What would your life look like if you were truly living and breathing your passion every day? I asked myself this exact question this month as part of my 30 Personal Growth Goals For 2019 challenge. How exactly do you find your passion even if you’re not sure you have one?
My Struggle To Find My Passion
When I was 18 I left the country I grew up in, my small town, my family and friends and everything I knew and became an Au Pair in America in an effort to find myself.
I worked as an Au Pair for two years (the best years of my life but not my passion), went to college in Texas, moved around a few times, got my degree…and then I was absolutely stuck. Where was that passion everyone was talking about??
I took the first job I could find (a temp job at a university), went on to work in Marketing and was pretty miserable…at work, at life, at figuring out my passion and EVERYTHING ELSE!
I found another job, better pay, better opportunities, better everything, only to realize that I still didn’t feel fulfilled, passionate or purposeful one bit… I had to face it – apparently, there was a lot more to finding your passion than a new job.
I realized that I wouldn’t be happy at any job because I had no clue what exactly I was passionate about. I felt completely lost when it came to my future. What was I going to do? What was my passion? What would finally make me happy?
I started binge consuming podcasts, YouTube videos and personal growth blogs, registered for all kinds of classes and started some serious self-reflection and self-discovery. And then one day after many trials and errors it just clicked. I was finally on the right track to finding my true passion (more on that later).
I compiled a list of 5 simple questions that are designed to kick start your journey to find your true passion as well.
1. What are your interests and talents?
This question seems like an obvious one but when was the last time you actually sat down, grabbed a piece of paper and journaled away? No distractions, no time limit, just some alone time and your journal.
Write down everything that comes to your mind. List all the things that you really enjoy. Let your mind explore and give it time to think. You’ll be surprised what you can come up with.
Is there anything you haven’t tried yet but you think you would love? Write it all down. Don’t think too much about it or pause too long. Just make a long list of things you take pleasure in or are really good at.
Now look at your list and highlight all the things that really stick out to you. Which one of those things could you do over and over and never get tired of?
Again, the point is to think through all possibilities. List EVERYTHING even if this skill or passion won’t make you rich or isn’t popular. Keep in mind that it’s ok to have many passions. You can combine multiple ideas and passions and turn them into your ideal business or lifestyle. It’s all about creating something that brings you joy.
Are you struggling to come up with things or feel that you’re just “not interested in anything?”
Read about people who inspire you – what are they passionate about, what kind of hobbies do they have? Start spending time with people that you see living out their passion. Ask them questions about their passions and their relationship to it.
“You Are The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With”
Bonus: What do your friends think you’re good at? You want to explore all your talents so even something like “My friends say I’m a good listener” or “I give great relationship advice.” Sometimes it’s hard to identify the most obvious passion because it has become second nature to us.
Having a friend give you unbiased feedback might open up your mind to passions and talents you haven’t thought of or didn’t consider a talent or passion.
2. What did you love doing as a child?
Instead of looking for new hobbies or interests, take a trip down memory lane and remember your childhood passions. What did you want to be when you grew up? What did you do in your free time?
When I asked myself these questions I was surprised to remember how I would write and read stories for hours. All I wished for every Christmas was more books to read and pretty notebooks to write and draw in. I suddenly remembered always wanting to be a teacher or writer.
Some things you may have forgotten over the years but some soul-searching and self-reflection can go a long way and might bring back things you had long forgotten.
3. What makes you lose track of time?
When I’m at my job filling out spreadsheets and typing up emails I keep a close eye on the time watching the hours creep by oh so slowly. BUT when I’m writing, designing or creating other kinds of content time FLIES. I will literally sit on my laptop for hours on end totally surprised when I realize how much time has passed!
4. What do you really want to try and what’s holding you back?
Start trying out things from your list from step 1. Register for hobbies, take classes, sign up for workshops, start side hustles, read related books, learn, grow and explore. The most important thing is to get started. To try out new things.
Are you holding yourself back? Are you experiencing self-doubt or fear of what might be or could happen? Don’t limit yourself – you can do anything you set your mind to. It doesn’t matter what other people think or what other people are doing.
This is about you and about choosing your own adventure and finding your happiness in the process.
5. What have you overcome in the past?
Think about the struggles that you have overcome in the past and how you’ve overcome them.
A great example for turning your struggle into your passion is the Passion Planner (perfect name) I talk about in my post 8 Productivity Planners and Journals To Help You Get Your Life Together.
It was created by Angelia Trinidad who started to slip into depression after graduating from college feeling overwhelmed with uncertainty. She thought about what helped her during the most challenging and stressful times of her life and realized it was her planner. So she decided to create her own.
For me, I’m truly passionate about helping others create a meaningful, fulfilling life, career, and mindset because I have struggled with creating all that for myself for so long.
Did you overcome an eating disorder? Have you come out stronger after being depressed or after being in an abusive relationship? Did you struggle to start your own business?
What has helped you overcome these struggles? Sharing your advice, resources or journey with others in the same situation can help them overcome these struggles as well. How can you help otjer people solve problems?
There is something out there for you and you will find it if you’re willing to try, fail and to try again. Start that Etsy shop, teach that class, write that book – whatever it is just START (over) and don’t quit trying.
Finding and pursuing your passion won’t always be easy and even if you have found your passion there will be days where you won’t enjoy it and when you want to quit. Be patient, fight and make sacrifices. Passion is tricky. It doesn’t come easy to most people.
If your ultimate goal is to make a living out of your passion keep in mind that it will take time. Finding and building your passion won’t happen overnight.
But don’t presume that your passion should be your job either (like I did). If your job allows you enough time to pursue your passion there is nothing wrong with working full-time and enjoying your passion before or after work.
As for my passion, I have found that the one thing I really enjoy more than anything else is to create. To be creative. To express myself through writing, designing, creating. And to use that content to help people achieve a meaningful, fulfilling life, career, and mindset.
I want to inspire others to become a better version of themselves. I want to learn and grow and constantly develop myself. And use my growth and knowledge to create more content. To discover new things about myself.
My passion is a work in progress but I’m so thankful I’m finally on the path to living a life with passion and purpose.
Have you found your passion? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments.