Exploring Your Life Mission, Part II - What To Do When You Feel Stuck

Kathy Hill

December 08, 2010

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In the October 13th edition of WITI’s Strategist, I wrote an article titled “Exploring your Life Mission.” I asked the question: “Do you know what your life purpose is?” A number of you emailed me that this question struck a chord with you. Many of you don’t know what your life purpose is and some shared that you feel stuck in a life and/or a career that doesn’t have a lot of meaning and is draining you. This article is designed to address what to do when you feel “stuck.”

There are a number of places where you can get “stuck.” Here are several examples:
    You know that you aren’t happy with something in your life and/or your career, but you don’t know “exactly” what it is that you do want. You may have ideas but you haven’t been able to create a Mission Statement for your life and you don’t have any specific goals identified.
  • If you have defined a specific goal, you may not feel confident that you will be successful achieving it. Have you tried to achieve this goal before and not succeeded? If this is a new goal, does it feel big and you question if you can actually accomplish it?
  • Do you tend to set goals for yourself and then sabotage your success? Do you know why?
  • If you have created a Mission Statement for your life and career, are you questioning “how” to move forward with it? You may have identified the “what” but you don’t know “how” to proceed.
Do any of these statements ring a bell with you? If so, you are not alone. Many people beat themselves up when they get stuck and it is important for you to know that:

A. There is nothing wrong with you
B. There are tools available to help

People cannot find their missions (their purpose in life) until they really get to know themselves. I call this “Becoming a Student of Your Life.” Most of us weren’t taught how to do this. We also never learned how to deal with our subconscious mind, which science now says accounts for 90% or more of what drives us. This is where the little voices show up, saying things like: “You can’t do that,” “You won’t make enough money,” “They won’t want you,” “You’re not ……..enough.” What do you think that “you are not “enough of”? It is important to identify this so that you can work with your subconscious mind to get unstuck and to propel yourself forward. As we come to the end of 2010 and start to plan for 2011, I want to share some strategies with you. Let’s set 2011 up to be one of your best years yet!!

Define Your Purpose & Set Specific Goals

It is important to understand that the answers to your questions about your life/career purpose will come from your heart and NOT from your head. You cannot “think” this through �" you have to “feel” it. For left-brained people like myself, this can be a tough concept to swallow. When I initially tried to create a Mission Statement for my life, I went through a lot of checklists, spreadsheets and research. I gathered a lot of great information but never came up with a purpose that lit me up. I came up with a list of things that seemed to make sense based upon what I thought my strengths and skills were, but nothing that energized me. It was only when I slowed down and connected with my heart, that I was able to uncover my true purpose. In my October 13th article, I shared some ideas about how to connect with your heart. You can read the article here: http://www.witi.com/wire/articles/181/Exploring-Your-Life-Mission. Take some time over this holiday season to connect with what brings you joy. This is where you will find your purpose.

Uncover Any Beliefs That May Be Holding You Back

We all have little voices in our heads that judge us and try to keep us from doing things outside of our comfort zones. These voices are actually trying to protect us but they actually keep us stuck. I want you to pay attention to your little voices and write down what they are saying to you. Here are two common themes:
  • SCARCITY �" I don’t have enough time, money, ……………..
  • INADEQUACY �" I am not smart enough, young enough, old enough, ……………….
Scarcity is when you think you don’t have enough of something outside of yourself. Inadequacy is when you think you are not enough of something. What little voices do you hear in your head? Challenge them �" are they really true? It helps to engage a partner or coach with this exercise. I recommend writing down a list of all of your strengths, qualities, skills, accomplishments and passions. We tend to focus on the negative aspects of ourselves or what we think is “wrong,” versus our positive attributes and what is actually “right.” When you focus on the negative you get stuck and experience fear. One of my favorite quotes follows:

“Fear is an opportunity for courage, not proof that you are on the wrong path. The pain of stepping outside of your comfort zone to make changes in your life is only temporary. The remorse from not even trying or quitting is forever.

