This is part 1 of a 3-part series on Purpose.

I’m guessing you’re feeling a little stuck right now, I get it—the world is on hiatus (literally). We’re hunkered down in our homes, waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop, and yet outside our window are blue skies.

Many of us are facing the same concerns: the wellbeing of high-risk loved ones, trying to convince our parents to take this seriously, whether or not that cough means we’re dying. And we thought 2019 was rough… 

There’s an invisible enemy at work, and it’s stopping at nothing to steal our joy. But maybe—before all hell broke loose—you were already feeling stuck. Chances are you didn’t need a full-blown PANDEMIC to tell you that you were burnt out, disconnected, overwhelmed by obligations, or anxious about the future. But if you look closely, there might be a silver lining.

If there’s one good thing to come out of this, it’s the stark realization that we have a limited amount of time and energy to give. And for that reason, we should choose wisely how we spend it—starting first with getting unstuck. 

WHY DO I FEEL STUCK?

Before we reclaim our peace and become more present in each day, let’s talk about what it feels like to be stuck:

  • Being out of alignment
  • Lacking vision or clear goals
  • Feeling far away from your best self
  • Feeling ill-equipped and underqualified
  • Constantly overwhelmed
  • Not knowing where to start, so not starting at all
  • Procrastination
  • Ruminating over the past
  • Feeling anxious
  • Adhering to limiting beliefs
  • Held hostage to all of the “should’s”
  • Cycling through excuses
  • Listening to the voice of doubt

WHAT DOES BEING UNSTUCK FEEL LIKE?

In order to shift our perspective and realign with what matters, let’s identify what makes us feel alive with purpose:

  • Clarifying our values
  • Pursuing our priorities
  • Embracing your flaws or perceived weaknesses
  • Showing up as your full self
  • Using our God-given gifts and abilities
  • Filling your cup
  • Setting boundaries
  • Listening to your inner voice
  • Giving yourself space to just be
  • Serving others
  • Allowing God to work in and through you
  • Making a difference
  • Recalling past success
  • Recounting how God has shown up
  • Doing things scared
  • Bite-size task completion
  • Having your ducks in a row and basic needs met
  • Stepping out in faith
  • Coming alongside
  • The support of a community
  • Love (both giving and getting it)
  • Creating for the sake of creating
  • Unleashing the kid in you
  • Letting go and having fun
  • Flow activities

GETTING UNSTUCK

In order to get unstuck, we have to take an honest assessment of where our time and energy are going. If this pandemic isn’t the most opportune time to collectively reevaluate our priorities, I don’t know what is.

There’s something about this “new normal”—not being able to work in the same way, being surrounded by your family day in and day out, and having all this time on your hands to complete projects or do hobbies—that nudges you to reassess what really matters to you.

Here are some tangible steps to getting unstuck:

Write a mission statement: for your self, your family, or your career to reestablish a sense of direction

Reclaim your time: do not put energy towards things a.) in the past b.) outside of your control or c.) that are not important to you

Set boundaries: name your limits and give yourself permission to be direct with others when expressing them

Say no: it’s a complete sentence and allows for your best yes

Fill your cup: our soul needs four things to thrive (rest, relationship, responsibility, and restrictions), which areas need tending to?

Retrain your brain: if you struggle with toxic thoughts, “shoulds” or hang-ups from your past, this book will help: Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen

Give yourself a win: instead of checking off to-dos all day, choose one project (or chunk of a project) to focus on that will give you the most satisfaction when it’s complete

See it through: by doing what we say we’re going to do, we build confidence in ourselves and are more apt to GSD (get sh*t done)

Practice self-care: think of self-care as being a parent to yourself, what do you truly need in this moment? Water? Fresh air? Excercise? Time off socials? Connection? Physical touch? Check-in with yourself often and carve out time to meet your own needs

Stop comparing: it does not serve us in any way to measure our worth and wellbeing according to someone else’s successes or failures

Be versus do: give yourself some grace to just be exactly where you are and show up fully in the present moment without allowing the pressure to mount from what you “should” be doing or where you “should” be at. Tell yourself: “I am exactly where I need to be right now” and then be all there

Engage in flow activities: flow is when you completely immerse yourself in what you’re doing, there’s a clear end goal, a good challenge-to-skill ratio, ego leaves, time disappears, and you’re “in the zone”

Connect with nature: get outside, take a walk, sit by the ocean, feel the breeze, swim in a natural body of water, and leave your phone at home

Address your frustrations: if there is something (or someone) in your life that makes you feel stuck, confront it (or them) head-on and resolve the issue in a way that allows you to move forward

Pursuing a purpose-driven life requires a full range of motion from your whole self. If you feel exhausted, depleted, burnt out, lost, fearful, or disconnected, it’s important to explore why that might be. Challenge your excuses, ask a friend to hold you accountable, and start small to climb out of the hole of inaction.

I hope this post helps break down some of the reasons we feel stuck and serves as the first step to getting unstuck. Comment below to let me know if this was helpful and if you have any questions!

In Part 2 of my Purpose series, we’ll explore the idea of pursuing your purpose (how the heck do you even figure out your purpose anyway?) and what it looks like to live a life aligned with your calling.

necklace gifted from mejuri (@mejuri) — fine jewelry for every day, minus the traditional markup

How to Pursue Your Purpose — Part 1: Getting Unstuck

Pursuing a purpose-driven life requires a full range of motion from your whole self. In order to get unstuck, we have to take an honest assessment of where our time and energy are going.

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