Let’s talk about why so many life coaches and authors out there are recommending a personal mission to their clients, and why it might be one of the most powerful things you can do in your life or in your career.
Creating a personal mission is an important step to giving yourself some direction, and redirecting your time in energy in what you do. This article offers you five steps to help you figure out your personal mission.
The first step is to become clear about the direction you want your life to take. This means doing an informal life review of where you’ve been, becoming more aware of where you currently are, and developing a clear vision for where you want to go. To do this, you’ll need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt what’s important to you (your priorities), and what makes you happy (your needs). Then, you can start to envision where you’re going and where you plan to start in order to get there. This isn’t something you can do in one weekend. It takes long term commitment and intentional daily action to build the life that you want. It also means doing the work necessary to figure out what your values and passions are.
I recommend exploring the five major areas of your life: health, relationships, career, money, and spirituality, and considering how each of these four elements connect with your priorities, your needs, your values, and your passions. You can do this as a journaling exercise, brainstorm, or whatever works for you. Here are the four questions you can ask yourself:
What are my priorities in the 5 aspects of my life?
What do I need in each of the major areas?
What are my values when it comes to each life area?
What am I most interested in when it comes to each of these areas?
There are plenty of coaching services, self-help books, and YouTube channels out there to help you work through these questions. For some people, this can become a lifelong journey. I offer a free webinar on how to figure out your passions. Just click here to access this free resource.
The point I’m making is that it takes work to know who you are. The good news is that there are tons of resources out there for you to learn how to do this.
The second step is to learn to always be true to yourself and who you are at the core. It’s so important to really listen to yourself and your own intuition. Once you’ve figured out your priorities, needs, values, and passions, it’s time to start paying attention to how you feel when something isn’t right for you. If you don’t enjoy the process or the activity, what you’re doing can become a miserable experience. Think of these gut feelings as red or green flags that help you stay honest with yourself. We often talk about red flags as signs that something is off. But we rarely talk about green flags, as signs that something is right!
Whether your intuition is leaning towards feeling bad or good, life may be trying to tell you something. If this is something that’s bringing you unhappiness, it might not be for you, or at minimum, may need some tweaking. If it’s something that lights you up, you’re going in the right direction!
For more information on how to learn to recognize and use your gut feeling, read my article on how to learn to use your intuition to make decisions.
Step three is to challenge yourself to grow. Why is this important? It may be that you feel your life and the way you live it is perfectly fine. But, chances are that like many others, you crave more happiness and fulfillment and just aren’t sure how to find it. Personally, I’ve often thought to myself… Is this what I’m really here to do? I know what I’d like my life to look like, but how do I get there? In the past, I felt tremendous anxiety about the world around me. I wondered if it was normal to go about life feeling anxious and uncertain. It was my normal. Eventually, I developed ways to cope with and even eliminate my anxiety and gained more clarity about where I wanted take my life. It took a lot of work.
Ultimately my view is this. As human beings, we’re here to have an experience of expansion, to learn from our life, the people around us, and our interactions with them. We’re here to enjoy life. The key word here is expansion. Expansion is the process of growing and learning as a human being. To expand as a person, it’s necessary to push yourself a little and take yourself out of your comfort zone. There’s a great interview by Jay Shetty with Marie Forleo on how you can do this.
With step number four, it’s time to figure out how you’ve been spending your time and whether you’re going to have to make some changes if you’re going to create the reality you truly want. Once you have a clear vision in mind about your future, it’s easier to plan the steps you’ll need to take to get yourself there. This will take more self-reflection. Earlier we talked about prioritizing things for different areas of life. One way to create a plan is to first ask yourself what it is that you’ve been putting your time and energy into.
For the next seven days, try making a list of the things you do on a daily basis to get a good sense how you really spend your time. This exercise can be eye opening and will often reveal imbalances and unproductive habits like procrastination. Are these activities really worth it? Are they helping you create the life you see yourself having? Consider creating a new list of the things you’d rather spend your time doing. Re-evaluate what you’ve been doing in order to figure out if it’s actually worth it, or if you can replace it with something else.
The final step is to create a sense of urgency for action. You may have heard about something called the deathbed mentality. Steve Jobs was probably one of the most famous people to use this approach and it helped him stay focused on what mattered and what he wanted to accomplish over time. Imagine that this is the last day of your life. Are there things you wish you could have done but didn’t? Do you have any regrets for not taking action about a specific thing? As you may have noticed by now, I love lists. I recommend creating one to brainstorm any actions you feel you “should” have taken by now. This will serve as a good reminder of what’s really important to you and can help you shift your focus when it comes to the day-to-day.
Take a moment while you write this list, to thinking of the key moments in your life you’d like to create for yourself before your last day on earth. You still have time! Reflect on what makes you joyful, what gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning. Be honest with yourself about the things you’ve either avoided or not done, and why. Now, add important items to your list of actions.
These five steps to figuring out your mission require some real honesty about how you’ve been living, and what you really want for yourself and perhaps others around you. First and foremost, I hope that your life brings you happiness. When you focus on this in all decisions you make, you will naturally create more of it around you, and more energy and drive to make it happen.
Copyright Authentic World Inc 2021, Michelle Thompson 2021
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Michelle. I have over twenty years of experience as a group facilitator and public educator. I’ve helped thousands of people re-imagine their lives and create concrete plans for self-improvement. I’ve facilitated dozens of workshops and support groups on topics like stress management, mental health and wellness, goal setting, grief counselling, safety planning, and confidence building. I’m a former social worker and non-profit consultant, and after struggling for years with my own feelings of anxiety and uncertainty about who I was and what I wanted, I did the work and learned how to get out of my own way and create an authentic meaningful life for myself. Now I teach others to do the same. I created Authentic World Inc, to offer a supportive space for learning these important life skills. To find out more about my life coaching program and courses, click here.
Book a FREE introductory coaching session: https://fb.com/book/authenticworldinc/
Like and Follow Me on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authenticworldinc
Listen to my Self-Care PODCAST: https://anchor.fm/s/3cc54bf8/podcast/rss