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When Pursuing Your Passions You Can Discover Your Purpose

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I woke up and groaned. It was a Monday, again. My calendar was choc-a-bloc with meetings and presentations. I dragged myself out of bed, looked at the figure in the mirror, and started crying at the sight of the tired face with sunken eyes and slumped shoulders.

Prestigious education degrees, dream campus placement followed by impressive lateral movements, and a high-profile corporate job with a seven-figure salary. I was a successful professional by the world’s yardsticks. Yet I was crying like a loser in my bathroom.

‘You haven’t slogged this long to spend your days on autopilot. You have not come so far to not have time for family and friends,’ said a voice in my head. This time I didn’t silence it.

I was disenchanted and disillusioned for the last few years of my corporate career. The voice in my head had been goading me to change my life’s direction. But I felt trapped. This career was what I had aspired for, was good at, and what I had done all my life. I had no hobbies and passions.

While I loved my husband and daughter, my work was my identity. I was afraid of losing this identity and the associated independence. 

‘Then be prepared to spend Mondays waiting for Fridays for the rest of your life,’ the voice in my head whispered.

“No,” I screamed, wiping away the tears streaming down my cheeks, and shouted, “I want to wake up with a smile every day.”

That day I gave my notice at work. “You have lost your head,” people said. For a change, I didn’t listen to them. I was willing to incur the sharp pains of self-discovery than endure the dull ache of listlessness for the rest of my life.

That was a year ago. Today I get up from bed early in the morning and enjoy two newspapers at leisure while sipping tea on my scenic balcony. I have the privilege of choosing the people I work with. I enjoy doing what I do, and work doesn’t feel like work.

So, how did everything change? How did I find my direction and make a successful career pivot after losing myself?

“When you stay on purpose and refuse to be discouraged by fear, you align with the infinite self, in which all possibilities exist.” – Wayne Dyer

How I first uncovered my passions…

I used my notice period to think, reflect and figure out that I needed to pursue my passions to feel fulfilled. Either at work as a profession or outside work as a pursuit. So, uncovering my passions was the first step.

Here are the lessons from my self-discovery phase:

1. Ask for help from your trusted friends. Then eliminate and select.

Reach out to a set of people close to you whom you trust and who have known you for at least five years. Be direct and specific about the support you want from them to get constructive results.

I reached out to four of my closest colleagues to list five areas of my strengths with reasons and examples. As a result, I not only got a list of skills but also a third-party validation of these capabilities a much-needed confidence booster.

2. Reflect on what gets you to a state of ‘flow’.

The answers to all your questions lie within you. Spend time with yourself to get those answers. I asked myself three specific questions:

  • What did I love doing as a child, as a teenager, when I first started work?
  • When was I last so absorbed in something that I lost track of time? What was I doing?
  • If I were accidentally locked in a bookshop overnight, which section would I camp out in?

It became apparent to me where in which areas I should apply my skills even as I noted the answers.

3. Upskill yourself.

You put in the hard work while pursuing your degree to land that job, didn’t you? You will have to do the same again to transform your passion into a pursuit or profession. Especially if your chosen future area is entirely different from your current domain.

Choose wisely and prudently among the virtual courses, certifications, diplomas, and degrees. The aim here is to build a foundation for your future success and not simply add an extra credential to your LinkedIn profile.   

I decided to pursue two divergent careers, both completely different from one another, and unrelated to my previous background, opting for simultaneous certifications in both areas. This helped me transform my nascent ideas into a structured plan.

…and then transformed them into professions.

After I had zeroed down on my passions, I dived headlong into my new careers. These are my learnings from the phase:

1. Do while you learn.

How did you learn to ride a bicycle? By riding it. How did you become adept in your first job role? By doing it. It is no different during the transition.

If you wait to complete that course or degree to restart, you will be short of confidence and time. The best time to put your knowledge to use is while acquiring it. I started publishing my writings on online platforms within the first two weeks of my writing courses. I followed the same approach for my other venture.

2. Join peer support groups.

A peer support group that bonds over a common goal is crucial during your transition. It helps you to be accountable, encourages you to give your best, provides constructive feedback and pulls you up when you are down.

A peer support group will help you not feel alone on the lonely road of transition. Some of the best ideas for my new ventures came during my interactions with people in these groups.

3. Take small but consistent steps.

Transformation is an outcome of several incremental steps. Consistency establishes a process. Process brings results.

If I had imagined myself as a published author on day one after I quit my job, I would have been paralyzed by fear. Instead, I focused on writing at least 500 words every day. And I have been doing that ever since, even on my vacation and sick days.

4. Embrace the new you — with your backstory.

‘What do you do?’ You might fumble to answer this common question during your career transition. That’s what happened to me in the initial months after my pivot.

Then I realized that the world would not accept me in the new roles unless I accepted myself. So, I wrote and recorded my new professional introduction and listened to it daily till I got comfortable answering this question.

You are a different person at 25, 35, 45, etc. Be grateful for your past, enthusiastic about your present, and excited about your future. The world will follow your lead.

Tapping into your inner self will bring you the happiness you deserve

Stop being busy and tap into your inner self. Uncover at least one activity where you will enjoy the process as much as the outcome. Then pursue that activity. Your life will acquire a new meaning.

Listening to that little voice in my head made me find my life’s purpose. I now wake up with a smile every day and am the happiest I have ever been. So is my husband.

Smita Das Jain is a Personal Empowerment Life Coach, Executive Coach and NLP Coach Practitioner, enabling busy professionals unhappy in their jobs to transform their passions into pursuits so that they work because they want to and not because they have to. She has more than 14 years of leadership experience with Fortune 500 companies like KPMG and JLL. She is also a writer, a bestselling author and a TEDx speaker. Visit https://www.lifecoachsmitadjain.com/ to learn more about Smita’s Empower Yourself Coaching Programs and https://www.smitaswritepen.com/ to explore her fictional world.

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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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