I just finished another week of working with my individual clients. Yet again, the number one theme that arises for people is being fearful of what others think. This fear is so powerful it can make you live an inauthentic life, refrain from pursuing your dreams, or remain in a dissatisfying or abusive relationships.
When people ask me if they could focus on only one thing what would I recommend, my answer is always the same: overcome shame. Shame seems to be at the root of so many of our issues. If it is not the primary cause, it is typically associated at least. The fear of what others think is the biggest block to success and fulfillment.
Walking your path requires conquering shame
At times, the experience of shame is front and center in a person's awareness. Other times, it is insidious and concealed. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has to do battle with this foe. This is why when we see someone taking the risk to be vulnerable and expose their shame, we are so moved and inspired.
No matter what your path, it will require conquering shame to walk it. I would suggest either beginning with working on shame, or at least doing it simultaneously as you are identifying your passion and purpose.
Blocks to discovering your purpose
The other key on the road to success necessitates discovering your unique gift and destiny. This can be a more complex process than people give it credit for. I was working with someone yesterday who was struggling to identify what direction their life should take. Moreover, they were experiencing depressive symptoms and social anxiety.
After exploring with them for a period of time, it became apparent they had a history of suppressing their emotions due to a lack of emotional response from their parents throughout their childhood and adolescence. This further resulted in having to disconnect from parts of their authentic self.
Emotions are the key to discovering your passion
Your emotions provide information and guidance in relation to what is happening in the world around you and within you. When you lack this information, you cannot identify what you truly love or have the necessary energy to pursue it. Resolving this issue requires increasing your ability to access and use your full range of core emotions, as well as reintegrating all parts of yourself.
Overcoming shame and reconnecting emotionally with yourself are the two crucial elements in discovering your unique path and being able to follow it. If you concentrate on these two main aspects, it will lead to obtaining a life of excitement, joy, and fulfillment.
Don't allow others to dictate your life direction. Everyone gets their own card to play. Surround yourself with those who are pursuing their own destiny and encourage yours. You are the only one that ultimately knows what's right for you. Have the courage to live authentically. The world is waiting for you to fulfill your calling. Start walking!
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.