How to Find Your Passion - Christine Kane

 

“…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.

First step?

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.

It’s not.

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.”

Oh?

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?

Bottom line:

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.

Quit Settling

Wanna hit the passion-finding fast-track?

Well, the first place to start is to notice where you settle for stuff in your life.

Why?

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!

26 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • maree gately

    i recently quit my job – not the smartest move, some might say…i have been struggling with ‘finding my passion’ – so i have printed off a few of your blogs for inspiration. i can relate to the ‘pressure’ trying to find your passion has, if you let it …today i started to finish a project and my sewing machine kept sewing backwards…then i tried to make a velvet rose which at first attempt looked crap so i gave up…then i thought about putting some collage onto tees to make money…then worried myself about copyright infringement. i was so exhausted and stressed i took a nanna nap (as i call it) … i am 41 …not 80! thank you so so much, i am sure i was meant to find this site today…sigh of relief! p.s. i totally hear you about the kind of people you surround yourself with…they can suck the life out of you.

  • Alease Michelle

    I totally agree with you Christine about finding your passion can cause “high pressure” and because of this I believe others become comfortable. The one thing I notice as was finding my passion ( age 28) that most of my passion developing was happening in my childhood. My mom would often say to me ” Are you sure you’re my child?” As a child I had a tendency (still do) of doing my own thing my own way without asking permission.
    But somewhere after highschool and attending college – I lost it or better yet just forgot to not ask for permission. After college and job hopping – i quickly sought out resources to help me find my mojo. I did and I am working that passion now! (I am an art & design college professor and creative enterpreneur )
    My point is…. passion is inside of us the entire time – we just gotta turn off the other voices that are telling us that we can’t, shouldn’t and won’t make it!
    Thanks for reminding me of why I love my life soo much. Alease

  • Janet (not the one in your article!)

    Thank you for writing this article (and I look forward to the next). I have been quietly following your blog for awhile now. I find your clarity of thought very inspiring and I would love to sign up to one of your programs, but I have a problem. What exactly could I Uplevel? What IS my passion?

    As you say it is sometimes difficult to know what you like if you have spent years settling for what life gives you. In an exercise to try to reawaken by ‘desire’ muscle I’ve set myself a task of each day writing down what I would like to do if I had a free choice and was generally very rich and powerful. And strangely enough all I can think of is ‘having a nice bowl of soup’, or ‘buying those boots I saw in that magazine’, or ‘have a facial’. It’s surprising and disappointing that even in the fantasy world those negative ego voices you mention are still strong enough to confine my passion to a bowl of soup.

    Now if you were to run an ‘Uplevel Your Woefully Low Expectations’ program I’d sign up tomorrow!

  • Kathy Troidle Jackson

    She’s back! with a post to knock our socks off. Thanks Christine for once again hitting the nail on the head. My word of the year is already chosen. It is RELEASE. Release from the things holding me back. Release from a faulty world view that I can’t do my day job AND write (my passion). Release from excuses why not to get back on the treadmill and healthier eating plan. Release from anything holding me back from fully stepping into my power. Release from worrying about the future so that I can focus on the present and all the wonderful things that are already working in my life. Release from crappy thoughts from the ego that tell me I have no business trying to write children’s books or teach haiku. After an amazing year of transition at work and life, I am living in the moment and that is where passion lives.

  • Linda Matthews

    That’s a great article Christine! Brings to mind this quotation
    “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
    It’s all about finding the right perspective in order to see things differently; this often brings clarity and a new understanding. Looking forward to the next installment!

  • Laura

    Wow. FINALLY the cat came home. Thanks for an outstanding article. An aside on the “job in cubicle” my husband, for whom English is his 2nd or 3rd language, calls cubicles “boxes”. I sure know I don’t want to spend any time working in a box. Life is short! Hugs from Charleston.

  • Biz

    “First off, coaching is probably NOT your passion – even if you love coaching! Interaction, transformation, shaping lives – those probably ARE your passion.”

    That is SOOOOO it! Am I passionate about coaching? Not so much – am I passionate when someone tells me that I have helped them help themselves to create positive life changes, HECK YEAH! Being there, watching a person grow, helping them figure it out, watching them get the AH-HA’s, that is my passion.

    Well worth waiting for, and can’t wait for the next installment.

