Congrats! You’ve made it to Step No. 5, the last step of the Finding Your Purpose series.
That means you’re on way to making your pivot!
Get ready for an incredible professional and personal growth journey. It’ll be eye-opening, intense, and so worthwhile.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned on my own journey so far…
Lesson 1: You need a vision.
By getting vividly clear on what you want to achieve and why, you'll have the fortitude to triumph over your obstacles. Your vision needs to be something you believe is possible to achieve. If you begin to doubt its validity, you'll likely give up. At the same time, your vision needs to be a stretch. If it's easily attainable or not aspirational enough, you'll start to wonder what's next and jump course. The sweet spot is having a vision that's challenging but not overwhelming and has an element of surprise. And most importantly, you have to have a strong internal desire to see it through.
Lesson 2: Move towards not away from something.
We’re innately wired to avoid the negative. That’s why you might catch yourself pivoting as an avoidance mechanism. But the issue with this is you may avoid one thing you don't like just to discover two other things you don't like. There is an infinite number of things you don’t or won’t like. Whereas, there’s a finite number of things that’ll light you up. Pick the path you’re excited to move towards, the path with a vision that inspires you. But remember not to seek perfection, every path will require tradeoffs. It's up to you to make intentional choices.
Lesson 3: Keep the promises you make to yourself.
Pivoting requires self-accountability. First, you'll want to identify the habits you need to break, and the ones you need to cultivate. For example, if your vision is to write a book by the end of the year, you might have a goal of writing 10 pages per day. If you tend to spend two hours a day Instagram, you'll want to reduce your scrolling habit and replace it with a writing habit. This might mean every time you reach to open Instagram, it turns into a cue to fire up Google Docs instead. And after you complete a few pages, you can then reward yourself with a scrolling break. Because we all have different tendencies when it comes to responding to inner and outer expectations, this will look different for everyone. Some of us will need to get an accountability buddy or coach. Some of us will respond better to negative consequences instead of rewards. Do whatever you need to do to choose your life over your excuses. After all, a fulfilling life is one where you’re proud of yourself.
Lesson 4: Purpose is a process, not a destination.
Early in your career, you may not have a sense of purpose yet. This period is a time for exploration and experimentation. These experiences will provide you with self-knowledge and clues to lead you to your first pivot. At this point, you'll have the foundation to set meaningful goals based on intrinsic vs extrinsic values. Often these goals will center around growth, mastery, and impact. This process of experimenting, learning, and reflecting will lead you to another pivot point, and then another. Purpose is an iterative process. It's the constant realignment of your values, strengths, and contributions. We don't have one singular purpose. But rather a sense purpose is cultivated by following the breadcrumbs. There are only experiences, no endpoints. Let your career flow.
Lesson 5: Your career does not define your self-worth.
Your career is just one facet of your identity. While it plays a role in giving your life meaning, it’s not the end-all-be-all. It does not define your self-worth. Regardless of what you do or how much you make, you were enough before, and you’re enough now. We’re all works in progress. We’ll make mistakes. We’ll get a little lost. We’ll get a little wiser. Don’t give your career, or what others think of your career, the power to define your self-worth.
I hope this series gets you one step closer to what’s next for you. Better yet, I hope you’re already taking steps to ‘think forward’, and make your pivot.
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Wherever you are, enjoy the journey!