I work with many clients who are frustrated with a lack of fulfillment in their life, whether it is in their personal or professional life. For some clients, they are hoping to find clarity of what their passions are, and then to implement them in their personal, professional, or for some lucky people, like myself, they are able to implement them in both. As a clinical therapist, I have always been passionate about connecting to people and helping them find tools to find more fulfillment in life.
Some clients are able to identify their passions faster than others, and that is okay! I gently remind clients they are not alone, that many people may feel stuck when it comes to finding their passions. I recently read an article from Psychology Today that touched on this very topic, “Five Steps to Finding your Passion” by author Dr. Susan Biali, MD.
Below are the 5 steps Dr. Biali discusses in her article.
- What are your strengths? Dr. Biali discusses it can be incredibly important to reflect on what your strengths are. Through this reflection exercise, it allows you to think of a list of things you are good at, and maybe you’re naturally good it those things because you find joy in them. Sometimes, there are also things people like to do, but they don’t think they are good at them. Maybe that is through their own self-doubt. It can be helpful to think of compliments you have received from people that you might have dismissed. Maybe you might even need to “give yourself permission” to embrace something you truly enjoy. Passions don’t need to qualify as passions only if you’re good at them, make money from them, but they are simply things you enjoy.
- What makes you jealous? While jealousy is not a typical emotion that people find to be useful, when uncovering your passions, it might be what gets you one step closer to some clarity on your passion exploration. Maybe you are jealous because you wish you had things in their career that you feel is lacking in yours.
- Childhood memories. It can also be helpful to think back to when you were a little kid and what you enjoyed then. So many adults ask little kids, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This question can provide some of the most genuine to hilarious responses. I have heard children say anywhere from a social worker, doctor, astronaut, to ice cream taster and many other responses. The truth about children is that they are not worried about what people may think about their career ideas/passions. They speak the truth about what they truly like to do. Maybe adults can learn some valuable lessons from children, or maybe as adults, they can learn a lot about themselves by looking at their younger self. Maybe as a child you loved animals, so maybe that means volunteering at the local animal shelter. Maybe you loved singing, so that might mean joining a local choir.
- What do you not like stopping? What do you love doing so much that the last time you had to stop in the middle of it, you then became frustrated? Maybe that was a dance class that you felt bummed at the end of the session because you were just starting to learn some new dance moves. Or maybe that was a spin class that at the very end, while you might nearly be out of breath, you were sad leaving because you were having so much fun. Yes, whatever that activity is, it is a passion.
- Passion searching should be fun! Make sure to remind yourself that searching for your passions should be a fun experience, not one that you are adding more pressure on yourself. Think of it as a fun adventure when exploring your passions, and don’t feel the need to put a time frame on how quickly it will be for you to find your passions. At the end of the day, finding your passion is a process that is worth thoughtful exploration, which sometimes takes longer than you may think, and that is okay!
If you are currently struggling with searching for your passions it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.