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25 Questions That Will Guide You To Find and Follow Your Passion

25 Questions That Will Guide You To Find and Follow Your Passion

It’s not easy to find and follow your passion. Actually, it requires all your strength, time, and effort to do it. You have to dig deep down inside you. You have to drill deeper than deep. Yes, go down, deep down into your inmost until you reach the bottom where you can see clearly, and get the answers you need. It’s hard work.

To explain further, many years ago, I read a book. I followed its instructions about fiding my passion. I was doing fine until I got to the part where I have to answer soul searching questions. I started to feel sick in the gut; feeling burning pain there, and all out distressed.

My stomach has turned acidic. The stress from mulling about my answers was too much. I couldn’t handle it. The reason? It was so nerve-racking to realize I actually was clueless and didn’t know what I wanted. I was feeling like this because I was in my late twenties and there I was, lost.

After a while, it hit me. I knew what I wanted when I was 19, but I have grown; and have outgrown my passion. Naturally my needs were different too. And so are my aspirations. My body’s negative reaction was just an initial response to a sudden, but mistaken idea. Instinct. That was it. Obviously, not properly thought out.

If you are going through the same experience, and stuck, keep on reading. Help is here.

Finding and following your passion takes hard work, and it isn’t for the faint hearted.

You need courage to go for it, despite all the fear, overwhelm, and uncertainty.

While the path may not be the easist, or the most comfortable, I do it because it is the only path that I can see myself taking. It makes me happy, fulfilled, and satisfied.

In this article I’ve compiled some of the questions I ask coaching clients, and anyone who needs help finding and following their passion.

It’s like a mini-coaching session. You can use these questions for anything, so they aren’t just for finding and following your passion.

Before you read on, grab a pen and a blank sheet of paper and write down the answers to each question, because it will help you eliminate some of the overwhelm, uncertainy, and fear.

And always remember, you don’t have to find your passion in order to start taking action. Many people make it into another excuse.

Your passion will find you when it does. In the meanwhile, take action. Refuse to wait.

1. What do you REALLY want?

A basic question but extremely relevant.

I’m not talking about the shoulds or shouldn’ts. Forget about what society, your parents, or your friends say.

What is it that makes you come alive? What truly lights the fire within your soul?

2. What would you want if you didn’t have to be unhappy about not getting it?

I first heard this question from Michael Neil, a world-class coach. At first, it boggled my mind, but as I let it sink, I realized the power of this simple question.

Take your time with this one, and write down your answer. It boils down to what makes you happy right now, even if you didn’t have to reach some future goal.

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3. What’s stopping you?

What is preventing you from finding or following your passion, or going after your dreams?

What have you perceived to be standing in your way up until now?

This is a crucial question, because it sets the tone for the rest of the questions. If you don’t know what is stopping you, then how do you know that there is actually something there?

Even if you know what it is, it’s often not there anyway.

4. What specifically is it about that that stops you?

Take your answer from #3, and drill down. If you’re afraid, ask yourself what specifically you’re afraid of.

I was afraid when I started Wake Up Cloud in late 2009 (my first post). More specifically, I was afraid of people not liking what I put out there, and not getting validation for my work.

5. How is that stopping you now?

Take your answer from #3. Let’s stick with fear, in this case you’d ask yourself how that is stopping you from moving forward.

In my case, fear made me confused, overwhelmed, and uncertain. It paralyzed me and I painted disaster scenarios in my head that stopped me from taking action.

6. How could you solve those problems?

When you drill down into what’s stopping you, it goes from a thing to a process. Fear might become the pictures in your head, or sensations in your body.

You can brainstorm solutions to your problems, change the way you represent your fear, or eliminate the sensations. These latter things are what I do with my coaching clients.

7. How does X mean that you can’t do Y?

Let’s, again, stick with fear. How does fear mean that you can’t find or follow your passion?

If it’s just you scaring the shit out of yourself, why can’t you move forward anyway? If you’re afraid of what people will think, shouldn’t you be more afraid of what you think, since it’s you scaring yourself?

