Life Purpose Panic

I am taking the month of August off to enjoy the last bit of summer with my family. While I am away I will be sharing some of my favorite blogs from the past few years. I hope you enjoy the “reruns”!

Last week I was talking with a fellow coach on the phone.  While chatting it up, the conversation leaned towards how much joy we are getting from working with people and the deep satisfaction that comes when someone else feels a sense of peace and happiness.  We were kind of giddy on life and drunk on the idea of well being for all!

My friend who is extremely wise and insightful mentioned that she could remember a time in her life when she was younger and panicked that she would not find her life purpose.  And, I immediately shouted out “ME TOO!”.  I hated that feeling.  The pressure of figuring out what I am suppose to be doing.  The fear that I will never discover it.  The anxiety of thinking that the clock is ticking and I won’t know why I’m here.  Dear God, it was crazy thinking!

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe I have a purpose and you do too.  The crazy part was the convoluted thinking that I would not be able to recognize what really filled me up from the inside.  This thinking coupled with fear and anxiety created the perfect storm.

Maybe you have experienced this phenomenon too?  Your’s may have been in the form of a mid-life crisis, empty nest syndrome, or post college graduation angst.  All of these are all symptoms of the same disease–life purpose panic.

I define life purpose panic as the feeling that you know you are suppose to be doing something, but you don’t have a clue what that something is, where to find it, or how to get started!  Growing up no one really gives us the hand book on how to find deep satisfaction in our lives.  So, usually at some point most of us wake up to the idea “Is this it?” and “Now what?”.

These questions can be pretty scary if you don’t know what to do next.  But the answer is very simple.  Are you ready?  Be still and Listen.  Yes, that’s right.  Listen.  Not to anyone else.  Listen to yourself.  Get very quiet and listen deeply to that part of you that is nudging you in a certain direction.  It’s telling you something.  Quietly. Softly. Constantly nudging you towards something. Or, it may feel like away from something at first. A gentle nudge in the right direction. If you decide to trust it and lean in to it, that little nudge may just surprise and delight you.