How to Find Your Own Path in Life
Uncover your true calling and find your own path in life. Choosing your own path in life is an amazing process if you are open to taking steps towards it in a spirit of curiosity and trust in yourself.
One of the things that can keep you feeling stuck in life is not having any idea what your own path in life should look like.
It may seem like others have a discovered their calling or passion and you may wonder, “How do I find my own path in life?”
I’ve worked with thousands of people trying to figure out their own unique paths in life, so I totally get how frustrating it can be finding the right path in life.
April 2021 Update: I think I actually wrote this post back in 2016 and then updated it in 2019. I believe more than ever that you can use this process to find your path and purpose in life. By really adhering to these tips, I’ve built a career of being ME.
My blog will reach about a million people this year and I am building a life-coaching business so I can help women who want deeper work.
The main thing to remember is that our path, our journey, our career, our creative venture, or any other “thing we need to do,” doesn’t always make itself easily known to many of us. Yet, it is always right there in our lives.
I can’t tell you how many adults of ALL ages have said to me, “I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up?” And this even included people in successful careers!
Because, unfortunately, not knowing exactly where were are heading can keep us feeling stuck quite firmly where we are.
The truth is that you get unstuck by taking some action. But it doesn’t have to be big scary action. You can start as small as you want.
My own path started with tiny small steps that I wrote about in an early post called How to Get Unstuck in Life. I went from being a chubby unwanted wife, to having a glamorous life…just kidding on the glamorous part.
I did, go from being devastated to creating a life I love and that I am proud of. And actually, sometimes I even feel glamorous!
Tips for Finding Your Own Path in Life
This post describes common ways people keep themselves from finding their own path. For many of you, your passion wasn’t something your were born knowing. It’s not enough just to know what’s blocking you.
So for every block to finding your path, I’ve also included tips for actually finding your own path in life.
You are waiting for the big idea!
Nobody goes around saying, “Hey, I want to come up with a small, insignificant, crappy idea!”
No one. So we all want to have great ideas. But waiting for THE Big idea to come, can really keep you stuck.
Our small, poorly formed ideas scare us. We want to make sure we don’t waste any time! What if our idea doesn’t work? Or worse, what if we think it’s just so small and inconsequential that we aren’t willing to work with it.
Waiting for the right or big idea can eat up way more time than exploring smaller undeveloped ideas. Because unless we work through the smaller ideas, the big idea can’t always get through.
Tip to find your own path in life:
Don’t wait for it. Take the ideas you do have and work through them no matter how tiny or inconsequential they seem.
Clearing the little ideas out of your mental queue will allow bigger ideas to come through. By the time they start making themselves known to you, you will have developed the ability to develop them as well.
You are gathering too much information!
That thing, that you think you should be doing–there are so many different ways of doing it.
Google anything and you’ll get hundreds if not thousands of results. Articles and videos abound. With so many ways to do something; it can be almost impossible to figure out the best way of doing anything.
For example, I sometimes see new bloggers asking for tips when getting started. Google “blogging tips” and over 20 Million results come up. Talk about information overload!
Tip to find your own path in life:
You have to narrow your focus.
I’m a big believer in following your intuition and looking for quality content to provide direction. Explore a few ways of doing something and pick one. Or find one mentor and try it their way.
You may not get it right the first time. Or you might. Just make the best decision you can with the information you have. Adjust as needed.
Don’t take in too much information at a time. In working with a blogging coach, I didn’t try to do everything at once.
I worked in stages and got comfortable with what I was trying to learn at any given time. As you get competent in one area, you will naturally be ready to tackle another area.
Try not to let all the stuff out there you don’t know, intimidate you.
Get started with something doable, do it, and then add on.
You don’t want to be a beginner!
Nobody wants to be a beginner. However, you have to start where you have to start. You will get unstuck gradually. As you explore, learn, and do more, you will begin to see things you couldn’t have seen or understand when you began.
Being a beginner can be tough. Yet, it can be the most awesome time. During that time, it’s actually OKAY to not know everything. You get to ask all the questions you want. You don’t have to pretend that you are an expert.
Tip to find your own path in life:
Embrace being a beginner. The quickest way through it is to start working your way through it.
When I was a new college advisor, I hated being new. I would have to look so many things up. I would have to go ask other advisors questions. I would sometimes have to admit, that I was NEW. I made mistakes. Fun times!
I’ve gone through being a beginner as a waitress, a travel agent, a counselor, a program director, and a blogger.
Of course in a new job or position we have no choice. For all the things I’ve actually done—I’ve probably avoided ten times as many because I didn’t want to be a beginner. Do I have regrets? Heck yes!
Remember how you went from beginner to expert in the jobs you’ve had. You do have the ability to learn something new and become good at it. You’ve done it so many times. Also think about things you’ve previously avoided and the regrets you may have. Don’t pile up any more regrets about things you wished you’d done.
You are afraid to take action
Wishing, hoping, and dreaming are great! I do these things all the time. Everything we want starts in our imagination. We feel things in our hearts that we long to do.
And then we feel fear. We tell ourselves all kinds of reasons about why this thing that we want to do could go horribly wrong.
