Anyone ever left four years of college or a couple years in the workforce just to question, what actually is my purpose? Raise of hands. It wasn’t just me? Okay, phew. We go to school, we graduate, we get that entry level job and spend a few years learning the ropes and then we wake up one day when we’re 25 or 30 and say, is this my purpose? Am I going in the right direction? Am I making my way towards all those dreams I had? The reality is, life is moving fast and a lot of us are wondering how we ended up here, where to go next, and why we wake up every morning and do it.
Purpose Anxiety. A term you might have never heard before, but it’s a feeling we all know too well. Maybe it’s dreading the monotony of the 9 to 5, the relief of Saturday only to be followed by major Sunday scaries, or looking at the calendar and planning a trip just so you have something to look forward to. It can seem like there is never peace or contentment in the day to day. Not to mention our Instagram feed showing us every stranger, friend and influencer who is seemingly getting it all right and somehow they are younger than us. It’s no wonder we might be anxious, tired and a bit unmotivated. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Or our 20s for that matter? That one day we’ll wake up and magically be where we always thought we would be and who we always thought we would be.
Maybe, just maybe, we don’t need to have it all figured out right now. Maybe we aren’t in our dream jobs yet, or have the life that you always pictured when you were younger. Maybe our purpose is to show up every day with everything we’ve got. To show ourselves and the people around us that we can be faithful in the little things. To have the mindset that anything can happen and good will come out of where we’re at in this moment. Is it possible that we are walking in our purpose right now, even if it’s not where we want to end ultimately? Perhaps a mindset shift is all we need. Easier said than done, I know, but promise me you’ll give it a try!
5 ways to combat purpose anxiety:
1. Show up in the little things
Commit 110% to whatever you’re doing right now. You never know when the little things will turn into big dreams. So commit yourself to the smallest of things in your day to day. Be on time (or early) to work or your zoom meeting. Take the extra 5 minutes to curate a thoughtful outfit for the day (even if you are working from home!). Listen thoughtfully to your coworker, friend, or family member.
2. Let the sun shine on your face once a day.
It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do. In a day and age where a lot of us still work remotely, it’s easy to let the day pass by without even stepping outside. Try to get outside at least once a day without your phone. Take a look around you, take deep breaths of fresh air and notice two or three things that surprise you, amaze you or make you wonder. Take your eyes off your circumstance for a moment, and focus it on the world around you.
3. Wake up 5 minutes early to set a purpose for the day and reflect on what you’re grateful for.
Setting intentional time in the morning can do so much for your day. Try setting that alarm 5-10 minutes early, taking your time to make a cup of coffee or tea and sitting down to write out what you woke up grateful for. Saturate your mind with gratitude, it will go a long way.
4. Get some rest.
Let’s face it, the weight of the world lives beneath a 3x4 inch screen, and with our phones always being a grasp away, it’s easy to let rest take a backseat. Put your phone on ‘Do not disturb’ mode by 9pm each night. May I even dare you to let it charge across the room? Try not to reach for it as you lay your head down for bed. Be committed to resting your mind and body once you hit that pillow.
5. Start somewhere.
Okay, so maybe you’re not living out your dream at the moment, or you have given up on that passion that used to light a fire in you. Guess what? It’s not too late! I promise, as long as there’s breath in your lungs, you can still make steps towards that goal of yours. Take small steps, start somewhere. It may not be as big or amazing as you once imagined it, but show up anyway. Find some way to get involved in what you love. Even if you don’t see how this step can make a difference, little (even baby) steps will get you closer to what you’re after.
- Madi Drake, Director of Community