Having purpose is something that’s important to all humans. It provides a reason to get up in the morning, a reason for being.
But sometimes when we reach midlife we can feel like there’s a void.
More often than not we’ve spent our whole life prioritsing others wants and needs. This has fulfilled us to a certain extent otherwise we wouldn’t do it. And it probably has given us a sense of purpose.
But when that changes, which it invariable does as we age, we can feel like we’re adrift.
This is predominantly experienced if you have kids and they’ve left home. Or they’re older and don’t seem to need you anymore.
You can also feel this when a marriage ends in divorce or you lose someone you love.
I’ve frequently seen women encounter this when they lose interest in a career. And their work mainly used to be the focal point of their life too.
To be honest even being post menopause can evoke similar feelings.
The thing is, you haven’t lost your purpose; you are just missing the next step.
Many things you have done in life so far has been part of your purpose. You’re just ready for the next step but you haven’t found it yet. So you feel like your life lacks meaning.
We all want to feel our life is meaningful, because it shows us we still have something to contribute. This allows us to continue to thrive in our 50s, 60s 70s and well beyond.
And let’s face it we have so much more to contribute at this stage of life too. Because we’ve had much more experience by now.
But what do you do if you can’t see that next step and you have no idea where to start?
It’s time to grab a notebook and pen and explore! And I have three enlightening insights I can share with you.
Your jobs and roles have probably been part of your purpose
It’s true. Your past jobs and roles give you a good place to start looking for the next piece of the puzzle. Most especially if you’ve found those jobs and roles energising and fulfilling.
If you’ve been a mum at home, it’s still important to do this exploration. Because being a mum is a full time job and it has been part of your purpose.
Even if you’re retiring this is essential for you to do too. Because you’re going to have hours to fill where you used to be at work. And lying on the beach is only going to keep you happy for so long. You’re going to want more than that.
So grab your pen and write a list of all the roles that you have had. Highlight the ones you’ve found energizing and fulfilling.
Notice what you have found specifically enjoyable
Next to each role or job, write down the activities, tasks and responsibilities that you enjoyed the most. Write down what you found particularly fulfilling about those activities.
Get really detailed and specific about this because these activities often serve your values. This is because you feel fulfilled when you are meeting your values.
And you guessed it, we tend to have exactly the right values to fulfil our purpose.
Most importantly, you must have a deep understanding of yourself
You are at the core of your purpose, so it’s vital you have deep knowing of who you are now. You’re not the same woman you were 20, 10 or even 5 years ago, because you’ve had so many experiences.
When you have this clarity, you will see similar threads woven through your life. It will become clear to you how everything you’ve done so far has aligned with who you are now. This allows the next steps in fulfilling your purpose to become much more obvious.
Please know that you are important and you are still very much needed. All the answers you are looking for are there deep inside you. So keep exploring until you find them.
Because seeing your next purposeful steps will set your sails and give your wonderful life meaning again.
This is a deep and empowering process and there are many more steps involved. If you would like the support of a good coach with finding the next step in your purpose and deciding what you would like to do next, The HER Rediscovery Program would be perfect for you.