You have to find out who you are and you have to turn that understanding into your unique purpose.
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton
Do you wonder why you are here or what your purpose may be? Do you look around and think you just know you should be doing something else?
At some point, most of us struggle to be sure we are on the right path. The more we understand our uniquenesses – the qualities and abilities that make up our peculiar mark in this world – the more certain we can be on our purpose here.
I’ve almost always been a trouble maker, or that’s what the principal told me when I arrived for my first day at the high school. I like to think I was always a giant fighter – looking out for the little guy when he/she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) look out for themselves.
I also have always been an encourager. I have a gift for finding the positives and wanted to share the hope and encouragement with all I encountered. Ironically, this very supportive attitude is what got me kicked out of a funeral home – but that is a story for another day.
Today we are talking about me – or rather we are talking about you and how you can find your uniqueness and live it out in purpose and on purpose. And we are doing that by sharing a little bit about me.
When you are a giant seeker and an encourager by nature, it can be tough finding a way to market your unique skill set. I struggled to define my personal brand and without that focus, I struggled to build my profession around my passion for encouragement. “Who are you?” is a fundamental question to answer so you can build your purpose and live it out.
That’s when THEY arrived. You’ve met the great THEY. They are the ones to tell you how you have to do it or how you have to be. THEY dictate all the rules and change those very rules as THEY deem necessary.
In other words, you can’t win playing the game THEY demand because THEY don’t let others win. This is why you need to play your game.
I listened to what THEY said I had to do and had to be. I changed my website. I changed the voice of my writing. I changed everything. With all of those changes, I still didn’t understand my brand. Only now I was confused and miserable.
After several years spinning my wheels in the mud, I had an “aha” moment that changed everything – or at least it began to shift the tide of everything.
As I sat at a table introducing myself to a new group, I mentioned how I was a natural-born encourager and also mentioned that I loved wordplay and snarkiness.
The guy directly across from me scowled at what I said. “I don’t understand. Encouragement and snarkiness? It’s like trying to imagine a snarky rainbow.”
“That’s it.” I cried! “I’m a snarky rainbow.”
With this new battle cry, I rebuilt my website and started working back through old posts to include my unique snarky rainbow voice. I realized I had allowed the rules of THEY to silence that part of me and without that part of me, I could never be whole.
Knowing your uniquenesses will help you understand the you of who you are (your true self) and with that knowledge, you will be able to understand and live your purpose.
Finding Your True Self
Your true self is the uncompromisingly unique qualities that make up your personality, skills, abilities, interests, gifts, talents, and essence of you.
Your true self is an awareness of what matters most to you – the values and vision you have for your life.
Your true self is what you feel good about and what makes you happy.
Your true self is the truth of who you are without the limitations of the definitions others have tried to impose.
How do I Find My Identity? 7 Tips
1. Determine what you love
Take time to reflect on the things you love most to do and the ways you love most to be. In my journey to releasing the snarky rainbow, I had to embrace the truth that encouragement and laughter fuel me more than anything else.
What fuels you most?
2. Review how you stand out
Think about how and where you stand out. It’s not about being prideful, but about recognizing and embracing your strengths? Are you unsure of your stand-out qualities? Consider what people always ask you to do. That’s a good place to start. Also, reach out to people you trust and ask them where they think you stand out.
3. Imagine your perfect day
Release your imagination to picture the perfect day. See the moment when you reach your place of contented fulfillment. What will you be doing? Where will you be doing it? Who will be with you? Write your image in as much detail as you can form.
4. Make a list of your skills, education, and abilities
Know what you know because what you know makes you different. Consider ranking what you know good, better, and best. Highlight the things you enjoy (and don’t just have the knowledge). Lots of people can do math, but not everyone enjoys it.
5. Look for ways these lists coincide
Read over your lists and descriptions. Look for areas where they cross, collide, or run parallel. Your unique design and purpose will be something you can do, you are good at doing, and that you enjoy doing.
6. Plot a path to live your uniqueness
Begin planning a way to combine these elements into a profession. The perfect job will be one that highlights your unique skills and honors (and helps to grow up) the purpose of you.
7. Start going one little bit at a time.
It doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t get discouraged when you are living your purpose to the fullest as soon as you define it. You reach your purpose life one step at a time. Keep stepping and you will get there.
Is On Purpose Correct?
You are designed on purpose and for a purpose. The world screams of the need to confirm. You were made to stand out and be uniquely you.
On purpose is not only correct, it is the only way you can live out your design.
Get to know you. Understand how you are different – not necessarily better or best but just unique in your peculiar mix of it all. Embrace the design of you.
When you find out who you are and begin to walk it out, you will discover purpose isn’t too far behind.
Do you know you?
Challenge: Follow the first four steps above. Use a few days to continue to add to the list and to review the existing lists to begin to see the big picture of you.
We encourage the uniqueness of you!
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And if you missed last week’s WPprosper article, catch up now:
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Kathryn Lang believes it is simple, and as an award-winning author and natural-born hopesmith, she shares tips on how to find your why, pursue your purpose, and live a bold, intentional life – always with a dash of twisted encouragement.