Clients often come to me with a need to feel more fulfilled, or for finding purpose in their career and life. Often they are sick of their job, or wondering, ‘What’s the point?’
And are looking to do something different, but have no idea what. The ‘9 to 5’ job wore off a long time ago but due to circumstances, you weren’t able to do anything about it.
You’re feeling like you are just earning a living rather than actually living. And clients want solutions. I get it. That is why they come to me. And there are solutions, but not everyone’s reason for being stuck or feeling unfulfilled is the same.
More importantly, it is not a landscape I can paint for you, but I can guide you on how to use the brush. So I wanted to look at the limiting beliefs or the things that might be standing in your way.
Or the objections you are coming up with to stop yourself getting to your true self. Sometimes you don’t even know it is you and your thought process, getting in the way. I hear people say ‘But I am positive and confident about most things,’ so why can’t I work this out.
Some don’t even know you have limiting beliefs lurking under the surface. So I want to go through some common limiting beliefs. And as importantly, how to detect these limiting beliefs.
Common Limiting Beliefs
- I’m feeling unfulfilled in what I do.
- I don’t know what my passion is?
- I am worried about how I will be perceived if I changed what I do.
- What if I fail?
- I don’t believe I can be successful
- What should I do?
- I’m too busy.
- I don’t know where to start?
- I don’t have enough money?
- Who would buy what I have to offer?
It’s Not Always About Doing or Achieving a Goal
One thing I can say about doing the job I do is the presenting problem is often never the real problem. So even though people come to me and say I no longer find my work fulfilling, I want to do something else. Often a new goal or objective will not solve it.
However, in the process of going after the goal, you may find what it is you felt you have lost or are looking for. And this is the more powerful part of any journey. You see most of the time we are looking for ourselves. But we get caught up in believing life would be so much better if we were e.g. an entrepreneur or a news presenter or some other glamorous job of the times. If the set goal helps you to find yourself then all things will work out well and I shall never see you again.
But too often we think it is something outside of ourselves that we need to attain. Often or not it is something we need to let go of so we can see the beauty within us. The important thing is that you are asking and seeking, and you want an answer, and often the answer doesn’t lie that far away.
And the other important thing is that no-one else can tell you what it is either. For only you can decide what path(if any) is the one to lead you to fulfilment or purpose. And that means different things for different people. Hunter S Thompson talks about this very eloquently in his letter to a friend.
Finding Purpose & Detecting Limiting Beliefs
How do you see what limiting beliefs (if any) are getting in the way of you finding purpose in life, and what you want to do? So let’s look at the exercises below. For some, they may seem simple, and they are.
Step 1 – What Did You Love Doing as a Child Between 7 – 14.
Firstly what did you love to do between the ages of 7 and 14?
What you did in your childhood will give you an insight into what you loved doing. And that is what we are trying to gather. What is it that you really loved doing? Because if you are starting a new business and needing to work at it 24×7, or all hours outside your full-time job, then it’s going to need to be something you love.
Because you will find you will be choosing not to do the things you normally did, maybe shopping, playing sport, entertaining friends, because now you have something new to start. If you are doing it purely for the money, then you might find yourself back in the position of ‘What’s the point?’ And quitting before you really start.
Perhaps though over the years you have developed new interests, as we all change and gain new experiences, so you may find the next exercise more helpful.
Step 2 – If You Had 5 Additional Lives What Would You Choose To Do.
This is where you can play and let your imagination run wild.
But hang on a moment; you said this would be about finding your limiting beliefs? That’s right and that will be coming soon. You will see why.
But also I do this because most people haven’t a clue what they want to do.
Sometimes our self is so covered over that we end up saying “I don’t know.”
This is where you have started to lose the connection to you. Back to the five additional lives what would they be? Pilot, Dancer, Artist, Teacher, Mechanic, Beauty therapist, Psychologist, Doctor, Professional Sports player, Movie Director. Write down 5 that appeal to you. Got it!
Right now I want you to choose 1 of the 5, like a job or occupation that you would like to do. then I want you to take that occupation and use it to fill in the blanks in Step 3 below.
Step 3 Write The Following…
Now I want you to use what you had in step 2 and write the following filling it in the blanks.
