Life can feel a lot like following a trail of breadcrumbs. Some days, the path is clear and easy to follow. Others aren’t as certain, as the path has led to somewhere you never intended to be. Sometimes, the path of breadcrumbs completely disappears for a while, leaving you feeling lost and uncertain about where you need to go next.
That’s the topic I want to home in on today: following your life’s path. I’ll discuss handling those moments of uncertainty and why they’re just as important as the moments of complete clarity. I’ll also touch on taking care of yourself and your well-being as you embark on your journey.
What Is Your Life’s Path?
The answer to this question is different for each person. However, being on your life’s path feels like being the most authentic version of yourself, prioritizing your needs and goals, taking time for the most important people in your life, and enjoying and appreciating the things you’re doing each day (or at least recognizing the value in them).
Your life’s path isn’t about taking the easy way out or feeling like you’ve stopped growing. If anything, it’s one of the biggest steps you can take toward personal growth and fulfillment. The important thing to remember is that following your life’s path is an active commitment to living your own life, not someone else’s. It’s the path you’ve created for yourself, even if it isn’t always simple.
How Do You Know If You Aren’t On Your Own Path?
Sometimes, people stray from the path or don’t get on it in the first place. The first step toward putting yourself on your life’s path is recognizing your talents and values, and what you want to put out into the world. This doesn’t have to be anything large-scale.
For instance, maybe you value giving back to the community and want to put more positivity into the world. You can start your path by spending a few hours volunteering a month and see where this leads you. As long as it feels valuable to you, you know you’re heading in the right direction.
There are a few clear signs, however, that you may not be on your life’s path. Here a just a few:
- Constantly feeling sick, stressed, overwhelmed, and like what you’re doing is providing little to no returns for yourself or anybody else.
- Feeling generally disinterested in the things happening in your life at the moment.
- Trying to work so much that you distract yourself from these feelings of disinterest.
- Feeling like you’re living too comfortably or not taking enough risks.
Knowing When You’re On Your Life’s Path
On the other hand, there will be some pretty clear indicators when you are on the path that you want. You may feel an overall better sense of well-being. Perhaps you’ll be more invested in your time and how you use it each day. You’ll feel more fulfilled in your day-to-day activities and like they have a purpose.
However, as always, there are good days and bad days. Learning how to handle each is so important for knowing how to stay on your path, even when it might be easier to stray away.
Moments of Clarity
On the days when you’re taking active steps toward your goal and seeing the returns, it’s easy to begin feeling invincible. Don’t take these days for granted, because they will help propel you forward in more difficult moments.
When you’re having one (or maybe several) of these good days, take a moment to celebrate. Reflect on everything you’ve done that’s gotten you this far and appreciate the work that you’ve put in. Most importantly, if this good day comes as a result of reaching one of your long-term goals or finishing an intense project, make sure to give yourself a proper amount of time to rest and recharge before jumping back into your work.
Moments of Uncertainty
On the days when you feel lost or unsure of yourself, it can be easy to feel like you’re not on the right path, and like maybe it would be better if you went back to the way things were before you started carving out your own path.
I would urge you to not give into these temptations. While the feelings and struggles you’re going through right now are entirely real, they will pass with time, and you’ll be stronger because of it. Think about your goals and the work you’ve done to reach them. It takes bravery to get to the point you’re at (wherever that may be).
Reach out to a trusted friend, colleague, or trained professional. There will always be difficult days, but having a support group to lean on will help keep your momentum going.
You’re capable of incredible things, so don’t give up. The world needs you to be exactly who you are in this moment.
Practicing Self Care on Your Life’s Path
As we are all too familiar with, even the best moments in your life can have their own difficulties. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself as you pursue your goals and ambitions. Here are a few ideas to help you with this:
According to Intermountain Healthcare, journaling has many benefits, such as decreased stress and an improved memory.
Writing things down at the beginning and/or end of each day can help provide clarity to some of the things you’re thinking about. It can also provide documentation of some of your wins, as well as the times that you overcame difficulties.
Journaling does not have to be time consuming or extensive; this is your time, so you make the rules. Just be sure to be mindful as you record what you think is most important.
Do Something You Love Every Day
This could be as simple as taking a walk outside on a nice day, watching your favorite show as you unwind for the day, or baking cookies as a fun treat. You’re working hard, so take the time to actively reward yourself..
Get Plenty of Rest
You may have a list of to-dos a mile long, but without taking the time to recharge, you’ll burn out before you’re able to get through them all. Your list will still be there tomorrow. For now, take some well-earned time to reset.
Do Something Kind For Someone Else
Yes, thinking of others can count as self care, if that’s what works for you. Not only will helping another person make you feel good, it will also strengthen your relationship with them. These connections are so important for your overall well-being.
So whether it’s sending a kind note, making lunch for your partner, or calling to tell someone you appreciate them, make sure to look around and see what you can do for others every now and then.
Bringing It All Together
You may be on your life’s path right at this moment, and if you are, great work! Keep pushing forward, even through those moments of uncertainty.
If you think you may not be on your life’s path, take the time to think about what it would look like to start that journey. What steps could you take today to stop living someone else’s life and jump-start your own?
If you need help answering these questions or guidance through the highs and lows of your life’s path, reach out to me. I’d love to coach you through these times so that we can create an action plan for finding the most fulfillment within your life.