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How to Find and Live Your Purpose Whilst Juggling Responsibilities

It’s one of the questions I get most from clients. How do I find and live my purpose? Clients watch as others seem to be full of ‘joie de vivre’ while their own unsatisfying life is passing by slowly. When I speak to women who are eager to find and live their purpose, I very often ask the question, ‘What is stopping you from currently doing that and experiencing the joy you desire?’

Answers I receive range from a lack of time; feeling stressed at work; feeling exhausted from taking care of the family; and having too many commitments to put themselves first.

Seen as masters of multi-tasking, women can often find themselves juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, whether it be as a professional, a partner, a parent, a caregiver, or a community member. Whilst these roles and responsibilities and fulfilling obligations can give them a sense of purpose, it then becomes challenging to carve out time and space to explore their own identity and find their own life purpose.

One important point I want to make here is around what our purpose is. Many people believe or have been led to believe that our purpose is tied to a job title or vocation. For some, their purpose does result in pursuing certain careers. But for many of us, our purpose can be found in how we are living our life, rather than what we are doing in life.

Our purpose therefore is not completely separate from the roles we have in life; instead it can be found intermingled between our responsibilities and our authentic self.

Let’s look at several strategies and insights that can help to navigate the balance between roles and identity. These can enable the uncovering of life purpose amidst roles and responsibilities.

1. Embrace Self-Reflection:

This is perhaps the first and most difficult step to take. In any type of self-development or inner work, self-reflection is key. Unless we commit to taking the time and space to go inwards, reflect and understand ourselves better, we will make little progress in finding and living our purpose.

In my experience, the first hurdle to overcome is making the time and space for this reflection. Clients find it difficult to prioritise their desires over the needs and obligations from others, often feeling guilty for taking time for themselves. Once we have worked through this challenge I offer the following prompts for them to consider and journal on:

a. What brings me joy and fulfilment?

b. What are my core values?

c. How do I want to contribute to the world?

By reflecting on these aspects it can help women to gain clarity about their aspirations and how they align with their current roles and responsibilities.

2. Reevaluate Priorities:

As mentioned in point 1 above, my clients find it hard to prioritise their desires over the needs of others. When we are looking at our life purpose in conjunction with roles and identity, we have to understand that priorities can fluctuate. They do not remain constant throughout our lives. This means periodically reassessing and reevaluating our priorities and taking stock of our commitments and responsibilities so that we can determine which ones truly align with our values and goals.

Another area that women find difficult is to let go of obligations or delegate tasks in order to create the space for activities and pursuits that are more closely aligned with their life purpose. In taking on or being pushed towards certain roles and responsibilities, the guilt of taking back time and space for themselves can sometimes rear its ugly head. I encourage my clients to start small so that they can gain confidence in letting go of the responsibilities that really are not theirs to bear.

3. Set Boundaries and Practice Self-Care:

Following on from reevaluating priorities comes the task of setting boundaries and practicing self-care.

In a society that demands so much from women, it is not surprising that many women have none or very few boundaries in place. And having boundaries is not about keeping people out of your life. Establishing clear boundaries in your personal and professional life helps to protect your time and energy so that you can show up to personal and professional responsibilities with focus and attention.

Much has been written and shared about self-care practices that rejuvenate and nourish us. Exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending quality time with loved ones are just a few ways in which we can practice self-care. By taking care of ourselves we build the resilience and clarity needed to pursue our life purpose.

4. Seek Support and Delegate:

As a society we are a not adept at asking for help. Instead we have been raised to see it as a sign of weakness, but also that we should help others whenever they ask for help. It is a contradiction I never seem to be able to get my head around!

In order to reach out and ask for help, you first need to recognise that you do not have to shoulder all responsibilities alone. Sometimes the responsibilities we take on are not ours to take care of, but our people pleasing tendencies tell us something different. We take on more and more until there is no space for ourselves.

Where possible delegate tasks and share responsibilities with others. Build a trusting and supportive network to help, so that you create space and energy to focus on your personal growth and exploration of your life purpose.

5. Integrate Your Roles:

I’ve worked with clients who have been overwhelmed with the roles and responsibilities they have. So much so, that they start to separate and compartmentalise obligations in order to deal with them more easily.

When we do this, it can take up even more of our time and energy as we flit from one thing to another. Instead I encourage clients to seek ways to integrate their different roles and responsibilities. I ask them to look at where the different roles can intersect and contribute to their sense of purpose.

For example, if you are a working professional and a parent, explore ways to align your work with causes or initiatives that reflect your values as a parent. Embrace the idea that your various roles can inform and enrich each other, allowing you to lead a more integrated and purposeful life.

6. Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude:

In the midst of fulfilling our responsibilities, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and lose sight of our purpose. Using mindfulness and gratitude practices can help to keep you connected to your intentions and values and ensure that you don’t stray too far from the purpose you are discovering.

Just as the lack of time and space can impact searching for your purpose, mindfulness practices also often take a back seat. Contrary to belief, these don’t have to take too much time. Simple and quick actions such as taking time throughout the day to pause, breathe, and check-in with yourself can be just as beneficial as a 15 minute meditation or yoga session.

Don’t forget to express gratitude for the opportunities and experiences that you currently have and are coming your way. These simple practices will help you stay present and attuned to the moments that hold meaning and purpose for you.

I will not tell you that it is easy to find your purpose as you balance the roles and responsibilities you have. But remember that it is not a solo journey and that you can reach out to others for support. However, it does need you to make the choice on whether you pursue finding your purpose, no one else can do that for you. Once you have made that choice and can continue to embrace the journey you are on, it will open you up for growth and self-discovery.

If you are just starting out on this journey, or still feel overwhelmed, I have a FREE workbook that can help to guide you. You can download 'Your Sovereign Path: How to Connect Your Power and Purpose' here.

Much love, Harmesch x

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