We Need You: How to Figure Out Your Place in the World

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Why does everyone have their life figured out except for me?”Trying to have a constructive conversation, a well-meaning person says to you, “Just follow your bliss.”You immediately want to punch that person in the face. If you knew what your bliss was, you would not be having this conversation. And, yet, bliss is now the gold standard in job satisfaction. As if anything less must be your own fault.

You know you can work hard. In fact, you love to work hard. You’re bored and frustrated so the thought of feeling uncomfortable is actually a welcome one if it means getting out of this rut. There simply has to be more. You would love to follow your dreams, if only you knew where they were.

So what if you actually were born with… something. And what if you’re just looking for it in the wrong place? This is for anyone who thinks they missed their chance. It’s not too late to figure this out and, even better, to do something about it.

Here are three ways to help you figure out something you want when “bliss” is not immediately available:

1 // FOLLOW YOUR JEALOUSY

We are often taught that jealousy is a bad thing. A sin, even. But, what if jealousy was just a super easy way to figure out what you want? What if it was a straight line to identifying something you would like to bring into your life? Jealous of your friend’s job? Maybe you want a similar gig. Wish you had your friend’s boyfriend? Maybe it’s time to elevate your standards in relationships.

Instead of wasting time wishing you weren’t jealous or trying to hide it, use it. Treat your jealousy like a roadmap, showing you exactly where you want to go. We should be grateful for everything we have, and we should also want more. We are often taught these things are mutually exclusive. I am here to tell you they are not.

2 // WHAT ARE YOUR SECRETS?

For a long time, I never told people I wanted to write. So I didn’t write. And then when I started, people were like, “you’re a writer?! That’s so weird.” And then I felt weird and judged because they didn’t immediately get and support it. And to be fair, how could they? People who thought they knew me well and were very close to me had never heard this desire. It was vulnerable for me, but it was also a little hurtful for them. They just wanted to be included.

Looking at your secrets (even the little ones) can be scary, but it’s a fertile area for identifying something you might want. First, it usually means it’s something important because you’re spending time and energy protecting it. And, second, when you want something you, eventually, have to declare it and put it out into the world. That can be scary and hard, but you are brave and resilient. Plus once people know, they tend to be supportive. If not, it’s because they’re jealous (see above).

3 // WHAT DO YOU HATE THE LEAST?

You will not find false cheeriness here. You will not find a constant tickertape reminding you to “stay positive!” We all have feelings and emotions and those emotions are here to teach us things. There are no positive and negative emotions; there are no emotions that are more valuable than others. They are all here to teach us something, and they all get a seat at the table. The darkest parts of ourselves have as much to teach us as the light. So, if you find yourself with a complete absence of positive emotion, please do not worry.

What is the one thing in your life you hate the least? Your best friend? Your new mascara? Your Netflix account? Why does this thing make it to the top of your list? What is the physical sensation that shows up in your body when you think about it? Now, remember that physical sensation and name it something, i.e. “Fluttery chest feeling”, “Gold sparkly feeling”. Look for other areas in your life where anything even resembling those physical feelings show up. Bring as many of those activities, people, things into your life as possible. As you start doing this, notice any shifts that start to take place.

And, just remember, the world cannot run on doctors and lawyers alone. We need all types of people with all types of gifts. Please don’t be a marketing associate when you want to be a science teacher. Please don’t be a science teacher when you want to run a health food store. Please don’t run a health food store when you want to make sure everyone has access to affordable health care. You get the drift.

Maybe you’ve been raised to believe your specific gifts aren’t valuable, but remember this: you can spend you’re whole life trying to be a peach, but if you’re an apple, you will miss how beautiful and tasty and needed you are. We need both peaches and apples. You will think something is wrong with you, and there’s nothing wrong with you. We need passionate people to be all in on who they are, so we can not only benefit from their gifts, but also to set an example for others who might still need permission to also be apples. So please, please, please – be an apple.

Originally published here: http://www.ourbodybook.com/we-need-you-how-to-figure-out-your-place-in-the-world/