Why Is It Hard to Find Purpose in Life?
When you are looking for meaning or purpose in your life, there are many obstacles that you face. This seemingly easy task can take quite a while for it to sort out. Here are some common issues that may be preventing you from discovering your life purpose.
How Do Social Influences Affect Our Behavior?
It’s quite possible that you’ve already adopted the ways of society. Our society has certain standards through which we judge people and it’s due to these standards why some people are “popular” while the others are not.
Perhaps societal influence is most impressionable in young adults. For example, if you’re a high school student, you would see these factors around you. When you see that being a football player makes you popular, that’s what you may want to be. Or you may want to be a cheerleader since they seem to be equally popular.
Once you see this, you strive for the purpose that has been set by people around you. All this might not appeal to you or it may not be your calling. However, you give in to the influence and ignore your route to self-discovery.
Say your purpose in life might be to be the next Steve Jobs. However, in an attempt to be as cool as the football player, you lose yourself behind.
And societal influence doesn’t end here. In fact, for many it goes on beyond their adolescent years and pursues them even in their advanced years, always preventing them from finding their true calling. (Source)
How Does Low Self Esteem Affect Your Life’s Purpose?
For many people, the road to self-discovery can be tough without self-love. If you’ve been criticized by everyone around you all your life, it can be hard for you to love yourself.
It’s possible that you’ve never been appreciated in your life for what you are. People around you may have always told you that someone else was better than you.
For instance, your parents may have always compared you with your cousins, friends or other peers. Your teachers may have told you how everyone else in the class was better than you. Or your boss been quick to criticize your flaws but shown little or no appreciation for your work.
This negative feedback can really stop you from being true to yourself.(Source)
In fact, it becomes harder to find your purpose until you love yourself unconditionally. Quite simply, how else will you learn about things you care about, or things that matter to you?
To find your purpose, you have to give time to yourself. If you don’t consider yourself worthy of your own time and attention, you’re in a bad place.
Because of all these factors, self-love becomes an impossible task. You constantly criticize your own self by comparing yourself to others. In addition to that, you don’t think that you’re good at anything.
The Link Between Your Dreams and Your Purpose of Life
Not everyone gets to follow their dreams and it becomes one of the greatest factors stopping you from finding your purpose. Your purpose might lie in something that is considered ‘unrealistic’ by others.
Let’s say you want to be a photographer. Yet, everyone keeps telling you that it isn’t a very “economic” decision.
They ask you how you’d feed your family. They also remind you of the increasing expenses and how your passion isn’t going to be compatible with your finances. Even your parents have better options decided for you.
They tell you there are other lucrative jobs out there. If you want to do something unconventional, they will tell you ‘it’s impossible’.
With this constant discouragement to follow your dreams, you can’t ever discover yourself. You lose the will to find what you were born to do.
Then there are certain things that you’re required to do by a certain age. You’re expected to get a degree by a certain age and then settle down. It all comes down to the societal norms once again.
In a race to get a degree and start a career, you forget to listen to your calling. Your calling is the true you. It’s something that makes you. Once you respond to that, you find your purpose. But if you’re not given a chance to even think about following your dreams, how can you achieve them?
Find Purpose in Life and Fear of the Dark Side
Everyone has a dark side. People who come to terms with their dark side are the most successful ones. You can ignore this side of yours but you can’t make it go away. Until you address it, this side will always remain.(Source)
As long as it’s present, this side hinders you from discovering your purpose. The reason why you don’t find your purpose is because you’re scared to get in touch with this side. And you don’t want others to see it either.
You think that if you keep hiding it, it will stop existing. But this isn’t true. Your dark side is a portrait of your deficiencies. It represents your flaws and your failures. It encompasses the selfish and wrong desires that you have.
When you’re on a journey of self-discovery, you’ll have to encounter this side. Yet, the fear of this side keeps you from trying to find your purpose.
You fail to understand that this side can help you excel. Once you enlighten this side of yours, you can be your best self.
The problem is that you do not want those around you to see that you have this side. It is your little secret.
You’re even afraid to see it yourself. How can you, a responsible father, have any selfish desire? How can you, a hardworking student, fail at being an honest person? You are too scared to face these questions.
Overcoming Fears to Fulfill Your Purpose of Life
Yet it all makes sense. You find solace in looking at the bright side of yourself. This is where your comfort zone lies. It’s this side that makes you feel good about yourself. Despite that, this side will never help you find your ultimate purpose.
Another aspect of this dark side is a fear of questions you don’t have answers to. It’s easy and comfortable to be faced with questions that you have answers to. It’s natural to feel hesitant facing questions you can’t answer.
On the road to self-discovery, there are a lot of questions you can’t always answer. The thought of facing these questions scares you and that’s why you try to avoid them.
You become accustomed to easy knowledge that you have of yourself. And because of this, you don’t want to be in an ambiguous situation. “How can I not know this about myself?” This is what stops you from finding your purpose.
So, if you somehow manage to cross all these obstacles, you can find your purpose. It’s just a constant battle with yourself and your deepest fears. If you win it, you’re golden. Learn more from our Video course: Purpose driven Life
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