Knowing your purpose, and being intentional about how you engage it, is only part of the equation. Your purpose does more than just ignite your passion, it keeps you grounded when you feel lost; when you feel mission drift.
You may be “killing it” at life, but that doesn’t mean you feel your passion fully engaged.
I get to help impact lives every day. Incredible as it is – I have times where “I can’t help one more person. I’m done.” Just because you are a purpose filled, passion fueled, individual doesn’t mean burn out doesn’t happen.
But is it burn out or mission drift?
I’m at my best when I’m engaging my passion towards my purpose at least 90% of the time. When this falls out of alignment, it’s time to step back. Give yourself the space to refocus on what really matters.
But what happens when you step back, get some much needed mental space, and then a few months later are right back in a stress fueled spiral?
Then you’ve got to ask yourself, do you need a break or do you need a change? Are you really being true to your purpose?
Those of you in the impact space may be familiar with this term – Mission Drift. It’s typically used at the organizational level, but it is just as applicable to us as individuals. A few posts back, I asked: Are you so busy “adulting” that you’ve gotten off your path? This is mission drift, and it happens to the best of us, myself included.
Are you so busy being a “high achiever” that you lost sight of your purpose?
There’s a fine line between being focused on the end game, on “achieving,” and getting lost in the tactical weeds.This is my least favorite place, and I got there twice in 2016. It took me longer to realize…
What I thought was burn out was actually mission drift. And mission drift can’t be fixed with a yoga retreat.
I was stressed out all of the time. I felt overworked, and under utilized. I thought I needed a break, some vacation time…
My first real vacation in years – an absolutely magical yoga retreat with Yoga Adventures Worldwide – only did the trick for a couple months.
1.5 months after a glorious week in paradise: I nearly had a meltdown in front of our executive team. I left the meeting in a hurry and let loose a river of tears in my car. For those of you who don’t know me…I have no problem sharing my opinions…my emotions however, I like to keep those on lock.
At this incredibly low point I was of the mindset that I was done.
I told myself, and the amazing boyfriend who stood by me during this painful journey, that it was time to move on. All of these doors were opening for me, but nothing felt right. After all of these career wins, I was left feeling unexcited. Where was my passion? Had I gotten complacent?
Dare to do the things that scare you.
The best things in life – those that are worthwhile – they stretch and grow you. Growth can be scary, it can be painful. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, but that is where change…that is where magic happens.
So where does that leave me, and how does it help you? I took a step back, and I just paused. I paused everything. I said no thank you to job offers. I started reading, reflecting, and most recently writing this blog. I used some of these exercises to get clarity on what was really going on. It was not easy. The realization was painful…
I had experienced mission drift.
This passion fueled firecracker had gotten out of serious alignment with my own purpose. I got complacent with a job, while in an organization I have deep admiration for, did not fully engage it. I had hit a hard pause on what should be just one arc on my sky high trajectory.
So yes, even mission driven rock stars drift out of alignment.
It’s what you do to course correct that matters.
Check in with your passion, get real and give the power back to your inner voice. Make a practice out of it.
If you have an annual review, do it at the 6 month point, or better yet quarterly. This will keep you tuned in to how engaged your purpose is. You’ll be keyed into whether your passion is on, and where your current role fits into the equation.
Take charge of your career. Design what you want, or deal with what you get.
Are you currently feeling burnt out, or out of alignment with your true purpose? Are you taking steps to refocus and find clarity? I’d love if you left a comment or shared with me about your journey towards a purpose-filled life!