Does it seem like everyone has a different opinion for what you should do with your life? I was reading this book called I could do anything if I only knew what it was By Barbara Sher. I did an exercise in the book which revealed a lot to me. The author was explaining that our life goals and dreams are often veiled by what we believe is expected of us from others. We have a sense of obligation and responsibility to please certain people and their idea of what we should do with our life. Most often these expectations that we feel forced to, are subconscious. We don’t even realize they exist. So the exercise was to discover and write down what I thought everyone in my life wanted me to do with my future, whether they outrightly spoke of it, or not.
We tend to make assumptions that people are placing expectations on us, when often they actually don’t have an opinion. It’s not necessarily what these people actually want you to do that’s hindering you, it’s often what you think they want you to do.
So I started by making a list of people who were influential in my life. I then took each of those people and thought through my interactions with them. I analyzed deep down what I thought it was they wanted for me. In my mind, every one of those people had an opinion. and to my surprise, quite often a lot of their ideas and wishes for me conflicted. It was hilarious to see all the ridiculous assumptions I had made and how impossible it would be to follow through with them.
This exercise was extremely beneficial for me, because I was a people pleaser. I always wanted to be viewed well and I didn’t want to disappoint others. So I was desperately trying to please everyone (or so I thought) and being miserable myself in the process. All the subconscious conflicting messages I was receiving whether legitimate or not, were creating a significant amount of confusion and frustration in my life. I was so busy trying to follow the map supposedly outlined for me, that I hadn’t discovered what my true passion and purpose was.
Often we read into things too much. We don’t even realize it, but subconsciously we receive messages that we internalize as other’s wishes and desires for our life. We make assumptions which if put into words are laughable! Certain individual's actions and words unconsciously made you feel as though they had a veiled desire or purpose. But they were probably quite innocent and had no intention of projecting that idea upon you.
So take the time to recognize all the noise and confusion within yourself. Identify and discard those assumptions which you created in your own mind and that will free up space for you to discover your purpose.