which didn’t seem very “productive.” However, it was during this walk that all these ideas for my business popped up.

3. WHERE are you?

We are a product of our environments. When I was in a small town in India, it was so easy for me to relax and take each moment as it came because the people around me had a similar approach to life. However, if you asked me to embody this way of being in New York City, I’d have a much harder time because New Yorkers are always on the go. So, what this question is getting at is – are you surrounding yourself with people who support your dreams and aspirations? Are you in an environment that is conducive for you to reflect deeply and dream big.

4. WHEN were you happiest and WHEN were you most angry?

The first question will enable you to see the values that were being honored when you were happiest and the second question will enable you to see the values that were violated when you were most angry. Both questions will inform you of the values that you hold dear to your heart and when you’re aware of those values, you can use them as a guiding light any time you make a decision.

“Activity without purpose is the drain of your life.” – Tony Robbins

5. WHY do you do the things that you do?

Be honest with yourself. For example: Why did I choose to go into consulting? I went into consulting because I thought that it was the “right” path due to the fact that:

  • most of my peers were going down that path
  • I was convinced that consulting would give me the “breadth and depth” of experiences
  • I felt like I needed to earn a certain amount of money

However, had I been more honest with myself, I would’ve realized that what I cared more about than fitting in, having a variety of experiences and making good money was helping people. I did eventually come to that realization so when I was looking for another job, the main question became, “What are the job opportunities that will allow me to help people?” 

“The answers you seek are inside of you.” May you give them the time and space to come forth. 

Angela is an International Life Purpose and Career Coach. She helps driven professionals who feel stuck and unfulfilled to discover their purpose so that they can have both the impact and income that they want. Sign up for her FREE guide, 6 Steps to Living Your Purpose here and learn more about her coaching program at www.angelachoi.co.

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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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Life

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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