How I'm Uncovering My Passions by Uncovering Myself
It wasn’t until I graduated college and stepped into “adulthood” that I realized maybe I didn’t really know myself at all. Up until then I’d be on auto-pilot so to speak. There was always a club to join, an extracurricular to do, a job to work, classes to study for. My schedule filled itself and while I technically was doing stuff I liked, it didn’t really leave room to uncover the why behind it all.
Sometimes your passions just fall into your lap. You take a class and realize how much the subject intrigues you. You try a new sport and it becomes your thing. Other times it takes a concerted effort to figure out what you’re passionate about. And that’s okay. In the beginning, I wondered how I’d been the person who’s spent the most time with myself, yet knows the least and it became the center of my focus. I still remember the intense blanket of embarrassment I felt every time someone asked me what I liked to do for fun. They don’t really ask you that in college, but it seems that when work is the only thing on your slate, hobbies become more important.
So where did it all change? What am I doing to figure out where my passions lie?
The moment I decided to start living more intentionally, it’s like a spotlight turned on and started glaring on all of the dark spots in my like that I was creating to my detriment. When you’re wafting around aimlessly, figuring it out as you go, it’s easy to just do what feels, good or worse...normal. However, once you begin to put thought into even your small day to day actions, you begin to realize that every choice matters. Every. Single. Choice.
The commitment to being intentional in that way creates a whole new standard over your life and a whole new realm of boundaries for the people who surround you. Here’s an Instagram quote from @momentaryhappiness that sums it up perfectly:
“Don’t settle for nice, for pleasant, for familiar. Keep looking until you find something that really moves you, that resonates with your core. And I mean this for people, for interests, for hobbies, for your possessions, clothes, musics, books, art. Everything. Curate every aspect of your life, as much as you can. It’s in the things that deeply inspire us that we find ourselves. Surround yourself with truth and you’ll have built yourself a heaven.”
Everyone wants the secret to purpose, to identity. And sometimes the key is this:
You discover who you are by uncovering what you’re not.
You discover who you are by uncovering what you're not.
Trial and error is the only way you figure out what works and what doesn’t. We’re all looking for this deep philosophical answer and it can really be as simple as trial and error with a splash of intentionality. I’m discovering my passions by uncovering myself, and figuring out what I don’t like.
Here are the three things that are keeping you from doing the same:
Your Scarcity Mindset
One of this month’s #GutCheck Wednesday topics was my own scarcity mindset. I talked about how thinking you already don’t have enough or worse, aren’t enough, translates into how you’re taking action into your life. Scarcity mindset creates this kind of obsession and complacency all at once. There will never be enough so you’re already defeated. The prospect of figuring out something as epic (and deep) as who you are can stop anyone right in their tracks. Remember that you’ll spend your whole life evolving and learning yourself. It’s a task you spend your whole life working at. Start now and welcome to the rest of your life.
Your Yes Mentality
The first way to figure out what you don’t like is to start actually saying no to those things. A lot of these things sound basic af. They also are not prophetic. We’ve heard them time and time again. Do this for me though: tomorrow make a conscience effort to keep track of all the things you’re saying yes to at the request of other people. Each time you do, make a mental note of whether or not it’s something you actually a) want to do or b) have the bandwidth to do. The next day, do the same activity, but this time include the things you’re saying yes to at your own request. After 48 hours you’ll have a better idea of all the extra (non-mandatory) things you’re cultivating into your life that you don’t even like.
READ: The Power of Saying No
Everyone talks about how fear will keep you from going after the things you want. It’s true, but in this case I’m talking about a very specific kind of fear. You know when you see like, a bomb outfit, and then you talk yourself out of it because “I could never pull that off”. That’s the fear I’m talking about. It’s the kind where your heart soars at the thought of something and then you talk yourself out of it because deep down you don’t want to be disappointed later. That fear is keeping you from uncovering your true self. Don’t count yourself out, ever.
READ: On Confidence