Live With Purpose By Breaking Out Of Your Self-Made Prison

Do you feel like you’re living in a prison sometimes…one that you built yourself?

You’re not alone. As a coach, and a mentor to coaches, I meet people every day who have created stories about their past – and then their future – based on feelings of shame, guilt, and self-doubt. I’ve also met people who hide away their gifts, keeping them under lock and key. They’re afraid to share their strengths and vision for fear of rejection.

You want to live with purpose – and help others do the same – but the boundaries you’ve created stop you from following through. It doesn’t have to be like that…

Let’s plan a jailbreak together…

Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.

Throughout your lifetime, change is going to happen. Sometimes you’ll choose the change…other times the change will choose you. Either way, you’re going to experience some discomfort. Your values will be challenged. Your knowledge will be tested. Your confidence will be shaken.

The change will be unsettling.

I want you to think of it this way, though: each change is an opportunity to learn and grow. So if the change is going to happen anyways, what path will you choose when it comes along?

Will you choose to retreat, or go forward, as you face the path in front of you…

How will you respond when you’re uncertain about what to do next…

Today never hands me the same thing twice and I believe that for most everyone else life is also a mixture of unsolved problems, ambiguous victories and vague defeat – with very few moments of clear peace. My struggle with today is worthwhile, but it is a struggle nonetheless and one I will never finish.

Hugh Prather – Notes to Myself

Embrace the uncertainty.

If you want to live with purpose, you have to embrace the uncertainty. All too often, our discomfort around admitting we don’t know exactly what to do in a given moment – especially as therapists and coaches – prevents us from being authentic. Hijacked by our amygdala, we go into “fight or flight” mode when we’re in uncharted territory and, most often, our responses do more to harm than good.

Give yourself permission to be uncertain about your next steps. It’s alright if you don’t have all the answers…whether you’re talking to a loved one or a client. The key is to seek out a committed listener who will let you process your own discomfort and uncertainty so that you’re free to listen to your spouse, your colleague, your coaching client with an open mind.

Remember, while it’s healthy to reveal your true self, choosing the right place, time and audience is so important. If you want to be your best self with your friends, family, peers, and clients, it’s imperative that you find someone who can help you navigate your own uncomfortable journeys.

Give yourself permission to struggle…and believe in your ability to overcome.

Strive to live purposefully, not perfectly. And never underestimate your ability to rebound from a challenge. It’s common for people – coaches and therapists in particular – to think they should have all the answers. When they don’t, a seed of doubt is planted and they come to believe there’s no recovering from a setback.

Your life struggles are not a life sentence. They’re a chance to step back, examine how you found yourself in prison…and discover you had access to the key all along. You just had to check in with a gatekeeper…

Every experience is a good experience…eventually. Seize the opportunity to learn something new about yourself, through inner reflection or from a gatekeeper – a coach, a mentor, a peer. And be patient. Sometimes the lessons we’re destined to learn take time to show themselves. Keep an open mind and an open heart.

It’s possible to be authentic and vulnerable while still being strong and reliable. Give yourself permission to embrace your perfect imperfections and live your life with purpose.

How do you break free from your inner prison? I’d love to hear about the ways you unlock the door to understanding and growth.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more that might help you live with purpose:

9 Ways To Create Peace In Your Life —​ Even When The World Is Pure Chaos
7 Ways to Get Out of Your Mind When Life is Stressing You Out
The Big Reason You’ve Gotta Show Your Dark Side in Order to Be Happy

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