In a world that celebrates resumes, titles, awards, and achievements, what could it feel like to base your value and identity elsewhere?
Bestselling author and podcaster Jordan Lee Dooley helps us reframe this to find our purpose and meaning without feeling the need to prove ourselves. In her book Own Your Everyday: Overcome The Pressure To Prove And Show Up For What You Were Made To Do, she shares practical wisdom and guidance for overcoming obstacles and harmful substitutes for deep truth and meaning.
In our interview, we tackle why self care isn’t selfish, how to acknowledge and tackle insecurities from the inside out, discovering your dreams, being multi-passionate, and how to take big steps towards your purpose, even if they feel scary.
What happens when you know your purpose and keep it simple? Dooley explains from her personal experience, “ A simple approach removes the pressure to prove, and instead, drives me to help people through the work I do in my business, but also in my everyday life. The underlying purpose is consistent across different roles or positions I serve, even if the specific ways I do that differ.”
Now, how do you find your purpose and meaning?
Focus on who you are, not what you do
“When we are achievement-oriented or ambitious, we can begin to equate our worth to our level of achievement, our status, or our position. I believe remembering who we are outside of our job titles or roles is pivotal in being most effective in those roles we serve. Otherwise, we tend to look to those things to give us confidence and value, rather than bringing our unique contribution and confidence to those places.”
What to do when ‘what you do’ is taken away from you
When your vision for your future abruptly changes or that around which you centered your identity goes away, what do you do?
Dooley faced this head-on: “For several years, my husband played football and I thought I would be an NFL wife, a role I was eager to have. After he was released, and after that door refused to open again, we both went through a season of discovering who we were as a team (and as individuals) outside of football. It took time but once we embraced our identity and purpose outside of a certain role, we discovered new passions, dreams, and things about ourselves we didn’t even know were there!”
Stop asking people: ‘What do you do?’
Asking this question often shoves people back into the boxes from which they may be trying to escape in order to find meaning in a way that suits them.
“I have a hard time with this question because, as a multi-passionate person, one label or role doesn’t really cut it. So, I made one up. I’ve been calling myself a ‘multi-passionate authorprenuer’.”
Consider re-framing this question to ask someone, “What’s something you’re working on right now that excites you?”. This doesn’t limit their reply to work only, and allows the conversation to unfold more naturally.
Uncover your truth through quiet and stillness
We live in a loud world that celebrates busyness and makes it tough to go inward and see what your intuition is really saying.
Dooley shares, “I think it begins with shutting off all the noise and voices that bombard us on a daily basis. A friend of mine recently said, ‘I’ve decided to stop letting the internet tell me who to be,’ and that really struck me. For me, getting really still and praying a bold prayer helped me see who I truly am.”
Avoiding the comparison trap and imposter syndrome
“I struggle with these feelings often. Being in my mid twenties, I often believe I’m too young to be in the position I am today. The number one piece of advice I have for someone struggling with comparison and imposter syndrome is to be coachable. Stop trying to fake it til you make it. There’s a lot of freedom in just admitting when you’re unsure, asking for help, and accepting that you still have a lot to learn (regardless of how old or experienced you are).”
How can you compare yourself to your own progress, not other peoples’?
Get unstuck by shifting your mindset
“I’ve found that when I get stuck, it’s usually my mindset (not my skill set) that holds me back from taking action. In other words, what we do (or hesitate to do) often comes down to what we believe to be true about who we are. If we believe we are loved, worthy, capable, and created for a purpose, we will live accordingly. On the flip side, if we believe we are unworthy, incapable, or perhaps even an accident, we will also live accordingly.”
What inner critics do you have that are holding you back? How can you flip the script on them, rewrite the narrative, and begin to take action to quiet those voices?
“Identity is the remedy to insecurity”
“I say this because when I feel insecure, it’s usually because I forget who I am. Really knowing, believing, and embracing our true identity is deep work compared to covering up our insecurities with empty compliments or other surface-level, temporary solutions. To truly fight our insecurities, we have got to look deeper and remember who we are at our core and on the inside, not what other people think or what we do on the outside.”
Face success and failure
It’s been said that we are just as afraid of our own success as we are of failure. So, “It boils down to our beliefs. A fear of success is still ultimately rooted in a fear of failure, because achieving success in, say, a career, often makes us worry about failing in other areas of life, such as our relationships (“What will they think? Will it make my friends uncomfortable? Will I have enough time?”) and vice versa.”
Stop asking ”Who am I to ____”
“When we begin to doubt that we should step into something, we begin to subconsciously ask, “Who am I to…write a book? Start a business? Be a mom? Lead a small group?” It’s helped me to catch myself when I begin to ask that question, and then match it by asking, “Wait, who am I? Who do I believe I am? And if I actually believe that’s true…then who am I not to do this?”
So, who are you?
Want more success and fulfillment in your life? Then check out this free masterclass with Deepak Chopra and me. In it, we share the 5 key things you need to know to create a more meaningful life!
This article was originally published on Forbes.