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  • Writer's pictureLinda Milun

What you need to look into to unfold your purpose and vision

The quest of discovering your purpose and vision is not always as straightforward as people would like it to be. Too easily you can get lost in unimportant details or get distracted by to many possibilities or loosing track of the actually relevant facts. Narrowing it down to five specific areas will simplify the process of unfolding your purpose and vision.

The five areas you need to focus on first are: Your history, your skills, strengts & weaknesses, your beliefs & values, your willingness & pursuit to learn & grow and your network. Professional support and the right questions will open your eyes and help you put the pieces together.

If you decide to find your personal purpose and create your personal vision, you need to really want it, because it has a lot to do with facing yourself. That includes the good and the bad. The nice things and the uncomfortable truth. Your history, skills, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, values and network is what defined and formed you till today. Your willingness to grow and to learn and the act of pursuing growth will decide on how much you will grow from now on in these areas. Your history is maybe fixed, but not the other factors. And now its up to you to create your future!

So, if you are ready, than let's get started with a brief introduction of the different areas:

#1: Your history

Your upbringing, cultural imprinting, life experiences (good memories & trauma), education, etc. Your history impacts who you are today. No matter how beautiful or tough it has been for you. Questions that can help you in this are:

a. What is your family constilation (siblings, parents, etc.)?

b. What are negative life experiences you went through? Why?

c. What were positive highlights in your life and why?

d. How would you describe your upbringing, family culture?

e. How would you describe your culture?

There are many more questions that could help you understand your personal history. Another great tool is the lifeline exercise (more on that is coming soon).

#2: Your skills, strentghs & weaknesses

Strengths and skills are not neccessarily the same. Skills are in general things that you learnt and practiced. Strengths on the otherhand are usually things you are naturally good at. However, be aware, both - skills and strengths - are areas you may continously invest in to grow and expand them. Strengths can also be personality traits like patience, kindness, etc. Weaknesses are things you are not naturally good at and require much more effort and time to see improvement.

It is important to understand that no matter if it's skills, strengths or weaknesses they all can be areas of growth and positive development. Our mindset plays here a significant role: a fixed mindset says that a weakness can not improve and that you can only get better in things you are naturally good at. A growth mindset says that you can "grow" in any area as long as you are willing to work on it and invest the effort and time needed.

Nontheless, in this point it is important to first decern what potential growth and learning feels may be, and than only to look at what you would like to learn or need to learn beyond that.

Here are some key questions for you to reflect on:

a. What are you naturally good at?

b. What are your skills?

c. What are your weaknesses?

d. In which areas would you like to see growth? Define what kind of growth or how.

e. What do you preceive as hindrances?

f. If you would have to choose right now, what would you want to learn?

A tool that can be useful in this matter is the Johari-Window (more on that coming soon). Personality and skill tests can be another great way to become more aware of your abilites and weaknesses: DISG, Strengthfinder, enneagram, Myres-Briggs, etc.

#3: Your Beliefs & Values

Did you ever hear someone say "You are what you believe"? This is to some extend true. Your beliefs about yourself will impact your behaviour. If you have limiting beliefs (e.g. "You will never be good enough.", "No one likes you.") you will act on it. You won't even try to get better or connect with people on a deeper level. Whereas supporting beliefs always encourage you to move forward, grow and overcome (e.g. "You are struggling with this task, but with effort and patience you will get there.", "This person maybe doesn't like you and that's alright. I am still likable! I am not dependent on this persons opinion.").

Our values kind of define what we preceive as good and bad, right and wrong, true or false.

a. Pick 3-5 people you admire the most. What about them makes them stand out?

b. Think about a situation that made you angry. Why did it make you angry?

c. Remember 1-3 situations that were amazing. Why do you think they were so brilliant?

d. Pick 10 words that resonate the most with you: Integrity, family, success, fitness,

authenticity, achievement, beauty, spirituality, balance, community, self-respect, friendship,

honesty, loyalty, wisdom, wealth, justice, influence, harmony, purpose, care, kindness,

quality, humility, peace, confidence, identity, hard work, fund, healthy boundaries, trust,

structure, security, clarity, independence, reliability, intellect, freedom, depth

Rank these words from 1-10. Number one is the highest and 10 the lowest.

e. Which are your top five values?

