Since childhood, we often follow patterns that society deems optimal for the average person to fit in, be productive, and not disturb others too much.
Our parents or guardians must imprint values such as a deep sense of self-worth, confidence, kindness, compassion, and other character traits that provide solid ground to build on.
These values can only be imprinted by the fact that those closest to us live these values, at least to some degree and based on that effectively communicate them through words and actions during our childhood.
When this does not happen, we often subconsciously turn to broader society for help. It is, however, rare that these underlying qualities are broadly and quickly found in our institutions.
Our goals and aspirations are then just less potent versions of what we are seeking deep within.
So how can we really understand what is ours at the core and what is just someone else’s idea we adopted at the expense of our own self-expression?
Practice giving yourself permission
We can start exploring layers beyond the surface by allowing ourselves to ask what it is that we want. Giving ourselves permission to feel and think however we want seems so explicit and obvious, but due to the structures we live in, it is often not even considered.
This might sound strange. Why should I do this in the first place? Of course, I have permission to do whatever I want! I believe that is often not the case, unfortunately, it all kinds of ideologies and belief systems we gathered throughout the years do not allow us to truly lose the chains of certain mindsets.
Giving ourselves explicit permission and practising curiosity may lead to minor breakthroughs every day, which in turn will lead to positive changes in the long term.
Regain the playful spirit
Another great way to explore is through a sense of playfulness and joy. When did we feel most joyful in our lives? What were the happiest moments we experienced?
Those are great questions which can lead us in the right direction when we feel lost or unmotivated.
This might be beneficial, especially for high achievers or ambitious people. The result-driven mindset often completely blinds them from other angles or possibilities life and work can be approached.
Playful spirit is how the context between the lines of everyday life can be rediscovered. The outcome is just to have constructive fun, bonding, be curious, go to adventure…
If you take the results of the two experiments above, is your goal still resonating with us? Does it spark joy? If you notice there is a significant shift and your previous aspirations suddenly seem a bit bleaker, it most likely means, there is time to re-evaluate the direction you are going.
Sometimes it might just be a different approach to the same situation or activity, other times it’s a major shift which will require time and patience to fully execute and thrive.
If we take the results of our two experiments above, is our goal still resonating with us? Does it spark joy?