- - Author Unknown

Think of FEAR as ‘Feeling Excited And Ready!!” If you weren’t afraid, what would you like to do in 2011? What do you need in order to move forward with this goal? Go out and get it. If you need more information, spend some time gathering research, take a class, or ask someone who has been successful in this area for help. If you need support, hire a coach or engage an accountability partner. What do you need? Make it a priority to get it.

Define “How” You Want To Honor Your Purpose

Once you have defined your life/career purpose, the next step is to decide “how” you want to honor it. The first thing to do is to define your top gifts (talents/abilities) that are core to who you are. What are the things that you are naturally gifted at and that you enjoy doing? Make a list of them. Some examples follow: accuracy with words/numbers, stamina, problem-solving, team building, empathy, compassion, humor, creativity, developing/designing, focus, teaching, coaching, ease with technology, analytical or conceptual thinking, organizational skills, communication (verbal or written), leading, managing, selling, connecting people. This list is only meant to be a guide. If you have trouble defining your top gifts/skills, ask others to help you. Family, friends, and coworkers can give you great insight with this exercise. Many times we cannot see what others see in us and we may not realize that these are actually gifts �" not everyone can do them. Once you have a list put together, ask yourself how you can use each of your gifts/skills to honor your purpose. Brainstorm with others and don’t censor your ideas. Where your gifts and your passions intersect, is where the magic will happen.

If you would like help creating a mission statement for your life/career or defining how you want to honor it, consider joining me in my next Exploring Your Life Mission teleclass. You can find out more and register at www.witi.com/teleclass. If you are interested in taking the class but the dates don’t work for you, please email me at [email protected]. I will keep you posted on future offerings. You can also do this work in individual coaching sessions, which are held over the phone. If you would like to find out more about coaching, please email me and I will send you additional information. The most important thing is to take the time to do this work �" your future is counting on it and you are worth it!!

Happy Holidays!

Here is what several participants of the Exploring Your Life Mission teleclass shared about their experience in the class:

“Kathy �" I wanted to personally follow up with you to thank you for giving me the tools to begin a new and productive journey in my life. I was so stuck and these one hour classes have helped me to realize that I am not alone and I am now cognizant of why/where my emotions have been coming from. I now have the tools that I need and I am on the right track to create a great future. Again, thank you for everything! JC”

“Hi Kathy, I am so grateful for your teleclass! I really enjoyed the format of your sessions and you've helped propel me to finally take initiative in my life vs. simply reacting to circumstances around me. Thank you, thank you! SP”

“Kathy, I want to thank you again for the terrific teleclass! Prior to meeting with you, I was frozen in place as my 'internal board of directors' had me scared of failure. I thought this was my good sense talking to me but once I realized it was not good sense but fear, I was able to move forward. Here is what I've accomplished since your class:
  • I’ve lost 60 lbs and have much more confidence
  • I started real estate school which is the first step in a multi-year plan to become a business broker
  • I am executing a financial plan that will grant me the freedom to fully pursue a different career path
Thank you! JP”

“Kathy, I wanted to follow up with you… where to start? As you know, taking the personal mission statement class helped me identify my life’s passion �" to educate and inspire pet owners to make good decisions about their pets. I have always loved animals, but didn’t realize how much. Then, taking your goal setting class, we opened the doors to our retail natural pet food store (complete with dog training, full service grooming, and a self serve dog spa) within 3 months of forming the idea. 2.5 years later, the store is thriving. We’ve had nothing but “ups” in the store. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I tell so many people about what your classes allowed me to accomplish. SL”

Kathy Hill is an Executive Coach, specializing in helping people through career and life transitions. With over twenty years of coaching, career counseling, recruiting, and sales/marketing experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her clients. Please contact her at [email protected] or 336-282-4818 to find out more about individual coaching, webinars and teleclasses.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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