“…So, how do you find your passion? I notice that you coach people who have businesses that are “changing the world” – but what about those of us who haven’t yet found our passion. Could you create something for us?”
– from an email written to me
During the last year or two, I’ve received several requests to create a coaching program for people who have not yet “found their passion.” (I briefly considered the title “Uplevel your Passion” – but that just conjured too many problematic images involving late-night cable infomercials and various berry-scented oils.)
What I can do (and AM doing!) is write an article about finding your passion, based on both personal experience and coaching many hundreds of people on the topic.
So let’s jump in and help you find your passion.
We need to toss out the premise and turn this whole thing upside down.
The problem with our passion-finding premise is proximity. When you believe that your passion is out there waiting to be “found,” then you are treating passion as if it resides outside of your heart, outside of your soul. In essence, you’re saying that your passion is separate from you.
Finding your passion is not about “getting” something or about adding something new or thinking something up. That’s called distraction.
Finding your passion – for starters – is really about moving anything unlike passion out of the way.
With that in mind, let’s start by looking at the foundation: your beliefs and your world-view.
What’s your World-View?
Many people have a reactive world-view. They don’t create their world-view as much as they “react” their world-view. They do this in a relentless quest to avoid discomfort. It’s a slow build-up of beliefs over a lifetime of fear-based thinking.
For instance, let’s say Janet sees wealth all around her and doesn’t understand how anyone makes that kind of money. She reacts a world-view that wealthy people are greedy jerks so that she doesn’t have to personally discover what it would take for her to become wealthy. It’s a convenient way for Janet to never have to become uncomfortable, to test her ego, her own limits, and – in this case – her relationship with money. It’s also a convenient way to make herself separate from her own success, which lets her off the hook. She has stepped one notch away from a relationship with her own power and her own desire. Many people do this with any number of beliefs. It then shapes their life choices in unconscious ways.
When I was about to embark on this crazy wild journey of moving away from my hometown and become a performer, songwriter, entertainer – my father was really angry with me. Over and over again, he shared his world-view with me, which was: “People don’t just get to go off and do what they want. It doesn’t work that way.”
He had set up this world-view for himself and what he would allow himself to do. His world-view had rubbed off on me for most of my life. But I faced that discomfort. If I had listened to that world-view and created that belief for myself, I would never have wandered into the path of living my passion. My world-view wouldn’t allow it. After all, “people don’t do that!”
So some big huge questions for your journal-writing this weekend are:
What are my beliefs?
Where did they come from?
What world-view did I create in my mind – and how am I living it out now?
Awareness is a huge part of passion. Start by exploring the uncharted territory of you. Part of what might be blocking your passion is a belief system or world-view that won’t even allow you to embark into the unknown.
Wanna hit the passion-finding fast-track?
Well, the first place to start is to notice where you settle for stuff in your life.
Because passion doesn’t “settle.” Passion isn’t about “Oh well, I guess I’ll just get this cubicle job because hey, it’s a bad economy.” Passion is the opposite of settling. When I’ve gone a little deeper in conversations with people who tell me they can’t find their passion, what I often discover is years of “settling.”
If this sounds familiar, start asking yourself some questions:
Question #1: How much physical crap in my life am I completely “non-passionate” about?
The easiest place to begin to teach yourself about passion is to spot where you don’t allow it. And the easiest place to do that is in your physical surroundings.
Many people have lives filled with clutter and crap that they don’t care about. In fact, most of their stuff they don’t even like. When asked what they DO like, they have no idea because they’ve never given themselves a chance to choose anything. They’ve only ever settled.
If this sounds familiar, then start by simply noticing anything in your environment that you settle for. Then, begin eliminating it. Living in an empty house and facing that space will move you faster towards your passion than holding onto a bunch of junk you don’t really want out of fear of the unknown.
Here’s the deal.
It’s almost impossible to train yourself to recognize your own passion when the bulk of your life is about settling for things. The easiest place to start is your “stuff.”
Question #2: How much time do I spend doing non-passionate stuff that doesn’t fill me up in the least?
Same as the first question – but apply this to how you spend your time. Many people create time-clutter to fill their empty spaces.
Question #3: How many non-passionate people are around me each day?
Examine the people you hang around with. Do you love them? Or do you settle for them because “hey at least you have someone” ? Are they passionate people who want to live passionate lives?
The key thing with any of these questions is that, at first, you might need to explore the emptiness of not knowing before you begin to know. Yes, this can be uncomfortable. But so is passion sometimes!
Mine Your Life for Delight
While you are cleaning up your world-view and no longer settling for stuff and people, begin mining your life by asking the following question:
“What do I kinda like to do?”
Don’t start with trying to find you passion. Start instead with language that feels more playful. So, instead of “what is your passion?” – try this:
What makes you happy? What delights you? What floats your boat? What could you do and forget that time exists?
Why do we start with these kinds of questions?
Because there’s a slight problem with the word PASSION.
It’s high pressure.
Hey, I’m all about passion, playing big, upleveling and stepping up in a big way.
However, if you’ve lived without clarity or have settled for many things in your life – and you start demanding that you FIND YOUR PASSION, your creative happy powerful muse is going to find a dark corner and hide. It’s too much pressure for a starting point.
At first, you need to start with delight. Or fun. Or “what makes me smile?” Give yourself that treat. And give yourself permission for the answer to be anything.
Observe the Fearful Voices of the Ego
What comes after you mine your life and begin finding delight?
The ego voices, of course!
Nothing kills passion faster than the statement “Yea, but you’ll never be able to make money at it.” (And the ego is brilliant at bringing money into the equation first thing!)
My theory is that many people can’t ‘find their passion’ because no sooner have they discovered something they love than this voice chimes in. Often unconsciously. The voices of the ego work 24/7 – and their job is to have a job. They are very into job security. Things like “passion” have nothing to do with their job security. So these voices will work very hard to convince you that you have no passion. It’s much safer.
Face it. For every idea that “can’t make money,” there’s someone out there who proved that it can. They let themselves get creative and they stopped letting the ego run the show.
No one can decide that you can or can’t make money or make a life with your passion. This is the most personal piece of the equation. This is where DECISION comes in. Only you can decide to step in once you discover the path. (It’s also why “Decision” is one of the steps of the Uplevel Your Life™ Mastery Program. It’s a crucial piece of the puzzle.)
Be Willing to Begin. Be Willing to Feel Awkward.
I was on a call with a group of new coaches. One of them said that she was scared to even begin with her first client because “what if I start coaching and find out that coaching is not my passion?” (See above about ego voices)
First off, coaching is probably NOT your passion – even if you love coaching! Interaction, transformation, shaping lives – those probably ARE your passion.
The point is – you have to get started. You have to do things – sometimes badly – to find out if they are, indeed, your passion. And the thing you love the MOST will begin to show itself. But that doesn’t mean every minute of every day you are writhing in pleasure. (Though, with a few of those “uplevel your passion” berry-scented oils, there’s no telling what could happen!)
With that said, our next post will uncover a few myths about finding your passion. Don’t change that channel! We’ll be back soon!