Life after prison can be uneasy.
Where was I going to live? How was I going to support myself? What was I going to do with my life?
This new found freedom was overwhelming, especially when trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life.
Let’s face it: few people know what they want to do with their lives. The pressure of finding my passion and stepping into my purpose was enhanced after prison. It wasn’t a want. It was a genuine need.
I had to dig deep into the essence of my being to see who I was. I used this introspection to put the pieces of my life’s puzzle together. Doing this helped me discover my passion and step into my purpose.
Here are three introspective things I did that allowed me to step into my purpose after prison.
I let go of my dissatisfaction.
Misery will help you find your purpose.
Many people believe dissatisfaction is a bad thing. We’re taught to do everything possible to avoid it. So we develop habits to mask it. We take pills. We plaster on a fake smile. We buy something new. But what many don’t consider is that our dissatisfaction is actually a good thing. It’s our subconscious calling out to us for help. It’s a sign that we’re meant to be doing something. It’s the path that will lead us to our purpose.
The problem with these negative thoughts is not so much the thoughts themselves. It’s actually the repetitious cycle of thinking this way. The reason we think this way is because we don’t see a viable strategy for happiness. In order to create a viable strategy for happiness we have to turn our negative thoughts into positive actions.
After prison, I did everything I could to conceal my dissatisfaction with myself. I soon realized masking my misery wouldn’t help me heal or find my way in life. So I embraced it. I prayed, I sought counsel from others, and I looked for guidance everywhere. Eventually, my misery pointed me in the right direction.
Acknowledging my dissatisfaction allowed me to step into my purpose of uplifting others.
I left my comfort zone, again.
Being uncomfortable will help you find your purpose.
I was abruptly forced outside of my comfort zone at a critical point in my life when I went to prison. I was scared, withdrawn, and so very uncomfortable. But being there opened my eyes up to my unwavering spirit and intense power. As a person, I had changed.
After prison, I went back to partial normalcy and routine. This did me a huge disservice. I became comfortable, again.
When we become comfortable it means we’ve let our mistakes and setbacks define us. We become afraid of being vulnerable and potentially looking foolish. So we accept mediocrity. We proactively avoid challenges that increase our ability to be successful.
Deep down I knew if I ever wanted to be successful, I’d have to leave my comfort zone. In order to find my purpose, make it my passion, and walk in my destiny, I’d have to try new things. Even if that meant struggling to pay the rent.
Because the path to your purpose is going to be filled with potholes. But you must be strong enough to know that finding your purpose will bring you success.
I embraced my gifts.
Understanding your natural abilities will help you find your purpose.
Your natural abilities will guide you towards your purpose.
Do you like math? Are you a great listener? Do you have a knack for building things?
These things are your natural abilities. They’re your God-given gifts. They’re great clues for discovering your purpose.
Your natural abilities walk a fine line between what you’re good at and what interests you. Unfortunately, this line doesn’t always lead directly to your passion. It often zigs and zags. So figuring out what your gifts are can be difficult.
After prison, I asked myself what I was good at doing. I decided to make a list of activities that interested me and that I excelled at. What did this list reveal to me? That I had a gift for motivating others into action using my words.
The gift was like a little seed planted inside of me. I didn’t realize it was there until after I asked myself. But for it to grow I knew had to use it. Finding this little seed inside of myself shortened my path to finding my purpose, and it bloomed into my passion.