Last night I had a conversation with a sweet friend, X. We scheduled our day to ensure the time difference between California and Adelaide, Australia would be manageable for us both. As I prepared for bed, she prepared to start her morning, but not without a explaining her frustration.
As we FaceTimed, X let out an audible sigh. It's just that I feel stuck, I don't know what to do… She went on to explain that while she loves her career, X questions her purpose and the legacy of her professional endeavors. Battling emotions of emptiness and feeling lost, she's been consumed with worry (Am I wasting time…where am I headed…how will I know what to do next?).
For a second, I couldn't find the right words. I didn't know how to fully explain that I've struggled with those same questions and battled the looming clouds of doubt, but I slowly strung my thoughts together. So what did you do? What did you do to find your new direction, she desperately asked.
My answer wasn't what she expected. I explained that in order to find a new direction, one must get lost. You can't expect to find a new destination if you stay on the same path. So how do you get lost with intention? I don't have “right” answers, but here's a list of what I did to help hone my direction:
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
At the encouragement of my business coach, I took the MGTI assessment online. At first I thought it was silly, but working through the results of the rest helped me understand myself better, communicate with intention, lead more effectively, and leverage my strengths.
Wealth Dynamic Test
A few of my friends took the Wealth Dynamic Test, which determines your entrepreneur profile and natural paths to wealth by giving you clarity on your job, business, and investments.
In order to find a new direction, I couldn't lean on passion or dream-building because I didn't possess those things when I was lost. Instead of feeling hopeless, I made a list of things that made me curious. Then I set out to read and learn more about my curiosity. The more I read and studied, the sharper my focus became in finding my new purpose.
When all else fails, go for a walk. There's something cathartic about walking in the sun. Heck, in the rain as well. It clears your mind, forces you to get away from digital devices that distract you, and makes you see things in nature. A little bit of sweat and exercise is the perfect remedy for getting out of an emotional funk.
This is the hardest thing to do…and I could barely manage it. For a while I couldn't forgive myself for losing my way, for becoming something I wasn't. As I worked through finding new direction, I hated myself. My thoughts were a ghastly narrative of insults and a barrage of doubt. It wasn't until I extended grace to myself (with the reminder past failure wouldn't determine future success), that I was able to work from a clean slate and chart my new direction.
After saying sweet goodbyes to X, I hung up and thought through the process of working through hard times. I hoped my advice to X would help point her in a new direction and give her to push to pursue curiosity instead of pursuing a solution. While they'll both manifest in due time, I hope grace overwhelms her until then. And I hope the same for you.