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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.

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Nick Darlington

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

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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