  • Suzie Cheel

    Hi Christine,
    Great post and I love the graphic – which has me questioning how many passions and which one to follow to truly make my heart sing
    So often we go down the path that we think we should follow and often will make others feel good and then find that one is not moving forward maybe as fast as we would like- so sometimes to be kinder to ourselves we need to go and sit in stillness and be truly honest with ourselves about what will make our hearts sing. When we do this we can move forward and create the momentum that will propel us to success.
    You have inspired me to write a post on this as I have discovered that one of my real passions I have not been sharing with the world:)
    Now I am off to the beach as i got up for the call with you, to find it is later
    namaste
    Suzie

  • Elena

    I am so happy to see this post. I’ve seen your Upload seminars being advertised and thought the same; can’t attend until I know what I’m passionate about. Thanks for this.

  • Claudia

    I love, LOVE, love this take on finding your passion!…It really was an eye-opener of sorts– to be gentler with finding your passion, to tease it out and not put too much pressure, rather than stalking it and yelling out for it to come out of its hiding place!

    Just a short while ago I made huge life changes, which included every aspect of my life…and then went out in search of my next passion, and was more than a little shocked and afraid when it wouldn’t come out to play with me. Where is my next passion, WHERE is my passion!!!!

    “start with delight” …just made me smile, because it reminded me not to be so damn passionate about finding passion!! The thing is, I’m NEVER about settling for things, and always about taking the chance…but you just reminded me about being patient and gentle with myself also….Thank-you!!!!

    I am so happy I found your blog- I’m REALLY looking forwards to checking it out further.***

  • julie doane roberts

    christine ~
    i think your point about starting with delight is excellent. searching for your “one absolute true passion” creates pressure and suggests there is only one correct answer to find – whereas delight is about joy and positive experiences and exploring and loving and losing oneself in moments of bliss. no pressure there – quite the opposite, actually!

    i stopped in the middle of reading your post to look around my room to find what i don’t absolutely love in terms of my stuff – i love all of it! i am surrounded by my art, each piece sings to me of my deep soulful life, i love my sunny office and my precious dog who is currently curled up and sleeping in her bed under my desk. what a happy realization!

    thanks for not just this post, but all of them. i have learned a lot from what you’ve written and i’m really grateful for how you share your journey with us.

    thank you SO much.
    ~ julie

  • Noreen

    Darn, I was waiting for “it” to fall out of the sky and hit me on the head! Back to decluttering the junk in my house.

  • Disha

    OMG Christine.. This IS EXACTLY what I needed to read today.. 🙂 You made my day..

    Thank you Thank you Thank you
    Lots of love

  • Peter

    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

    “If the eye is unobstructed, it results in sight; if the ear is unobstructed, the result is hearing; if the nose is unobstructed, the result is a sense of smell; if the mouth is unobstructed, the result is a sense of taste; if the mind is unobstructed, the result is wisdom. If the heart is unobstructed, the result is love.” – Anthony de Mello

    • Christine Kane

      LOVE that Rumi quote Peter. Thanks for the great addition!

  • patijo

    As I read through your post, I kept getting the sense that it was about “doing” relative to “doing a job that was a person’s passion.” When I think about passion, though, the strongest thing that comes to my mind are the times I’ve said, “the happiest time I’ve had on this Earth was when I was sailing.” Now, I don’t envision becoming a sailor, but I do envision living my life such that I can take time for that (choosing where I live as well).

    As for doing, I sense that I’m being pulled to do something I’m passionate about. You’re right, Christine, I don’t know if I’ll be good at it, or if I’ll succeed. I do know, however, that if I don’t at least try, I will feel like I’ve walked away. I know that, at least, I want to try. Thanks for giving us the space to think through our thoughts. You and your readers/writers always inspire. patijo

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Patijo!

      I totally get the sailing thing. There was a point when I realized how much I LOVED making people laugh during my shows – with funny stories, etc. But that doesn’t mean I want to be a comedian. It’s just part of the stuff I love – and so I always make sure to integrate that element into anything I create. Sounds like it’s the same thing with you and sailing!

  • Rebecca Morquecho

    AMEN! I randomly came across this and it’s so fitting right now. Thanks 🙂

  • Stacey

    Pretty cool how this brings together so many of those previous posts! This feels like one to just sit with for a while. I’ve got multiple directions pulling on me and am trying to make sure that I pick for the right reasons, and not because I’m ‘settling’ or afraid to get uncomfortable and adventure into the unknown, or unwilling to be patient and take the time it takes to get clarity. There are some GREAT reminders in here… Interesting how you can really enjoy something and not really ‘get’ why until you take these steps. Some roots, good and bad, are locked up so tight, it boggles my mind to think of those that have been filtering everything all along and I wasn’t even remotely consious of it. Timing couldn’t be better!

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Stacey!

      And yea, sometimes I recognize that taking the action itself is so huge – if, for no other reason than it moves you out of the mental stagnation! That’s how I’ve continued to stay connected to my own passion is to keep moving consciously forward!

  • Tim