1) Express your creativity! If you think you’re not creative, you especially need to do this step. Everyone came to this life to fashion something out of the assets and inner resources they were given.
The issue is: 1) you’re either afraid to take a risk to make something new, or 2) you’re in a rut that doesn’t include creative time. Create space for your inner creative self to live, breathe and play. How? Carve out time at least once a week to nourish yourself—at least two to three hours of open-ended time works well. If you feel guilty about taking time for yourself, reframe it as necessary time to recharge so you can truly be present for your loved ones. It’s true, self-nourishment is necessary!
2) Decide to be true to your real desires and priorities. Vow that the next time someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, you’ll say no without apology.
3) Take time to reflect on what matters most to you right now. Then make a plan to give yourself what you need. If you don’t see how to do this or you doubt that you’ll follow through, give yourself the gift of asking a friend to hold you accountable or hire a coach. Now go call that person.
4) Take back a hobby. What were you passionate about at age 10? Age 13? Age 20?
When I was ten, I loved to write in my diary. Actually it was a life saver. We moved from California to Georgia and I was lonely without my old friends. Writing my feeligns in my diary saved me.
These days we call it “journaling.” Journaling gives me someplace to air my grievances, confusion and upsets. I write to Spirit, get answers and release anxiety. The more old layers of emotion and stress we shed, the more authentic we begin to feel. Begin by telling yourself the truth about you and your life in your notebook pages. Journaling saved my life at age 10 and returns me to peace now that I’m ageless.
I have an attorney client who often feels overwhelmed with the responsibilities of managing her demanding practice. She loved to play piano as a girl but gave it up because she wasn’t going to be a professional musician. I asked her why she didn’t play for her own happiness and she said it wouldn’t be the same because she was so out of practice. I told her the litte girl inside who used to play doesn’t need to be a top performer, she just wants to make music again. She doesn’t care if it comes out perfectly or not. She wants to feel the joy that comes from playing. It took her awhile to give herself permission to be a beginning again, but when she finally did, she had fun!
5) Tell someone you trust your deepest, darkest secret. I know, you might be thinking, “Ugh, what would I gain from exposing myself?!” You might be surprised how much energy it takes to keep a secret—energy you could be using to live your joyful purpose. Suppressing anything is draining. Ask a trusted friend to share something they don’t want anyone to know because of shame or fear or guilt, and then reciprocate. If you don’t have anyone you feel safe sharing with, consider partnering with a coach or therapist.
6) Take a risk. One small action that initially feels scary yet potentially exciting has the power to positively change your life.
7) Make a list of everything you would do if you weren’t afraid. “If I weren’t afraid I would …” Now look at your list. What tiny step could you take that would bring you joy? You deserve to express more of who you are. This is a bridge to making that fulfilling contribution your heart is yearning for.