Stop Trying to Find Your Purpose

 

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I often hear from clients that they are searching to find their purpose in life. This is an area where your Inner Critic can go haywire. She tells you that you need to figure out how to live a purposeful life and has you running in circles trying to find the thing that will make you feel complete. She may have been trying to convince you of this for your whole life.

When you are examining the gaps of where you are versus where you want to be, it is imperative that you recognize this habit of your Inner Critic. Because the truth is that you don’t have to figure out how to BE enough. You already are enough. There is nothing to fix, change, or perfect about you and your life. You already ARE good enough.

You are not enough because of anything you do or don’t do. You are already enough because you are alive. Your purpose is being YOU, your Authentic Self. No one else is examining your life to make sure you are good enough.  hat is only what your Inner Critic has convinced you is happening. There is nothing you need to be, do or have to be whole. You are the only one who gets to say that you are enough.  

As you are embarking on this journey of separating yourself from your automatic Inner Critic mind, be aware of your Inner Critic trying to fix, change or improve you or your life so that you can be whole. 

When your Inner Critic is no longer defining what you or your life “should” be, you can train your mind to find evidence to support a different belief: That you already ARE whole and complete, worthy and enough.

Once you are able to get to that place where there is no goal to “get to” and nothing to fix, change, perfect or control, that’s the place of balance and peace.  Now you can look from THAT place and see what it is that you want. Not what your Inner Critic says you need.

It is important to make time in your day to look at what’s possible. If your Inner Critic is not in the driver’s seat, trying to fix, change and perfect something, something interesting happens. All of a sudden, there is a wide open space for you to examine what’s possible in your life that would make your life more enjoyable to live it! 

Life stops being about fixing, and becomes something that can generate excitement and vitality. This is what makes life worth living-- to grow, evolve and learn, and create a life you love just because it makes life more fun and worth while.

Not because there is something broken or not good enough because that is just your conditioned Inner Critic mind talking. If you already are enough, the good news is that you can actually learn to see your fear, your failures, and your experiences of rejection through a new lens. 

Because the journey of transforming your life is lined with a lot of these feelings that make us feel really uncomfortable. But for me, I would rather spend my life feeling really uncomfortable while GOING for my dreams then feeling really uncomfortable because I’m NOT.  

Now when you are present to what’s possible and you already are whole and complete, now we can turn our attention to an important distinction that much of the work of DYIC is based on--that is the difference between being and doing.  

What is the difference between being and doing?  Give that some thought...

Whether consciously or not, the struggle between being and doing follows us throughout our lives. Merely being aware of both these aspects is something that can bring more balance to our lives and more peace and calm to our actions and attitude.

Webster’s dictionary defines “being” and “doing” as follows:

Being – the state of existing, the most important or basic part of a person’s mind or self

Doing – the act of making something happen through your own action

Now I want to explain how your Inner Critic gets whipped up into struggle with doing. Doing involves taking action. While we are in a state of doing we are performing a certain action that has a purpose of gaining something.

The state of “Doing” is outward looking as it requires us to interact with our environment and other people in order to achieve a certain goal. It shifts our focus from ourselves to our surroundings, to other people and other elements in our lives. It is centered on the future and is driven by thinking. 

Here’s where our Inner Critic can hustle us into a false belief that it is the DOING alone that creates our life. Many people see life through the automatic lens of their Inner Critic think that it is all up to them to get their future to go exactly how they want it to go.

So they try to come up with the exact plan to control their future and they also get attached to exactly how that future should look. And your ideal picture gets filled with “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. So life feels like a constant comparison to the way it should be and the way it isn’t and it feels like a struggle to try to figure out the exact way to get your life to be the way it should be.

Most people think that means there has to be a concrete plan to know exactly what you want and exactly how you’ll get there...and this habitual thinking is what leads us to struggle and suffer.  