We usually admire people who represent values and beliefs that are in agreement with our core values. Often our anger is triggered when at least one core value of ours is violated. To recognize THAT something made you angry is the first step. The next step is to narrow down why it made you angry. For example: You are in a situation where you or someone else is treated extremly unfair. For example gets punished without being guilty. You ask yourself why it makes you angry. You realize it's because its unfair or to use another word its injustice. So clearly fairness and justice are extremely important to you. Don't be mistaken: You may think "Well, everyone should get upset about it." even though the base of your thought is correct, the intensity of how it impacts others or you can vary tremdenously. Others may say "This is really not right" and feel upset, but they don't neccessarily feel a rage about it rising up inside of them. Therefore, justice is mostlikely a core value for you but not for some others. You can use the same analysis for exercise "c".

Try these different exercises out. They might not right away give you the perfect results, but they will definitely cause you to become more aware and to start oberving yourself more.

#4: Your willingness and pursuit to learn & grow

Being convinced that you can learn and grow is one thing, actually taking steps is what matters. If you want to achieve anything in life or in a specific area, you will need to set goals. You need to be willing to do something about your current state and to take your past not as an excuse but as a motivation to create the future you want. There is no use to claim that you want to unfold your prupose and vision, if you are actually living in the past or are happy with a fixed mindset. Once you are truly willing to move forward it's time to pursue growth and to learn!

a. What hinders you to actively seek growth?

b. What would help you to step out of your comfort zone?

c. What would you like to learn? What could be (small) first steps to start?

d. What kind of growth would you like to acieve and why?

e. Who are your role models? What do you want to learn from them?

f. What is your favourite way of sabotaging yourself?

If you take time to answer these questions thougthfully you will realize that a lot of answers are already within you. Understanding what hinders, motivates and inspires us, will eventually encourage us to truly seek growth and invest in ourselves!

#5: Your network

Your enviornment or to be more specific "social network" will play a significant role in finding your purpose and forming your vision. You need at least ONE person in your life that is supportive! As long as you have one person that is on your side, you will less likely be tempted to give up. Being on your side does not mean, that this person has to always agree in everything with you and never give you a constructive feedback. You will actually need this person to be honest with you, but also motivating. If you are in the situation, that no one in your immediate surrounding is truly supportive, than there are other options how you can find the support that you need.

Ask yourself:

a. Who are 5-10 people I actually trust?

b. (Of those people) who is encouraging and motivating me?

c. And who is honest with me and asks me the hard questions with love?

d. Who is more or less unbiased?

e. Who wants to really see you grow and not just show off their own great ideas they have

for your life?

f. Who is good at active listening?

My experience as a coach has shown me, that many clients come to me because they work on projects, areas of their personal mastery etc that they simply need someone unbiased to help them process. That's what coaches are ment to do! We are ment to help you grow! Our goals is YOUR growth and progress! This kind of unbiased support takes a lot of pressure from my clients. Fear of men hardly gets in their way when they talk to me as their coach! They know "I am not in the session to please or to be pleased! I am here to move forward and to be motivated!" If you don't have someone unbiased like that in your network, maybe a coach would be good option for you.

All these factors will form and impact your purpose and vision. It will show you what is truly important to you. It will give you the chance to redefine yourself where you are not content with yourself or where you see growth potential. Overall it will show you, that you have lots of treasures in you which are influencing you in every decision and so much potential.

Let's take one more time the example with the justice. Let's say in all your reflection you realize that justice and relationships and social enviornment are important values and factors in your life. You maybe discover that you have great skills and strengths in leadership, communication, kindness and compassion. After some more consideration you observe that almost all your role models are involved in social tasks and that it really inspires you. After some more processing you may see that social justice is an area you want to invest yourself in, because so many factors point to it. Now what is the next step? You start educating and informing yourself about social justice and the different fields. Mostlikely some areas stand out to you or maybe just one. Let's say "cases of false imprisonment" draw your attention so strongly, that you can't really sit still and get restless etc. It would be an option to now research how you can get involved in this field and do your part in making a difference. Your skills and strengths could be useful for NGOs or to study law etc. No matter how big or small take steps towards what you realized is written on your heart and mind and soul! Even the smallest step will bring you closer to your purpose and vision!

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