How I Found My Purpose - and How You Can Too!
I spent years trying to figure out my purpose, but I was looking in all of the wrong places. Once I knew where to look, it all fell in place.
My whole life I’ve had a strong belief that I was on this earth to serve a specific purpose. I knew it was going to be something big and impactful, and I knew I would be successful at it – but I struggled with figuring out exactly what it was.
During my career, I’ve made a number of pivots, trying things that challenged and stimulated me intellectually, hoping to discover my purpose along the way, but finding out time after time that something was still missing.
It took me years, decades actually, to figure out my purpose, but it wasn’t in the way I thought it would be. It all began when I was a child…
When I was growing up, my family lived at the end of a dead-end street with a creek in the backyard. We lived in a small town, so the water was clear and clean and full of wildlife. All I had to do was step out into our backyard and see turtles, crawfish, tadpoles and even snakes. All kinds of snakes. And I fell in love with them! I begged my parents for months at the time for a boa constrictor, but they said no, wisely now I realize, so I ended up with a garter snake from the yard and an iguana named Igggy. I thought I had found my purpose. I was going to be a herpetologist. I loved it! But it only lasted for two years and the allure of playing with turtles and snakes and tadpoles went away.
Fast forward a few more years, and once again, I thought I had my purpose all figure out. I loved standing in front of a chalkboard and “teaching” my younger siblings and whichever neighborhood kids I could round up. I don’t know what I talked about, and I don’t think it even mattered – as long as I had an audience, I loved it! I thought I had found my purpose.
I entered college thinking I was going to be a teacher of some sort. I took the first required class in the education curriculum – early childhood development, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. I was completely turned off by the curriculum, my professor and by my fellow classmates. You see, as I was growing up, I had been told by well-meaning adults who loved me that teaching wasn’t a good enough profession for me. They thought I should be a scientist of some sort, like others in my family.
Those beliefs colored my perception of my fellow education students and resulted in a snap judgement that turned me off the profession before I even gave it a chance. It wasn’t my purpose after all – or so I thought.
For the next 30 years, I spent my career doing lots of different things, and achieving success in all of them. Each time I started a new job, I thought, this is it! This is where I’ll discover my purpose. I’d throw myself into the role for a few years, but after mastering the job and achieving some financial success, I’d realize that something was still missing.
I’m happy to report that I eventually did figure out my purpose. But it wasn’t by trying a lot of different careers and discovering what I enjoyed doing – although that was part of it.
It wasn’t by taking a lot of different career assessments to see what I was good at – although I took a lot of them.
It wasn’t by pestering all my friends to ask what they thought I should do – although I did that too.
And it wasn’t by reading dozens of self-help books on finding your purpose – although I have a whole library on this subject.
It was a journey of self-discovery that uncovered the limiting beliefs that had been holding me back – the beliefs that were preventing me from realizing something that I already knew – but didn’t want to acknowledge.
So yes, I eventually figured out my purpose – but it wasn’t until two years ago, when I enrolled in a coach training program and learned the tools to help others (and myself) figure out what filled them with purpose and passion and how to turn them into a career and life that they loved.
Before I went through this journey of self-discovery, I had assumed, like many people do, that my purpose was what I did – my job description. I’m an engineer, I’m a doctor, I’m a programmer, and so on. But that’s not your purpose.
What I realized is that your purpose is not WHAT you do. It’s WHO you are at your core. It’s the talents, beliefs and values that make you special. It’s the reason, the WHY that you do something.
Your purpose is not WHAT you do – it’s WHO you are and WHY you do it. WHAT you do is simply the expression of that purpose.
Which brings me to where I am today, a career and business strategist that helps people figure out what they want to do with their life, career or business – to identify their purpose, their genius, their why, and figure out how to go out and get it. I coach them, I motivate them, I inspire them, and I help them to uncover the beliefs that are holding them back. And yes, I teach them. That is my purpose. Turns out I knew it all along.
Claudia Rossi is a certified professional coach who helps others figure out their purpose and go out and live it. For a free, no-obligation Strategy Call, register on her website at RevolutionYouCoaching.com.