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An Unexpected And Effective Way To Find Your True Calling

An Unexpected And Effective Way To Find Your True Calling

“What is your true calling?” “What is your purpose?” “What were you meant to do in this life?”

However you wish to phrase it, these questions are all one in the same. For many of you, a disproportionate and unnecessary amount of time is spent trying to figure out the answer. You dwell, you think and you over analyze. On top of that, you fight yourself when really the answer to this question is deceptively simple.

On this journey, you’ve no doubt encountered several suggestions, ways, techniques – or whatever you want to call them – to discover this answer. You’ve scoured Google and been bombarded with post after post about the number of ways and the things you should do to discover the answer to this, from:

1. Writing down your dreams.
2. Delving back into what you did as a child.
3. Picturing your ideal life.
4. Considering what makes you come alive.
5. Been told to notice what makes you feel good.
6. Getting rid of distractions so that the answer can come to the forth etc etc etc.

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Not only this, but you’ve read self-help books. You’ve spoken to life coaches. You’ve spent a lot of money on this journey. While contemplating these questions is important, it can lead to analysis paralysis. It can be crippling. You end up on a massive roller coaster ride with no end in sight. This may lead you to follow the wrong path on your quest to find that one defining thing, or as some like to call it, your one true calling.

The reality is, some of you do not have one true calling. This is highlighted by Emilie Wapnick, through her website Puttylike, “Home for Multipotentialites”. In short Multipotentialites or polymaths are people with many interests and passions. They move between interests. They often have multiple jobs, professions, and careers over the course of their life or at the same time.

Much time then can be spent in search of that elusive answer. But this needn’t be the case:

“…the search for our purpose isn’t some impossible philosophical exercise. Nor is it something that you need to spend your whole life searching for and struggling to determine. Because you already know the answer, and you’ve actually known it your entire life. It’s right in front of your nose. Or perhaps more accurately, it’s within your nose, through your lungs and at the core of your central nervous system.” – Sean Kelly, Entrepreneur Contributor.

The answer is Energy. Huh? Yes. Energy.

Everyone has it, but it’s unique to you. You are born with it and cannot create this energy as it’s a part of who you are. You have always had it within you. When you are fighting this energy, life is difficult. When you are going with its flow, life is easy and you are fulfilling your unique purpose. You have “found” your true calling.

This may all seem rather vague and intangible at this point but bear with me here. This energy is hidden from plain sight because you have become domesticated and institutionalized. You chase the wrong things, you try and conform and you go against the energy as a result. You fight it.

“But how can I recognize whether I am fighting it or not?” You may be asking.

Sean Kelley suggests asking yourselves the following questions:

1. How painful are my days?
2. How hard and taxing is my work?

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If the answers to these two questions are in the medium to high scale, then you’re not fulfilling your purpose, because you’re going against the natural flow of your energy. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if life seems natural, effortless, easy, then you’re going with the flow, you’re fulfilling your unique purpose.

You see, there are certain activities in life that know matter how much time and effort you put into them, they give you energy. You will expend a lot of energy, but the energy you create as a result far outweighs that which you put in.

Then there are activities that drain your energy. This is because these activities are not leveraging your core strengths or your unique abilities that form part of your energy, something that you were born with. Something that is part of who you are.

What are your core strengths?

Your core strengths are things that come so naturally to you, so natural in fact, that you take them for granted. However, when you’re engaging in activities that leverage these, this may seem immensely impressive to outsiders. In the words of Sean Kelley:

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“As human beings, it’s so easy for us to ignore our strengths because we don’t see them as strengths.Our strengths can feel deceptively insignificant, like everyone in the world possesses them.But they don’t. In fact, your most effortless activities will be the most impressive to others. And this has always been the universe’s plan. “

Simply put, when the work (or activities) you do resonate with your core strengths and energy you’re fulfilling your purpose.

I am going to do something which I was against at the beginning, listing things that help you find your purpose, but I do feel that a basic blueprint is necessary to help you find your true calling.

Blueprint for finding your true calling

1. Write down activities that leverage your unique strengths

Identify all those activities where you feel like you’re in a state of flow, where work is easy and identify your core strengths in the process. A great way to do this is to ask friends what they think. Tell them you’re doing an exercise and would like them to list all those things you are naturally good at. What impresses them? Be wary of asking family as they might be biased.

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2. Write down activities that don’t leverage your unique strengths

This requires you, to be honest with yourself. List weaknesses. List everything that falls outside the spectrum of your unique abilities.

3. Don’t fight it, obey your energy

Once you have the above figured out, then consider how you can start focusing on doing more of the activities that leverage your core strengths. This will not be easy at first; it involves breaking out of a cycle that you’ve known for a long time. It involves changing your life around. Be persistent and more importantly be patient. In the end, once you’re going with the flow, doing work that leverages your unique abilities, life will feel effortless and perhaps you will have found your purpose or true calling.

More by this author

Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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