You probably didn’t start your adventure into adulthood thinking, “I really just want to live a mediocre life.”
I certainly didn’t.
But somewhere along life’s way, we often lose ourselves.
Usually, it’s somewhere between a 9-5, saying “I do”, and diaper number 437. And sometimes it’s so slow and gradual, we don’t even realize it’s happening.
…Especially when we are living a charmed life with that perfect hubby and his darling offspring.
But no matter how blissful, by putting everyone else first, we can lose ourselves.
The “you” that is inspired and passionate turns into the “you” that is exhausted and frustrated.
We all experience it – life gets busy and sometimes overwhelming. So having a solid foundation of who you are and why you do what you do is essential.
I learned this the hard way from years of living a half-hearted existence. But, eventually, I took an in-depth look at my life and made some necessary changes to find the life I felt I was meant to live.
I learned to focus on a few key questions and it has made all the difference.
I call it my True North – knowing who I am, what’s important in my life that puts fire in my soul, and following the path that leads me to happiness and fulfillment.
At some point, I lost sight of my True North and it caused serious problems.
I began to question, Who am I? What is my purpose?
Not having any good answers lead to anxiety, stress, depression and more…
I didn’t start out my life as an adult unsure of myself, so what happened? When had I become so defeated and misguided?
My first steps as a young adult were fearless. I couldn’t wait to get out of my small town and take the next steps in life.
My college experience was a new chapter in life and I made the most of it. I continued this into my 20’s. I was young and naïve, with delusions of grandeur – dreaming of adventures traveling and saving the world.
There was probably as much “self-destruction” as “self-exploration”, but I lived life as a fun, free-spirited, spontaneous girl, not afraid of any opportunity life gave me. Even though many crashed and burned, it never deterred me from looking forward to the next chapter.
But after a rocky end to my 20’s and even rockier start to my 30’s, I put away that independent, free spirit as the next decade of work and marriage consumed the fun-loving girl.
I found myself living a good life, but at some point, I realized I felt alone in the world without much passion for anything.
I had let the “doing what I think is best” syndrome take me down a spiral until I really didn’t know who I was anymore or what I even wanted.
But eventually, at 39, I knew I had to find out.
Luckily, my story has much happier chapters in the current decade and isn’t nearly finished.
I’m loving my 40’s and a lot of it is due to finally exploring and re-discovering these three things:
- Who Am I?
- What am I Passionate About?
- And, Is My Life on the Course of Where I Want it to Be?
Hopefully, you’re reading this before you’re at the point of running away from your life like I was, but maybe you can relate.
Before you make any huge life-altering decisions, let’s explore these questions and see if you can’t get back on track to your True North…
Who Am I?
Seriously, it sounds so simple, but when was the last time you truly identified yourself? And I mean besides Mom, Wife, Sister, etc…
I mean who are YOU??? Or sadly, who were you before your own life got put on the back burner?
First, write down ten positive adjectives to describe yourself – even if you feel they don’t describe you right now.
Typically, your true core does not change, no matter where your circumstances may take you.
So meditate on this for awhile. Think about the parts of you that you love. The parts that, even as a child, were a part of your fiber and are still unwavering.
For me, I was always creative, adventuresome, and empathetic, to name a few…
Maybe you’ve always been smart, funny, nurturing, strong-willed…
Whatever comes to mind write it down. If you come up with more than ten that’s great!
Now, do these words describe who you are now? Would the people who know you well recognize you from this list?
If the answer is no, why not?
What can you do to help you “find yourself” again?
Well, a good place to start is by keeping this list handy.
Yes, we literally have to remind ourselves sometimes who we are or who we want to be. And just by acknowledging and honoring this list of great qualities you have they will start to become a part of you again, giving you a better sense of self.
What Am I Passionate About?
Sadly, I think a lot of us are clueless on this one. At least at first glance…
But if you dig deep, you will know your passion when you open yourself to an endless realm of possibilities.
Maybe this is about “RE-discovering” a passion that you haven’t taken time for in a long time, or starting down the path of discovery to something you have always wanted to do!
Again, take out that pen and paper. It’s so much easier to clarify our thoughts and find focus when we put it in black and white.
So let’s set aside all the realities of everyday life for a few minutes and just dream… close your eyes and imagine the utmost fantastic feeling of doing something that brings you joy, or empowerment…
Something that lights your soul on fire and brings all your senses together in a way that is one with the Universe…
Maybe there are several things you would LOVE to do!
Write a book…
Go to a Broadway show…
Climb a mountain…
Run a marathon…
Whatever it is, why not make it possible? Every journey starts with a single step.
If you want to focus on one thing, make a list of steps that will make the dream achievable. It’s not just about the end goal. The journey to get there will empower you and give you a sense of your TRUE NORTH!
For me, I write all my crazy dreams and goals down.
…My Bucket List.
I have several real-life goals and several that may still be dreams at this point, but that’s the beauty of it.
I have the DREAM and DESIRE to make these things happen..some more than others, and many that change along the way, but who cares?
It’s your list and the important thing is that it gives you something to strive for.
So pick one thing on your list that you would love to do and start working on it!
Even taking ten minutes a day (or most days!) to start your journey will make a huge difference in your feeling of self-worth and satisfaction!
Is My Life On Course to Where I Want it to Be?
This is a tough one – especially if the answer is no.
But it may not be as tough as it seems. We can make big progress with small changes.
First, start by figuring out the former questions. Then take those answers – who am I and what am I passionate about – and see if they can easily be inserted into your daily life.
For example, if one of your qualities is “adventurous”, but the most adventurous thing you’ve done in years is adding highlights to your hair, then you need to figure out something to do that fits your adventurous spirit. Maybe skydiving! (It’s on my bucket list, give me time).
Maybe you are generous and big-hearted by nature. Maybe becoming a nurse or starting a non-profit organization is your dream…
If so, you can start by enrolling in some classes or putting that passion into motion by volunteering for a group that you believe in.
When we help others or fight for a cause that is bigger than ourselves, our own issues seem much smaller and it’s a great way to feel more passionate and driven.
Get the picture? We can easily get our lives on course to where we want to be if we just put forth a little effort.
On a side note: I would also highly recommend beginning a self-care routine – mind, body, spirit. My personal journey transformed exponentially when I began using yoga and meditation as part of my daily routine. I also love inspirational books and journals.
These are great ways to help find and align your True North!
Looking at who we are, what we love, and where we want to be are all really simple questions that with simple changes in our daily routines can make a world of difference.
I truly believe that life is what we make it.
So appreciate who you are, embrace your passions, and take your life to the next level and get on course to your True North!
I would love to hear about what you do to honor yourself and follow your True North. Scroll down and comment now. I’ll meet you there!