All of these things are going on inside of you, not outside, and you can still move forward despite being scared.

8. If all your problems were solved, what would you do?

If all of my problems were solved right now, I’d be more bold, take more action, and take things to the next level.

Funnily enough, this is exactly what I’m doing, so keep your eyes peeled.

But sticking with the question, if you had no problems, worries, or fears, what would YOU do?

9. What are your interests?

What do you enjoy doing? When I got started, it was obvious to me. I loved personal development and online business.

These two topics were my life, and still are. I read, listen, and soak up everything I can, but before I got started, I didn’t believe in myself.

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I finally realized that I didn’t have to believe in myself to get started, and I took action, which is why you’re reading these very words.

10. What were your interests?

Some people have suppressed their interests, because they’ve been told it’s impossible to do what you love, or they’ve told themselves that.

If you’re one of those people, look into the past. What did you used to enjoy doing? What brought passion, purpose, and fulfillment into your life?

11. How do you know that you don’t know?

Many of my clients tell me that they don’t know what they want, and I ask them, “How do you know that?”

This has them confused, because it’s something they haven’t considered. It opens up doorways in their mind.

A common answer might be: “I feel it.”

To that I might respond, “So you feel it, and have your feelings ever been wrong?”

That’s just the start. I encourage you to play with this, because what you believe to be true isn’t true, it’s just what you believe.

12. How do you stop yourself?

If you don’t know what your passion is, ask yourself how you stop yourself from finding your passion, or how you stop yourself from taking action anyway.

What do you do to make it not happen? And what would you have to do to discover your passion?

This works with following your passion as well. How are you stopping yourself from making progress, and how can you flip that around?

13. If you had to teach me how to do your problem, how would I do it?

This is a fun one. If you had to teach me how to not find my passion, or follow my passion, or whatever is stopping you, how would you do it?

Write down the process. When you bring the whole process to awareness, you’ll see that there are steps to it, and it makes it seem ridiculous.

It also helps you stop it in its tracks the next time it rears its ugly head.

14. Always?

Most people tell me that they’ve never known what their passion was, but when they tell me that, I know that they are always lying, because we’ve all had glimpses of what it’s like to truly enjoy life.

Your passion doesn’t have to be one thing, it could just mean being in the flow and enjoying the present moment.

Keep it simple!

15. How will you know?

How will you know that you’ve found your passion and that you’re on your way to realizing your dreams?

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What internal or external signs will tell you this? This is a great question to give you clarity on how you’ll know when you’ve reached your end goal, or even that you’re on the right track.

16. If there was a miracle tonight… how would you know?

This is an extension of question #15. What would have to change in your life for you to experience a miracle?

If you’re having trouble finding your passion, what would have to change in order for you to discover your passion?

17. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

If Superman gave you a magic potion that gave you immunity from failure, what would you do?

Would you write a book, start a blog, begin public speaking, or go out and hug people?

18. What will you do when you’ve found your passion?

This is a great way to go deeper. What will you do when you’ve found your passion? Or what will you do when you’ve realized your dream life.

Is there something you’re putting off? Many people disguise goals, or finding their passion, as something they need before they can do what they truly want.

In essence, they’re lying to themselves. Are you doing the same?

19. If you pretended to know?

If you pretended that you knew what your passion was, what would it be?

If you pretended to have clarity, what would your next step be?

This is a great question that suspends disbelief and allows you to daydream about the possibilities.

20. What would happen if you didn’t?

What would happen if you didn’t have to find your passion in order to enjoy your life?

This isn’t about having something. You already have everything you need to be happy, joyful, and satisfied.

What would happen if you gave up the search for passion and just went out and had fun?

21. What makes you come alive?

What’s something that makes you come alive?

For me, it’s helping people overcome their perceived limitations, so they can find and follow their passion, and get paid to do what they love.

This is a good question to freewrite on. Put the question at the top of a blank page, and dump everything on your mind on paper for 20-30 minutes, and see what comes out.

22. What’s important to you about living your passion?

This is a question that drills down into what you truly want. I want you to ask this question over and over again until you reach a state that is beyond words.

