Create a roadmap to change your life with the 7 stages or purpose

Are you hoping to change your life? For many people, their 40s is when they reflect on relationships, friends, and things like work/life balance – a time to assess where they are. For others, it is a time when they’ve really hit their stride, and often this is because they have found their purpose.

Look at 46-year-old actress and filmmaker Reese Witherspoon. A few years ago, she founded the production company Pacific Standard—which is now a subsidiary of her media company Hello Sunshine—to share stories written by women, with a female lead, brought to the screen by women. As Reese pitched her business venture to investors, she was informed that no one would want to watch films with a female lead, that this was not a profitable venture. She invested her own money, which she was also told was a mistake.

But with a purpose to share women’s stories on the big screen to change the narrative of women in US culture, Reese Witherspoon’s first two film productions with female leads, Wild and Gone Girl, grossed half a billion dollars. She also produced the hugely successful TV series Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, Little Fires Everywhere, and the film from the best-selling book Where the Crawdad Sings is due for release in July 2022. 

We are all born with a purpose. As unique as your fingerprint, it is held within your heart, your reason for being, your north star. With your purpose placed at the heart of your life you benefit from clarity of focus and direction. On the occasions self-doubt creeps in, purpose empowers you. Decisions become easier as you choose the path aligned with the fulfilment of your purpose.

Your purpose doesn’t arrive one day ‘boom!’ fully formed, expressed, and embodied. There are recognisable stages to the growth and development of your purpose. These stages are not linear. You may experience more than one stage at a time, and some stages last longer than others. And when you become aware of the stage you are at, you have a map and can more easily participate in your purpose being fulfilled.

Here are the seven stages of purpose. Use these to create a roadmap to change your life. Take a look and decide where you are, and this will help you define the next steps you need to take towards your true purpose and passion.

The 7 stages of purpose to help your change your life

1. Calling

You sense you have a bigger purpose than what is currently being expressed. There may be a sense of ‘something’ missing, a frustration, a sensation pulling you towards ‘something’ you can’t quite understand, it is led by a desire for more – more meaning, contribution and impact.

Simon Haas, yoga philosopher and author of The Book of Dharma and Yoga and Dark Night of the Soul shares that your purpose emerges naturally when you live your true nature.

This is echoed by Jill Ellis, former coach of the USA Women’s Soccer Team sharing the experience of opening up to her team that she was married to Betsy Stephenson, a woman. Fully supported, the US women’s team went on to campaign for equal pay for women using the World Cup as their global platform. Jill said: “When I became open in who I was, I found my purpose there.”

When you experience a calling, practice bringing more of your true nature into your life every day, and as you do, your purpose is revealed to you.

2. Receive

As you follow your true nature, you begin to receive a sense of your purpose, the more you receive the clearer it becomes. At this stage, stay curious. Don’t deny it or push it away. Embrace and begin to own your purpose.

change your life

3. Articulate

As you embrace your purpose, articulate it in a few simple words that inspire and resonate with your heart. The simpler the better. For example, TheTeen Yoga Foundation has a purpose to empower young people through yoga so that there’s a generation of kids with self-esteem, resilience and mental wellness. Maddy Cooper, co-founder of Brilliant Noise, has a purpose of protecting the earth so that families have a bright future, with sustainable marketing for brands that really mean it.

4. Align

Now your purpose is clearly articulated the next step is to align your decisions, actions, behaviours, products and services with your purpose. Let go of any aspects of your life that are not aligned with your purpose. This can take courage, but it is worth it.

5. Embody

As you make decisions aligned with your purpose, you shift from an intellectual understanding to your purpose becoming a tangible, living expression. The more you can appreciate the deep fulfilment, value and impact embodying your purpose brings, the more you grow.

change your life

6. Lead

As you grow in the embodiment of your true nature and purpose you are now ‘walking your talk’. There is a noticeable dedication, integrity and congruence and this inspires others. At this stage, as you communicate and share the wisdom of your experience openly and transparently, you become a recognised leader in your field.

7. Evolution

Your purpose, your north star, becomes an evolutionary force, both in your personal and business development taking you into the unknown, towards new frontiers. If you haven’t already, here you are invited to surrender more deeply, to let go of what wants to go and allow what wants to come.