I am a brilliant_______________
I’m known as one of the greatest________________
I am a sought after for my expertise as a ________________
What thoughts came into mind while you were writing these sentences? Were they anything like the following…
- That couldn’t happen for me.
- There is no way I can afford to do this.
- Who would want to buy what I was selling.
- I am too old etc, etc.
There could be countless things getting in your way. And you can flush them out by doing the above.
Remember to really notice what comes up when you write these sentences. All too often we sometimes try to push away that nagging voice in our heads, but for this exercise I want you to listen to that nagging voice and understand exactly what it is saying to you.
Physical and emotional pain is the body and minds way of saying, ‘Hey there is something wrong here,’ and we need to release it or change something. Not necessarily fix, as sometimes it is just a letting go of an old belief or thought pattern.
What Gets in The Way of You Finding Purpose in Your Life
Okay so now you know what is holding you back. The limiting beliefs are common ones that people come to me with. I am going to examine a few here. So there are a couple of ways you can handle this internal conflict.
- Is to look at the internal conflict going on inside of you
- Use a process called Tracking
- In this process write down the problem e.g. ‘I am frustrated with not making a choice about my work situation.’ Then sit with this and write the first thing that comes into your mind on the piece of paper. Don’t judge what you write, then write the next thing.
- What you will find is your subconscious will come up with what you need to do. Whether that is to give up, let go or comes up with a five-step plan. It is an incredibly powerful process and can be done quickly.
- The key is not to judge what you write.
I want to start a business but I just don’t know what
- Well okay. So this is where you want to look at your passions. Again if it is not something you love doing and you are only doing it for the money then you are back to earning a living, rather than living. So go back to the exercise on what did you love to do between 7-14. And what are the 5 lives if you had, what would you do?
- Also, what are you doing now, is there any way that you can leverage what you are doing now but in a different way?
- I knew a guy in the construction industry who had a passion for cycling. So started building bespoke cycle sheds, the business is doing well.
- Or the Project Manager who delivered sports gear for tournaments across Europe.
I have no idea what my passion is…
- How about giving random things a go, which interest you? Until you start doing things, how are you ever going to know whether you like them or not?
- The worst-case scenario is you sign up for a class, go once, meet some really interesting people and you keep in touch. How bad can that be?
- Stop saying ‘I don’t know what my passion is’. Because your brain is starting to agree with you.
- See yourself in your mind’s eye happily elated telling everyone you discovered what you love doing.
What if I fail?
- Well, you will be the same age whether you fail or not. You see you are concerned about how other people will see you. So that tells me you need to do some work on you. I get this objection, but those people who think you are crazy, are probably too scared to try anything themselves or have never tried anything and are miserable. People who criticize others are not usually in a happy place.
- Really look at you and what you’re underlying beliefs are. Because it would appear that you may not like yourself enough to give yourself what you want and truly deserve.
I don’t believe in myself
- Frankly, belief is overrated. When you are focused in on what you do and give something your full attention, there is no room for belief or non-belief. If there is, then your mind is divided and you are not paying complete attention. That will in itself show you what the next step is, what information you require. And this creates certainty. If you are certain, that is all you need. And certainty comes from either being familiar with one’s subject, o, by researching what you want to do or be and seeing what works for you.
- You get more confidence with doing, and the next step will appear.
I’m Unfulfilled and Unhappy vs. Life Rocks!
The answer to this is quite simple. Do the things you love to do, and be with the people you love to be with. You can torture yourself on what you ‘should be doing’. Out of duty or some old held belief that may not even be yours. Take stock. When you find yourself saying
- I should…
- I have to…
Use the tracking as suggested above and see where these ideas came from. Maybe they no longer serve you. So when you do the things you love to do, with the people you love to do them with, focus on that person or that task. By doing this you will find greater depth in what you are experiencing.
You see it is much easier to be fully present when we do the things we love. And the by-product of this; is that chattering mind goes. We cover over our true selves with education, environment, second-guessing ourselves, beating ourselves up. So we scare the true self from coming out and expressing itself. It goes into hiding because we have stopped listening to it. So the more you listen to that inner voice the more it will steer you in the right direction.
So get listening to it! And perhaps rather than finding something else to do, maybe it is time to stop doing and sit and discover you.