These inner nudges to do something are inner nudges towards your path. Or if you are on your path, they are gently pushing you further along.
Your brain doesn’t recognize this. Your brain tells you that this is just too scary and should be avoided.
Tips for taking action
You need to make some effort, to make any progress. Wishing, visualizing, and reading will help but action drives progress.
And the action does not have to be perfect or huge. It does however have to be consistent and significant enough to make magic happen.
You have to learn to trust your own process.
Forget about doing anything perfectly and concentrate on the doing. Mistakes and goofs are how we learn and how we progress.
Don’t you just love when you get to the end of a movie and they include a segment of bloopers. Remember, those bloopers that you love to watch are simply the actors not being perfect.
But because they work through the fear of not being perfect, they are willing to risk looking silly along the way to that Academy Award performance.
You can’t see how to get to the finish line
So, maybe you have some glimmer or idea what you want to do. I wanted to be a successful blogger. In the beginning, I had absolutely NO idea how to do that.
Honestly, I barely had any idea what to write about. I didn’t know if anyone would ever read it. I didn’t know how to make a website. The list was huge.
What I did was just start. I picked a name for my blog and paid for that domain. I paid for a host; I just picked the cheapest most popular one.
I read some articles. I started writing some pretty darn horrible posts.
But every day I would do a little more, learn a little more, and risk a little more. I would have a crazy idea during my daily walk and then I would go home and write up a post.
Eventually I did learn what I was doing. My blog became successful.
Tips for overcoming the not-knowing how
Accept that you will take action without a clear picture of the future.
Accept that your objective may not fit tidily into something others can understand.
Accept course-correcting as you go along.
You can make the best decision, based on what you currently know about yourself and what you want to get started finding your own path.
Make the best decision you can and head in that direction. You don’t need to see the whole path to discover your calling. You just need to see a little bit in front of you. That path is always changing anyway, especially these days. So go confidently towards your best target, right now.
Feeling stuck doesn’t feel good. But you can move out of that with gentle, self-loving actions and find your own path in life!
Why You Want to Find Your Path in Life
You want to find your path in life because you aren’t just anyone–you are you, the amazing you. No one else is like you or ever will be. You have something to share with the world.
I know you don’t always believe that. I didn’t either.
But finding your path isn’t just to do something for other people. Finding your own path is the most loving nurturing thing you can do for yourself.
It feels amazing to step onto that secret path of yours that no one else will ever walk upon.
My friends, your path is there waiting for you to step onto it and take a few steps. That’s all you have to do for now!
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.
This was a great post! I really enjoyed all your tips, and will definitely be applying this to some areas of my life.
[…] problem is not knowing what to start in the first place here are a couple of posts to check out: Finding Your Path and Ten Steps to Create a Life You […]
Thank you for this!! I have always been a big-dreamer with huge goals that seem so out of reach. I refuse to be the kind of person who never goes after those dreams, however I’m terrified of not being able to see the path and of wasting time! This made me feel so much better.
Olivia, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I totally get you on being afraid because you can’t see the path. But the more I trust, working with the part I can see, the better things go. These days, I just focus on the part I can see and know I should do. And really, who is to say, what is a waste of time? Your dreams matter!
Thank you this is too helpful for me
This is a really great article. I appreciate your intuitive approach and relatable advice.
Thanks Elizabeth. I appreciate you stopping by and reading and commenting.
Hi Sara! I feel like you are speaking right to me. I’ve finally made the decision to start my own blog about a subject I feel really stongly about but I’m still battling my own doubts. Now that I’ve started on my path I still wonder if I have the right ‘big idea’. Thank you for your strategies – so timely.
Hi Tanielle! Yeah, those pesky doubts. But all you can do is FOLLOW THE IDEA THAT YOU HAVE NOW. It may or may not turn out to be your big idea. But you won’t get to that place unless you follow the inspiration you have right now. So, tell your DOUBTS that and reassure them that it will be okay. Can’t wait to see what you do!
Wow! Thanks for the encouragement Sara…I’ll keep it moving
Wonderful, wise advice. As a new blogger I totally relate to information overload and not wanting to be a beginner. Recently I went through my inbox and unsubscribed to quite a few coaches. I’ve selected a few people whose advice seems reasonable and they seem like nice people. I brain dumped my ridiculous to do list and am pecking away at it a little at a time. Otherwise I’ll go insane. I’m going to remember your strategies when I get stuck in the future. Thanks so much!
I didn’t realize that you were a “new” blogger–your expertise really shines! 🙂 Thanks for the comment Daria.
Great post Sara! I’m dealing with the not being sure about what I want right now in regards to my career. I’m an assistant manager at a retail store, and my plans at one time were to climb the ladder to store manager. But the closer I’ve got to people in those positions, I see how little work/balance they have. And I don’t want my life to be about work. So, I’m 37 and trying to figure out again what I want to be when I grow up! Should I stay in my current position? Or move on to something else entirely? Thank you for your post and the reminder that I’m not alone in feeling stuck!
Hi Paula, you definitely aren’t alone! I’ve been reading your blog (and implementing some of your suggestions) and see you have many qualities that would transfer into many careers. You definitely inspire me!
Thank you Sara! You don’t know how much that means to me! 🙂