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A client of mine that I did this with had the following kind of progression when I asked this question: Helping People >> Passive Income >> Realizing a Dream >> Being Recognized >> Feeling Complete and Feeling Happy.

In the end, what he really wanted was to feel complete and happy. He discovered that he was already feeling complete and happy, so he already had what he wanted. This is the perfect place to take action from.

23. What will happen if you don’t take action?

What will your life look like if you don’t find or follow your passion 5, 10, 20 years from now?

Will you be happy? Will you regret that you didn’t take action, or will you be okay?

Most people will regret it. I know I would, which is why I take action now, despite my fears.

24. What will happen if you take action today?

What would your life look like if you took action today? What would it look like in 5, 10, 20 years from now?

Would you be fulfilled, satisfied, and happy?

Also, remember that this isn’t about being happy in the future and neglecting the present moment. This is about working towards something you love, while enjoying the here and now.

25. What steps can you take?

The last question is what steps can you take right now?

If you’re not sure what your passion is, what steps can you take right now to get closer to discovering what it is?

If you already know what your passion is, what steps can you take to move forward?

To live a passionate life, you have to take action.

Conclusion

Let’s wrap things up. This is a heavy article, because if you’ve gone through and written down the answers, you’ll have discovered things about yourself that you didn’t know about.

If, on the other hand, you read through the article, and didn’t write anything down, I suggest you go back, and do so.

If you still won’t do it, then you’re making the choice to stay where you are, and as long as you’re okay with that, that’s cool with me.

If you’re waiting for something magical to happen, please don’t, because in the end, you’re the only one that can create the life of your dreams.

25 Questions That Will Help You Find and Follow Your Passion I Henri Junttila

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on July 15, 2020

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

“Entitlement is an expression of conditional love. Nobody is ever entitled to your love. You always have a right to protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by removing yourself from toxic people and circumstances.” -Dr. Janice Anderson & Kiersten Anderson

It’s not always obvious if you have someone toxic in your life. A toxic relationship is one that is harmful to you. A toxic person can create distress to the degree you feel inadequate and isolated. So, what makes a toxic person?

A toxic person has toxic behavior, meaning it’s not that the whole person is toxic[1]. It’s what they do that counts. Most toxic people run from accountability and misrepresent reality to you. They misrepresent your worth and your ability to heal from them can be stifled the longer you keep them in your life. You have a role to play with it as well; if your values are dismissed by them and you don’t act on it, you have allowed room for toxicity to grow.

When you are in a toxic relationship, you feel less than. You feel as though you are not worth anyone’s time or effort. You feel unheard, and sometimes you feel unsafe. You don’t feel good about yourself in a toxic relationship, whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member.

You may stay in a toxic relationship for a number of reasons. You may believe yourself to be a burden, have a lack of boundaries, resist change, fear conflict, try to be a people pleaser, find yourself codependent, or are partially stuck in a pattern or unhealthy cycle of abuse.

Letting go of toxic people may not be easy. In order to do so, you have to know why or how they are toxic to you and read between the lines that they do not have your best interests in mind.

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Letting go of toxic people is hard because you are good and want to see the good in others. You think their apologies are authentic. You have trouble believing they are being dishonest. You don’t spend time healing from it. You get pulled back into the pain because you don’t want it to end. However, if you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t right.

You should walk away from a toxic person because you need to preserve your peace. You need to feel like yourself again. And you need better support.

Letting go of toxic people can involve four major steps.

1. Recognize the Red Flags

Red flags are signs a person is being toxic. It’s when someone shows characteristics that you should feel caution about. It’s when you feel any level of dissatisfaction and distrust. Trust your gut. When you recognize red flags, you can evaluate whether a person is trying to manipulate you or not. This gives you some level of control over what you allow in your life. The earlier you detect these behaviors, the better off you will be.

Red flags can include:

  • They always put themselves first.
  • They point out imperfections and sabotage your self-esteem.
  • You may feel drained or used when you’re around them.
  • What you give isn’t reciprocated. They don’t return the goodness you provide as a friend.
  • They ignore your boundaries and get angry when you tell them “no.”
  • You catch them in half truths or outright lies when you confront them about anything.
  • You are the villain; they are the victim.
  • Second chances always lead to repeated patterns of behavior.
  • They may engage in abuse.