Kat Byles is the Founder of the True Business School, for creative leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists and healers who want to do business differently. She works with people to find and align with their purpose and creativity to build a happy, healthy, wealthy business and world. Why not get in touch and find out how she can help you change your life for the better.

Photos by Julia Avamotive, Joshua Abner, Thought Catalog

Five steps to find your voice in your 40’s

Do you find you struggle to speak up and be heard?  You try and speak only for someone to interrupt you and finish off your conversation. Do you feel like no one is listening? It feels like your opinions, ideas and thoughts are not important enough.   When you feel like no-one is listening to you it can make us feel unvalued, unappreciated, and just damn right fed up.  It can affect our self-esteem and our confidence. We scream inside our heads ‘why won’t you let me speak?’  We hear voices in our own head telling us not to bother; it’s not worth it as no-one listens anyway.  But it doesn’t have to feel and be this way.  All you have to do, is make a few changes and you’ll be amazed the difference that it will make. 

Step 1: Control your thoughts

Be in control of your thoughts; they can either help you or hindebr you.  Your thoughts can either empower you or disempower you, encourage you or stop you.  Your thoughts can change your life now and for the future.  Choose them wisely.  When negative thoughts pop in your head; challenge them.  Are they true?  Really true? Ask yourself is it true or are you just scared of the outcome?  Do you fear failure is that why these negative thoughts appear?  If so, challenge that thought. Turn each thought around, upside down and inside out until you feel it’s truth.  Challenge your thoughts to get the lifestyle that you want. 

Be brave, push yourself and the changes can really happen; it’s all in the power of your thoughts. For example, you’re heading to a meeting at work and you want to talk about an idea but your thoughts are; ‘no-one will listen to you’, ‘They will just interrupt me anyway’, ‘it probably won’t work’ and before you know it you decide to not even bother speaking up.  What if you changed your thoughts to; ‘I’ll explain all the reasons why this is a good idea’, ‘if they interrupt me, I’ll ask them to let me finish’, ‘this idea is amazing and will make a real positive difference’, ‘go on girl, you can do this’.  Can you see the difference on how you will feel when you turn those thoughts around?

Step 2: Be passionate, not emotional

Doesn’t it just make you crazy when someone says this to you ‘you’re being emotional’!  Your feelings of frustration get higher and higher, and things just got a hell of lot worse.  When this happens its crucial to flip back to Step 1.  Control your thoughts.  Most of the time we are being passionate about a certain subject only when we feel we are not being listened to does our passion turn to emotional, either upset, frustrations and anger.  Let’s not forget that our hormones will certainly be raging at this point when our emotions kick in.  When this occurs, tell yourself to stop.  Stop speaking, inhale a deep breath of calm and exhale the stress. Reflect and remind yourself why this important and start again.  Interrupt the emotion and get back the passion.

Step 3: Call it out

If someone interrupts you; talks over you, shuts you down, call it out.  Ask them to kindly let you finish the conversation without being interrupted.  Most of the time people don’t realise that they actually do it.  If it’s during an argument I think we are all guilty of this from time to time, so just be aware that you don’t interrupt too.  Let people speak and then you can challenge them to let you speak too.

Step 4: Listen to understand, don’t listen to respond

Sometimes we react and respond too quickly because we want to get our point across but when we do that our minds are not fully listening to what the other person has actually said.  They may have a totally different perspective, but they may not be wrong, and you can respond too quickly before you fully understand the other persons reasoning.  Think about the number 6 and 9.  If one person is viewing it upside down you can see why they would be adamant that they are right when they believe it’s a number 6 versus the view the other persons sees which is a 9.  Again, our changing hormones won’t help us as we can get easily fired up.  When we sense this happening, this is when we must tell ourselves to stop.  Take that breathe, check your and theirs perspective, and start again.

Step 5: Know that there is always a way

Decide and know what you want, challenge those beliefs that are getting in the way. Trust and believe that there is always a way because seek and you shall always find.

Sara Harling author of ‘Why Won’t You Let Me Speak?’  Available at Amazon, Waterstones and The Hive.

Photos by Polina Tankilevitch and Pexels