Finding focus when it doesn't find you
To some people, the idea of getting some coaching seems like the thing to do when you have a specific goal you want to achieve, and you need some strategy or structure to get you there.
To others, going for coaching is more about finding that goal in the first place; maybe they are feeling lost and directionless, or even lacking in inspiration.
Although a lack of inspiration or a goal to strive for might sound like a bit of a ‘western problem’, it’s a different story when you are in that place yourself. If you have ever felt purposeless then you will know that it makes you question almost everything about yourself.
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- What do I stand for?
In short, this can become a bit of an existential issue.
So, how do we find our focus when we don’t know what to focus on?
I think this really comes down to knowing your values, what you care about, and of course, what you aren’t that passionate about too.
Did you ever have a careers day when you were at school? I remember going to a couple of these days where you were presented with various career options, and some well-meaning teachers tried to sell you on something that they thought you’d be good at.
But there are a couple of things wrong with that approach. Firstly, somebody else’s idea comes from outside of you, so it’s unlikely to speak to your dreams. And secondly, this idea of working within the scope of what your teacher says you are good at is not always the same as working in what you are passionate about.
Of course, you could get really lucky here. You could be great at numbers, passionate about the financial industry, and other people could nudge you towards that career path, but that’s probably the case for the minority of us.
Did your parents ever suggest a career path for you while you were getting ready to leave senior school? I’m sure most parents do this, and with the best of intentions. But the chances are their suggestions didn’t fill you with excitement. Perhaps it even left you feeling a bit empty?
Many of us struggle as adults too, and not just at career choices, but in choosing our direction in general. Our heads are so full of noise about what we ‘should’ be doing, based on our strengths and what’s practical, that we rarely get the headspace to really explore what our heart wants for us.
How do we know which way to go?
I think the thing that is holding us back, that inability to hear our inner voice over all the other noise, is the first thing to address. Stepping away from the chatter of what others think we should do, or what our previous skills and experience say is sensible, and just really reconnecting with ourselves.
Just because we were the star of the high school cross country team doesn’t mean we should become a professional runner or a PE teacher.
Knowing what we want for ourselves right now and in our future may be about the unexplored, rather than our previous experience.
Getting to know your values is a wonderful place to start. There are many articles on values and how to find them here on the Life Coach Directory, or on a general Google search, as it’s a very well-loved topic in the coaching world for exactly this reason. Knowing what makes you tick and what you truly care about is key to making great decisions for yourself.
Gaining an understanding of your values will give you insight into where to focus your energy. This, in turn, will give you focus and inspiration in a totally organic way without having to push yourself into working on something new. When your values lead you to your passion, you will feel a renewed energy and a desire to work towards a new goal that reveals itself to you.
Relax, trust the process of getting to know yourself, and enjoy your new passion, sense of purpose and focus.