2. Set Boundaries

There are emotional boundaries that one can set, but there are also physical ones[2]. You can leave any time. Setting boundaries is also an important part of self-care.

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You shouldn’t walk on eggshells. Tell them how you feel. Are they respecting you, fulfilling your needs, and listening to you? If not, it’s time to set up a healthy emotional distance and start letting go of toxic people around you.

There are levels to this. You have your inner circle, which could include family, and then you have acquaintances and strangers. If a toxic person is in your inner circle, it’s time to pull back and put up some boundaries for them to follow. If they can’t hear you out, you can cut off the connection completely.

You can give second chances, but you have to be careful. If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it again. If there’s any chance for the relationship, they have to know not to cross certain lines.

3. Invest in Yourself

You deserve to know you are worthwhile. Try to remember that things will get better and that anything is possible. How do you do so? Invest in yourself.

This means self care, goal setting, surrounding yourself with positive support, and feeling a sense of peace. Your greatest ambition should be to love yourself. Without self-love, letting go of toxic people will be difficult.

Every relationship is a risk, but if you know yourself and what you will allow, toxic people will have less of a hold over you. If you are a giver or people pleaser, you are most at risk to being in a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t be punished for caring, but sometimes trust needs to be earned. If you have self-love, you are treating yourself the best way possible. You know that others need to meet your standards; otherwise, they don’t get to be a part of your life.

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It’s possible that you can love yourself and still not see the signs. It can be difficult for some to be aware that toxic people exist. However,, if you know how much you mean to others in your life and what you are worth, you will be less likely to take on a relationship that is harmful to you or repeat negative patterns. Self-love is how we get out of toxic relationships, but it’s also how they never begin.

4. Know When Forgiveness Is Possible

There are times a person will prove their worth to you. They may make a mistake that makes them seem like a horrible person. They may forget to be good to you because of their own issues. They may just have no example of what a healthy relationship looks like. They may have an inflated ego that really comes from insecurity. The list goes on.

If they apologize, that’s a start. Look at their actions. Are they changing for the better because they really want to change or just seeming to in order to manipulate you? A person may control others with their image or perceived personality, but if you see through them, you may be able to discern the degree to which they are willing to be there for you.

If they start to do the right thing, you may begin to trust them again. Don’t start forgiving them until time has passed and you are sure there is growth, even if they show vulnerability or remorse. You can give a second chance if they truly have an awakening. Otherwise, it’s best to get out. Don’t let them walk all over you; let them walk out the door.

If you do give a second change and they still refuse to change, you have every right to remove them and continue the process of letting go of toxic people. The moment you even want to leave may also be a good time to get out. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to care for them.

Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger[3]. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You have to go back to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone. You don’t have to let them back in. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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Remember, forgiveness is ultimately for you, not them. You don’t need that person in your life in order to forgive them, and if you give them a second chance, proceed with caution.

Final Thoughts

Recognize the red flags, set boundaries, invest in yourself, and know when forgiveness is possible. This is how you cope with a toxic person impacting your life. You have power in the direction of your life and the people who accompany you as you move forward. Use it.

If a person is worthwhile, they will prove themselves through their actions, not their words. If they cross certain lines that really harm you, you owe them nothing. You have every right to feel what you feel and to be upset. Honor your feelings and communicate them because it’ll only continue to keep happening if you don’t.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to put a stop to it. It’s time to take control. It’s time to live for yourself, not for what others say about you. It’s time to set your standards higher than they’ve ever been before. And most of all, it’s time to let go.

Resource reminder: A physically abusive relationship is ALWAYS toxic. There are resources for you. Always speak up.

If you are in such a cycle or domestic violence or abuse reach out for help. For example, there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) which can be reached at 1−800−799−7233. There are other ways to get help if you simply ask for it. 

More Tips on Letting Go of Toxic People

Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

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