NOTE: This is part 2 of a 3 part series about finding your purpose in the world. If you haven’t read the first part of the series you can view it HERE or go to my Homepage and select the blog post titled “What Is My Purpose”. I suggest completing those steps first before moving on to this part. However, you can do this section as a stand alone as well.
One of the biggest things holding us back from finding our purpose and path in life are the things that AREN’T working in our lives. We tend to hold on to things that make us feel secure and safe, no matter if they make us miserable or not because we are scared of the unknown and the “what ifs”. We want to know the outcome of something before we take that leap right?
The problem is that if you settle for safety and security, you can’t move forward. If you feel “stuck” this is why. Living based on fear makes you give up your power. You will stay stuck until you are willing to start stepping into the unknown and trusting your heart. We’ll talk more about that in part 3 of this series so stay tuned.
Today we want to start focusing on what is NOT working in your life. As always this requires your attention and a little research within yourself to figure out what your obstacles are.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I ask what feels heavy in your life? By heavy I mean things that drag you down, make you feel overwhelmed, stuck, anxiety, dread, or stress.
Typically we start with the biggest thing like our job, a relationship, committing to something that we really don’t want to do, or making choices in life based on what your family or other people think you should do.
Maybe you are a full time parent and the stress is getting to you. In this case we look at ways to give you a break and get more healthy balance for you so that you can have more energy to give your children.
Let’s get started. Here are the steps this week that I want you to take to figure out what is heavy in your life and how to move away from them:
Sit down with a pen and paper
Sit in a quiet place either in your house or outside where you won’t be disturbed. This is the time to look over the various parts of your life and write down what parts feel heavy and why they feel heavy.
It can be anything from your job, your friends, your choices, your lifestyle, or addictions in your life like that you have adopted as coping mechanisms like food, obsessive exercing, alcohol, drugs, having sex, etc.
Really look at what you are doing in your life and how you are responding to things and you will see what doesn’t feel good. Put a lot of thought into this and take your time. You might want to do this in multiple sessions. You will also start to be more aware in your daily life when things feel heavy. When that happens, take note.
Why Do You Do These Things?
Now that you have a list of what feels heavy in your life I want you to make a list next to them of WHY you do them. For example, if it’s a job you don’t love, why do you stay? Most times it’s financial reasons, fear of getting in a worse situation, fear of changing careers, etc. If it’s the friends you are surrounding yourself with that aren’t the best influences, write down why you are holding on to those friendships.
Are you doing inappropriate things to get attention? Are you lonely and in turn feeling desperate for companionship? Are you insecure and drink alcohol to be outgoing? Do you buy things to impress people or get more attention? Are you creating an “image” to make people like you? These are all things that can produce a heavy and happy effect in your life.
Right now we are just looking at WHY we are holding on to heavy things and the choices we are making in our lives. No need to go deeper than that in this step.
What steps can you take to change these things?
Now that we’ve identified what’s heavy and not working, and why we are doing those things, let’s look at what shifts we can make in our lives to release what is holding us back.
“When you let go, you create space for something better.”
For me, my career was the main force in my life dragging me down and holding me back. It created a domino effect which caused unhappiness, restlessness, being unfulfilled, and making bad decisions because I was trying to make up for the misery I was going through.
One big heavy thing can affect your relationships, the way you act, and definitely the way you feel such as depressed, anger, or hopelessness.
Do you want an amazing exciting life? I doubt anyone will say no…nope…I prefer misery, thank you. 🙂 Now is the time to start investigating steps on how to shift away from heavy things in your life. Go through each item on your list and without ANY limitations or fears, write down what you really want. If you had ZERO obstacles, what would you do?
Start with the biggest heavy thing in your life. This is the thing causing a domino effect in the rest of your life so this is the most important one to change. This can be a difficult step because you are holding on to heavy things in the first place because you are scared of letting go.
Right now, let yourself dream. In a perfect situation, what would you do instead of this heavy thing? If it’s the friends you are surrounding yourself with that are causing you to make bad decisions, a wise answer would be to start seeking out people who inspire you and encourage you to be better. People who inspire you. You become what you surround yourself with.
This doesn’t mean you need to dump all your friends right now, or maybe for you it does. Maybe you can start standing up for change and inspire your friends. Those who don’t like the positive shift in you are the ones you need to remove from your space. Misery loves company.
For most people it’s your career. If it’s heavy, it’s because it’s no longer in alignment with you. We go through seasons and when that season is over, the thing we need to let go of gets hard. You start to feel pain and suffering because God is pushing you towards where you need to go next. Like me, you may feel like you are the problem and become hard on yourself. But if things aren’t working there is a reason.
The longer you hang onto heavy things the harder the lesson becomes. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of what feels heavy in your life. If it makes you feel bad, causes stress, anxiety, misery, depression, hopelessness, entrapment, etc. you need to get out of there! This is the clear sign you need to connect to your heart and listen to where God is leading you next.
This is the hardest part for most people…letting go of the fear of the unknown. Now is the time to make the decision if you are going to trust your heart, or if you’re going to stay in the misery of fear with the illusion of safety. Safety IS an illusion. What do you really want?
Write it down now. You don’t have to quit your job tomorrow, or make a massive change immediately. The key is to start taking steps, even baby steps, tiny movements towards what you really want. What can you do NOW to start working towards a change?
Here’s the thing, when you start taking the steps, the doors start opening up. Movement happens, things start rolling forward in your life. The more action you take the quicker you see things shift. It’s fun and exciting! The more you do it the more brave you become.
God doesn’t give us a blueprint. He doesn’t work that way. He wants us to be close to him, to hear him, to TRUST him, to have FAITH.
We have to walk in faith not knowing how things will turn out. Yes, we will go through hard things but those are part of learning and growing. Embrace hard things and look for what it’s trying to teach you instead of saying “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME???”
Learning to follow your heart’s guidance and trust it in the midst of fear is the key to a happy adventurous fulfilling life. I’m not saying you won’t be afraid because it’s scary! The key is walking forward in fear and trusting it will be ok. Things become less scary as you build that trust.
Continue to work on these steps as long as you need to. This is something you want to implement and be aware of in your daily life.
Make it habit to identify heavy things, examine them, ask why they are heavy and make a game plan with your heart to move away from them.
Soon you will realize what isn’t in alignment with you before you even start it. You will be aware of things that aren’t good for you before you engage in them. I love this part because it spares you from a lot of pain and disappointment.
My next blog post will be part 3 of this 3 part series. We’ll look at what happens after we do the work. Living our dreams, flowing with our heart, being in alignment with who we are and knowing how to discern the good vs. the bad in our lives.
Do the work! You won’t regret it. Become present in your lives. Take action. You can do ANYTHING you want in this world, it is in you. It’s in all of us. Don’t ever doubt yourself.
“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is your don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! – Anne Frank