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Why People Who Have a Life Purpose Have Higher Self-Esteem

Why People Who Have a Life Purpose Have Higher Self-Esteem

Think back to a time when you felt the most lost. More likely than not, you were at a cross-roads, completely unsure of where to turn. Without a sense of direction, you feel stagnant; useless. “What am I even doing here?” You may ask yourself. “And where do I go from here?” No doubt this can be one of the most unsettling sensations that we can hope to experience. This is why those who have an established sense of purpose tend to have higher self-esteem.

As human beings, we desire a sense of purpose.

Some of us are incredibly fortunate in the fact that we discover the purpose of our life’s work very early on. It seems that some people are practically born shredding riffs on a guitar, or deciphering the most complicated of algorithms. But for the rest of us, it’s a bit of a guessing game until we finally find that something that just “clicks.” Until then, we may feel lost or a little bit useless.

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Your purpose does not always have to be your passion.

Sometimes, it’s better off that way. Some lucky people are able to transform their passion into their livelihood,[1] and are able to maintain the aspects that they love about it. But for many that isn’t the case. It can destroy your perception of your passion and make you abandon your pursuit. But you can still build your career on something that you are passionate about, and there is a difference. That difference being that your personal welfare does not hang so vulnerably in the balance.

How to know that you are pursuing your “life’s work”:

  1. It feels more like a hobby than work.
  2. You work is an extension of your beliefs and values.
  3. You are willing to suffer for your work, and use setbacks as motivation.
  4. You lose yourself in the work, often losing sense of time.
  5. You are able to maintain a work/life balance without feeling drained.
  6. The concept of work is never daunting; you look forward to it.
  7. The people closest to you will notice your contentment.
  8. No matter how exhausted you are, you look forward to continuing your work.

Can we exist without a purpose?

Well, technically, yes. But whenever we perform any sort of act, there is an intention behind it. Even if the act is just breathing, the intention is to live. Your purpose does not have to be a lucrative facet. In fact, it could be just the opposite of that. Some people make it a point to be as disconnected and off of the grid as humanly possibly, living a life that is 100% self-sustainable. The end game is not fortune or recognition, it’s complete independence. Now some people have franchised this way of life, generating income based off of their “off the grid blogs” (do I sense a major paradox here?). Just in that one instance, you have two completely different intentions, stemmed from similar life’s-work.

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The point that I’m trying to make here is that…

We all have a purpose. Whether or not that purpose is highly recognized by others is completely irrelevant.

In one of my previous articles, I explored the ideology Stoicism; which is the ancient Greek foundation for a kick-ass work ethic. They believed that no human was complete without their sense of purpose; and once that purpose is discovered; solace is only achieved when you sacrifice yourself to it entirely.

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Finding your sense of purpose.

Many of you may still be thinking that you have no idea what your sense of purpose is. And that’s not your fault. There are many outside influences that have hindered your passions and sense of self. Not to worry. I have a few suggestions that can set you on the path to find yourself:

Take a sabbatical.

Get off of the track that you’ve been on. It’s taking you nowhere and never will until you see the broader picture. Step outside of your comfort zone to really get a sense of who you are. By following the guidelines set forth for you, you are living out someone else’s ideals.

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You need to completely separate yourself from that to discover who you really are. Going on a solo trip might sound terrifying, but it is the best thing anyone could possibly do for themselves. If that is financially out of the picture, then force yourself to do something you would “never” do. Like going out one night on your own; to the movies or a bar or a restaurant. Doing things on your own is empowering in itself.

Revisit your childhood ambitions.

What did you want to be when you “grew up?” (When does that actually happen? I’m still waiting.) Do any of those dreams still resonate with you? Maybe you wanted to be a vet, but the idea of operating on any sort of body is terrifying and nauseating. But you love animals! Check out a local animal sanctuary and volunteer your time. You could just find your calling. And if not, you are that much closer!

Take note as you are trying new things.

Does the idea of taking the plunge to fully pursue this new outlet inspiring? Or is it draining? If you feel yourself withdrawing early on, you need to ask yourself a few things. Are you withdrawing because it is not important enough to you to sacrifice your time and efforts? Are you withdrawing because you are afraid of failure? Or are you afraid of success, because if it works out then you have to make the choice of complete devotion?

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

More by this author

Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism In This Generation How Traveling Can Drastically Improve Your Interpersonal Skills 10 Best Lumbar Support Cushions That All Desk Workers Need One Small Action Separates Success From Mediocrity. How Not To Turn Meaningful Discussions Into Arguments By Keeping This 1 Thing In Mind.

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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