Welcome to my first blog series: on passion.
First a disclaimer:
- You can live a perfectly fine life without ever clearly defining your passions.
- You don’t have to like or use the word “passion.” I am using it as a succinct and understood way to talk about awareness, interest, purpose, and growth.
- It is more dangerous to blindly define your passions under pressure than it is to keep seeking and learning.
Finding your passions following them with awareness, courage, and a sustained interest in personal evolution will most likely give you a deeper sense of purpose. This leads to more confidence, excitement, acceptance, and inner peace.
That’s the goal. Right?
My first race ever was a half marathon in April of 2007. I trained all winter leading up to it, either alone in the dark or on the gym treadmill. My husband showed his support for my new goals by buying me an iPod and blue UA leggings (that I finally threw away last year). I had fallen in love and looked forward to each training run.
I arrived to the race site electric with excitement, like a kid on Christmas. I attended and ran the race completely alone. No cheering section and no fancy picture to post on social media. But, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. I smiled and chatted with strangers. The miles flew by. Could I have pushed myself harder? Maybe. But I didn’t and don’t care. Ironically it was my 13.1 mile PR for many years.
This memory makes me smile. Okay, that’s holding back a bit. It makes me well up with tears of joy. There is nothing like your first.
I had no idea at that time that motivating others as a triathlon and health coach would be my life’s work. I learned that I like running and enjoy racing. I love inspiring others and have a strong interest fitness/health/wellness. So, I tried something that was interesting to me. It got me started on my path to trying many more interesting things— some that stuck, some that didn’t. It became my path of searching for, finding, and living my passions. The journey has been the joy, not just the outcome.
If you enjoy your hobbies but didn’t or don’t feel like I did, don’t be discouraged. Don’t let the search for perfection stop you from trying anything. If you have no interest in racing then I encourage you to seek out other new opportunities and challenges. You shouldn’t expect there to be initial fireworks- just let the process unfold. Have a good idea as to why you are choosing to tackle your specific goals. And then keep trying things.
Do you feel passion-less but have no idea what to try?
To get started first identify your core values.
Core values are guiding principles that help dictate your behaviors. They are not just beliefs you talk about, but those you truly strive to embody.
Some tips on finding your core values:
- Take an online inventory or assessment. Here are a couple options: https://www.valuescentre.com/tools-assessments/pva/ or https://personalvalu.es/.
- Think about five people who you admire or inspire you. Write down their values.
- Consider past joyful and awful experiences in life. This can help lead you to what you care about most.
- Be honest and open with yourself. Don’t judge your values or try to hide from them or them from others. Be YOU.
- Stay aware. Your values may shift throughout your life. Be ready and willing to reassess so that you stay on the right path toward your passions and purpose.
After you become more aware consider if you are setting goals that align with your values. Start incrementally. Over time shift further away from safe and more toward going all in on a goal to see if it really interests you or is something you are passionate about. Let things go off balance. Go forth without fear. Make sure you have a concrete reason that you can honor- a WHY.
My core values currently include love, health, compassion, honesty, peace, and authenticity. In the past fun, excitement, appearance, control, and accepting new challenges would have been more important to me. In the future, something else might rise to the top, causing me to re-evaluate my passions and pivot from my current path.
But, I know that I am where I want and need to be right now. Not out of duty or to please anyone else. I honor my values and they continue to lead me to living out my passions.
I hope this motivates you too.
Next week I will coach you through letting go of fear while having patience for your process. In the meantime, find your core values. Get ready to try some new things.
Know you. Accept you. Trust you. Allow yourself to get on the path to realizing your dreams.