In our culture, this faulty thinking is perpetuated. “Doing” gets a lot more attention than “Being”. It’s considered positive to gain things.  It’s important to keep busy, to be on our way to somewhere and to have a clear agenda on things. 

But I know that you have experienced times where it feels like you had a chance encounter or something happened that seemed to just fall into your lap and it changed the way life went. Maybe it was meeting a partner or a friend. Maybe it was getting a job. Maybe it was reading an article that gave you an idea you wouldn’t have otherwise had. 

But what you know is that you couldn’t have planned or scripted that if you tried. What if you could live a life in which you stayed in action, did all of the DOING, but at the same time practiced surrendering your attachment to how the doing, the action, would go?  Because while we are taking the actions, it is our attachment to life fitting our exact pictures that causes all of the struggle.

Let me give an example of this: Let’s say you want to lose 50 pound. Well, that goal does require action. Every time you eat, it requires you to take an action that is aligned with that goal. But if you are constantly focused on the end result and having thoughts that whip up fear and frustration because you keep saying to yourself, “When will these 50 pound be gone?”, you will be in a state of struggle and suffer. 

If instead, your thoughts focus on the joy, excitement and aliveness you will feel when you reach that goal, you stay in the doing...but your BEING is aliveness, joy and excitement.

You have no idea how your body will get rid of the weight.  That is the job of your body. To do those amazing things that the human body does that we can’t even really explain. You can’t tell your body, “Ok body, please use my fat as energy and then liver, please make me pee out the fat cells.” No---your body does that for you. All you need to do is take the very next action.

You can’t plan how your body will respond 6 days from now. All you can do is take a particular action when you sit down for a meal. That's it. And if you focus on only the very next action, which is the next time you eat, and then after that you focus on the very next action, which is the time after that when you eat, eventually, the actions will produce an accidental side effect that you will lose weight. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are worried and struggling during the journey or you are filled with joy and excitement and aliveness. So, the key to feeling the way you want to feel in your life is to focus on your BEING. To take the actions that are in alignment with the life you want--that’s the doing.

Focus on the exact thoughts that will make you feel the way you want to feel even before the desired goal is reached. Let go of the attachment to try to script and control exactly HOW and when it will occur.

The key is to have your actions be in alignment with what you want, but to surrender the HOW and WHEN that is all about trying to control the future, which we can’t!

Being is a state that takes us back to simple existence. This state is focused on the present moment and allows reflection of our thoughts, rather than trying to control the flow of events and trying deliberately changing the outcome (which we can’t). 

Being is the energy we bring to all of our doing. Here are some examples of BEING:  

  • Trust 
  • Peace 
  • Ease 
  • Devotion
  • Clarity 
  • Power 
  • Playful 
  • Connected

 Consider that you can DO any task with ANY state of BEING. Being is how you show up to the action you’re taking. And when you believe that the way you get life to turn out is by DOING, that leaves you feeling burnt out, overwhelmed and like a hamster on a hamster wheel.  

We’ve been tricked into believing that our value comes from doing alone. But true joy, peace, contentment and freedom lies lies in your willingness to slow down, be human, and realize your value is in your being. 

The state of “being” requires work on our part. We need to see who we really ARE. Not who our Inner Critic has us believe that we are.

My Inner Critic's beliefs that I have had for forever are that I’m not good enough. And when I was swallowed by my Inner Critic, I was very burnt out and overwhelmed in my life. I was completely wrapped up in the doing. I thought it was my job to get my kids to turn out and it was my job to get my business to the level that I thought it needed to be at.

Because I thought those things were up to me, I tried to control it all. And trying to control it all led to me being demanding, controlling, chronically disappointed, and always wondering when I would feel the peace and joy I was craving. (Not to mention the fact that I felt exhausted and depleted!) 

