As you transition through midlife, it common to feel disengaged and unclear on what’s next for you. There are so many changes seemingly happening all at once–your children leave home; you reach a peak in your career or feel frustrated by where you are in it and crave something more for yourself. It could be a time when you’re caring for your aging parents or reevaluating and restructuring your relationship to your partner.
Whatever the changes are, you can become unsettled and unsure about how to get started on your next chapter. And you feel the urgency to create the deep impact you imagined for your life.
It’s easy to get complacent and live a mediocre existence where you stifle your creativity and sacrifice your needs for the needs of others. But you deserve more and the world is craving your unique gifts!
So how can you gain more clarity and connect with your great talents in order to leave a meaningful mark?
It starts with getting grounded into your life’s purpose.
I know it can seem daunting to reinvent yourself when you’re this far along in your life, yet once you uncover what really brings you hope and meaning, you’ll feel more aligned and powerful and confident about sharing it with the world.
The Importance of Purpose
There are some people who have a specific talent that is so embodied in them that they know they were truly “made” to do it. For the rest of us, it’s a little less obvious and takes a bit of excavating to uncover. Part of why it’s less obvious for some is because of family and societal expectations of what we are “supposed” to do and discouragement from pursuing what may come naturally to us or bring us more joy because it’s not practical or accepted.
You have things that you just love to do–things that bring you into the flow that you get lost in, things you are passionate about, that inspire you, things that get you riled up!! That’s an important place to look to discover your purpose. Purpose implies meaning as well as something you were meant to do.
Clues to Uncovering Your Desires and Purpose
Below are some key elements that can bring powerful insights into your true nature and natural interests. Journal about each of them to get you tapped back into all of those glorious parts of yourself that are so needed in the world.
1. Childhood Influences and Wonders- Think of what you were drawn to as a young child, what you said when an adult asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, where your mind went when you were allowed to go deep into your imagination. These natural talents and inclinations– even if you were discouraged from pursuing them, are a part of your true inner child. Spend some time remembering the activities, places, foods, traditions you had that you enjoyed and why you liked them.
2. Passions- Review your current inspirations and the activities you do now that bring you pleasure. And also ponder those things that you like that you are not doing now and want to bring back- anything that brings you more energy, excitement or joy.
3. Gifts- What is something you are often thanked for? Examine your talents and other qualities you have to offer like being kind, funny, determined, inspiring, adventurous or generous. Ask yourself (or a dear friend who will give you an honest assessment) what aspects capture the real you. Ponder the times when feel most authentically yourself, what makes you feel in flow, what comes easily to you that may be hard for others.
4. Dreams- Often a key to revealing both your passion and purpose is to stay connected to your dreams and stay on track with making them a reality. Ask yourself if you could have anything you want or do anything you want, what would that be? Visualize and write about all the details of your dreams as if they already are true.
5. Values- Get clear on what characteristics and behaviors guide your decisions and how you live in integrity by honoring your values. What is it that you stand for? And how do those ideals and values turn into the specific ways you want to make the world a better place? In what way can you BE the change you want to see in the world? When you tune into your greater values, you unleash your passion and tie them to your best talents and live more into your true purpose.
6. Commitment- Your thoughts determine your actions and your actions reflect your commitment to yourself and to the world. Get quiet and allow your heart to speak here –what would it take to be living in full integrity with your values, dreams, gifts and talents that you are committed to fulfilling in your life.
Revealing what makes you tick and brings you joy will remind you of why you are here and help you feel more connected and inspired about your life.
Proudly show and share what only you can uniquely express. The world is waiting for just what you have!
Beth Nelson is an inspiration and leader for women who are ready to awaken into the fullest version of themselves at midlife and leave a meaningful impact on the world. As a Women’s Midlife Mentor, confused and disengaged women in their 50s and 60s hire her to build the necessary confidence to reinvent themselves and create a life full of passion, purpose and authenticity.
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