How to work out what to do with your life when you grow up.
'What do you wanna do when you grow up?' used to be one of the most fun questions of childhood didn't it? You could reel off things like 'an astronaut' one day, and 'a lollipop lady' the next, without fear of judgment from the people around you, or worrying about the feasibility of it happening either.
Your mind was free to explore whatever avenue you pleased, and you were encouraged to do so too! ...so what the hell happened between then and adulthood?! How come you now feel the opposite of 'free to explore' and instead feel hella pigeon-holed and limited? How come you went from not worrying in the slightest about how you were gonna make it happen, and instead have become consumed by it?!
Well for one, societal conditioning has a lot to answer for here. There's nothing convention loves more than a bit of dream-squashing, a bit of soul-sapping, and a bit of get-back-in-your-box-ing. If we're constantly being told that our aspirations are unrealistic/not good enough, then it's not surprising how over time, we stop listening to our own [free-spirited] and ambitious instincts, and feel safer and more secure slotting into a small, conventional box instead, right? Your folks and friends will most likely have thrown in a few 'Isn't it time to get a proper job now?'s too, which always helps to kill off any childhood dreams along the way. So where does that leave you?
I bet it leaves you lost, confused, hopeless for the future and feeling completely at odds with what you're doing with your life, ammi right? And I don't blame you for feeling that way tbh! Adulting in this day and age is one helluva slippery fish. But! ☝ Luckily for you, if this resonates with you, I've sussed out exactly what you need to do! 🙌
👉 You need to switch your focus from 'what do I want to DO with my life?', into 'who do I want to BE in my life?'.
It was quite the revelation for me to realise what I was looking for and needing in my day-to-day, was nothing to do with what I was doing, and everything to do with who I was being. Y'see when you're living your life as the person you wanna be, it's almost poetic how much it feels like everything else just slots into place. But...
...it really does. It's way way easier to continue living as someone you think you should be; someone you've been conditioned to be, because again, society loves to dictate this beige mould that we should all fit. But discovering the person you want to be should absolutely be the focus, instead of trying to focus on what you want to do all the time. The person we want to be is the part we have way more control over (because we can start being them as soon as we damn please, like today even!), and it's also the best inner compass we could ever have in life (because it informs our choices ahead of us in the most instinctive, natural way to us).
So let's just remove the pressure you've been piling on yourself to have all the things figured out, and really grasp that changing your mind and trying new things is all. part. of. this. process.
So tell me, who DO you want to be?
Let's get a pen and paper and really splurge this out. Do you want to be someone who is courageous or someone who's happy to stay where they are? Someone who helps people or someone who helps themselves? Someone who makes others laugh and feel good or someone who's happy to spend time alone? Someone who pioneers their own path or someone who's happy to go where other's have gone? Someone who knows themselves entirely and is their own biggest cheerleader, or someone who's happy having a regular cuppa with their inner critic? Someone who is creative and expansive, or someone who is methodical and calculated? Someone who is stylish and put together, or someone whose appearance is simply not on the agenda? Who are YOU?
Once you have this list down, if this person isn't showing up as you in your life right now, make it so! Make them real, as soon as today even – simply by the choices you make.
Now use this mind-splurge to inform your choices.
So what happens from hereon in, is that you've now got a set of innate standards that you know you need, and want to live by, to be the person you want to be. If you ever don't feel aligned with those standards for whatever reason, you'll know it instantly (and you'll have an insane amount of energy and power to do something about it) – because it's no longer about experimenting with 'what you wanna do', it's either helping (or hindering!) you become the person you want to be. And that's a way easier guide to follow than blindly tryna work out 'what I wanna do'.
Now think about how can you express who you are and who you wanna be in the world, through what you do. Sure you still have to experiment and try new things to see how they fit, but because you now have this blueprint of who you want to be as your inner compass, knowing if it's the best next step for you is a way more instinctive, well-informed decision, rather than just a haphazard guess.
So the good news?
You've now got a crystal-clear blueprint to follow going forward, helping you make decisions that you know are right for you and the person you wanna be, regardless of what anyone else thinks. No one else in the world knows who you want to be, but you. So go forth and conquer my friend!
The excellent news?
It's extremely hard to fail at being who you wanna be, because you can't quite simply! It doesn't matter what the outside world sees in terms of how wiggly a path you might be taking, because you know within yourself, that they're all necessary bends and twists that are helping you create/live out/become the person you want to be.
So have some freaking fun with it! 🎉 If you enjoyed this read, it'd mean so so much if you shared it with someone who you think it might help 🙏 Until next weekend hot stuff 💋