When I began instead to focus on my being, my entire life began to transform. I began to have new insights that I couldn’t access before. I saw that when I focused on being loving and connected with my kids, rather than focusing on what I wanted to change about their choices and trying to control their behavior, what started to happen is that they felt better about themselves. This lead to them showing up lighter and more relaxed around me. 

And this caused better communication with them...and then better connection with them which led to different choices for them that were generated by THEM.  

Remember, we are human beings not human doings. When we are in a constant state of doing, we may lose track of the big picture of our lives and how we want to feel. When we feel burdened with the day to day actions that must be performed, its because we’re not in touch with WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. 

In the example of the weight loss, if you focus on how painful it is to eat a salad instead of going to McDonald’s, then eating a salad will feel hard and painful. But if you are focusing on the joy, aliveness and freedom you’ll feel when your body is healthy, you can actually powerfully choose the action of eating a salad and feel those feelings while you’re doing it. 

Being is what separates machines and humans. When you choose your being while you’re doing, that is when life starts to feel very different.

Consider that happiness and freedom are not a result of a balance in your bank account but part of your experience along the way to create that. 

We often think doing-based goals (like making seven figures) will get us being-based results (like happiness and freedom). In fact, it’s the opposite. 

Putting our attention on how we are being enables us to stop for a minute and think of our direction. It enables us to reflect on our actions and direct our efforts towards our goals in order to achieve them in the most efficient manner.

When we don’t stop and think of our action, it may create unguided and empty actions that might keep us busy but would only serve to drain our energy and leave us feeling empty.

Ironically, a constant focus on doing without time for being--and maybe even getting guidance and an outside perspective on whether our actions are in alignment--drains us of energy and may take us further from our goals, rather than get us closer to them.

This guidance and perspective can be obtained when we stop for a minute and ask ourselves:

What is the purpose of my actions?

Am I doing what I’m doing just because I’m used to it or is there a larger goal in mind?

Why is it worth it to start being rather than doing?

Being makes you see things differently. Being enables you to focus on the present which in turn raises insights that might have been overlooked in different areas of your life. 

Being gives you more time than doing. When you stop and think of your actions for a minute, you can see how to improve the quality of your actions, and how to make yourself more effective. This also helps in identifying the really important tasks on your to-do list.

Being is easier than doing. Unlike doing, being doesn’t require any special knowledge. All that needs to be done is just let go and relax. The rest will come naturally.

This might take practice but you don’t need any knowledge in order to do it. I often imagine my life like a river. I want to surrender and float with wherever the river will take me. I don’t want to struggle and try to force the river to go where I think it should.  

Being uses less energy than doing. When we are in state of doing, we exert our energy in order to achieve something. When we are in a state of relaxation, we not only don’t use energy but we actually receive new energy.  When I am in that state of flow, my entire life is different. I am taking LESS action and I am actually manifesting all that I want in my life.  

Being increases our personal development. When we are in a calm reflective state, we get in touch with true authentic ourselves. This leads to greater awareness and furthers our growth in life.

Being is more fun than doing. When we do, we miss doing the things that really makes us happy. Now that I am focused on being, I am doing the things in my life that bring me closer to the state of being that I want. I am going out to lunch with friends. I am making time in my day for meditation and for walks. I am making space in my day to call friends and just be there for my kids.

I used to run around like a chicken with my head cut off and feeling like I was never really happy because I was neglecting the things in life that made me happy and then wondering why I wasn’t happy. In this sense, doing is not only plain boring, it actually sucks the life out of you. Being makes us aware of the most important things we have in our life – our life.

Now that we’ve gotten clear on the difference between being and doing, it’s time for you to take a look at your life through the lens of being and doing.  

Where can you see that your life is all about the doing and the struggle of attachment to the result?

Where can you bring more BEING and trust that it is the being that will give you the life that you want? 

 

In order to truly change your life, you need to be willing to think differently from how you feel.

That's why I collected some of my favorite resources and trainings to create an owner's manual for your mind. Want access? Tell us where to send your log-in details! 

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