How to Find Your Purpose in Life
I recently had a birthday and am feeling reflective, conscious of having found my purpose in life-to become the woman I was always meant to be. My inner and outer selves are congruent, each respectful and accepting of the other.
It wasn’t always that way. For too many decades, I was abysmally shy. By my fifties, it had gradually receded, causing distress only intermittently. It can still pop up, but seldom.
Self-esteem was a problem, too. It seemed to me that every girl was cuter, smarter, more fun than I was. I spent too many years wanting to be too many people other than myself. Little did I realize how unproductive and impossible that was. Shy and passive, with low self-esteem…my internal life was a struggle.
So what did I have going for me? Loving parents, a few teachers who encouraged me, good friends, an amazing Girl Scout leader, a willingness to work hard and learn, a wonderful man who saw more potential in me than I did and married me, the acceptance of all kinds of people who valued me for some reason.
With each passing year, I grew stronger and more self-confident—more “me.” It took me longer than most women, perhaps, but I don’t care. Here I am now, content in my own body, confident in what I’m doing and how I’m living my life.
My joy now comes from encouraging other people, especially women, in their life journeys. So what have I learned on my life journey from wallflower to author and speaker?
- Live your own life. Coveting someone else’s is doomed to fail, and you’re frittering away your chance to grow.
- Challenge yourself. You will grow in confidence and self-esteem if you keep pushing back at your self-imposed limitations. Take a risk; if it doesn’t work out, nothing is lost, but you’ll know you tried.
- Be gentle with yourself and others. Life can be tough sometimes; we need to nourish and encourage each other.
- Confront your fears. If you’re afraid of public speaking, for example, join Toastmasters. If you can’t stand being in a swimming pool, sit in the children’s wading pool. You’ll be surprised how much the fears shrink as you stretch your boundaries.
You are unique. There is no one in the world like you, with your personality and talents and strengths. NOW is the very best chance you have to grow into who you were meant to be. In fact, the only and best person you can be is you!
(P.S. If you, too, were terribly shy, send me a note. What was being shy like for you? Did you overcome it? How? What helped?)