I was that girl who always aimed to be the best at whatever she did. I was the high achiever with top grades who was the pride of her parents and the standard for the neighbor’s kids.
I graduated at the top of my class in University and was off to a great start. I went from one great job to another in organizations many of my peers wished for.
While working at a renowned Oil & gas company, I felt so disconnected from the job though I was earning way more than my contemporaries. There was a constantly feeling of emptiness and a sense that there was more to my life.
I left for my master’s degree in the UK. I graduated with honors and got to work with one of the top 3 fashion retailers in the world and become business coach/manager in just 3 months.
Let’s just say everything was going great for me until I decided to quit my job and return to my home country expecting everything for fall in line like it always had.
I had a rude awakening!
I couldn’t land a job for 2 whole years with all my education, experience and exposure.
At one of the many job interviews I attended, the interviewer was mean enough to laugh in my face and advise that I forget about getting a job and just get a man.
I have never felt so small in my entire life and that dealt a hard blow to my self-worth!
Maybe I wasn’t all that and a bag of chips after all.
None of my achievements could save me.
I felt like a fraud!
It got worse.
I wasn’t only broken; I was now broke.
I lost ‘friends’…who wants to be associated with a loser anyway.
I compared myself with everybody and gradually withdrew from society.
I became depressed.
Many nights, I prayed to die in my sleep and wept, whenever I saw the morning sun.
I had built my self-worth around my roles, titles and achievements and now that I didn’t have them, I felt worthless.
I began to seek a deeper meaning for my life.
I read every self-help book on finding purpose that I could lay my hands on, but I ended up even more confused. I got so frustrated and overwhelmed.
Some said pursue your passion. I did but still hit a brick wall.
Others said focus on your gifts...but I had so many!
Why was it so hard to figure out my purpose?
What was I doing wrong?
What are the self-help books not telling me?
One sunny afternoon, while having a conversation with my uncle about my situation, he asked one simple question that completely changed my approach to finding purpose.
This was the starting point to purpose actualization...discovering who I was at my core.
This is something that many high achievers struggle with...in keeping up with the expectations to do more and be more, they place multiple layers on their true identity and soon forget who they really are on the inside.
Finding who I was, was the beginning of my purpose journey and it has been the most freeing experience of my life.
I eventually got a job at a much lower level than my expertise and that did not bother me like it should have. I knew who I was and no longer defined myself by a job title.
I was also able to identify a department within the company where I could activate and actualize my purpose. I later rose to my desired position within the company, improved the way the department operated, won an award and it all happened without me striving to do more and be more.
It was effortless!
It was purpose-filled!
It was fulfilling!
When I felt my time was done, I walked away from the job with no attachment disorders.
I had become absolutely free, fearless and fulfilled!
No more hiding behind the façade of achievements, comparing my life with others or maintaining the ‘right’ image of success.
Figuring out and fulfilling purpose doesn't have to be a frustrating experience and you don't have to forgo your success for it!